Trying to escape the reality of everyday working life can be stressful. There are many ways to enjoy a weekend night, however, one that is quickly gaining popularity are escape rooms. If you’ve never heard of one, an escape room is a series of puzzles and riddles that when solved, allows players to eventually exit the room.
The rooms often have themes that can range anywhere from dungeons and dragons, to futuristic space stations. These rooms also often incorporate technology to further enhance the user experience, such as creepy music playing the background, or levers that when pulled, reveal an important clue.
To heighten the excitement even more, participants play in teams of two or more, and are forced to race against the clock to get out of the room in 60 minutes. Some establishments require players to move from one room to another. If they don’t escape, the players lose the game and cannot move forward in the game.
Escape Canada in London, is owned by Shawn Nagy and Emily Lyons. Their store is hard to miss, with a bright orange paint job, located in the heart of Downtown London on Richmond street. The duo got the idea to start their own escape room business in London, after visiting one in Budapest. Lyons says that the business was a spur of the moment idea.
“When we were in Europe and we played this game, we left thinking, that was the most fun experience, and that was such an amazing thing to do. Why don’t we have something like that in Canada?”
At the time, their business was operating on York Street and they were one of the few escape rooms in London. Since then, David Korhonen joined the group as the third owner. Currently, the competition in London is stiff, as there are seven escape rooms to choose from. Nagy says that the rising appeal of an escape room is because of the opportunity to work together as a group.
“Within about a year’s time we realised that the rooms are completely geared towards team work. We designed the puzzles so that no single person can solve them, which really demands the use of two or more people to do any given task. ”
Player Sarah came to Escape with her associates from Aerotek Canada, because, they wanted a chance to put confirm their problem solving skills.
“It might test my analytic skills, see how well I can escape is the end goal.”
Escape rooms also attract large range of participants. Trapdoor President and PropSmith Derek Noon, says that escape rooms are universal.
“I’m always surprised at how wide a variety of people we encounter, we get a really broad range of demographics. We see everything from young kids, to their grandparents coming in with them.”
The next time you and your friends are stumped for a fun outing, be sure to check out of the many escape rooms that London has to offer.