Hong Kong’s youth have started to shun bars and karaoke in favor of locking themselves inside rooms full of challenges that they must complete before being allowed to leave. Available in English and Chinese, the real-life escape rooms are offered by a company called Freeing Hong Kong based out of a faceless office building in the Tsim Sha Tsui neighbourhood.
Each room is different, with options that include the old American West, a Chinese martial arts adventure, a gory haunted house and a cartoon wonderland. The company was started three years ago by Raymond Sze and three other partners, who estimate about 100,000 people have passed through the halls of their urban playground so far.
Seeing as the games are a lot like computer games played by young adults in Hong Kong, the idea has caught on quickly, providing a more rewarding way to enjoy time away from work. The “escape rooms” have already expanded to five Hong Kong neighbourhoods, as well as Taipei, Singapore, Macau and Guangzhou.