The History of Escape Rooms

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Escape rooms as we know them began as point and click adventure games where a user would interact with a virtual locked room.

Inside the room were a number of items, keys, and tools that the user could interact with. By clicking on and discovering these items they would be able to solve different clues and puzzle that would lead them to their escape.

If you have done a live escape room like ours at The Room Lisle, this format probably sounds familiar to you! But that is not all there is to the escape room concept. Escape rooms have a long and rich history:


Behind Closed Doors Escape Game

Even before the point and click escape games, there were text adventure versions.

The first of its kind was called “Behind Closed Doors” and was released in 1988. This type of escape room game exists purely through word prompts and descriptions such as “you find yourself in a locked room…”

These games contained no graphics or maps, so players often kept notebooks to keep track of clues and areas in the “room”. The explored the room and discovered the way out by using text commands.

Even though the goal of “Behind Closed Doors” was to “escape the room”, the phrase escape room wasn’t used for that, or any text adventure game.


The term “Escape Room” first appeared to describe an early point and click graphics game called The Mystery of Time And Space (commonly known as MOTAS). The term first appeared with the game in 1989 and it stuck! Now “escape room” can be used to describe all types of games, both virtual and real life.


The first live-action escape room was created in Japan in June of 2008. It was called the Red (or Scarlet) Room and was transformed from a video game of the same name.

Once this room was created, the trend of “real” escape rooms took off. It spread all over Asia, then onto Europe, Canada and eventually made its first appearance in the United States.

While the medium has evolved, the concept remains very similar through each iteration: You, the player, are locked in a room and must find a way to escape!


Open The Room Lisle

The first US escape room was opened in Los Angeles in December of 2012 by the same company that developed the first one in Japan. Not long after, The Room Lisle opened its doors in the Chicago suburbs, making its debut with The Einstein Room in May of 2015.

The Escape Room continues to gain popularity throughout the world, and it is no surprise why.It is an excellent team building and family activity, not to mention it’s just plain fun! 

History of Escape Rooms

Fans of the original games get an opportunity to live out their real-life video game dreams, but there is no background experience required.

Every room presents a new set of challenges for you to solve and conquer! You can see what all the fuss is about by planning a visit to The Room Lisle! 

Book your room now!


Date Night at The Room Lisle Escape Rooms

4 Reasons to Have Date Night at The Room Lisle

Posted by & filed under Escape Rooms, News.

1.   Learn something new!

Each of our escape rooms are packed with different puzzles and fun facts. In The Gallery, you will learn about art and culture, The Einstein Room will test your logistic skills, and The Whodunit Room will push your detective skills to the limit. As you work together to escape, you might learn something about your partner! Being locked in a room with someone has a way of revealing personalities.


2.   Teamwork and Communication

Studies show clear communication is one of the most important parts of a successful relationship. At The Room Lisle, you will have to work together as a team to accomplish your tasks. So, come on in and sharpen those communication skills! We guarantee the conversation will stick around all the way home.


3.   Quality Time

Escape rooms offer you an experience, not more stuff. What are you learning about your partner while silently sitting next to them in a movie theater or in a bar that’s too loud to hear yourself think? Studies show people are happier when they spend their time and money on activities rather than on things. Take time away from the noise and technology to spend time on each other.


4.   It’s exciting and fun!

To escape the room, you race against the clock, solve challenges and find your way out before your hour is up. Nothing gets your heart pumping like the thrill of the chase. Get your adrenaline pumping and spice things up!


Ready to create an experience and memories to last a lifetime? Book your Date Night now. Valentine’s Day is next week. 

The Room Featured in The Chicago Tribune / Naperville Sun

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The Room was featured in The Chicago Tribune / Naperville Sun section in March 2016

Locks. Keys. Music. Codes. Sand castle. Mirror. Butterfly. Paintings. Chair. Book. Fireplace. Flashlight.

Random items placed in a room might simply be part of the furnishings.

But in The Room, random items may yield clues to an escape. Or they may not. They may just be random items in a room. You never really know in The Room.

The Room in Lisle is a scavenger hunt for clues to uncover hidden messages that will tell you the way out. It’s a puzzle to be solved in one hour, while you’re locked in a room that contains all the answers you’ll need.

Read the entire article at the Chicago Tribune

NEW White Room Contest

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Attention all ROOMIES and Key-Masters,

THE ROOM has built a new escape room named the White room.

It is an uneventful room built for the top notch Key-Master or sleuth.

This is a minimum experience room. No small victories only One big one!

Either you’ll get it or you won’t.

We need some of our top notch Key-masters to qualify the room for the general public.

We are having a “solve the puzzle” contest to qualify you to help. The first 5 correct answers emailed to will get free admission for 5 guests in the White room.
The next 5 correct answers will get 50% off 5 guests in the White room and the last 10 correct answers will get 30% off the White room.

Remember you need to follow directions and email the correct answer to

The puzzle is as follows:

White Room Contest New Escape Room


Nothing more nothing less. No hints. And please, no passing on best answers.

Please like us on Facebook and sign up to our mailing list on the website if you haven’t already for future puzzles and discounts.


CONTEST IS OVER. Here is the answer.


White Room Contest Answer

The Room Featured in The Daily Herald

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The Room is featured in The Daily Herald in January, 2015:

Escape rooms, as they’re known around the world, are a new entertainment trend finding its way to the suburbs after huge success in other states, Asia and Europe. …

“They’re actually submerged into the drama,” said Dave Zajicek, owner of The Room in Lisle, which actually offers two rooms: one with an Albert Einstein theme and another set up like an art gallery. “It’s thrilling. The race to escape is kind of heart-pounding. Most people that do escape the room escape in the last second.”

