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What is an escape room?

An escape room (or exit game, escape game etc.) is an interactive game on a physical location where you follow clues, solve puzzles, have to do tasks and/or complete challenges within a certain amount of time (usually 60 minutes). It's a common misconception that you are locked up in a room. There are als variations on this theme: no escaping, but trying to break in instead. There are also variations in time: sometimes  you get more time, sometimes less and sometimes the clock only starts running later in the game. We're seeing more and more variations where the borders between escape rooms and other forms of entertainment are slowly starting to fade. The way escape rooms are used is also changing. In the beginning they were only used for entertainment but lately more and more educational applications are starting to pop-up.

The escape room originates from computergames. They are physical manifestations of (adventure)games, like Myst. Rumours say the first room, "Origin", was build by softwaredevelopers in Sillicon Valley in 2006, but proof for this is hard to find. We do know that SCRAP in Japan build a room in 2008. Europe joined, with Budapest in Hungary, in 2011. But we're catching up. In Budapest for instance you have more than 100 locations in the same city.

In The Netherlands it started in 2013. In Bunschoten or Eindhoven. Which one was first is a bit unclear. By now we do have the most escape rooms per inhabitant in the Netherlands though and we also seem to be highly rated worldwide. Something we can be quite proud of! In 2015 there were more than 2800 escape rooms worldwide. By now it's probably a lot more.

We're curious what the future will bring us. Which creative developments are we going to see?