A Brief History Of Escape Rooms

Build your team

Being in the industry of Escape Rooms for over four years now. I have heard many theories as to where it all began. Exit Games, or Escape Rooms were words I first heard in 2014 whilst looking for “Things To Do In Bristol”. This lead me to find my first escape room! From this moment, it has been my life for the nearly half a decade.

Locks, an Escape Room staple.

Where Did It All Begin?

For a European-centric answer to this question, it is Hungary. In 2012 Attila Gyurkovics wanted to bring the exciting parts of computer games into a live experience. Their answer was to create a game where they must escape from a physical room. The first escape rooms that opened in the UK tended to be operated and built by Hungarians.

There were escape games available to play in Hong Kong as early as 2006! The Japan Times reported that Takao Kato of Scrap Publishing used his passion of Manga comics to think up ideas for escape games. By 2008 there were a plethora of escape rooms all over Asia .

Takao Kato - One of the first people in the Escape Room Industry
Takao Kato

When Did The UK Get Escape Rooms?

Back to Europe and in 2012 they were beginning to pop up everywhere, the UK’s first appearing in London. Cryptology opened its doors on the 3rd of July 2015, the third in Nottingham in less than 9 months.

At the time of writing this article (05/07/2019) there are 1444 bookable games (1329/1078 if you don’t count duplicate games at one/multiple sites). They are spread across 340 companies with 497 venues.
This stat is taken from the very well-ran UK Escape Room directory Exit Games.

What Is Next For Escape Rooms?

This is a highly subjective question, but I can answer it in terms of Cryptology.
With 6 companies in Nottingham alone offering Escape Rooms, Nottingham‘s focus is to give all players of all abilities as close to a full hour as possible.
Cryptology Sheffield is mixing up the clue system . In fact, the term clue system is not really correct, it is more of a Narrator. More details of this will be in a blog post soon!

Dreamscape: A Different Type of Escape Game

Dreamscape Concept Artwork

Dreamscape was an idea that was born before Cryptology Nottingham’s relocation back in February 2018. It was a critical factor in deciding what the next venue should look like to be able to house the new escape games.

A Developing Market

Even in 2019 the vast majority of customers that come through our doors are first-time escapers. When Cryptology Nottingham opened in 2015 a good 98% had never done an escape room before, and were just looking for something new and exciting to do. Today, the majority of people have heard about them or know somebody who has done an escape room.

Continue reading “Dreamscape: A Different Type of Escape Game”

True Terror on its way to Sheffield!

Now that we have First Contact and The Mysterious Case of Hugh Dunnitt escape rooms here at Cryptology Sheffield we think it is time to bring true terror to West Street.

Cryptology believes that with First Contact escape room ticking the box for choose your own path’ space adventure and The Mysterious Case of Hugh Dunnitt escape room taking you on a murder mystery tour with a difference. It is time that Cryptology Escape Rooms delved into the murky world of truly terrifying HORROR! 

What Kind of Escape Room is it Going to be?

This experience will be more than just a scare-fest – in true escape room tradition, puzzles will be throughout your hour. But will you dare complete them all?

Set in a secret private lab where they test the latest and greatest (most of the time) in neural gadgets. This latest test involves your team and you are here to be a lab rat for a new neural implant. Unfortunately, they need to test this implant to its extremes and that means it will play on your fears. Don’t worry though, they almost never have issues during these tests, in fact 60% of the time it works every time.

Where And When?

This new live escape room experience will be based out of our West Street location in the centre of Sheffield, next to Tescos Extra and up the road from Pizza Express. This will be Cryptology Sheffield’s third immersive escape room experience and we hope to continue the high levels we have achieved so far.

Look out for more updates to follow here; https://cryptologyrooms.co.uk/Sheffield/rooms

Check out some of our videos here; YouTube Channel

Sheffield Eateries As An Outsider

The Lucky Fox Sheffield

I have visited Sheffield a handful of times in my adult life, and having worked in Barnsley for 7 years knew that it was the most likely place that I would live, if I moved to South Yorkshire.

Now, with opening my third branch of Cryptology Escape Rooms, I have seen much more of the Steel City and in this blog, I will discuss the places around Cryptology Sheffield where I have eaten and enjoyed!

The Devonshire

Pie & Pint @ The Devonshire
Pie & Pint @ The Devonshire

One of the first places I ate in Sheffield, on passing they were doing BOGOF breakfasts. We visitied, both had Croque Monsieur AND creamed mushrooms. It was excellent value for money, but we didn’t need both… EACH.

“Birdcage” (Frog & Parrot)

Frog & Parrot Sheffield
“Birdcage” Eatery & Drinkery

I am not sure why I went in here for the first time, but being a music fan, I loved the records on the ceilings and walls. There’s also odd birdcages that you sit in, not massively convenient for eating and drinking, but novel all-the-same. However, the food, particularly for a standard chain from Greene King is excellent! 

The Lucky Fox

The Lucky Fox Sheffield
Some deliciousness from The Lucky Fox

In a meeting with an HSBC Business Account Manager, he mentioned of a place which is basically “KFC on crack”. It’s a tiny place, you may be lucky to get a seat, however, the food is indeed streets ahead of Colonel Sanders’, not to be missed!

