What is an Escape Room?
What is an escape room, anyway?
A group of players enter a space with the overall goal of escaping it within a set period of time by using clues and strategy to solve a series of puzzles.
- The group size can vary from as small as 1 person to sometimes, up to 12 players. In our experience, we prefer to play rooms with groups of 4 – 6 people. Some rooms have minimum player counts in order to complete them, as puzzles may require more than 1 person to do so.
- The space changes drastically from room to room. Many escape rooms actually contain more than one room, or are comprised of one room that leads to a smaller, hidden space within the room. The space usually aesthetically matches the story.
- The story is the reason why you are there and what your goal in the room is. Most rooms introduce a backstory to explain how you might have ended up in the room and a prompt as to what you aim to do in order to get out. For example, you could be in Sherlock Holmes’ office, he has gone mysteriously missing, and you are searching for clues to solve his case. Alternatively, you could be locked in a room searching for a key, with 60 minutes before your kidnapper returns.
- “Escaping” is not quite an accurate term. Physically, most (if not all) rooms have emergency exit doors or keep the main door itself unlocked at all times. So while the concept of trying to escape can sound daunting, you are usually never actually locked in.
- Thematically, “escaping” the room can mean a myriad of things. Depending on the story of the room, your goal can be anything ranging from trying to get out of the space before a figurative character returns or to steer a spaceship back onto course.
- The set period of time can also vary. Some rooms are longer, 75 – 90 minute experiences. Most rooms are set to 60 minutes, giving you one hour to use your surroundings, solve clues, and make it out.
- The skills required to get out of the room shouldn’t be any tasks that require special knowledge of a certain facet or subject. You should be able to deduce all puzzles with just the items in the room at your finger tips, without needing prior knowledge of any subjects.
With escape rooms growing in popularity and more and more companies cropping up, themes and approaches can get increasingly creative. We love escape rooms because they allow us to play the role of adventurer while we are there. They transport players into other worlds. They put players in the driver’s seat to look at their surroundings, try to determine what is and isn’t a clue, and then use their skills in order to solve the puzzles. Rooms with a lot of work put into them can be super immersive and make players feel like they are on a movie set or truly within the world of the game.