"Real-life" puzzle games are booming, prompting even big companies to let employees play to improve their communications and problem-solving capacities.

Some 100 men and women gathered in the basement of a building in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on a recent Friday evening to play an escape game organized by SCRAP Co., a Kyoto-based firm that creates role-playing puzzle games.

The participants were divided into groups of around six and had to solve puzzles to escape a village under attack by a werewolf within a limited time. Players searched the basement for clues and worked together to solve puzzles. About half managed to escape.