It’s no secret that escape rooms have taken the nation by storm. These exciting immersive leisure activities that pit groups of players against the clock to solve puzzles and uncover hidden mysteries to complete an objective have provided us with a new wave of entertainment since their inception in Japan back in 2007.
Before Escape Rooms were playable stories, they were simple undecorated rooms filled with puzzles to solve but with no real reason to solve them. This has evolved into what we have today, but I believe we are just at the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the escape industry!
The current tried & tested escape room formula works fantastically, but it has led escape room creators to think ‘outside the box’ to be different from other escape room companies and provide unforgettable experiences to customers. By ‘outside the box’ I literally mean it – companies have now began to cook up a new twist on the escape room model and offer Outdoor Escape Rooms. I have done many of these in the past with games run by Solve The City, so I am going to explain my 5 reasons why I think they rock and why you will too!
1. EXPLORE CITIES
Outdoor escape rooms provide you with the opportunity to explore new cities that you may well never have visited. You are not just exploring high streets either, these games will take you to the nooks, crannies and sometimes even the nooks inside the crannies to find clues and solve puzzles. Even if you have visited the city many times before, these city-wide adventures make you see things you never noticed previously.
2. GETS YOU OUT AND ABOUT
We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has left lots of us cosied up at home whether it be for work or pleasure. Well, now is the time to start opening your doors, putting on your comfiest shoes and get exploring again. The world is your oyster! Outdoor Escape Rooms provide this in buckets, as you navigate your way around the city (with the help of a phone app) you are taking in the fresh Earthly air that our body craves. Along with this, we are actually raising our step-count significantly too – on my last Solve The City experience I clocked up 12,000 steps!
3. MULTI-GENERATIONAL FUN
Calling all Boomers, Millennials, Gen Z’s and Gen X’s, we have the perfect activity for you all to do together! Outdoor Escape Rooms serve as a perfect day-out activity for everyone in the family. There’s often a big generational divide in the activities we enjoy doing, but everyone loves to be at the centre of their own story whether you are 8 or 80.
4. INTERACTING WITH THE REAL WORLD
Honestly, there is some kind of giddy fun attached to you being on a top secret adventure amongst the same people who are doing their boring weekly shop at Tesco’s. The real world can of course feel mundane, but when there are secret puzzles hidden in existing sculptures, buildings and signs then it becomes much more colourful and exciting. All it takes is a little help from a phone app, the players’ desire to explore and all of a sudden we have built a much more healthy and enriching way of looking at the things that surround us.
5. REIGNITING CITY CENTRES POST-LOCKDOWN
Personally, I have seen many city centres struggling post-lockdown. Many attractions, shops and other businesses have been forced to close up for good leaving an empty feeling around parts of cities. This is where outdoor escape rooms and treasure trails come in and provide part of a solution to bring engagement and interaction to our cities once more. With online shopping also on the rise, people need a reason to visit cities and these games are a perfect example of that.
So that rounds up why I think outdoor escape rooms rock and why I think you should go and try some out! If you are a person of any age, of any puzzle-solving ability who wants to explore cities with friends and feel the sense of surprise, thrill and wonder that outdoor escape rooms can offer – then take up escape rooms newest craze, you won’t regret it!