Escape Rooms: History and Top 5 Tricks to Succeed!

Are you curious about Escape Rooms, but not sure what to expect? Well, hopefully we can give you some helpful insight as to what they are, how they were invented, as well as what they entail. This new and popular Escape Room fad is sweeping the nation fast as more and more companies are starting to show up with their own rooms around West Michigan. We even have four of our own rooms at BAM! Entertainment Center.

Escape Rooms are designed to put a willing group of people inside a room together. (Ours are for 4-6 people per group.) The group is given a clue to start out with once inside the room. They must solve the given clue to unlock more clues (that lead to more clues, and so on) that will eventually lead them to figuring out how to exit the room in as little time as possible. If you get stuck on a specific clue, don’t worry! The Game Masters are there to give you hints on what you need to do next to successfully get out! Escape Rooms will generally have their own theme, such as sports, western-style, science experiment rooms, and MANY more.

Believe it or not, Escape Rooms were derived from video games. The games were called “Escape Games” or “Escape Rooms.” The first computer escape room game was called Planet Mephius, designed by Eiji Yokoyama in 1983. This game was a very influential game at the time, and from 1983-2005, more and more escape room computer games were being made. Live escape rooms weren’t introduced, however, until 2007 by a man named Takao Kato. He wanted players to be physically engaged with the rooms as opposed to sitting behind a computer screen. He felt it would be a much better experience for the participants. Escape Rooms didn’t touch foot inside the United States until 2012, which makes them less than 10 years old in the U.S.! (Source)

Escape Rooms make for a fun family experience, a great team building activity, and many other group related get-togethers. You can race against your friends and family to see who can escape the quickest, or you can race against the clock to try and set the room record! With four different rooms to choose from, you can enjoy a new experience each time here at BAM!

Now that we have the background information out of the way, there are certain things you can do to get ready for your Escape Room experience. Here’s our Top 5 Tips and Tricks to help you exit any room in record time!

TIP #1: PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIME! You only get one hour to try and escape, so use your time wisely and as efficient as possible!

TIP #2: COMMUNICATION IS KEY! When in a large group of people, everyone needs to communicate with each other on the clues they find. This could help unlock your next clue!

TIP #3: SPLIT UP AND SEARCH THE ROOM COMPLETELY! Make sure that you aren’t all working on the same clue at the same time. Split up and start looking for more clues that can help you out!

TIP #4: STAY CALM AND DON’T RUSH YOURSELF! Certain clues are going to be more difficult than others. Just remember, the clues are meant to be solved, so don’t try and force something open that is locked. You could potentially cause damage to the room, which makes the next person’s experience less enjoyable.

TIP #5: USE YOUR HINTS! The Game Masters are there for a reason. They want you to get out of the room and make it a fun experience for your group. If you happen to get stuck on a clue, you may ask for hints from the Game Master. Don’t be embarrassed if you need a hint! Most groups need hints!

Now that you’re all caught up on the history and our best tips we can give you, it’s time to book your room! Click the link below to make a reservation for one of our four fantastic and exciting Escape Rooms!

The Best. Birthday. Ever!

When it comes to having your kid’s birthday party at BAM!, we often say, “All parents do is take pictures and have fun. BAM! does everything, except take pictures and blow out the candles!”

The truth is, as hard as we try to make it simple for a parent to plan a party at BAM!, there are some fairly small tasks you still have to do. That being said, I’m going to attempt to make what little there is for you to do even easier with some key links and tips so your child — and you! — can truly have the Best. Birthday. Ever!

Booking A BAM! Birthday Party

There are 3 ways to reserve a birthday party for you kid at BAM! Online. By phone. Or, in person. Regardless of how you book a party, we’re going to ask a series of questions, which will helps us give you a great experience perfectly tailored for your group. Questions include: which BAM! birthday party are you interested in? (We have 5 party packages to choose from!) How many kids and adults in the party? (This is important for seating space consideration.) Will the adults participate in any of the activities? Would you like to add any additional activities that aren’t already included in your selected party package? Would you like us to serve our cupcakes and ice cream, or will you bring your own cake?

