You’re finally gonna try out one of these escape rooms you’ve been hearing about. Maybe you’ve seen the escape-room-inspired movies or have heard your friends gush about last weekend’s escape adventure. Perhaps you’re planning a team building experience and want a fun and dynamic group activity. Whatever brings you to the world of escape games, welcome. You’ll have a great time– IF you choose the right room.
Your local escape room studio might have several experiences to choose from. Most people look for the most interesting-looking theme and start there—and that would be a mistake. Instead, lets chat about what should be considered—and avoided—when selecting an escape game.
1: Pay attention to posted difficulty scores.
Each escape studio rates their escape games by difficulty level. Difficulty, however, is subjective. What is difficult to some may come easy to others, and vice versa.
Rule of Thumb: When visiting a new escape room studio, always select the easiest rated escape game offered. Particularly important when visiting your local location, starting with the easiest room gives you room to grow without having to find another studio or feel like you’re taking a step backwards in difficulty.
2: Avoid room selections based on what seems like the coolest theme.
Escape games are designed to challenge and surprise no matter what the scenario, storyline, or objective. However, if you select solely based on title, you may select a room that is more difficult than your party’s skill level. While not impossible, selecting a room that is too advanced sets you and your group up for frustration and failure.
3: Pay attention to the recommended number of players for the desired escape game.
Often player limits are based on the game’s physical room size. Alternatively, player minimums are set based on the physical number of bodies needed to complete different tasks in the game. Should you want to play with fewer or more players than the posted limits, call the escape room and make sure your group size can be accommodated.
4: Read escape room descriptions entirely.
While it’s exciting to book an escape experience, it’s super easy to overlook a key detail that, if not prepared for, could hamper your team’s experience. For example, one of our rooms at Reed Between the Lines features a beach sand floor. Sandals are ideal for the experience, and we also suggest you bring a beach towel, so sand isn’t grinding into your knees. Sadly, few people read or take us up on these suggestions.
Some escape room descriptions, however, alert to features that may be limiting for some players. You don’t want to be surprised that your game requires you to army crawl across the floor when there is someone in a wheelchair playing. While some features of escape games are unable to be ADA compliant, a quick call to the escape room studio gives the escape room staff time to make accommodations, if possible, or steer you in a different direction when features cannot be altered.
5: Selecting a room based on the most advanced player.
A well-designed escape puzzle experience does not require extreme challenges. Someone who has done 100+ rooms will still find fun and excitement in rooms rated for beginners. Therefore, it’s best to select your escape game based on the skill and experience of the group’s majority. This will keep everyone engaged, working cooperatively, and feeling successful—which happens to be everything necessary for your group to want to play again.
Booking an escape room game is an exciting experience. The exhilaration that comes with conquering a room’s objective is a powerful drug that keeps enthusiasts coming back again and again. Optimizing these feelings throughout your group starts with choosing the right game to play. Game selection is most successful when you read the room’s descriptions, pay attention to posted difficulty scores, heed player minimums and maximums, and select games based on the group’s average skill and experience level.