They are called escape rooms. They sell an experience. The experience is escape, both literal and metaphorical. For around $30, you and a handful of friends/colleagues/strangers are “trapped” in some kind of space together and must collaboratively puzzle through a series of challenges to win your freedom.
The clock is ticking: You get 45 minutes, or 60, or 90, to escape, although if you fail, they let you out anyway. Usually, the game offers some kind of story to help explain why you’re solving puzzles in a room with a countdown clock.
Escape is big. There are, by the most recent unofficial count, at least 2,300 escape rooms in the United States.
~ from this vox.com story about escape rooms