Over the past few years Escape Rooms have started to become very popular, my first visit to one was a couple of years ago in Cologne – No I didn’t want to make it more difficult by doing it in German! (Luckily it was done in English otherwise I’d still be there, my German isn’t that good!).
If you’ve not visited one then it’s a pretty simple concept, you are locked in a room (or rooms) and face a scenario in which you have to solve a series of puzzles to solve the conundrum and find a way to ‘Escape the room’.
But can you prepare beforehand?
I love puzzles and solving things, in fact it’s part of my job to resolve problems and they are essentially puzzles that need solving.
Not surprisingly that puzzle solving also extends to my everyday life, if something is broken I have the need to fix it, to make it work or to make it better, and don’t even get me started on making things! (Such as models, IKEA furniture, DIY projects etc). And part of that are the games that I play, the Xbox is more for the FPS gaming and stress relief, but the iPad has more puzzle based games.
Whats this got to do with Escape Rooms? Simple, the best puzzle games I’ve ever played are basically Escape Room games but in digital format.
I’ve installed, played and then deleted many of these types of games but a couple of years ago there was a free download of a game called ‘The Room’ made by Fireproof Games – The screenshots looked interesting as did the description, the number of positives reviews and yep, it was free.
Even during the tutorial I was hooked, not only a series of interesting, thought-provoking, sometimes easy and sometimes infuriating puzzles but the back story is actually quite interesting too.
Some puzzles require you to collect objects only released/found by solving other puzzles, some require you to remember sequences, some manipulate the position of objects and some combine more than one of these – Add in the use of special glasses which reveal another dimension to a puzzle and you’ll be giving your brain a damn good work out in no time.
Then what did I find, but ‘The Room Two’ which continues the story, throws in a whole set of new puzzles and a new way of looking at them and then ‘The Room Three’ which takes the story to a darker place and has multiple endings after you work your way through it – Yep, I’ve done all of them!
Each of the games can be played multiple times, of course it gets easier each time as you’ll remember the puzzles – But the 3rd was the clever one as the multiple endings take some finding.
And recently Fireproof games have announced another Room game (The Room : Old Sins) due for the release this year, that’ll be a purchase as soon as it’s out and another game to spend my hours running through.
So if you want to exercise your brain ready for an escape room and also play some very good games then have a look at these, you won’t be disappointed. Of course if you are stumped and throw your iPad on the floor in a fit of rage, I take no responsibility!
These games are available on iOS, Android and PC (via Steam), now all I have to do is go and try some of the Escape Rooms that have popped up in Cardiff!