The Importance of Immersion

Escape games have come along way over the past few years.  For starters, it’s no longer accurate to call them escape rooms, as they were first named, since most these days consist of multiple rooms.  That’s why at Quest Reality Games, we prefer to call them as escape games.  If fact, we refer to our second-generation escape games as themes.  The reason for making that distinction gets us to the point of this blog entry—that is, immersion

These days, our lives are more hectic than ever.  We all have so much to worry about in our everyday lives, not to mention a 24-hour news cycle that feeds us never-ending doses of what’s happening everywhere else in the world.  Originally, the name escape game was meant to convey the purpose of the game, which is for players to work their way through the series of puzzles before them in order to escape the space in which they’ve been confined.  A well-designed, immersive game allows the term to take on another meaning, as players can use it as a form of escapism.  An immersive game will pull the player out of their reality.  It will help them to escape from everything going on in the world around them and let them focus on having fun.

Unfortunately, the term ‘immersion’ has become a bit of a trope in the escape game industry, with most operators who have designed a thematic element to their game claiming to be immersive.  To us, immersion means so much more than creating a great storyline to go with our second-generation puzzles.  Immersion means paying attention to even the smallest detail. 

We want you to feel like you’re living the adventure, and are part of the game. We think the ‘escape’ in in ‘escape room’ doesn’t just mean escaping from the space in which you have been trapped, it means losing yourself in your escape room AND escaping reality when you come to play. That’s why you’ll never hear our Game Masters say, ‘hey guys’ when addressing our guests.  We want you to embrace your role, whether is it be Survivors who are seeking to find the truth behind the mysterious zombie plague that has stricken Victoria, or Rescuers who are deep inside the Great Pyramid in search of the missing Stanley Dunford.  Our goal is to make you believe that you have stepped into another world!

Storylines Must Be Plausible

If you’ve played escape rooms before, you’ve probably encountered this situation—an ‘immersive’ escape room strategically located in a nondescript second-floor office space. You’ve been inexplicably locked in a prison and have precisely one hour to escape.  An immersive experience starts with a storyline that is plausible.  If your Game Master introduces your experience by telling you and your two children that you were just enjoying a picnic on a sunny summer day with a group of friends when you were suddenly taken hostage by an evil troll, it feels a whole lot less immersive than a call to action that explains why you’re about to embark on the experience now.  It’s easier to embrace your immersive experience if you aren’t challenged to stretch your imagination to include an implausible past experience.

Puzzles Must Match the Theme of the Game

If you’re burglars trying to pull off the world’s greatest bank heist and escape with an unimaginable amount of riches, why would you need to obtain the code to the vault by cracking into a series of boxes that the bank manager has inexplicably strewn around his office using random information from his journal and ledgers?  True immersion occurs when players can imagine the challenges they’re facing.  It might make sense to decode a secret message you’ve intercepted using Morse code if you’ve infiltrated a Russian submarine, but not if you’re abort an alien spacecraft.

Props Must Match the Theme of the Game

Picture this:  You’re a peasant living in 14th century England.  Having been wrongly convicted of committing treason against your king, you have been sentenced to death by hanging!  Now, you and a small group of peasants are imprisoned deep beneath the castle in the King’s dungeon. The cold stone walls and floor are dripping with moisture, the air thick with musty mildew.  You and your fellow cellmates are in near complete darkness.  Your fingers fumble around the corners and cracks of your cell walls in desperate hope of finding something, anything that could possibly be used to free you from this seemingly impossible situation—when suddenly your fingers graze across a familiar shape, you grab it and hold it up to the tiny sliver of light casting across your cell and you realize….it’s a chest!  And on it is…a….Masterlock model H-2491!  Wait, what??? 

Few things can ruin an immersive experience as encountering props that don’t match the theme of the game.  Back in 2500 BC when the ancient Egyptians were barely able to develop tools sophisticated enough to carve and transport the thousands of stone blocks used to create the great pyramids, it’s hard to imagine they had the technology to cast and assemble tiny tumblers with the precision of modern padlocks—forget about the fact that the padlock wasn’t even invented until 1931!  So why would you expect to find a padlock that was purchased in the hardware aisle at Home Depot being the last line of defence standing between your group of intrepid explorers and the Pharaoh’s treasure?

We Design Games with Immersion in Mind

At Quest Reality Games, we offer a unique escape game experience.  If padlocks and keys are what you’re used to, you won’t find many here!  We’ve designed the next generation of escape games, by integrating technology into our themes and creating an experience where the game responds to your actions. We have doors that open automatically, we have puzzles that react to you in real time.  We even have puzzles that change with time!  We want every element of the game to feel fully integrated into the setting and the story. We have achieved this in our themes by eliminating lockboxes and introducing new and innovative ways for you to interact with your game.

Our themes are researched, and our puzzles designed to form a cohesive, plausible, and immersive plotline.  Our sets are designed to fully immerse you in the storyline—we want you lose yourself in the experience, and become part of the story! 

At Quest Reality Games, we believe that every escape room you play should be immersive. We want you to feel like you’re living the adventure, and are part of the game. We think the ‘escape’ in in ‘escape room’ doesn’t just mean escaping from the space in which you’ve been trapped, it means losing yourself in your escape room AND escaping reality when you come to play.

If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do in Victoria, and think you’ve got what it takes to free yourself from the next generation of escape games, then book now!