Do They Actually Lock You in Escape Rooms?
It’s normal to be nervous if it’s your first time trying an escape room, but there’s really no need to be. Escape rooms are fun rooms filled with games and puzzles that you have to complete within a time limit to make your escape. But in truth, you’re not actually locked in the escape room – we just like to pretend to heighten the challenge and give you a goal to achieve.
The door will be shut unless you specifically request otherwise, and you’ll have a time limit to complete the escape room, but you can leave at any point you wish.
Let’s address a few more escape room FAQs so you can replace your nervousness with excitement before you try an escape room.
What Happens in an Escape Room?
When you book an escape room, you’ll choose it based on the difficulty of the room or the theme of the room, which will give you a rough idea of what you’re getting yourself into. If you’ve never done an escape room before, go for an easy or medium-level room so you’re not overwhelmed with a really hard one from the outset. Children can take part, but under 16s will need to be accompanied by a participating adult.
At Escape Now, we have the following rooms available:
- Sherlock’s Secret – Difficult
- Haunted Hollow – Medium
- The Getaway – Medium
Once you’ve arrived, your games master – an escape room employee who’s your guide to the escape room experience – will tell you the story behind your room. They’ll lead you into the room and shut the door behind you. Your goal is to find as many clues hidden in the room as possible and solve the puzzles to find a key or a code that will release you from the room!
You’ll be in the room with just your team, but the games master can see and hear you so they can give you hints if you get stuck, or respond if anybody in the room needs anything. Like most escape rooms, at Escape Now, we only allow 2 – 6 people in an escape room at once – 10 or more is far too many, and 1 is not enough. With too many people, it’s likely that the room will be too cramped and some people will get left out, with fewer people, it’s a better overall experience. However, with just one person, the time pressure is usually too much, and you don’t get the benefit of practising your communication skills while working as a team.
How Long are You in an Escape Room?
All escape rooms are different, some larger to accommodate more people, and some smaller or with easier puzzles, however, for the most part, you’ll be in an escape room for one hour. If you haven’t found the key or the code to escape in an hour, you won’t be locked in forever. Your games master will let you out and commiserate with you.
If you complete the escape room, then congratulations! You can let yourselves out and celebrate in the knowledge that you’ve got great critical thinking skills and work well as a team!
What If You Need to Leave an Escape Room?
Escape rooms are simple fun so there’s no need to stress about being inside, however, if anybody starts feeling uncomfortable, needs the toilet or has a medical emergency, your games master will let you out right away and see that you’re looked after appropriately. They will be able to see and hear you over cameras and microphones in the room, but you’ll also have a phone or a walkie-talkie so you can communicate with them as you need to. That goes for asking for hints when you can’t find a crucial clue as much as asking to leave if you need to.
Although you can leave an escape room at any moment you need to, we try to reduce the need to leave as much as possible so you can get the most of your hour inside the room with interruptions. So you’ll be asked to use the toilet before you go in, as well as inform the escape room staff of any medical conditions that may affect your ability to take part or will require you to leave the room.
Medical conditions you should make staff aware of beforehand include:
- Heart conditions
- Vision impairments
- Physical disabilities that restrict movement
- Pregnancy if you feel you’ll need to sit down
Some escape rooms have chairs inside, however, if you’ll need to sit down for any reason, you should inform your games master in advance so they can make sure there’s a chair inside the room for you. Similarly, with any physical disabilities that may affect your ability to move around the room or reach high or low places, your games master can make sure the room is suitable for you to take part in.
None of the above conditions will mean you cannot take part in escape rooms, but it’s best you make our games masters aware so that they can assist or get you the appropriate attention if anything untoward were to happen.
Are Escape Rooms OK for People with Anxiety?
People with anxiety and claustrophobia are rightfully wary of escape rooms, however, there’s no need to be anxious about them. You won’t really be locked in the room, so you can leave at any point, and the games are fun challenges rather than it being a high-pressure situation. If you’re uncomfortable in enclosed spaces, you can always ask the games master to leave the door open or ajar, so you don’t feel trapped or anxious, and know you can step outside at any time you wish.
Moreover, escape rooms aren’t scary. There are some horror-themed rooms that will have eerie decor and a scary story behind them, so if you prefer to solve a mystery rather than be frightened, just choose your escape room based on the theme so you can ensure you’ll have a good time.
Are Escape Rooms Hard?
Escape rooms can be quite hard, but it largely depends on the difficulty rating of the room, as well as whether you’ve done other escape rooms before and have an idea of the premise. That said, fewer than two-thirds of participants complete escape rooms, so they must be quite difficult, but that’s all part of the challenge.
If everyone won, they wouldn’t be so appealing to try, but you don’t need to worry about being bored or stuck once you’re inside. Just because the majority of people don’t complete them, doesn’t mean they’re sat in the rooms twiddling their thumbs. There are plenty of clues to find and puzzles to solve, the challenge is completing them all within the time limit!
How to Beat an Escape Room
If we told you exactly how to win an escape room, there wouldn’t be much fun would there? But there are a few tips and tricks to increasing your chances of beating the escape room that you can bear in mind if you’re determined to win.
Firstly, familiarise yourself with the theme and story of the room, so once you enter the room you can spot anything that seems out of place and might be a clue more easily. Secondly, don’t panic! Rushing around the room and throwing objects around in a desperate panic is only going to slow you down in the long run. Take your time to look around and don’t move anything carelessly – it might be there for a reason!
Finally, the most important thing in an escape room is your team. Talk to each other, encourage each other and communicate clearly about what you’re doing, looking for or have found. With this strategy in place, you can’t go wrong!