Inviting Guests

Once you’ve booked your BAM! party, there are a many ways to invite friends to a party. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Create a private Facebook event. It’s a simple way to reach everyone, monitor the RSVP count, answer questions, provide a map to BAM! (if you list us in the location box @BamEntertainmentCenter), and publish post-party pictures. Never set up a Facebook event? Here’s how
  • Email potential guests. If not everyone you’d like to invite is on Facebook, using an online invitation website is a great alternative. There are several sites to choose from. I found this cute, free invitation with a bowling theme on Evite.
  • Mail invitations. If you’ve got enough lead time, everyone, especially kids, love getting real mail. Canva has a host of free bowling party templates for you to create a custom invitation you can print out.

The Birthday Cake!

We get it. Your kid’s into Spider Man, and wants a Spidey cake for his birthday. If you opt to bring your own birthday cake instead of the uber convenient BAM! cupcakes and ice cream, you, of course, can make your own. If you’d rather not, there are several businesses you can contact to have a birthday cake made. Here’s link to a few Holland bakeries near BAM!

All You Do Is Take Pictures…

Taking pictures at BAM! is not as easy as it may sound. Dimmed overhead lights, and BRIGHT arcade game and spot lighting creates a great mood, but as far as pictures, either the kids’ faces are well lit, and the surroundings are in dark or vice versa. It’s tricky to capture both. As the one primarily responsible for digital marketing at BAM!, over the years, I’ve learned a few things about taking good pictures and video with my phone while kids are on the go.

If you’re bowling, right after all the kids get their bowling shoes on, have them each grab a ball, and group them on your lane’s approach with their back to the pins. Make sure the light on their faces is adequate by taking a few pictures with flash on, and then with the flash off. I’ve found these pictures more endearing than pictures of kids’ backs when they’re actually bowling.

Don’t have them stand in front of arcade games. The contrast between the game’s bright lights and the room’s dim lights puts happy faces in silhouette. Better to get an action profile shot of them playing the game from the side of the game.

It’s almost impossible to capture the excitement of playing laser tag in a picture. The kids are moving so fast, the pics turn out blurry. You might get lucky, and get some good ones, but why stress yourself out? Instead, snap a few candid shots of kids as they’re prepping to go into the laser tag arena. If you want a group shot, get it while they’re in the vesting area because they’ll all be corralled, and are typically facing the entrance to the arena. So. Much. Easier.

Ropes course is another photographer’s challenge because the kids are often a good distance from you as they maneuver around the 12 different elements in dim light. The ropes course is suspended 11 feet over our arcade room, so we don’t allow small objects, including cameras, while on the ropes course. Position yourself near the ropes course entrance railing and get candid shots as the kids cross closest to you. Or, while they’re getting put into the harness.

All these tips work for video too. I’ve found time-lapse video very effective for capturing bowling and ropes course fun.


BAM! really does take all the stress out a having a kids’ birthday party. And with these tips and resources, I hope your child’s next birthday party at BAM! is a ton of fun, and full of lasting memories for everyone, including you!

About Us

Located in Holland, Michigan, BAM! is honored to be voted the Best Family Entertainment Center in West Michigan. We feature laser tag, bowling, mini-bowling, an arcade, high ropes course, party rooms, 3 full-service bars and a restaurant.

Our only goal is to provide a first-class experience so our guests and their families will return again and again. BAM! provides quality activities and events in a top-notch facility, along with exceptional service and personal attention to our guests.

At BAM!, we have great birthday party packages or we can customize a birthday party package as special as your child. We also offer bowling leagues five nights a week and host hundreds of company, school, team, youth group, church group and family gatherings.

BAM! is Your One-Stop, Non-Stop Home For Ultimate Fun in West Michigan!