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Escape room

The Main 5 Types of Escape Rooms

Though we may all be familiar with all the different escape room themes including a prison break, sci-fi, and a zombie-infested lab, today we want to talk about the different types of escape rooms...
2021.03.29.

Though we may all be familiar with all the different escape room themes including a prison break, sci-fi, and a zombie-infested lab, today we want to talk about the different types of escape rooms. By types, we mean that each room will have a certain game-play attached to it, along with its own special features. Some will require many minds working together to solve, whereas others can be played with just a couple of people. Whatever the differences, it's better to have a complete understanding of the type of game, as opposed to the game's theme. This will allow you to make a better choice when needing to choose a game to play.

Linear Escape Rooms

In a linear escape room, you'll be confronted by a series of puzzles that must be solved in a particular order or sequence. In other words, you can't move forwards towards the next clue, until you've found the previous one. All the answers will come up one after the other. As with all escape room games, there could well be a number of rooms to be worked through before getting to the final goal. You will not be able to pass into the next room until all the puzzles in the present room have been solved. 

We find this to be the perfect format for a beginner player. There are not so many clues that might leave them overwhelmed. As a team-building exercise, it's great for small companies as everyone can be involved in a single task. It is truly a team effort, with everyone involved as they work their way through the puzzles together. To summarize: 

Suggest to solve puzzles one by one
Don't overwhelm with lots of extra information
Are perfect for beginners or small teams.
On the whole, are well organized

Non-Linear Escape Rooms

One of the biggest problems with running an escape room business that caters to larger groups is the fact that all the rooms need to be designed in such a way, that all the players can be kept busy at all times. Otherwise, you'll get players who will become bored. For these scenarios, a non-linear escape room is perfect. In these games, there are many puzzles that might appear to be unconnected in the beginning, and only show their real use as the game proceeds. In other words, a non-linear game will make greater use of "open-ended" puzzles. The idea is that many smaller puzzles will somehow interconnect and then lead you to bigger ones. Eventually, there will be only one puzzle left, and after solving it, you make your escape. They are more difficult to play if you're in smaller groups. The reason is that it's difficult to concentrate on so many separate scenario lines at the same time. To summarize:

Can be confusing for a beginner
Need more gamemaster hints
The puzzles may appear to be disconnected
Best played by larger groups

Mixed Linear and Non-linear escape rooms

The idea here is to create a sort of balance between the two forms. The puzzle structure alternates. Often there's a big puzzle, commonly referred to as a bottle-neck. This will require many smaller puzzles to be solved in search of the final question that'll remove the big puzzle. There's an alternating between easier and more difficult tasks. To summarise mixed linear and non-linear escape rooms:

Can be played by any age group
All the team members are kept busy
Not overwhelming
A clear and easy-to-understand sequence.

Scavenger Hunt Escape Rooms

These rooms can be all of the above. but the idea here isn't to really solve anything. it's just a huge scavenger hunt. So there are no puzzles to solve. This means that there's no need for a strategy to follow. Like a scavenger hunt, the only needs are to find the various objects. For a dye-hard escape room aficionado, a scavenger hunt is going to e pretty boring. That's because there's no real problem solving involved. To summarize: 

It's all about finding hidden objects
No problem-solving knowledge needed
A better bet for children
Can be boring for experienced players.

Red Herring Escape Rooms

This is a divisive topic among owners and game masters. Some see the idea of having red herrings as being almost disrespectful. Others see red herrings as a perfectly normal and essential part of the escape room game. The general idea behind a red herring escape room is that there will be some puzzles and clues that lead nowhere and only serve to waste precious time. It can be supremely irritating to have wasted precious time for nothing. You have to keep an eye on the story narrative as this will help you weed out the clues that seem irrelevant or those that don't appear to fit with the whole story concept. To summarize:

Lots of misleading clues
Can waste a lot of time
For experienced players
Need to maintain focus

Conclusion

So, as we said at the beginning of this article, many people are aware of the different themes used in escape room games but few understand the different types. It's essential that you have a good understanding of the types before you consider booking a game. We suggest that you find the time to discuss your exact needs with the escape room to help you decide on finding the perfect solution for all your team's needs. If you're a first-time player, then playing the right type of escape room game is going to be the difference between having an OK time and having a total blast.
 

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