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Escape rooms could help Leeds students improve problem-solving skills and combat stress during exam season

An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit, or having completed a mission. The games are physical versions of “escape the room” video games. The first escape game (Real Escape Room) was invented in Japan in 2007 by Takao Kato. Typical elements of an “escape room” are : 1) Teamwork, the number of group is between two and 12. Working as a team is essential to escape the room. 2) A story – escape rooms are usually themed around some kind of storyline. It can be story created by the company itself or a story based on popular movies or books. 3) An atmosphere – the room is decorated in particular style matching the theme of the game. 4) Puzzles- you need to find and solve them. 5) Time limit – usually one hour to escape the room.

By Barbara Klonowska

MANAGERS OF escape rooms in Leeds agree that playing the physical adventure games can boost brainpower and reduce stress for students caused by exams and dissertation deadlines. 

Escape rooms have risen in popularity in the past decade – with groups of people locked in a room and solving puzzles together to get out, similar to TV show The Crystal Maze.

Kiera Gardner, supervisor of The Great Escape Game in Leeds, said a wide range of clients take part, from corporate groups interested in teambuilding, to families on holiday and children celebrating birthdays.

“It’s almost like being transported to different kind of place, it’s like escaping the reality. Escape rooms are appealing to everyone at the moment,” she said.

Nathan, a member of The Gr8escape team in York said: “We’ve had a family of four different generations take part and they all loved it. Our players have ranged in age from eight to 92.

“We’ve also had quite a lot of university staff and faculties come down to play our rooms. They’ve started getting competitive about their times between departments! Economics have the best times so far.”

Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons and space stations.

James Stewart, venue manager said: “You get to test your brain, do something different and do something exciting, that you can tell other people about.”

Kiera said: “The main things which you will be learning is communication skills, problem solving skills and your team work ability. But it’s a lot of fun as well.”

There are two escape room in Leeds; The Great Escape Game, Tick Tock Unlock and Locked In Games. There are also two in York Can You Escape and GR8escape.


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