By Diamond Bridges and Rongyi Zhang
The room was filled with German soldiers, but Scott Yang, with a briefcase in his hands, was patiently waiting for the best opportunity to place the bomb under the Fuhrer’s chair.
After hearing a voice broadcast “Mission Complete,” Scott and his friends successfully completed their mission to kill the Nazi leader in the ‘Assassinating Hitler’ escape room game. Over ten million fans from all over the world had played escape room games, according to the official website of The Real Escape Room, a company that hosts escape rooms in Canada.
Escape rooms are a real life interactive game that tests participants’ ability to communicate and work in a group in order to escape the locked room within the time limit.
“I think this game tests challengers’ patience, logical thinking and observing ability,” Yang, who played ‘Assassinating Hitler’ in China, said. “It is no doubt very difficult, many people can’t complete the mission.” Only three percent of all participants in the world have successfully completed a room, according to The Real Escape Room.
From April 7 until Aug. 31, Challenge Escape Rooms, a company with four escape room locations in Bayside, Rockville Centre, Franklin Square and Patchogue, will introduce its new family friendly room called Sweet Shoppe in just 3 of its 4 locations. The company recently expanded its escape room locations to Patchogue in February.
“The escape room experience started as a digital format, so there were different themes, levels and increase in difficulty of solving game appropriate puzzles, riddles, and clues to ultimately escape the room,” Janice Galizia, co-owner of Challenge Escape Rooms, said.
Players are given different scenarios, from family friendly scenarios like Sweet Shoppe, where players are locked in a room by a rival baker and must escape in time for the baking competition, to heart racing scenarios like Club Escape, where players are kidnapped by the Russian mafia and must escape before they are “killed.”
“They put black burlap bags over our heads so we couldn’t see where we were going,” Shyanne Graham, a sophomore at Stony Brook University, said. She first discovered about escape room, on a website called Indoor Extreme Sports, where she and her friends played “I Survive The Room: Club Escape” in Long Island City. “Once we took off the bags, they told us we had 60 minutes to escape.”
The digital game became popular in 2004 in Japan, but in 2007 the first physical game was documented in Kyoto, Japan, mentioned on Room Escape Artist. In 2012, the popularity of escape room expanded westward. “Some of the origin countries were in Japan, then it traveled throughout Europe. So the U.S. is kind of late to the game in having their own escape room,” Galizia said.
“They give you hints, which are really helpful because sometimes you just get a brain block,” Katherine Sautkulis, a fan who played an escape room game in Connecticut, said. “It gets really anxiety producing and everybody starts yelling at each other, especially towards the end, [similar to] a Lord of the Flies type of feel.”