Students filed into Escape Room Club’s first ever escape room event on 9 March 2018 in Room 225 at lunch. Escape Room Club was recently created by Allen Xu and Roshan Sivarajah, two Grade 11 students whose experiences going to escape rooms together over the summer inspired this club. The events are held every Thursday at lunch in Room 225.

Escape rooms are events in which players solve a series of puzzles or riddles to complete an objective. The escape room configurations were created by Allen and Roshan, who pieced together their experiences with their own ideas. They set up the room at the beginning of lunch, placing clues around the room. The escape rooms last fifteen minutes each and students could participate in teams of five to ten. The escape rooms will be different each week, and students can sign up with friends to participate and are selected on a first come first serve basis.

Students deliberate over the pieces of the puzzles obtained after figuring out lock combinations. Photo: Janani Satkunarajah

Josh Saha, a Grade 9 student whose team unlocked two of the four locks, said, “This was my first escape room experience. I came because I’m interested in puzzles and hoped to win prizes with my friends.”

Aside from allowing people to experience escape rooms for the first time, Allen also maintains a Facebook page where he posts updates and promotion codes for escape rooms. He has also been developing an escape room app called EscapeTime, currently available on Android. The app helps people find an escape room to go to, as recently escape rooms have been difficult to book. For example, the escape room at Casa Loma is quite popular and must be booked weeks in advance. “EscapeTime allows you to see the available booking times for all escape rooms versus going on Google to visit each individual escape room website.” Allen said. “It’s like a Trivago for escape rooms.” Allen compiled all the data himself with a software that extracts available booking times and puts it all in into EscapeTime.

Mr. Wong, the staff advisor for the club, commented that he hoped to find a room in the school that doesn’t have the miscellaneous items of a classroom that could distract participants from possible clues. While the escape rooms are not “true” escape rooms as classrooms can’t lock from the inside, Allen and Roshan hope to continue developing their escape rooms to include more complex puzzles and themes. They will continue to hold escape rooms every week.