Escape rooms are relatively new interactive adventure games that are gaining traction all around the world. With an abundance of different types and many different themes to choose from, you are guaranteed to find the one you like.
But what should you expect from an escape room? What’s the best way to experience it? This is where we come in. From how the escape rooms came to be to how to complete them, we’re going to answer all of your questions in this in-depth 2021 escape room guide.
What are Escape Rooms?
Also known as escape games or puzzle rooms, they are interactive games that involve a group of people who are “locked” together in a room or a series of rooms. The goal is to find clues and complete riddles in order to escape. These rooms are made up of different themes and backgrounds to make them more realistic and help you find the way out.
Escape Room History
Escape rooms started out as video games. Crimson Room was the first escape video game created in Japan in 2004. It wasn’t long before a Japanese company known as SCRAP created the world’s first in-person escape room in 2007.
People loved the experience and so it came as no surprise that soon it had gained popularity in Asia and Europe, then finally in the US in 2012. Today, nine years later, there are about 2,300 different escape rooms registered in the United States.
Why are there so many Escape Rooms today?
Part of the reason for the explosive growth of escape rooms is that there’s no fun in doing one thing all over again. Hence, several different options should be available to you. Diversity is the key to this kind of entertainment, so there’s almost no way for you to get bored with the same experience.
Another reason is that escape rooms are a year-round event, as opposed to seasonal events like haunted houses. The ability to operate all year long provides the opportunity to continue to expand and grow throughout the year.
Types of Escape Rooms
The world’s first escape room took place in a single room designed for 5-6 players. Since then, five different types have emerged.
These games have tasks and puzzles that are solved in a linear order. You cannot proceed to the next part until the current puzzle is solved. These escape rooms are usually suitable for small groups who like to work together all the time.
These escape rooms have several sets of puzzles and challenges to be solved at the same time. After you manage to solve all of these puzzles, they are usually put together to form the final piece that will lead you to the exit.
This type of escape room is best for large groups that can divide and delegate tasks efficiently.
Non-linear games combined with linear games
Mixed escape rooms have a mixture of certain puzzles and challenges that need to be solved in order and those that aren’t. These types of rooms are better suited for larger groups.
Red Herring Games
Distraction escape rooms are filled with a variety of distractions (obviously). They consist of fake hints and fake puzzles that distract you from progressing through the game.
This type of game may actually be tremendously frustrating for people. That is why game developers need to be extremely careful not to include too many distractions that could make the game less exciting.
Scavenger hunt games
To beat these escape rooms, you will need to find certain clues and items scattered all around the room. Often there will be numbers hidden in books or paintings that will be required to unlock the code.
Not all escape rooms are of the same type
While many escape rooms are focused on one challenge type, others may be combining multiple ones. Thus, it can sometimes be much more difficult for the players to complete the escape room.
All escape rooms are marked as:
If this is your first time trying to beat the escape rooms, we recommend choosing an easy or medium-level room.
Hard escape rooms may be the choice for those who are well-versed in escape rooms and are looking for new challenges. These rooms are not as exciting for first-timers because they tend to get frustrated or even disappointed with the rooms since participants are still familiarizing themselves with the basic mechanics of the game.
When it comes to the various escape room themes available, the possibilities are almost endless. A good theme combined with a compelling story is what makes an escape room exciting.
Here are some popular escape room themes that you are likely to come across.
To be honest, nothing beats the classic theme. People love themes that involve:
While they may seem cliché at some point, no scenario really makes you try harder to escape than being stuck in jail.
Even though escape rooms are generally designed to be more serious, some game developers have found a way to make them more fun by adding a comedic element to them.
They introduce jokes and puns into the game. When you answer a riddle, it makes you laugh as you get a clue to the next riddle. This comedic relief adds to the overall enjoyment.
These rooms are made with the use of special effects and lights to make you feel like being in a futuristic setting. These may involve:
- James Bond-like high tech experience
You can expect maglocks and specific decorations to immerse you in a futuristic mindset as you solve puzzles.
If you enjoyed learning about different cultures in history class, you will love the rooms that fall under this theme. They use inspiration from historical times to put you in:
Most escape rooms will even let you wear costumes to help you feel like you are really in that time if you want.
Individuals who love haunted houses or scary movies tend to enjoy these scarier rooms that deal with:
- Haunted old hospitals
These rooms are filled with gory props and some even have actors inside to scare and harass you.
Escape rooms are already hard, add some terrifying elements that make your heart race and that can make them that much more difficult and fun.
