You and some friends have been kidnapped by an armed gang and are being held captive in their hideout.

The gang is currently in another room deciding what to do with you.

The only way to survive is to get out of that locked room.

You have one hour to save yourselves…

This is a scenario in a typical escape room, an interactive game in which two or more players are locked in a themed room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues and escape the room within a set time limit.

It probably doesn’t sound like fun when you try and sell it to friends: “Hey let’s pay good money to get locked in a windowless room.”

But factor in great craic, a bit of puzzle solving and a massive adrenaline rush and you can see why escape rooms have become so popular.

In most escape rooms, clues lead to a physical key, but the story of why you’re in the room, and the way in which action unfolds differs by room and location.

The concept, which evolved out of online games and is inspired by TV shows like The Crystal Maze is believed to have originated in Japan when the earliest room opened in 2007 in Kyoto.

Escape rooms are now among the most popular attractions on Tripadvisor in cities from New York to Seoul with new venues opening across Europe every month.

The craze has now well and truly reached Dublin, here are some of the best rooms to play in the capital.

Incognito Escape Rooms
Baker Street Mystery: challenges players to solve a mystery while attempting to take down the notorious Baker Street Five, a high profile gang that has been terrorizing Victorian Britain.

The Cabin in The Wood
A mysterious serial killer, who identifies himself as “The Revolutionary”, has committed four ghastly murders around Ireland.

Today more victims have been captured and are currently being held in a closet in his makeshift lair.

Luckily the victims are easy to locate thanks to cell phone GPS technology and a group of brave individuals have arrived at the lair to attempt a rescue.

Always one step ahead, The Revolutionary has set a trap just inside the front door and now the rescuers are also trapped in a closet inside his lair.

In 60 minutes The Revolutionary will return to commit his fifth gruesome crime, unless the victims and rescuers can escape the serial killer’s lair.

Mafia
Try to escape from the clutches of “The Big Boss” before he finishes his meeting and decides to send you to sleep with the fishes.

Escape seems impossible, you have one hour to get away – but it’s over 12s only.

The Clockwork Key Escape Room

Escape rooms inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Fall down the Rabbit Hole and immerse yourself in the magical world inspired by Lewis Carroll.

Cross the threshold of the Witch Hut and see if you can save yourselves from becoming frogs.