On October 4, 2020, the Belgian team of Rob Van Esser, Liese Luijten, Pieterjan Uytterhoeven, and Kobe Heleven broke the Guinness World Record for “Most Escape Rooms Played in 24 Hours.” They set this record in their home country visiting games in Ghent, Aalst, and Dendermonde.
We interviewed them about their world record experience.
For more details about the record, requirements, and the team, read our pre-attempt interview.
Before we dive in, I want to point out that we have corrected the pre-attempt interview, which we published with a fundamental misunderstanding about one rule from Guinness (that we’d misunderstood for 2 years). The escape room companies can open up at special times for the record attempting team. The misconception has its own story for another day.
REA: Did you break the Guinness World Record for most escape rooms played in one day?
Yes, we planned on just breaking the record of 22 rooms by playing 23, but we managed to make it to 25 escape rooms played in 24 hours!
REA: What was your win/ loss rate?
100% – we escaped all the rooms. Some were a bit close, but we still escaped. 😂
REA: Which 25 games did you play and what were your times in each?
|1||De Kelder – Escape Room De Kelder||59 min 44 sec|
|2||Red Alert – Lockdown Gent||36 min 0 sec|
|3||Room 7 – Lockdown Gent||35 min 4 sec|
|4||Secret Chocolate Factory – Puzzle Gent||47 min 19 sec|
|5||Escape the Freakshow – Cube Zero Gent||21 min 0 sec|
|6||Escape the Asylum – Cube Zero Gent||50 min 0 sec|
|7||Find the Alterpiece – Cube Zero Gent||24min 57 sec|
|8||Nuclear Meltdown – Cube Zero Gent||28 min 38 sec|
|9||Escape Wonderland – Cube Zero Gent||47 min 43 sec|
|10||Maria’s Little Secret – Opslot Gent||49 min 40 sec|
|11||Alcatraz – Exit Games Gent||40 min 25 sec|
|12||The Great Detectives – Exit Games Gent||53 min 2 sec|
|13||The Lab – Exit Games Gent||37 min 5 sec|
|14||Chicken Run – Chicken run||37 min 0 sec|
|15||Klopjacht Op Jan De Lichte – Puzzle Aalst||37 min 23 sec|
|16||Speakeasy – The Grand Escape Aalst||43 min 43 sec|
|17||The Road of the Damned – Cube Ten Aalst||32 min 56 sec|
|18||The Alchemyst – Cube Ten Aalst||53 min 07 sec|
|19||The Hidden Gallery – Cube Ten Aalst||30 min 39 sec|
|20||Secret Agent – Hintlabyrinth Dendermonde||55 min 33 sec|
|21||Mad Scientist – Hintlabyrinth Dendermonde||55 min 41 sec|
|22||Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – Hintlabyrinth Dendermonde||44 min 02 sec|
|23||De Legende Van Het Ros Beiaard – Hintlabyrinth Dendermonde||35 min 21 sec|
|24||Game of Stones – Hintlabyrinth Dendermonde||58 min 51 sec|
|25||In Flanders Fields – Atrium Mortis Escape Room Lebbeke||57 min 7 sec|
REA: What were your team or individual high points?
Rob was very good at searching in the rooms. He also tried to make the entire room logical by telling us ahead of time what he thought would be needed for what in the room.
PJ was very good at puzzle solving and also with long texts. He kept the overview, which made him a very good team player.
Liese was always the one who kept the overview with the goal and the theme of the rooms. She helped us to remember the exact meaning of objects in the rooms, which made her a very valuable player when everyone would lose a bit of context while playing.
Lastly, Kobe was very fast with solving logical and mathematical puzzles, which made him also contribute a decent part to the team. He also delegated the team to solve puzzles.
REA: What were your team or individual low points?
We worked so well as a team that day. There were very few low points both as a team and individually. Everyone got a bit tired and angry during the night, but that’s more than normal when playing 25 escape rooms in one day. 🙂
REA: Who was the MVP?
In our team there was no most valuable player. We each contributed complementary qualities, which made us strong, leading to a top team! If we ever play a world record again, it would be with the same team! 😉
But if we have to pick one MVP, it would be Michiel De Foer, our time manager. He played an enormous role in making this record happen and taking care of everything else while we were playing in the rooms.
REA: What were your favorite games?
We played so many games, each with its charms and qualities. If we each had to choose one individually, Game of Stones, De Klopjacht op Jan De Lichte, In Flanders Fields, and Nuclear Meltdown were very nice and original rooms.
REA: Were there any particularly interesting or unusual games that you found especially different, even if you didn’t necessarily love them?
I think Chicken Run was a very original theme. It also surprised us with the amount of extras included in the room while playing. Also Red Alert was a room full of original puzzles just as Maria’s Little Secret was a very appropriate room because it was a student house room, which made it very likely for some of us! Also Exit Games Gent had games with goals other than escaping, which was also special!
REA: What was the unplanned or unexpected drama?
Making sure all GoPro’s were charged, filming, and ready for the next room was a bigger challenge than we’d expected. It is definitely a big task to make sure everything was working as planned! For the rest, everything went very well as planned, logistically.
REA: What was it like playing with those GoPro cameras strapped to you?
It was a bit weird because we used to never film in escape rooms. Also toilet stops were a bit awkward, but it was a funny experience.
REA: Is there any chance that we can edit together a blooper or highlight reel from this footage?
Yes, we can send the videos we made if you want to make something!
REA: How did you feel at the end of the attempt?
Very satisfied. It was an honor to put together this event with this decent organizing and playing team and we’re very happy with the record!
REA: Do you still like escape rooms?
How dare you ask 😉
REA: Do you still like each other?
Even more now.
REA: What advice do you have for anyone else thinking about setting a world record in escape rooms?
Be prepared, don’t worry, and enjoy each moment!