Escape Room Helsinki was born as a side product of our training company InRoos Oy.
We founded InRoos in 2006, offering “Art Goes Work”-trainings, mainly for self development, social skills and team building. Yvonne is trained as speech and drama pedagogue, while Virgo has a background in coaching and teaching in areas of self-development and environmental care.
In the spring 2014, we were busy developing virtual training environment for team building and self-development. Yvonne’s book on storytelling as a tool for communication was about to be launched. In the middle of this, we received an e-mail from a friend, who said “This might be your kind of thing”, adding a link. The link led to a French website and we couldn’t quite get what it was about.
When things slowed down around Midsummer, as usual in Finland, we had time to explore the link a bit further. It seemed very strange. Who would like to lock themselves into a room and try to escape? We realized that the concept was based on achieving a “flow” state, making time disappear in a creative, solution-seeking frenzy…but was it something for us?
At this time, Inside Out had opened Finland’s first room escape in Helsinki and so we went there to see what it was about. When we got out of “Teddybear’s Birthday”, we booked our tickets to France. A week later, we stood outside the door in Paris, indicated by the mysterious link.
It dawned on us that escape rooms could be a unique tool, by which we could combine story work with coaching. We were looking at inviting groups of players into a story setting, to have an immersive flow-experience triggered by challenges and twists in the story. Instead of offering solutions, from now on we would be offering team challenges.
This is how it began.
We opened our first escape room in the center of Helsinki on 1.12.2014. From the start, we wanted to create our own games, partly drawing on Finnish history and tales. The first game we made, Dinner Party, is still running being one of our most popular challenges.
We didn’t foresee that Escape Room Helsinki would demand all our time, skills and creativity. The concept asks for constant refinement and development, so we keep learning and exploring. On the one hand, we want to enhance the entertainment value and degree of immersion, and on the other hand, to work out professional tools for team-building.