It’s far from a secret that escape rooms are getting more and more popular and landing on more and more people’s lists of things to try. So it’s not really all that surprising that television networks are getting in on the escape room action.
At last count, there are three currently airing TV shows that not just feature escape rooms—like BigBang Theory, Conan, and Two Broke Girls have done—but completely focus on them. Like escape games themselves, this sort of puzzle-rific television has deeper roots.
To help escape game fans catch up on this essential TV viewing, we’ve rounded up the best escape room–themed TV out there.
1. The Crystal Maze (1990–95)
One cannot talk of today’s puzzle- and escape-themed TV shows without first mentioning The Crystal Maze. Hosted by Richard O’Brien (aka Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show), The Crystal Maze was one of the biggest and most beloved UK game shows ever to air.
Many Canadians may have missed out on the craze, so luckily there’s quite a few episodes on YouTube to catch you up. And, if you’re heading to London any time soon, it’s even coming back as a “live and immersive interactive experience” (aka, a sort of escape game).
2. Takeshi’s Castle (2002–04)
From the other side of the world—Japan—comes Takeshi’s Castle. The premise is that contestants are trying to make it through a trap-filled castle in order to reach the count, aka actor Takeshi Kitano. More physical than puzzley, Takeshi’s Castle is nevertheless a forebear to today’s escape room–themed television shows. Plus, it’s by far the zaniest—what else would we expect from Japanese TV?
3. Race to Escape (2015–)
Race to Escape is the brainchild of the folks at the Science Channel. Their inspiration comes directly from real-world escape games, with contestants trying to solve clues and bust out of the various themed rooms. Though perhaps not as exciting as actually playing a game yourself, it’s definitely some useful viewing for anyone preparing to take on the Asylum room at our Vancouver escape game—the hardest room we have.
4. Hellevator (2015–)
Another new addition to the genre is Game Show Network’s Hellevator—but this one comes with a twist. Like our own Krakit team, the people behind Hellevator know a good scare when they see one—or make one, rather. This is unsurprising, as the show’s hosts are Vancouver’s own Soska sisters, the directors behind American Mary.
Contestants of Hellevator are challenged to escape an abandoned warehouse, which just happens to have a haunted elevator. Unsurprisingly, screams abound.
5. Code (2016–)
This show has literally just hit the airwaves, broadcast by Korean network JTBC beginning this month. To spice up the format, Code has celebrities as contestants (it was only a matter of time!). The group starts eight floors underground, with the winners advancing one floor per week by solving puzzles and unlocking doors.
Advertised brand: Lifesaving Society of BC and
Advert title: Drowning Prevention Sand Sculpture
Headline and copy text:
HEAD: The beach isn’t all fun and games.
SUB HEAD: Educate yourself on water safety.
COPY: National Drowning Prevention Week. July 21
– 29, 2012.
Advertising Agency: TAXI, Vancouver, Canada
Agency website: http://www.taxi.ca
Creative Director: Kevin Barclay
Art Director: Darcy Twarog
Copywriter: David Giovando
Photographer: Dan Barham
Additional credits: Editor: Chad Jones, Account
Manager: Brett Willis, Account Director: Ben Tarr, Production Manager: Leah
Fladgate, Sculptor: David Billings
Published: July, 2012
Short rationale: To promote National Drowning Prevention Week
and remind beach-goers of the dangers of being around water, the Lifesaving
Society of BC & Yukon created a sand sculpture depicting the aftermath of a
drowning scene at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver.
This husband/wife team recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary. The catchy title comes from a hybrid of the couple's own names (and was not, to my knowledge, designed to re-direct those searching for hotmail.com). They have some funky stuff on their website. My hands down favourite is this one:
I see they've just moved, here's their new digs:
Hot Tomali 1441 Pender St. E, Vancouver, BC V5L 1V7 (604) 893-8347
The beauty of advertising in Vancouver is all the outdoor options you have. Vancouver advertising is going to get a bit chaotic in 2010 with Olympics sponsors and all, but at least there will be ambient and outdoor options available for the everyman and woman.
Immersion Creative is unique because it starts with you, the client, and the way you do business. By spending anywhere from a week to a month immersed in your working environment, Immersion is able to put together a creative strategy that is specifically tailored to your style and humour.
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