In an article written not so long ago by The Guardian there is a mention of the growing escape game industry that is "all the rage in the UK" and the title of the article is "After 25 years, it’s time to reboot The Crystal Maze". There truly seems to be a high demand for this kind of entertainment, be it experienced live or broadcasted on TV. We hear it almost every day at our HQ when we ask a team "How was it?". "It was just like Crystal Maze." - they respond 8 out of 10 times. People here already have it in them to watch teams solve puzzles, so it's just great that now they can partake in these experiences themselves.
But what about other countries and other TV shows? Well it may come as no surprise that Japan has some of the craziest live escape shows. However, altough extremely exciting, the content would not be as popular among the UK audience. Just imagine if at clueQuest you solve a puzzle and all of a sudden you see platforms coming out of the wall. You all get a toilet plunger and the floor starst shifting underneath your feet. As you stare down the edge of the moving floor into basically oblivion, you figure it out, you have to climb on the platform and use the suction powers of the toilet utility to stick to the wall. And if that wasn't enough, you have to answer questions while the platform beneath your feet is retracting, and if you don't answer them on time, you fall into what seems to be an endless pit of darkness. But no pressure, right?
All that I've described is actually a Japanese TV show. Not to say that the Japanese are the only ones that make over the top TV shows in Asia. For example, this show from China takes escape games to sci-fi futuristic levels, where it seems like sentient AI have taken over control and are playing with humans for fun. The amount of technology involved in this show is amazing, but it also means that there is a demand for this amount of polish and tech stuff.
At the beginning the first puzzle is almost exactly the same as in its Japanese counterpart only without the toilet plunger, but further into the video you can see puzzles that require loud shouting to solve or a room filling with water and what seems like 50 valves that you have to operate in order to stop the water flow. Serious stuff. And from what we know, live escape rooms like clueQuest are similarly tech heavy in Asia as well.
Maybe we'll see something like this in British television in the future as well, but for now we can only hope for a kickstarter project or some other way of crowd funding to reboot The Crystal Maze.