Forum Sheffield

Banging burgers 'til 9pm, and up to 50% off on Mondays
Burger @ The Forum

First of all, the in-house beers are varied and great! We came pretty much every Monday for their BOGOF burger deal, however they changed their menu and the burger were really not the same. They may have changed these again, but we cannot confirm. They also have a pizza bar where you can buy a giant slice! It’s pretty decent, but Frog & Parrot wins hands-down.

What’s Next?

There’s a few more places we have been, but these tend to be chains (Revolucion De Cuba is worthy of mention), but are keen to further explore what culinary treats Sheffield has to offer!

What’s your favourite?

Places to Eat and Drink In Barnsley

Our latest selection of food and drink establishments to visit in Barnsley once you have done Cryptology Escape Rooms Barnsley

Once you have completed your 60 minutes of high tension brain-building escapism you will probably need to look for some refreshment or food in Barnsley Town Centre! Below we look at some of the options this South Yorkshire area!

This is just a small selection of what is on offer in the town and if you have better/further suggestions then let us know and we can look to spread the word!

Continue reading “Places to Eat and Drink In Barnsley”

5 (Digital) Escape Games That Sam Loves Too Much

Before Escape Rooms were the thriving business they now are, many people who wanted to challenge themselves turned to other types of games, most notably, video games.

Portal
Yes, I made the jump! Now just to- Oh.

There are A LOT of video games based around escaping and, if you love playing or building escape rooms, then you certainly should be looking at some of these as your next inspiration, challenge, or both.

After the break, come and see what games you should start with that offer the best themes, puzzles, and challenge.

Continue reading “5 (Digital) Escape Games That Sam Loves Too Much”

Laser Cutter: Better Than Seabass

Sanding Machines in the Dust Zone

A laser may make you think of Dr. Evil, but for Cryptology employees it makes us think of Hackspace!

Nottinghack

For a modest monthly fee you can have access to a wide array of tools, including a 3D printer, embroidery machine, very large table saws, and more.

Biggest. Circular. Saw. Ever
A massive circular saw based at Hackspace Nottingham

Sanding Machines in the Dust Zone
There is a whole designated section for sanding, complete with industrial extractors

A small selection of tools at Hackspace
Some of the wide array of hand tools at Hackspace Nottingham

Bits & Bobs at Hacksapce
A wide array of bits and bobs you may need for any project

Most importantly an A0 laser cutter.

Nottingham Hackspace's A0 Laser Cutter
Nottingham Hackspace’s A0 Laser Cutter

Laser: Vector, Not Raster

Continue reading “Laser Cutter: Better Than Seabass”

Crystal Stations: From Concept To Creation

The creation of the Crystal Stations for Cryptology Sheffield‘s First Contact escape room game spanned April 2018 to July 2018 and went through 3 prototypes.

This has been covered by the video blog which is on our YouTube channel (and can be seen below), some extra details are within this blog.

Define The Concept

The concept was simple, players have to find a crystal and place it in the correct station. Each crystal has different lugs which will mean it will only fit in the correct location in the correct station. The stations will be lit by LEDs and when the correct Crystal is placed the LEDs change colour. Continue reading “Crystal Stations: From Concept To Creation”

10 Stag Do Hen Do Ideas For Nottingham

Nottingham has the most eateries per square metre in the whole of Western Europe, this is not the only reason it is a great location for a stag do or hen do! Now, this is slightly skewed because Nottingham is a well-populated city in quite a contained city centre. It only takes about 20 minutes’ to walk from one end of town to the other and it’s not that fragmented. This means there’s countless places to eat and drink all within a stone’s throw of each other. In no particular order, here are our recommendations for a stag do hen do in Nottingham.

1) Bar Iberico

Bar Iberico Nottingham
Bar Iberico, tapas bar & restaurant in Nottingham

This is usually my top tip for visitors or locals to go to for casual eats. Bar Iberico has a great atmosphere, a good selection of drinks, reasonably priced, great service and most of all, a perfect and changing menu. The food is genuinely out of this world!

2) Tilt

Continue reading “10 Stag Do Hen Do Ideas For Nottingham”

Music of Cryptology Builds

Music Cryptology Listened To On Builds

Music has always been a large part of my life, I’m a bit of a muso. I learned violin and trumpet in school, taught myself guitar (and then bass) and now drums. Drums are a tricky beast, so I’m now having weekly lessons. But there’s certain bands and/or albums that were synonymous with the creation of various Cryptology games.

Cryptology Nottingham Creation: Music

The building of Cryptology Nottingham started in approximately April/May of 2015. At this point, the band of the moment for me was Of Monsters And Men.

However, I cannot pin a song to Cypherdyne‘s creation. This whole creation process is quite a blur, but once opened work for The Crypt started and I have definite recollections to Crypt-building and their first album My Head Is An Animal.

Next creation at Cryptology was “The Basement Game” (this is being transferred, less about this, more to the choons!). This game started creation in February 2016, and this was deep in my Everything Everything phase, strengthened by seeing them in Nottingham in November of 2015.

Continue reading “Music of Cryptology Builds”