The escape room scene has gone from a fun day of brain-sweating to serious business. How serious? If you tune in tomorrow, you can catch the Escape Room World Championship, hosted by Red Bull Mind Gamers in Budapest, Hungary — the supposed birthplace of the "escape room phenomenon". Teams from over 20 countries will duke it out with mind bullets starting 6am AEST.
That's right — if you want to catch the competition live, you'll need to get up early. We've helpfully included the embed above, so be sure to bookmark this page if you're planning on watching.
Each team of four, whittled down from some 9000 players, will tackle their final challenge cooked up by Dr Scott Nicholson, a game design professor from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. According to the Red Bull press release, Nicholson has put together quite the series of puzzles:
"Our goal was to create challenges that made sense within the world of quantum computing, combine physical and mental elements, convey a consistent story, reduce dependence on a specific language, and be engaging for viewers," says the designer ... "We de-emphasised the typical searching elements and quiet cerebral puzzles, avoided padlocks and black lights, and instead thought about ways to embrace the concept of challenging the body and mind."
As for the countries involved, here's the list. Sadly, Australia doesn't make an appearance.
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
For more details, hit up the Red Bull Mind Gamers website.