From escape games to treasure hunts, the boom of investigative games

The escalating popularity of life-size investigative games is hardly a novel revelation. Unquestionably, when discussing this phenomenon, one term springs to mind : escape games. Originating in France in 2013, the number of these “rooms” was approximately 300 in 2017, and it has surged to over 1000 today.

However, amidst this surge, there is a discernible wane in interest in the traditional escape game format. This is where treasure hunts come to the fore. Established in 2009, our brand stands as a trailblazer in the realm of investigative games, offering an expansive and diverse experience that circumvents the frenzied hype surrounding escape games.

The immersive experience is the key

With its setting, complex mechanisms and time constraints, an escape game seeks to fully immerse players in the experience.

From its perspective, we have decided to rely on a more fundamental approach to the immersive experience : involving the participant in a story. The mere act of unlocking or escaping won’t be enough. Unlike escape games, for us, the scenario is not merely a pretext for the gaming experience, it is the central element. In this case, the setting also plays a role, as the plot fully exploits the “life-size” concept by using an entire district to serve as the area to explore.

Companies are playing along

Beyond its popularity with the general public, the investigation game has also attracted another participant profile : companies. While escape games might be suitable for small companies, it’s quite hard to implement an efficient team-building event in a room (or two) with over 10 or 15 people.

And that’s where treasure hunts come in. With the capacity to host 10 to several hundreds of participants, our treasure hunts are ideal for boosting team cohesion through a fun-filled experience.

Whether among the general public or with companies, the life-size investigation game continues to grow in popularity. If escape games are its figurehead, it seems like the initiator of the trend, treasure hunts, will also be the driving force behind the revival of the genre.


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