If you think exit games or escape rooms have only become popular in London recently, think again.
Humans have enjoyed the thrill of escaping from confined spaces and the satisfaction of solving complex puzzles for as long as we’ve walked the Earth. In fact, one of the earliest known exit games – the maze – is almost as old as humans themselves.
Read on to find out more about mazes and how they’ve inspired the escape rooms of today.
Origins and History
Some of the earliest known mazes date back as far as the Bronze Age, while others are so old they’re very difficult – if not impossible – to date accurately. As time went by, the maze was adopted by Roman soldiers, who used it as a test of skill whilst riding on horseback. It was also adopted by children as a form of entertainment.
You could say that mazes went mainstream in the 14th and 15th centuries. Popularised by Shakespeare in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the turf maze became a permanent feature of formal gardens around the UK. Increasingly complex mazes cut out of turf, grass or even built from rocks or other materials also became a common presence on town commons and village greens across Europe.
How Mazes Work
Mazes are essentially one of the world’s oldest puzzles. Your goal is to find your way from the entrance to the exit. But in order to do this, you’ll need to work your way through a complicated network of pathways, many of which are dead ends.
Some mazes will have multiple routes you can take to the exit. The most difficult ones, however, will only have one escape route.
Maze competitions used to be popular attractions, especially on holidays. But, truth be told, they remain popular to this day. Figuring your way out of a maze can be an exciting and intellectually rewarding challenge, albeit not one for the claustrophobic or faint-hearted.
How Escape Rooms Are Different
Much like a maze, an escape room is a puzzle to be solved. There’s also a similar goal: getting out of the room before the time’s up.
But while solving a maze tends to be physical (you do have to walk around the maze to find your way out, after all), solving an escape room is all about using your little grey cells. You’ll also have to work with your friends as a team, or you might not find the solution until it’s too late!
Do you think you have what it takes to solve an exit game puzzle? Get in touch to book your escape room adventure today.