How Did Escape Rooms Come About?

I bet you wonder, at least once in your life, what’s the history and origin behind Escape Rooms. They are rather fascinating, aren’t they? Allowing you to literally escape into another world, and enable those adventurous spirits to embrace their inner Indiana Jones, it seems that Escape Rooms are truly one-of-a-kind. While they’re well-known for their puzzles and clues, Escape Rooms have also been regarded as an unconventional team-building and ice-breaker activity not only in Singapore but also around the world, due to their team work benefits. As such, many companies and schools have taken a different path and implemented Escape Rooms as a way to build cohesion among participants. So how did this new game came about and purportedly grew in popularity?

If you have experienced an Escape Room, you may find the entire process rather familiar. And you’re right. The concept of Escape Rooms ‘borrowed’ aspects of various classic games such as haunted houses and scavenger hunts, which we have pretty much all played in our life. Takao Kato, the man behind the idea, then went on to find Real Escape Game ( REG ) in 2007 in Kyoto, Japan, thus making it the first-ever commercialized Escape Room experience. Though it’s a fairly newly-developed game in the market, it made it big in Asia, starting from Singapore where it was introduced in 2011 and eventually China the following year.

Unfortunately, the company was sold in 2012 by a friend of Kato, Kazuya Iwata, who brought it to San Francisco, United States. This started a trend in North America, where the first American-based Escape Room company, Puzzle Break, was formed. It was set up in Seattle, Washington, in 2013 by Nate Martin. Now, here comes the interesting part. While it’s universally-noted that Japan invented the idea of Escape Rooms, Hungary was the pioneer country in the European continent to bring forth this unique gameplay. The founder of Parapark, a Hungarian franchise based in the main capital city of Budapest, Attila Gyurkovics, initially possesses no knowledge of the Japanese trend, and was actually inspired by his previous job and a theory invented by a Hungarian psychologist. Regardless, they picked up the trend and soon constructed Hint Hunt, a team-building Escape Room experience.

Since then, Escape Rooms became a dominant feature in the games and team-building market, being taken up by the United Kingdom in 2012, and France and Canada the following year. Here in Singapore, we have long been accustomed to the concept of Escape Rooms, and it’s not hard to view the evidence. There are a plethora of events company in Singapore specializing in Escape Rooms, and we are no exception. The Fun Empire is proud to have our game mode, The Curse of the Werewolf, specially-designed by an award-winning designer who ensured that the experience will incite both fear and excitement among participants.

As such, what are you waiting for? If you’re in the stages of planning a corporate team-building event or a school cohesion day, or even if you’re simply looking for fun things to do in Singapore, why not stand out from the crowd and go with an Escape Room experience!

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