Themes Based on Movies
Popular movies are often recreated into escape room themes for fans to enjoy. Movies have inspired different escape rooms such as:
- Harry Potter – wizard school escape rooms
- Indiana Jones – archeology escape rooms
- Jumanji – Jumanji game-themed escape rooms
Themes Designed for Children
Although most escape rooms are designed for adults, there are a few that target children as the main audience by incorporating things such as:
In these rooms, gamemasters often hang out in the room to help the kids who are always accompanied by their families, stay on the right path so that the children have the best experience possible. If you are looking to do an escape room birthday party for your kid, these themes are what you should look for.
Reasons to Visit Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are specifically designed to promote teamwork. Solving an escape room on your own is nearly impossible due to time restrictions. If you want to beat the game, you have to work with a team to escape.
Due to this, escape rooms are often great for team-building exercises amongst co-workers for corporate events. They are also great for couples who want to test how well they work as a team.
Escape Rooms Are Fun
Although designed to promote teamwork, the real reason you should visit an escape room is that they are lots of fun. Whether it be a fun, entertaining way to unwind at the end or even in the middle of the week, these interactive games give you a break from the real world.
Go with your friends or for a date night to have a wonderful time! Enjoy an hour filled with mind tantalizing puzzles and amazing narratives that make you feel like you are living out the story within the prop-filled room.
How To Beat Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are lots of fun, but only if you know how to get through them. Getting stuck as the time ticks down can be frustrating, that’s why we have put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your escape room experience.
Remember the Backstory
Before you start, you are going to be given a narrative about the room and your mission. Pay close attention and try to remember all of the details because you never know how it could help you when solving different puzzles and clues throughout the room.
Start Right Away
An hour may seem like a long time but, it can fly by while you are in the room. That is why it is imperative that you start as soon as possible looking for clues and puzzles to solve.
Most games are beaten in the last 5 minutes. You don’t want to lose just because you wasted the first five minutes and now have no time left.
Divide and Conquer
You are working with a team for a reason. Divide up your team to conquer more puzzles at the same time. This, of course, works best for non-linear games.
Communicate with Your Teammates
Speaking of your team, make sure you always shout out what you find. You never know when something you found could help solve a puzzle your teammate is working on.
It is also important to note that most puzzles come together at the end to complete one giant puzzle. That won’t ever happen if you don’t let your teammates know what you have.
Ask for Help!
This is a big tip. The gamemaster will let you know in the beginning how many helpful hints you can get. Make sure you use them. There is no point in wasting your time on a puzzle you are struggling to solve when you could get a helpful hint that could save you precious time.
Don’t Take the Time to Explain
A big mistake people make is taking the time to explain to their teammates how they solved a puzzle. This wastes valuable time. If they want to know how you solved it, explain it to them after you have beaten the game.
Don’t Get Overconfident
Another mistake made often is when individuals will solve a few puzzles and then get overconfident and try to take over the game. This is when they start to make mistakes.
Escape rooms are designed to be played as a team because different people have different perspectives and past experiences, they can pull from to solve different things. If you don’t listen to anyone else’s ideas, the chances of you succeeding are slim.
You need the collective mind to get through these rooms.
Don’t Try to Force Things
Escape rooms are all about mental strength, not physical strength. If something is not opening or fitting, the chances are high that it is not supposed to. Trying to open doors or drawers that are not meant to be opened is not only a waste of time but could be damaging to the props.
Another thing along the lines of this is don’t go looking in places the gamemaster has told you not to. There will not likely be clues hidden in the ceilings or under the furniture. If the game master tells you not to do something, don’t waste your time doing it.
Sometimes when people are in the heat of the game, they forget that it is just that, a game! You are meant to have fun doing it. If you find yourself getting worked up and frustrated, take a deep breath and maybe ask for a hint to help you get rolling again.
We think better when our mind is clear, and we are having a good time. Being frustrated and worked up will not help you solve the puzzles any faster.
Best Escape Rooms In LA
If you are interested in participating in some of the best escape rooms in LA, take a look at our selection of over 15 differently themed rooms.
Here at Maze Rooms, you can enjoy medium and hard-level rooms suited for different sized groups.
Different popular themes of ours include:
We guarantee you will have an experience you will never forget when racing against the clock in one of our many fully immersive escape rooms.
Your Safety Matters
Navigating an in-person experience in 2021 can be difficult and scary. That is why we take sanitation precautions during every step to ensure you can focus your time on solving the puzzles instead of worrying about your health.
We sanitize every room entirely between teams and require all guests and staff to wear gloves and masks at all times. Under no circumstances will you be in contact with strangers, and we strongly encourage you to wash your hands before and after the experience.
We can all stay safe together as we explore the exciting and fun world of escape rooms during this global pandemic.