A comprehensive guide to planning your ideal escape room escapade.
Escape rooms offer an exciting opportunity to create lifelong memories with friends, family, and the special people in your life. And these thrilling adventures challenge teams to think outside the box and solve the puzzle.
While the core concept of an escape room game is to present a set of problems that players must solve to escape the room, there are several types of escape room puzzles. We’ve listed the top categories and compared them to help you pick the one that fits the bill.
What are the Common Types of Escape Rooms?
The two most common escape room types are in-person and VR escape rooms.
In-person Escape Rooms
In-person escape rooms are set up in enclosed spaces where players manually maneuver obstacles and handle props as they uncover clues and piece together puzzles to try and find their way out before time runs out. In-person escape rooms are the most common type around the world.
Virtual Reality Escape Rooms
As the name suggests, you don’t have to be physically present inside an elaborate puzzle to play VR escape games. Instead, the players don VR gear and enter a virtual world similar to video games but with greater detail. VR escape rooms can be played remotely or as point-and-click games and digital adventures.
Decoding Game Sequence Variations
These are the three most common game sequence variations.
As the name suggests, these puzzles must be solved in a sequence to decode the final challenge. Players must focus on a single problem at a time and find the next puzzle as the plot progresses. Linear puzzles are ideal for smaller groups and are great for breaking the ice. For this reason, linear puzzles are often shortlisted for team-building activities.
The highlights of linear games are:
- Puzzles must be solved in a particular order for the storyline to progress.
Non-linear puzzles are more challenging than their linear counterparts as players must work on multiple riddles simultaneously. These challenges often feature related clues, and you must solve one problem to find the answer to the next one.
Non-linear escape games are ideal for intermediate to expert players and larger groups as you have the workforce to decode several puzzles simultaneously. These challenges are suitable for larger corporate events as players can split up into smaller teams and work on individual riddles.
The highlights of non-linear games are:
- Greater number of puzzles
- Require critical thinking
- Are ideal for larger teams
Mixed Linear/Non-Linear Games
This hybrid puzzle usually begins with multiple puzzle tracks split into smaller groups. They are generally story-driven and rely on the plot to guide players to the solution.
The highlights of Mixed Linear/Non-Linear Games are:
- As they’re story-driven, they can be part of the narrative
- Suitable for various group sizes
- Requires various problem-solving skills
Some Common Escape Room Puzzle Variations
There are four standard escape room puzzles. These are:
- Written – Written puzzles include numbers and text. While players don’t need advanced knowledge to decode the clues, their critical thinking skills are tested.
- Sensory – These puzzles rely on the player’s light, sound, and smell perception. Clues are often hidden in plain sight. So, keep an eye out for distinct smells, repetitive sounds, songs, or flashing lights as they might be clues in disguise.
- Physical – These puzzles include moving props like untying knots, untangling barriers, solving picture puzzles, etc. Physical puzzles are apparent and tend to stand out.
- Hidden Props – Players might have to find hidden objects, gather puzzle pieces, or spot clues within the room. Props can include hidden keys, scraps of paper, and other things critical to solving the puzzle.
Top 5 Escape Room Tips
Solving an escape room challenge requires finding hidden clues, cracking the code, and piecing the puzzle together. These are our top five tips to make your life easier.
Look At, In, and Under Objects
The fundamental trick to finding clues early on is a thorough examination. What props can you interact with? What objects have props hidden inside them? Shortlist these items early on to avoid wasting time in the long run. We recommend sifting through bookshelves, looking under the rug, sofa, chair, and closely examining the décor and paintings on the wall.
Put Your Heads Together
While some team members might be great at solving riddles, others might have a knack for spotting clues, while the third person might be great at analyzing patterns. A good leader recognizes the available resources and assigns responsibilities based on proficiency. This way, you waste minimum time while solving puzzles.
Most clues are hidden in plain sight. So, look closely at the objects lying or hanging around. If you spot an irregularity, it might not be a coincidence. Never dismiss a prop until you’re sure it has nothing to do with the solution.
Make a List of Solved Puzzles and Clues Used
Once a clue is used or a puzzle solved, it’s generally not required anymore. Hence, you must keep track of the used bunch to avoid confusion later. This way, you ensure the team isn’t wasting time trying to solve already solved puzzles.
Knowing that you’re stuck on a puzzle when the clock is ticking can be a significant source of anxiety. Your progress will be further affected if you let it get to you. The trick is to keep a cool head and think positively. This is where you must rely on teamwork to find your way out of a sticky situation.
Are You Ready for an Epic Adventure?
Escape rooms offer unlimited excitement even if you’re visiting for the hundredth time! So, if you’re bored, we highly recommend visiting an escape room to entice your brain cells. Just pick a puzzle you fancy, gather your squad, and enjoy 60-minutes of raw adrenaline rush.
If you enjoyed this blog and would love to read more, check out the amazing content on Frederick’s best escape room blog. If you’re browsing the internet for “escape room near me” drop by Clue IQ, Maryland’s #1 escape room. We have a fantastic game selection to keep you hooked.