Escape Room TV Shows (split from The Future of Interactive Fiction)

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I love escape rooms. My best friend and I will do every single one in a good company back-to-back on a single day. They usually give you a free T-shirt if you do all of them.

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I was very addicted to Solitary (ironically about not escaping and staying the longest) which involves nine people alone in separate rooms who never meet each other and face off against a mastermind who has them compete by either completing tasks the quickest or lasting the longest through uncomfortable psychological “experiments”. Simplest example is “lay on a bed of nails as long as you can”- but the devious part is nobody knows if anyone else has given up or already won, or gotten frustrated and hit the “Quit” button to leave the show.

One of my favorites was when Val the mastermind flooded each room with bouncy balls and required players to count them and report to her the correct number while the lights were strobing and she recited the digits of pi.

The Adventure Game (BBC, 1980)

Knightmare (ITV, 1987)

The Crystal Maze (Channel 4, 1990)