Read the Entire Article at the Daily Herald

The Room featured in Glancer Magazine

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From Glancer Magazine‘s article:

The anticipation of being locked in a room may seem a bit frightening, but when the owner of THE ROOM in Lisle took our group of teenagers’ cell phones and then locked the phones in a trunk for an hour, it was downright terrifying! But, only until we were quickly distracted with trying to figure out how to get out of THE ROOM – which was locked – with us in it – for the next 60 minutes.

Read the Entire Article

1,000 Guests and Counting!!!

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1000 Guests at The Room Lisle

THE ROOM has officially hosted over 1,000 guests in our Mystery Escape Room!! We are very excited about the response that we have received since we opened just a few months ago. We’d like to send a huge THANK YOU out to each and every one of you that has supported us in this great adventure! Have you visited us yet? Come and try to escape… we dare you!


Experience Real Escape Rooms In Lisle

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real escape rooms

Experience real escape rooms in Lisle

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. Your experiences really are part of you.” – Jay Cassano

Real escape rooms are becoming a real-world trend. They are the biggest new form of interactive gaming to spread across the United States. The real escape room experience manages to make even familiar puzzles seem extraordinary.

Real escape games concept is not new


Online escape games have been popular for many years and have been known as “takagism.” Escape rooms started as computer games. The first known real escape room was opened by Takao Kato in Japan in 2007. After the idea of real escape rooms moved into China, Taiwan and other parts of Asia, Kato’s 40-year-old friend, Kazuya Iwata, introduced the game concept to the United States in 2012.

Real escape rooms are a simple concept and easy to explain


Real escape rooms put puzzle-solving skills to the test. Those who enjoy mystery, challenges and solving puzzles willingly pay about $30 for an hour of fun.

Each real escape room has its own unique theme and story. All the mental challenges for a room are incorporated within it. Each real escape room offers a distinct experience depending on its theme. Themes vary from undersea exploration to espionage or a moon base before you run out of air to creating an antidote before a deadly outbreak takes your life, just to name a few.

Two to six real escape room players get locked in their themed real escape room. (Don’t panic. Operators are standing by behind a mirror with microphone in hand. They will share a hint if they see you need a nudge in the right direction). The group must work together as a team to find clues and solve puzzles to escape the room within 60 minutes. There’s something irrefutably exciting about the challenge and mystery of a room full of clues which must be deciphered to find your escape in one hour!

Be alert, but don’t over think. Everything inside a real escape room could be a clue. Clues are often flawlessly integrated into the room. They may be:

  • Riddles
  • Number games
  • Combination locks
  • Actual jigsaw puzzles
  • The number of books on a shelf
  • A bookmarked page in a book
  • A clue written on that bookmarked page in invisible ink
  • An intercom into which a secret number must be typed
  • A hidden part somewhere on the wall that needs to be uncovered to access the next room
  • Many real escape rooms will reveal trapdoors, secret passages and hidden rooms as players progress through a game.

Real escape rooms do not require a high IQ, just teamwork


None of the games require the IQ of someone like Stephen Hawking. No skills are required to take on the challenge of escaping a room before time runs out either. However, the following useful skills will help you escape the room successfully:

  • Search. Some rooms hide things very well.
  • Observe and Discern. Ask this question often, “Is this object I am looking at a clue or not?”
  • Correlate. Someone who can put the clues found with the correct puzzle. This requires a leap in logic. Being able to correlate clues is good for a meta puzzle, for example.
  • Memorize. You may need to remember number sequences or symbols.
  • Do the Math. Yes, math is used a lot. Sometimes you must do the math without paper. Shape algebra is common in real escape rooms.
  • Recognize Patterns. Look for patterns in what might seem like jumble of nonsense.
  • Compartmentalize. Open, non-linear rooms can be overwhelming. Break up your real escape room into individual parts.
  • Oversee. Again, with an open, non-linear room, it can be tough to see where the team should start. The overseer needs to be a strong leader who will guide the team. They need to see how the different puzzles interconnect and where the team should go next.

Real escape rooms are not easy to escape


The challenge to escape a real escape room is real. The success rate averages less than 20 percent. But the degree of a challenge can vary depending on each real escape room business owner.

Real escape rooms are easy to book


If you are reading this blog post and you are not in the Lisle, Illinois area, find a real escape room near you at

Give yourself and others the gift of adventure. Choose a real escape room challenge for some real, face-to-face interaction today. BOOK a time to enjoy puzzle solving, mystery and the challenge of THE ROOM in Lisle here and show up for your real escape room experience.

Have fun and happy escaping!




Welcome To THE ROOM! Welcome To Different And Exciting!

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Do you love solving mysteries or puzzles? Are you looking for something a little different and exciting? If so, you will find THE ROOM to be a lot of fun!

THE ROOM is a live, interactive mystery escape challenge that is great for friends, family, couples or co-workers. Escape Rooms are the biggest new entertainment concept in the world! Our Escape Room is designed to take you on a real-world adventure that will create experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

We are a new small business. Creating THE ROOM for you and your groups has been a never-ending adventure and will continue to be for us.

We started small with one room having an Einstein theme. We will be adding additional rooms soon. When we do, our room themes will change.

We invite you to “LIKE” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to earn you the title of “Roomie.” Roomies receive special discounts and current information as we grow.

Let us help you with fundraisers, community events and teamwork challenges or exercises. We want to be part of your community, also.

Your feedback is always welcome! Please share your ideas on the contact page. Use the contact page to request information, too.

Create experiences and memories to last a lifetime in THE ROOM today! Book your real-world adventure here, and we’ll see you in THE ROOM soon!

Come. Grow with us on our journey.