Ever since the premiere of the 2019 horror movie“Escape Room” there has been a renewed interest in games that work along with the same plot.
The big question, however, is if such games will be around or many years or if they are another internet fad which will be here now and be gone tomorrow.
The truth is that nothing lasts forever but some things tend to stick around for a bit.
Starting with the interactive fictional Behind Closed Doors, (John Wilson’s 1988 text adventure), this became a basis for other follow-up games such as Myst which dealt with the mystery elements of fantasy and adventure from the early 1990s. It also created a renewed interest in creating other scenarios that involved the player in using logic to figure out solutions to problems.
While the point-and-click aspect of the escape the room games started with games such as Noctropolis which the player had to use the third person to solve encounter different scenarios that add to the journey up to the end-point of the game.
All these contributed to the rise of the room games which already have a cult following in interactive fictional circles.
In 2007, the ushering of players into a room with many different ideas hidden in them in a game called SCRAP and in Japan for that matter (where else would it come from?) signalled the beginning of a new genre where people will have to work to figure out things out after given hidden clues which act to propel the players to become motivated in finding clues that hitherto remained hidden.
With the rise of smartphones that have higher processing power than most computers before, the escape room games have become a staple feature in the hearts and minds of the young and old alike.
How do Escape Room Games work
Most of the games work with a point and click feature that feature the central character click around clues in order to discover the way out of the room or a clue that lead to another one or others (depending on the plot of the game) which ultimately leads to the escape of the player from the room.
The elements of the game plot can also feature an active inventory list which most games are based on anyway and these inventories can be used to do different things depending on the many subplots at play in the game itself.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the game doesn’t get frustrating. It can be quite frustrating that in the process of trying to figure out specific mysteries tied to the escape, deeper mysteries emerge for the player.
This alone can be quite frustrating and lead to the player getting tired of the process of trying to figure out the next mystery that will eventually lead to escape.
The interactive fiction community has been known to take the online escape the room one step further and create offline models where players work in teams to figure out clues to achieve the same effects.
This is why many members of the interactive fiction community take the emergence of the escape rooms games in a virtual format lightly.
How the Experts Win Escape Room Games
Many self-acclaimed experts have their various strategies, tactics, techniques, and methods that they use to win escape room games.
Some of them may be bizarre but a few are quite ingenious and they tend to make the game worth the stress of trying to figure out what is going on.
Some of these include:
- Focusing on finding new clues: Once a clue didn’t yield a positive result, the players always move to the next one.
- Not focusing on failures: While this may sound cliché, it keeps players focused on the ultimate goal of winning the prize of escaping no matter what.
- Always Looking at the non-obvious places: What may appear to be the perfect space for a hidden clue may not hold anything at all. This gives new meaning to the expression “hidden in plain sight”.
- Being time Conscious: As a basic element of many escape rooms both physical and virtual is the element of time, the consciousness of time in the player is one of the ways to getting the right clues that will eventually lead to the key.
- Thinking Fast: Thinking fast allows for the player to avoid the clues which may turn out to be duds and this could slow the pace of the game.
- Being Confident: having the right attitude when it comes to escape games often can determine the kind of outcome that the player will experience. Being confident always allows for a positive mindset which in itself is a big plus for the player.
Physical or Virtual Escape Rooms: Which shall Win?
Mobile phones have changed the basic idea behind gaming for the greater part of a decade and a half.
His has led to widespread adoption of mobile computing in one way or the other across populations globally.
Of course, this will affect the escape room too.
The new up-coming generation (Generation Z) isn’t keen on the invasion of personal space and as such, the use of technology to fill up that void which lacks personal interactions cause is already taking root.
This isn’t to say however that there aren’t those who buck the trend.
The truth, however, is that with the rise of the cloud and the interactions of mobile computing becoming increasingly complex day-by-day, the rise of virtual escape rooms with total strangers is a distinct possibility.
So apart from the single-use cases of escape rooms that we currently see, the rise of cloud-based rooms will also come to play very soon.
The verdict? Virtual rooms will take the lead!
As to the big question of escape rooms becoming a fad or a trend, it is safe to say that escape rooms are here to stay for at least the next decade.