The Answer to the Most Common Question We Get About Escape Rooms

Imagine with me for a moment. It's any given Thursday. Our staff is toiling away, resetting rooms, giving briefings, making bookings, and ensuring they deliver the best escape room experience they can.

A couple walks through the door with a bit of hesitation, looking bewildered as they take in the bright blue paint of our lobby. They come to the reception window and are greeted by one of our team members.

"Hello! Welcome to Deciphered," they say. "How can we help you?"

There is almost a 90% chance that we already know what there question will be. We've heard it nearly every day since last March. It's the single most common question we are asked.

"What is an escape room?"

We love this qustion! We love it because it means that we have an opportunity to show whoever asked it what we do best! Given how often we hear this question, we figured it would be good to take the time to answer it with a blog post.

A Brief History of Escape Rooms

Escape rooms started in Kyoto, Japan in 2007. 35-year-old Takao Kato developed the idea of Real Escape Games as he worked for the publishing company SCRAP Co in Kyoto. A fan of novels and manga, Kato wanted to bring the fantasy of fiction into the real world. ““I wondered why interesting things didn’t happen in my life, like they did in books,” he told the Japan Times. “I thought I could create my own adventure, a story, and then invite people to be a part of it.”

The concept is simple; a group of friends enters into a themed room tasked with solving a series of puzzles in order to escape. It may be a bank vault with a large sum of money the group must steal. Or maybe a villain has captured the group, and they have an hour to escape before meeting their demise. Regardless of the scenario, the concept remains the same – look for clues in the room to connect with other items to escape. Think of it as a real-life video game or live action adventure puzzle.

As Kato developed live-action escape rooms, escape the room games on mobile devices gained popularity. The most popular game within that genre, The Room, launched in 2012, sold more than 1 million copies, and has seen two sequels launched with another anticipated to release later this year.

From the Valley of Kyoto, Escape Games spread like wildfire worldwide. In 2012, Kato’s friend Kayuza Iwata brought Real Escape Games to San Francisco and saw more than 6,000 visitors in its first year. Companies such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook brought teams of their staff to the escape room as a team building activity. As of 2016, the USA had around 600 rooms, and that number has grown exponentially since.

What to Expect at Deciphered Roanoke

At Deciphered, our goal is to give you the best escape room experience we possibly can. Period! That means that our focus is on quality and customer service.

At any given time, we offer three unique escape scenarios that our team has conceptualized, designed, and built in-house. That means that you won't be able to find an escape room like ours anywhere else! We take pride in our creativity with both the scenarios and the puzzles within. From booking to giving hints within the room, our dedicated staff aims to help you every step of the way.

Are you ready to experience the thrill of Roanoke's most highly-rated escape room? Check out the Our Rooms page on our website, read about the scenarios, and book directly online. We promise