An escape room is a game where players must work together to uncover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in one or more rooms with the objective of completing a specified goal in a restricted period of time, and the main goal is simple… ESCAPE!
There is often a time limit of 60 minutes to solve every puzzle and complete the game, if you fail, then it’s game over. The objective is to solve everything as quickly as possible.
Each Escape Room tends to be themed in a different way, to immerse you in the scenario, and with puzzles and clues that follow that theme. For example, you may be locked in a prison cell and need to find a way to break free; you might be in an underground bunker where a code to prevent destruction has to be found; or you could be in a detective’s office where you have to find a murder suspect before they find you.
Most people will be familiar with real life Escape Rooms, where you will have to explore and solve puzzles in person, but online Escape Rooms are also available for those who want the Escape Room experience, wherever they are in the world.
What is an Online Escape Room?
Online escape rooms, also known as virtual escape rooms, take place over the internet, with participants using their preferred device (normally a mobile phone, computer or tablet) to search the room, find clues and solve puzzles.
There are two kinds of Online Escape Room: Live Video Escape Rooms are games that involve a Games Master with a video camera attached to them, who you and your group need to instruct and guide through real life rooms to find the clues. This means you and your group can take on real life Escape Rooms from anywhere in the world.
Online Escape Games are specially designed for online audiences. These have a group coming together online to go through virtual rooms, where everyone has to point, click and work together to complete the game. These tend not to have a time limit and can be played any time and anywhere, making it perfect for special occasions and socialising online with friends or family.
Who can do an Escape Room?
Escape Rooms are suitable for ages 10 to 100. As long as you can solve puzzles and understand clues, you can take on an escape room;
Couples will enjoy escape rooms as they offer a new way to work together and grow closer as you help one another escape. Escape Rooms tend to have a maximum capacity of 5 or 6 people, which means groups of friends or families can enjoy it together too.
More people means more chances to find clues, but will you all have the same solution to the puzzles?
What happens when we go into the Escape Room?
When you arrive at the Escape Room venue, you are greeted by a Games Master; this is the person who will introduce the room you are about to enter, explain the rules and help provide clues if you get stuck.
You will then be led to the door of your Escape Room and let inside. At this point, your Games Master may introduce some more rules or information, but you will get the first look into the room while this happens.
Be aware: as soon as the Games Master closes the door, the timer starts and the game begins.
Once the Escape Room begins, you need to start looking for clues, locks and puzzles as soon as you can; start talking to your teammates and collecting clues.
What genres of Escape Room are there?
There is an Escape Room out there for everyone. The classic scenario is a detective mystery; you are brought into an office, where clues and puzzles have been hidden revealing a special device, a criminal suspect or the solution to a mystery, and you and your team are the investigators tasked with sleuthing out the solutions.
Horror Escape Rooms are very popular, where you have to beat the timer and your own fears. Scenarios such as finding a killer on your trail or beating a psychopath’s twisted games are perfect for those who love a thrill and a scare These rooms are full of jump scares, darkness and creepy puzzles.
There’s nothing quite like a Heist Escape Room, whether its tricking guards to escape a prison, or grabbing as much cash as possible before escaping a casino; these are Escape Rooms with realistic settings, that will have you feeling like a criminal mastermind.
Sci-fi Escape Rooms are filled with clever puzzles, crazy clues and props, and have some of the biggest twists and surprises. Whether it’s stopping a deadly leak in a immersive Lab, or going on a time traveling adventure; these rooms are for the cleverest of clogs.
Historic Escape Rooms are a must for history buffs and puzzle lovers. These rooms have accurate and immersive settings, with clues and puzzles that hark back to times of old. You could be in a museum, searching for lost artefacts or even in a complete recreation of Shakespeare’s home.
What rules are there in Escape Rooms?
Your Games Master will go over all rules and instructions for your specific Escape Room before you begin, but there are some universal rules that you will find in most Escape Rooms, There are a few guidelines and escape room tips that you should be aware of before you begin.
No photos or videos: You can take your phones in with you, but do not use your camera. Escape Rooms are all about the mystery and the big reveals, so taking photos and videos can ruin this for others. Keep the camera off.
No excessive force: There are plenty of doors, boxes and hidden compartments in escape rooms, but they are designed to open easily. If you have to strain to try and open something, then it isn’t supposed to open. Don’t break the room to try and find clues, everything is designed to be easily accessed (once you know where it is).
Clues are allowed: Things can get difficult, and you may get stuck on a particularly hard clue or puzzle. Rather than waste precious time, you can ask your Games Master for a clue (they usually explain how to do this before the game begins). Some hardcore groups can request not to receive any clues. Discuss with your Games Master before you begin how best to receive clues.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if we don’t Escape the room in time?
You will have 60 minutes once the door closes to solve every puzzle and complete the overall objective of the room. Keep an eye on the timer, and give yourself enough time to solve each puzzle (you could be solving multiple at once).
Remember to ask for clues (if you’ve requested them) from your Games Master if you get really stuck, because if that timer reaches 0 before you solve everything, you will lose!
Depending on what Escape Room you are in, you may see or hear the consequences of what failing to complete the room leads to. Maybe the killer gets away, maybe you’re locked up in prison, maybe a missile hits the planet!
Your Games Master will then come into the room and escort you out, allowing you to discuss the puzzles you struggled with and reveal where you went wrong (if you want to find out). You may wish to try the room again, in which case your Games Master can keep quiet.
Are we locked in the Escape Room?
No, you are not locked inside the room, even though you have to “escape”. If you need the toilet, feel claustrophobic, have an emergency, or anything else, let your Games Master know and press the Exit button to leave the room.
If you want to end the Escape Room early, you may do so, but your Games Master may choose to not let you back in if you change your mind.
Are Escape Rooms Big?
Escape rooms are available in a variety of sizes. Some will be small because that is what the theme needs or some will be large with extra rooms and hidden compartments. Speak with a staff member if you have a fear of small spaces and they can help you to pick a suitable room.