Escape rooms have been part of immersive entertainment for quite some time now. These rooms first began in Japan, North America, and Europe and were popularised in other parts of the world, including India.
Ever since the pandemic hit, escape room brands have started designing virtual escape rooms, which can be experienced by friends and family from the safety of their living rooms. Steadily, these trends are being passed on to India. The question is, are they here to stay? Will people welcome this trend with open arms?
What are Virtual Escape Rooms?
Back when the pandemic didn’t force us to stay 6 feet apart from everyone, people loved visiting escape rooms for live entertainment.
Still wondering what they are? Escape rooms are puzzle rooms, played by a team of 4 – 8 members where their goal is to solve the clues which will lead you to escape the site. Each room has certain themes and storylines and you are allowed to live a character for a short time.
They are real-life interpretations of ‘escape the room’ video games like Room Escape and Exit Game. What makes them exciting is that they let you live movies and mysteries for real. Be it, Sherlock Holmes or Indiana Jones, you can live the life of a fictional character all under 60 minutes.
Now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most escape brands have been shut down. Even though some of them have reopened, people are afraid to visit as their safety is at stake.
However, the wonder of technology has come to their aird, and escape room brands have gone virtual! This has made things simpler as players don’t have to travel miles to reach their location. They can book and host a room according to their convenience in their pajamas!
How do Virtual Escape Rooms Work?
Joining a virtual escape room is as simple as attending an online class. You first need to select a brand that provides an online facility. After choosing from themes like mystery, horror, exploration, time-based, and even movie interpretations, you can easily make a booking. Don’t worry! The Zoom link will be provided to you hours before the game timings so that you can share it with your friends.
You will then be put to the task of solving digital clues as you progress through the game. A member of the staff called the ‘game guide’ will accompany you throughout the game, helping you out if you reach a dead end.
Another method some brands have adopted is called Mystery kit. In this format, you can take printouts of the game after you’ve made a booking and set it up at home. Then you can video call your team on zoom and solve together! As long as you have a printer, you can set up the game as quick as a wink!
Is it Getting Popularity in India?
One of the first people to bring the escape concept to life was 35-year-old Takao Kato from Japan. Players loved the concept and within a short span, it spread across the world.
At present, there are over 100+ escape rooms introduced in India. They have taken India by storm and almost every player has loved the adrenalin-rush! The same escape room enthusiasts are also looking forward to enjoying the virtual versions of these rooms.
This unique concept didn’t have much popularity during 2004 as the idea had just sprouted in India. It truly flourished when Indians got inspired by escape room companies in places like Poland and Thailand. They implemented the Virtual Escape Rooms concept in India and it has been a buzzing topic in the virtual realm ever since. The idea has been well-received and many escape enthusiasts have been enjoying this virtual birthday celebration. From solving murder mysteries to escaping a zombie, these games are considered the perfect option for social parties and team-building events.
Escape room brands in India have seen steady growth ever since. Well-known companies like The Hindu and Vogue have spoken in praise about virtual escape rooms in their blogs. The CEO of one of the escape room companies told The Hindu that they have players who love the escape rooms so much they keep coming back to try out the other rooms. The concept strikes a chord among IT employees and college students as it is an intriguing and involving mind game, and they particularly dig concepts like that.
Top Indian Brands with Virtual Escape Rooms
The idea of virtual rooms has grown in leaps and bounds ever since it was introduced. If you haven’t tried these virtual rooms yet, you are missing out on a thrilling experience.
According to Tripadvisor.com and several other eminent travel review websites, these are the top two virtual escape room brands that you can repose your faith in if you’re craving the immersive experience.
This brand was founded by a financial analyst, Hareesh Mothi. He was inspired by the concept when he visited an escape room in Poland. He started an independent project in India and now has branches across four locations in the country.
Breakout released their first remote escape rooms and they have received quite a good response. They currently have three released games, Sherlock calls, Hostage, and Under Cover.
Sherlock Calls is for all the detective and mystery fans out there. It is about a cold-blooded murder where players have to bring out their inner detective and solve the crime by searching for suitable evidence! Unravel your inner Sherlock through this game!
2. The Hidden Hour
The Hidden Hour is another escape room brand that has been doing well in the field of online escape rooms. They have additional game features like leaderboard and performance rates and inbuilt hints and solutions. They host games and parties for over 5000 people at the same time under categories of team building, friends and family, birthday parties, and back to school activities.
One of their online games, ‘Lost Treasures of the Sundarbans’ are about a group of explorers who are in search of ancient lost treasures in the jungle. Transport yourselves to the Sundarbans without having to pack your bags!
What Indians Have to Say About Online Escape
Indians have embraced the idea of online escape rooms. They have claimed to say that they are as good as playing escape rooms in real life and are equally as fun. Reportedly, they loved how the staff members hosted these games at ease and made sure there were no technical issues during the process.
“Unlike our perception about virtual games, it was a real murder site walked through remotely and it helped rub our stained imaginations,” said one of the players. They added that the whole experience was challenging and fun at the same time. It makes them want to come back for more and more.
With the world living in the days of quarantine and social distancing, people are finding new ways to keep themselves entertained and engaged. With a virtual escape room, you can take some time to escape the reality of this world. The reality is unfortunately stained with a raging virus, social distancing, stringent rules, and assignment deadlines. These escape games will not only provide you with an escape from reality but also some much-needed enjoyment.
There are online escape games where you can solve the clues and find a lasting cure for the Covid-19 pandemic. You can step into the shoes of a scientist even if you are a financial officer or a pilot and be the savior of the world in a fleeting 60 minutes!
There are escape games where you can explore the seven wonders of the world, all through a laptop screen. They can make you feel like you are a traveler and wanderer even though the farthest you have traveled is to your kitchen.
Although traveling the world and finding an effective cure for a virus sounds impossible in these circumstances, escape room experts have pushed all boundaries to bring these experiences to our doorstep. People who only thought of Zoom as an aid for working from home, have started spicing up their zoom calls with these online escape rooms. Now it’s time for you to do the same. What are you waiting for? Book your escape room now!