Does being trapped in a small, dark room having to work out bunch of mind bending puzzles to earn your freedom sound like your idea of a good time?? Well, this happens to be one of our favourite activities! Escape rooms are a trend that has taken Europe by storm and is spreading like wildfire elsewhere in the world. The idea is that you enter a room (usually with some kind of theme) with an hour on the clock, the door locks behind you, and then you have to escape. To do this, you need to complete a series of puzzles and riddles that will ultimately give you all you need to unlock the final door – hopefully before your hour is up. It could be a code, a master key, or a secret password – the possibilities are vast and are all equally amazing. There are dozens of puzzles and technologies in these rooms, put there to test your problem solving skills (and sanity!). We’ve played lots of these escape rooms both on our travels and at home, and we are always looking forward to the next exciting installment. If you’re not already convinced, here are 5 AWESOME reasons to try it out;

Not The Usual

Although the escape room scene has exploded in the last few years, we would still consider this something a little bit different to try out in any city that offers one. If you’re like us, and enjoying being on the go every minute of your holiday, then an escape room is the perfect way to fill up some down time with something you haven’t done before. The themes and puzzles vary hugely across the rooms, so even if you’ve escaped another, each one will be like playing a brand new game. They are also great for any weather – but on those disappointingly drizzly days especially, escape the rain by escaping the room!

Escape Room Budapest Finishers
The alleged birth place of escape rooms is Budapest, where we successfully completed Escape House!

BYO Friends

If you’re looking for a great group activity, look no further than an escape room. You can often get up to 6 people in one room, and there are usually multiple games to play if your group is larger than that. We aren’t just talking groups of friends or family here either; get together a bunch of people at your hostel to play if you’re solo travelling and perhaps make some fantastic new friends out of it (or at least drinking buddies for afterwards!), corporate groups could also find an escape room useful for team days out. You really need to work together and play to peoples different strengths in order to escape the room, so it’s the perfect activity to encourage team building and bonding with each other (awwww isn’t that nice?). You’re bound to find out some weird expertise that everyone has – stuff you might never had known if you didn’t put yourselves in an escape room situation. We found out about Kieran’s mad colouring in skills when we were stuck in a kids bedroom during a game in Budapest, which helped us find the last code we needed to win. And apparently, I have a weird talent for easily being able to make out the correct words within jumbled letters

Bragging Rights

There is a tendency to get very competitive as you play more of these games, which we find both hilarious and glorious. I mean, what is more fun than having bragging rights for the rest of eternity? We always ask the games master to tell us what the average time for escaping is, and then aim to smash that out of the water! Often, there is a score board of times for a given period (e.g week, month, ever), and you can’t help but what to be on there. You’re always racing against the clock which is a really good rush, throw in racing with another team and you’ve got yourself a surge of adrenaline without even having to jump off anything high. There are so many different techniques and competencies used to solve the rooms, so it’s never an easy bet on who will win either. It is absolutely anyone’s game until someone opens that final door faster and escapes with the glory. Put it all on the line, team with the losing time has to buy everyone pizza!

Brawny Brains

All this talk of skills, techniques and competencies leads us to the obvious conclusion that this kind of game is good for the brain! You are stepping inside a real life video game to complete tasks designed to make you think outside the box and apply problem solving ideas to. You’re learning and developing by playing and you don’t even realise it! Who would have thought that learning could be fun huh?! We always feel so clever after breaking out of an escape room, particularly if we’ve been on the road for a long time, like we’ve dusted off those thinking caps we left back in school and come out on top. Whether you’re on holiday or at home, adulting/beer can lead us to neglect our precious brain cells, so a fun and exciting escape room is the perfect way to flex those brainy muscles of yours. No mushy brains for us!

Claustrophobia escape room Amsterdam
We smashed the Arcade Invasion room at Claustrophobia in Amsterdam, shame Luigi!

Warm Fuzzies

Most of all, we find escape rooms awesome because they are fun and rewarding. At the end of the game, all you want to do is talk about how kick ass you are for solving that one really hard puzzle, or the moment when something suddenly clicked and you’d figured out the next step like a total friken genius. It’s a celebration, high fives all round, you really feel like you’ve done something productive and achieved a goal. Much like the seeing the view at the end of a long hard hike, completing an escape room and opening the final door is just an epic feeling

Competition Alert!

Because we love these games so much, we’ve been able to team up with our buddies at Other World Escapes to bring you an awesome competition. They’ve taken escape room fun to the next level, creating the ultimate, full immersion experience while you play, and you could win the opportunity to test their brand new Mayan room before it opens to the general public on 1st July 2017!!!

To enter, head to their Facebook page and comment on their post to let them know where on earth KiKi are in this photo… Good luck guys! (Competition closes May 25th 2017)

Other World Escapes, Escape Room Competition Photo
Where on earth are KiKi?? Hint – this is a second home to us β™₯

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