Excited to try an escape room but don’t know what to expect? Being prepared can mean the difference between saving the world and detonating a time bomb (imaginary of course)!
Many people are aware escape room video games where you search for hours to find a single screwdriver only to use it to unlock the door and escape, but when you experience these rooms in person, it‘s a much different task. Real live escape rooms fall under three main categories. However; the mystery doesn’t stop there! In each of these types of rooms there can be additional twists or things that need to be done, and knowing is half the battle.
Linear Escape Rooms
The first type of escape room is one where the puzzles are linear. This type of room often has a series of mini puzzles that must be completed in order for you to move on to the next step. These puzzles often increase in difficulty as you progress throughout the room.
Sometimes these room themes have puzzles that don’t even seem to be a puzzle, it could be as simple as figuring out what lock to put a key in. Regardless of what the puzzle is, time is of the essence. Since each puzzle needs to be completed before the next getting stumped on one puzzle can have disastrous results.
When in a room set up like this it’s good to remember if you are spending more than a few minutes without making progress maybe it’s time to use a hint. There’s no shame in using them! It’s much more preferable to use a hint when you’re stuck then to miss out on half the puzzles because you spent too much time on one of the first ones.
Nonlinear Escape Rooms
The next type of room is quite literally the opposite of the last. If you couldn’t guess it, the next type of escape room is a nonlinear room. These types of escape rooms often have multiple puzzles going on simultaneously. These types of rooms are better suited for large groups or team building events as it allows everyone to work on a puzzle at the same time.
What is uniquely beneficial to these types of rooms is if you’re stumped on a puzzle you can always switch to another to see if you can get your “ah-ha!” moment. In these types of rooms, you need to be sure to use hints wisely, because you never know if the puzzles have multiple parts.
Mixed Escape Rooms
Finally, there are escape rooms that combine the two ideas and are known as “mixed” rooms. These rooms may have puzzles of a linear nature but may have multiples of them starting at the same time. These rooms can be more challenging due to the fact that you may discover clues to one puzzle, but try to use it for another. These types of rooms are a good middle ground for people that like further “uncovering” parts of a single puzzle, while still having enough to do so that everyone isn’t crowding around one single puzzle.
Other Escape Rooms
Of course, every escape room can’t be the same and there are a variety of ways that different escape rooms can “spice things up,” two examples of these are scavenger hunt rooms and red herring rooms.
Scavenger hunt rooms can range from being entirely focused on finding things, or focused on finding a few clues. Most escape room companies can spend years finding that perfect balance.
Red Herring Rooms
Red herring rooms focus on exactly that-red herrings. These are the rooms for those looking for a real challenge and a strong attention to detail. These rooms try their hardest to trick you into think that something means more than it actually does.
Do you have what it takes to determine the fakes from the real clues? You’ll never know until you find out!