1950s Escape Room Challenge – How the Cold War Began

Exciting Escapes has modelled a series of escape rooms that take place in various decades with individualised-era themes. These games are designed to call to mind an array of your skills, knowledge, and personal experiences. One such escape challenge is set in the 1950s. It is an era of uncertainty and controversy.

The world has just come out of WWII, and no one escaped unscathed. This particular challenge insists upon an allegiance to see justice served. You will battle your fears and execute your wits under pressure to preserve your country’s way of life. It sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

How to prepare for the escape challenge

For a historically themed escape room, it’s a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of the era you will be travelling to in the game. The 1950s brought many political powers into play. Therefore, it was a time of change to rebuild a better, stronger infrastructure.

A short history lesson…

The term ‘Cold War’ is said to have been coined by English writer George Orwell in 1945, an essay titled “You and the Atomic Bomb”. (history.com)

In World War II, the United States of America and Russia, then known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), were allies, technically. Unfortunately, there was a common distrust between these two formidable nations. Perhaps the animosity was due to their values and interests pointing in near-opposite directions. The USA distrusted Soviet Communism, and the USSR did not agree with Capitalism and the ‘American Dream’.


With postwar Soviet expansionism underway in Eastern Europe, America feared the worst. An arms race ensued. one always tried to outplay the other in espionage tactics under the guise of world domination intervention. International relations were at an all-time low.

Hostility over each other’s world views permeated the air in the form of double-barrelled, nuclear smokestacks. Cold War propaganda would poison people’s minds over four decades. The fallout of fear, hatred, and misunderstanding was inevitable and was executed. 

“Containment” became the name of the game, the U.S.’s long-term strategy over the Red Army’s total control over the ideal of freedom and the USSR’s forceful expansion plan.

American foreign policy is, according to diplomat George Kennan in a declaration to Congress in 1947, “to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation…by outside pressures.”

Escalation of the biggest arms arsenal eventuated to astronomical proportions, like a toxic argument between lovers. Lack of constructive communication is the real culprit to all wars. War was the inevitable result of the two countries’ love language lost.

Another era of fearful inception and warmongering was discharged into the air. It leached into the waterways and was passed through the womb. Everything tasted metallic, and the temperature dropped to a freezing burn. Cold War games began and became a way of life. Children emulated the sentiment in the form of war play. And their children playing spies and racing to space. Was it just another new frontier to expand the ills of human misunderstanding?

North vs South Korea

The 1950s ushered in a myriad of war fronts from all directions. History repeated itself in the U.S. with another ‘witch hunt’ in the form of McCarthyism. It was an anti-communist inquisition to ferret out communism from within. The Korean War happened. The Soviet Union backed North Korea’s communist vision to invade a westernising South Korea.

The East vs the West

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) welcomed West Germany into its ranks, allowing West Germany to build its military power. The Soviets reacted in kind. They established the Warsaw Pact with Eastern European countries. Expansion of alliances, territories, and interests amplified loss of life and the range of fallout exponentially.

Tensions became increasingly volatile. Spies, double-agents, multi-level counter-intelligence, espionage and citizen defections became rife. Everywhere you turned, there were shadowed corners and a chill in the air.

How to get into the game

This is where you come into it. Are you ready to accept the challenge to engage? Your backstory: you and your team of secret agents have uncovered a spy in your midst with the potential to devastate a nation, its traditions, and the Western way of life.

With a highly specialised skill set, it’s up to you now. You must investigate the spy’s haunts for clues to convict him or her of crimes against humanity. All responsibility rides on your shoulders to discover irrefutable evidence. Ultimately, preventing this dirtbag from slipping through your fingertips is the goal. Are you game?

In conclusion

It is a great idea to prepare for an escape room challenge by getting into your own headspace first. Do some light research. Create your own personal backstory if you like. Getting into character helps to immerse your team into the scene for ultimate excitement.

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