Escape Room Variations and How to Find Them

Feb 14, 2022 | Escape Room | 0 comments

Are you ready for a brief lesson in escape rooms?

Every escape room is unique. Even if you come across similar challenges, the differences are apparent. While some focus on cooperation, others challenge your senses. However, despite the differences, escape rooms share several traits.

Let’s walk you through the two main characteristics of an escape room – form and puzzle. Identifying the patterns will help you plan an exit strategy.

Types of Escape Rooms

These are the two primary escape room variations.

In-Person Escape Room

An in-person escape room is a physical space where players maneuver objects in real-time, searching for clues and puzzles. This is the most common type of escape room.

Virtual Escape Room

Virtual escape rooms are a novelty where you navigate a simulated environment remotely like a point-and-click game.

Types of Escape Room Puzzles

These are the three popular types of escape room puzzles based on complexity and progression.

Linear Escape Room

Linear escape rooms feature puzzles that must be solved in order. Players must focus on solving one problem before moving on to the next. And as the storyline progresses, new clues are available. Linear games are well-organized and are perfect for beginners.

Non-Linear Escape Room

Non-linear escape rooms are complex as the players must work on several puzzles simultaneously. These games often feature related clues that must be solved in tandem. This necessitates splitting up, which can spell doom for amateur teams lacking communication.

Non-linear escape rooms are ideal for large groups. Corporate teams can practice working together by splitting up and focusing on different challenges. Non-linear games pack more puzzles, require creative thinking, and are ideal for larger groups.

Mixed Escape Room

Hybrid escape rooms feature a mix of linear and non-linear puzzles that require teams to split up and work. Mixed games are player-focused and plot-driven. So, the players must focus on the storyline to find their way forward.

Hybrid escape rooms require several problem-solving skills and thinking on your feet. These games are suitable for varied group sizes.

Common Types of Escape Room Puzzles

Escape room puzzles are endless since the only limiting factor is human imagination. There are several types of escape room puzzles. Let’s take a look at the top variations.

Written Puzzles

These puzzles incorporate numbers, letters, words, or math. Be prepared to think outside the box when facing such challenges. Written puzzles are often designed to throw you off your senses and force you to think of letters and numbers in a new light.

Physical Puzzles

Physical puzzles are commonplace and require players to maneuver and navigate objects to find the answer. This includes moving tables chairs, removing rugs, flipping sofas, etc. These puzzles tend to hide in plain sight. So, look for objects in the room that are out of the ordinary.

Sensory Puzzles

Puzzles that require using your senses aren’t a novelty. Escape rooms make perfect use of sensory puzzles. Lights, sounds, and smells are a normal part of our environment. Yet escape artists often overlook the most apparent sensory clues. Stay alert for flashing lights, repetitive audio patterns, or distinctive smells, as they can guide you to the next clue.

Red Herrings

The most straightforward yet most brutal puzzle in an escape room, red herrings are created with the sole intent of confusing players and leading them off track. These often take the shape of out-of-place objects in a prominent setting and are designed to trick players into thinking they’re the primary puzzle.

Red herrings are meant to waste time. So, don’t get upset when you realize you’ve been wasting precious time chasing your tail. Anger and disappointment will only clout your judgment further, wasting more time.


Scavenging puzzles are what you’d expect in an escape room. These involve hidden props like a lock and key, secret notes, puzzle pieces, etc. These are often part of a linear puzzle. So, if you can’t figure out why a door isn’t opening despite the right combination, it’s time to search searching for a hidden key. You may be missing an essential part of the puzzle!

How to Find Your Ideal Escape Room?

Your ideal escape room depends on what type of player you are. Let’s walk you through the primary variations.

The Leader

You’re motivated, organized, and are naturally inclined to take charge. Things can quickly turn chaotic inside an escape room. The leader cuts to the chase and ensures that everyone stays on track.

The Genius

You always knew memorizing the periodic table wasn’t in vain! These players are prepared for any intellectual challenge and have a clever solution at hand. The genius never runs out of exciting suggestions and works well with the Straightforward Solver.

The Straightforward Solver

You’re here to try every possible trick in the book to escape the room in time. While the genius is out brainstorming, these people are running out hunting clues and piecing together the simple puzzles. The Straightforward solver never misses the apparent answers.

The Results-Driven Individual

You’re going to escape the room one way or another. Even if it means guessing all 10,000 possible combinations for the padlock. For some players, finding the solution to a problem is more important than the puzzle itself! And as the pressure increases, these people get desperate to find the correct answer.

The One that’ll Probably Scream

You’ve watched all the horror movies and know what to expect. These players aren’t concerned about the puzzle as much as experiencing the ambiance. Expect them to shriek excitedly every time you solve a mystery, open a door, or the storyline progresses. These people keep the entire group enthusiastic and connected to the plot.

The Veteran

The escape room bug has claimed you as its own! You played your first escape game for the thrill and haven’t quit since. These players know precisely what to do once the time starts, solving puzzles with record precision and speed. Their determination is impressive and a bit terrifying for first-timers. Having a veteran on your side is a significant morale boost.

The Finder

From hidden compartments to concealed codes, nothing escapes your vision. You can only solve the puzzles that you’ve uncovered. These players specialize in finding new puzzles and will often accumulate a pocketful of hidden clues. They don’t like awkward silences and will keep things moving inside the room.

The Moral Support

You might not solve any puzzles, but you keep your teammates motivated. Most players risk losing focus and getting stressed out as they get stuck. You need people for moral support and egging you on. Escape rooms are great for making new friends, and these people make the experience worthwhile.

Ready to Experience Your First Escape Room?

Escape rooms are fun for the entire group. If you’ve never played an escape game before, let’s change that. 

If you’re near Frederick looking for the best “escape room near me,” drop by Clue IQ, your one-stop destination for an immersive experience. Browse our extensive escape game selection, pick a room that fascinates you, and drop in with your squad.

Our thrilling puzzles will test your deductive reasoning, keep you on your toes, and help create memories for a lifetime. So, book your spot now! We accept group bookings for corporate events, birthday parties, and other occasions. Get in touch for inquiries.

If you enjoyed this blog and would love to read more, check out our blogs page. We have several fascinating articles on the top local attractions. If you’re a first-timer, here are the top tips for beating every escape game.

Share your feedback with us in the comments below. And don’t forget to have fun!

Skip to content