History of Escape Room Games

Looking for something to do in Victoria?  Want a fun activity you can do with your friends, family, or coworkers?  Escape  room games are increasingly becoming an activity of choice for those looking for a fun experience or team-building activity.   To many, escape rooms are something new to try.  But did you know that escape rooms have actually been around for more than a decade?  Ever wonder where this crazy idea of escape room games came from?

By their nature, escape rooms are pretty mysterious places; they’re dark and full of puzzles just waiting to be solved by intrepid players.  What’s even more intriguing is that the origins of escape rooms are as shrouded in mystery as the games themselves, and the identity of their inventor remains as cryptic as the puzzles that make playing escape games so addictive.  Some claim the concept dates back to the creation of outdoor mazes, and puzzles for entertainment.


One theory is that the origin of escape room games can be traced back to Budapest, Hungary, with a company called Parapark and its founder, Attila Gyurkovics who had a vision of live escape games.  Parapark opened its first escape room in 2011, and later expanded to over twenty location throughout Europe and Australia. It is also opened a Race Against Timethemed escape room company. Unbeknownst to Gyurkovics, his idea of escape rooms was already well developed in Asia, thanks to a Japanese company, SCRAP.  Parapark is now located in Geneva, Switzerland.


Most would argue that the first “real” escape room was developed SCRAP. Its founder, Takao Kato, wanted players to be immersed in a game by playing in a locked themed room in which their only means of escape was to solve their mysteries within the allotted time period. SCRAP opened in 2007 and remains open to this day.

Real Escape Game

Real Escape Game was first to create escape room gamess as we know them today.  Now located in Tokyo and San Francisco, Real Escape Game gives players sixty minutes to escape a themed escape room by solving tricky puzzles and finding hidden clues. Throughout the room there are encrypted clues, strange symbols, messages, numbers, puzzles and more. It was created as a way for players to feel like they were inside of an escape room video game.

Escape Room Growth

After the first escape room, Real Escape Gamein Japan, many more escape games began popping up all over Asia.  Meanwhile, thanks to Parapark, escape rooms were becoming immensely popular in Europe, as a unique form of entertainment for those seeking things to do, resulting in a huge expansion throughout the continent with escape rooms showing up everywhere. Eventually, Real Escape Game opened in San Francisco, and later Puzzle Break and Escape the Room NYC in America. Since then, escape rooms began to spread across America. The first Canadian escape room eventually opened in 2013.

First North American Escape Rooms

In 2012, a friend of Takao Kato opened a Real Escape Game in San Francisco. The first American created escape rooms were known as Puzzle Breakand Escape the Room NYC. Created in 2013, after Real Escape Game in San Francisco, they are truly the first American-designed escape rooms (Real Escape Game originated in Japan). Puzzle Break and Escape the Room NYC are still open today.

The opening of Real Escape Game in San Francisco in 2012, and Puzzle Break and Escape the Room NYC represent the birth of escape rooms in North America.  Like the Europeans and Asians earlier in the decade, North Americans looking for things to do have embraced the concept of escape games, resulting in the rapid expansion of escape rooms throughout North America. Now, in 2018, eleven years after the first escape room in Japan, there are over 3,500 escape rooms worldwide.

The Evolution of Escape Games

The very first escape rooms lacked many of the technological escape room tools we have today. Early escape rooms consisted of not much more than a series of locks, boxes, keys, and codes, loosely tied to a theme. There is little variety to escape rooms like this, as the goal is always the same; solve a puzzle, get a code, open a lock, repeat. They also lack immersion in the theme of the room. In a themed room such as a prison, in a real prison you would not find random boxes in your cell with a lock on it.

With introduction of technology, escape rooms are  becoming much more advanced.  With technology, it is much easier to maintain immersion, and make more interesting varieties of puzzles.  In addition to technology, escape rooms are beginning to make many other advancements, such as, props, themes and more.

Quest Reality Games

At Quest Reality Games we have embraced the evolution of escape room games by introducing our second-generation, immersive themed escape rooms.  If you’re looking for things to do in Victoria that don’t involve the simplistic experience of padlocks, keys and codes, our premium escape game themes offer a gameplay like no other. We test your problem-solving abilities in many ways, including memory, powers of observation, logic, deductive reasoning, and code-breaking.

Our 4 indoor escape themes are family-friendly and suitable for most ages and combined can accommodate up to 32 players. Choose from 4 immersive themes; Secrets of the Great Pyramid, Sorcerer’s Lair, Zombie Apocalypse and Rosewood Manor. Players will be locked in a private themed-room, and must work together to discover exciting clues and solve challenging puzzles in order to ‘escape’ within 60 minutes.

Looking for a fun outdoor activity to do in Victoria? Try one of our outdoor escape games from Cluetivity, an action-packed adventure for families, friends and colleagues!  It combines the best elements of classical treasure hunts, GPS-Geocaching, and live-escape-games with Augmented Reality technology, into a new outdoor team game. The gameplay is simple: navigate to places around downtown Victoria with a preprogrammed iPad, interact with virtual avatars, unravel tricky puzzles with your action pack, and complete your quest. Choose from two themes; Magic Portal or our spy game, Operation Mindfall! Our outdoor escape games can accommodate 50+ people at a time and can be customized for special events.

Think you’ve got what it takes to free yourself from the next generation of escape games?  If you’re looking for things to do in Victoria, tourist or not, come down to Quest Reality Games for a fully immersive, technological escape room. Book now!