People are now voluntarily allowing themselves to be held captive in a locked room, in which they must solve tricky puzzles in order to escape.
The phenomenon is known as a “escape rooms”, and many entrepreneurs believe that they will be the next new fun way to spend an evening.
The rooms often have themes, such as one escape room in Los Angeles that is designed to resemble a castle from medieval times. The room is complete with a king, a throne, armor and a locked chest.
Players are given a time limit in which they must either make their escape or be forced to give up. It can be particularly fun to team up with friends and work together to make a creative exit. Some people say that it’s like a videogame for real life.
But it won’t be easy! Players must use clues, find keys, solve puzzles, toy around with gadgets and be super creative if they want to get out in time.
Originally, escape rooms started in Japan. Next they arrived in Europe. Only recently have Americans started getting in on the fun. Currently a company called Maze Rooms has a total of six different rooms in three locations in Los Angeles. They also have a franchise in Austin, TX.
Owner of Maze Rooms Natalie Lapidus is extremely happy with her creating endeavor, saying, “I love this work because one day you're painting the walls, the other day you're sitting somewhere in the business meeting discussing the franchise opportunities. So it's different.”
In order to get yourself locked in an escape room, you will have to shell out about $30 per person. And you might want to take your time in making your escape; there is no discount for an early exit.
The business model does have some risks. With a limited number of rooms, customers are only likely to visit a couple of times. I mean, it wouldn’t be much fun to escape from the same room twice. Lapidus says that her company is under constant pressure from her demanding customers to build new rooms.
Still, many people say they love the concept. They say it’s a fun way to get out with your friends, put your phones away and actually interact with one another.
So if you’re looking for something fun to do one evening, why not try an escape room?
Hurry, the clock is ticking!