- Escape the room, also known as room escape or escape game, is a subgenre of point-and-click adventure game which requires a player to escape from imprisonment by exploiting their surroundings.
- They are usually created as a freeware browser game for the Adobe Flash platform, but similar game mechanics have been identified in PC and console games.
- The room usually consists of a locked door, several objects to manipulate as well as hidden clues or secret compartments.
- The player must use the objects to interact with other items in the room to reveal a way to escape.
- The basic gameplay mechanism of having the player trapped in a single location dates back at least to John Wilson's 1988 text adventure Behind Closed Doors, in which the player is trapped inside a toilet.
- The term originated in 2001 from the MOTAS game, though there are many older examples of the point-and-click variation, such as Noctropolis, and even earlier examples from the text adventure canon.
- "CRIMSON ROOM", "VIRIDIAN ROOM", "BLUE CHAMBER" and "WHITE CHAMBER" are the pioneers of "Room Escape Games".
The genre was further popularized in 2004 by the Japanese "Crimson Room" game by Toshimitsu Takagi, which has spread throughout the internet and can be seen on many gaming websites.
- While a single-location game may not be set inside a room, and while the player's goal may not necessarily be escape, in 2002 the interactive fiction community first hosted a One Room Game Competition (attracting six entries, all in Italian), and in 2006 Riff Conner wrote Another Goddamn Escape the Locked Room Game, indicating that the genre is well known in the contemporary interactive fiction hobbyist community.
- Most escape-the-room games play from a first-person perspective, where the player must click on objects to interact with them.
- Most room escape games offer only token plots, usually a short cut scene consisting only of text to establish how the player got there, and sometimes another when the game is finished.
- Room escapes usually have a minimalistic interface, ambient soundtrack, and no non-player characters; elements which can enhance the gamer's sense of isolation.
- Most escape-the-room games include at least one puzzle, such as a sliding-block puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle (or a similar type in which a note is pieced together), a colour puzzle or a word or number puzzle.
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