Trapped! (for fun): Asian-style Escape Game Rooms Come to Vancouver

Would you pay to escape from prison? (Pictured here: a cell from the former State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho) Photo credit: Mr.Thomas | Flickr

Would you pay to escape from prison? (Pictured here: a cell from the former State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho) Photo credit: Mr.Thomas | Flickr

Would you pay $92 to be locked in a prison cell with three friends for 45 minutes?

That’s the premise behind Exit, Metro Vancouver’s first “escape gaming” experience. Popular in Japan and China, escape rooms force participants to solve elaborate clues in order to break out of their confinement.  The rooms themselves are often elaborately decorated to look like scenes from the past or horror movie sets.

Exit, located in an unassuming strip mall in Richmond, brings the phenomenon to Canadian shores.  It offers guests four different themed rooms to choose from: the prison cell, an Ancient Egyptian tomb, a lost ship and a mad scientist’s laboratory with blood-spattered walls.

Since opening last fall, the facility has been doing a brisk business. The popularity of escape rooms can be traced to online, single-player escape games, like the popular Japanese game Takagism.  Initially, enthusiasts recreated real-life escape scenarios at parties and in bars.  Then, a whole escape business emerged.  There are now hundreds of escape rooms in Beijing alone, according to an article on the subject in the Vancouver Sun.

At Exit in Richmond, it’s a lot easier for guests to get in than to get out. Around 99 percent of visitors fail to escape from the facility’s rooms in the allotted 45 minutes.  In fact, the atmosphere inside can easily get tense and claustrophobic.  Even though some of the props can be cheesy (like the plastic skeleton in the prison room), there’s something about being trapped that’s horrifying and exhilarating at once.

The lucky one percent who do get out are able to find well hidden clues, piece together codes, solve a series of cryptic riddles and gain their freedom. (They also get to put their photo on Exit’s Wall of Fame.) Losers on the other hand, get their photos hung on the giant Tree of Shame.

Have you experienced Exit in Richmond? Would you pay to be locked up? Let us know below. 

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3 Responses to Trapped! (for fun): Asian-style Escape Game Rooms Come to Vancouver

  1. Pingback: Exit in Richmond - Page 4 - Vancouver's Top Classifieds and Automotive Forum - REVscene.net

  2. Anna Choi

    Where is the location? Still open?weekdays or weekends only? Open hours & close? Because I would like to try!

  3. Pingback: Downtown Vancouver is Getting its First “Escape Room” Attraction | Canada