The Rising Popularity of the VR Escape Room

21 Jul 2022

Imagine this: You’re walking through an ancient lost pyramid. It’s dark and dusty, but the gold of the hieroglyphic paneling on the walls around you shines through. The clock is ticking. You know you need to escape in the next sixty minutes, but you just need to figure out how…before it's too late.

Sound too exciting to be true? Not in the world of virtual reality escape rooms.

Virtual reality (VR) is becoming ever more popular in the gaming world, as VR technology improves and VR story creation becomes even more immersive. In this article, we’ll walk you through the rising popularity of the VR escape room, including how VR escape rooms started and why people like them so much.

What Is a VR Escape Room?

Before we get into why VR escape rooms are so popular, let’s take a look at what VR escape rooms actually are. Virtual reality or “VR” escape room is similar to a regular escape room, in which players are locked in a room for a specified amount of time (usually 60 minutes), and must solve puzzles to get themselves out. VR takes escape rooms into the virtual world, in which players wear a VR headset that shows an entirely different landscape. The goal is still the same: escape the virtual room through puzzle solving while exploring a new exciting world.

The Popularity of VR Escape Rooms

While the first traditional escape room in the US came onto the scene in 2010, it took almost ten years for virtual reality escape rooms to really take off. Since then, however, VR escape rooms have exploded in popularity, with more people than ever before seeking out the thrills VR has to offer. In fact, the number of people searching for VR escape rooms on Google has quadrupled since 2017.

It’s no wonder that VR escape rooms are becoming so popular. As virtual reality technology improves, escape room experiences improve right along with it. From increasingly vivid artistry and realistic-looking virtual surroundings to headsets that can track the position of other players in the room with you, the exciting innovations of virtual reality just keep coming. VR creates new possibilities for storylines and actions that are simply not possible in a conventional escape room.

So, why are VR escape rooms so popular? Let’s dive in.

Why Do Players Love Virtual Escape Rooms?

The list of reasons players loves VR escape rooms is virtually endless (see what we did there?). Here are the top 4 reasons.

1. Explore a new world

Through virtual reality, you get to enter a world entirely different from our own. You’ll get to walk through scenery that is carefully designed to be beautiful, terrifying, or maybe even both. Whether you’re exploring lush floating tropical islands like in Jungle Quest or the creaky cabin of House of Fear, you can rest assured that you’ll experience the best visuals that VR has to offer. These worlds can be so lifelike and immersive that you might even forget they’re not real. As one player review said, “It was so much fun to walk around in this totally immersive game. I even forgot I was wearing a headset!”

2. Fun for the whole family

There’s truly a VR escape room experience for everyone. If horror is your thing, there are plenty of VR rooms and puzzles that will have you shaking in your boots. But if exploring magical worlds without danger is more your style, don’t worry ― you also have plenty of options. While the goal of most VR escape rooms is to solve puzzles within a time limit, you’ll always have time to explore and interact with the vivid world around you if you like. 

If that wasn’t enough, you can also pick your VR escape room based on your experience. There’s a game for everyone, from beginners to experts. There are even games designed specifically for kids!

3. Get your heart racing

In a conventional escape room, you know that you’re never actually in danger. After all, it’s difficult to fully simulate the feeling of danger without actually putting players in danger. (We think players would be pretty unhappy if they were actually exposed to giant spiders or sharp swords!) VR changes that. In a VR escape room, you feel like you’re in real danger when something comes hurtling at your head. If you’re in the mood for excitement, VR’s ability to simulate real danger provides a thrilling experience that’s sure to exhilarate even the most cool-headed player.

4. New stories

While the goal of an escape room is usually to escape a tricky situation, VR escape rooms allow you to actually escape from your real life for a while. Virtual reality allows for escape room narratives that are more complex than ever before. Whether you’re tagging along with familiar characters like Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter or in an entirely new story, the immersive nature of VR helps you feel like you’re really there, living every twist and turn yourself.