Escape Rooms 101 -Sebastian’s Journey on playing his first escape room game at OutaTime Games: Live Escape Rooms

We documented the journey of a series of questions and answers from a customer Sebastian, concerning what is an escape room, the history if this new form of entertainment.
by David Schrempf

Part 1: What is this thing you call an escape room?

David (co-founder OutaTime Games): An escape room is a live adventure game where players solve a series of puzzles using hints, clues, and logic to complete a series of tasks on hand. Players are given a set time to unveil the story and the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. Our escape rooms inspired by the point-and-click adventure games of the 90’s and the choose your own adventure books we grew up with as young readers. We try to blend local urban legends, history, and mysteries into our games to give our customers a unique local experience.

Sebastian: Hmmm… When did the first one open up?

David (co-founder OutaTime Games): Here is a short history on escape rooms a worldwide phenomenon thanks to the editors at

2004: Wits opens to the public in Boston, MA October 2004. Based off an Indiana Jone’s style adventure, often called the very first escape room style attraction. 5 Wits give the players the chance to BE the action hero and get inside that movie or video game rather than just watching or playing it. It’s similar to the escape room in that guests use teamwork to solve challenges but more of an adventure-like environment/story.

July 2007: SCRAP opens in Kyoto Japan. It was a single room game, where a 35-year-old Takeo Kato. Japanese computer game developer brought the fun of the two-dimensional escape game into the three-dimensional world while keeping the theme of “escape from a locked room.” This idea was based off the 2004’s popular Flash point-and-click “Crimson Room” video game.

Late 2013: Puzzle Break opens in Seattle, WA, America’s first contemporary escape room company.

2016: Exponential growth of escape rooms in the United States with over 1500 locations.

January 2016: Chicago’s Escape Rooms Directory created to provide a central location for Chicago patrons to rate and review their experiences.

Sebastian: Do I truly get locked in the Room?

David (co-founder OutaTime Games): None of our rooms, customers are truly locked in. We kept the door open and you could leave at any time. It’s just virtually locked for gaming purposes.

Sabastian: Is there a video I could found out more about escape rooms?

David (co-founder OutaTime Games):  I’d suggest watching Professor Scott Nicholson’s video on escape rooms .

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