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What Is an Escape Room? The Different Types Explained

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Want the fun of a multiplayer video game without having to stare at your screen? How about having the challenge of a board game without having to sit down and play on a small scale?

With over 2,3000 escape rooms across the United States, these fun puzzle rooms are the perfect fun outing idea for you and your friends. They’re also a great way to socialize while testing your brains with tough puzzles.

But what exactly what is an escape room? If you’ve never been to an escape room before, you might not know what they are or that there are different types of escape rooms.

Ready to learn about all the different types of escape rooms? Keep reading to find out more!

What Is an Escape Room?

As the name suggests, an escape room is an immersive puzzle experience where you have to exit a room (or series of rooms) within one hour.

Escape rooms have actually been around for more than a decade. The escape room began as a type of video game, and then Takao Kato from Kyoto made the first in-person escape room in 2007.

Escape rooms also have many themed rooms you can pick from, like Great Escape Room Grand Rapids.

Some popular escape room themes include:

  • Museum heist
  • Pirates
  • Prison break
  • Haunted mansion

Each themed escape room also has its own puzzles, so no matter where you go, you can try different rooms or keep trying the same room until you beat it.

Now that you’re clear on what an escape room is, let’s explore the most common types.

Linear Escape Rooms

Some of the best escape rooms to try if you’ve never been before are linear escape rooms. This is because they give you the puzzles you need to solve one at a time.

This type of room tends to be easier than a non-linear room and is the perfect option if you have a smaller number of people with you.

It’s also great if you’re not sure how an escape room works and don’t want to get overwhelmed the first time around.

Non-Linear Escape Rooms

Non-linear escape rooms can be very difficult and complex. It’s often hard to figure out which puzzle to solve first, so this type of room is a good choice if you’re an experienced escape room player.

For the best chance at solving a non-linear escape room under the time limit, you want to bring a group of friends with you. This way, your large group of friends can split up into smaller groups.

These smaller groups can work on solving the puzzles that are scattered around the room.

The aim of non-linear escape rooms is for you to solve these smaller puzzles in order to solve the large puzzle that will let you escape the room.

Hybrid Rooms

Hybrid rooms tend to begin as non-linear rooms, giving you multiple puzzles for your group to solve.

Then, they usually bring your friends together again halfway through the game so that you can solve the big puzzle together.

Hybrid rooms are most common with rooms that are story-driven so that the entire group can focus on the story as they reach the end.

Types of Escape Room Puzzles

Aside from how the puzzles are presented, the types of escape rooms can also be sorted into the types of puzzles that you might play.

You want to look into these at the place you decide to go to, as well as the room you decide to pick. Some rooms and themes would be best to play with friends or small groups, while others are perfect for children.

Scavenger Hunt Escape Rooms

One of the best escape room options for kids is a scavenger hunt escape room. These aren’t too difficult to solve and the main puzzle is usually to find lost items.

These items are hidden in odd places throughout the escape room and you often need them to open a lock or decipher a code.

Kids will love this format because it’s still fun and exciting without being too overwhelming.

Physical Puzzles

To solve physical puzzles, you’ll need to manipulate objects in the escape room in some way.

For example, you might have to move furniture, put objects together, or untangle items.

A great way to recognize these types of puzzles is to see if anything seems out of place or strange in the room, so do this if you get stuck.

Red Herring Puzzles

One of the most challenging puzzles for beating an escape room is the red herring puzzle. Just like a red herring in literature, the red herring puzzle misleads and distracts you from the real puzzle.

A red herring puzzle might look very obvious or take the form of a distracting prop that’s meant to take your attention away from the real puzzles of the game.

Make sure to read the reviews of the place you want to go for an escape room, as too many red herrings can cause frustration to players.

Sense Puzzles

Sense puzzles are fairly common in escape rooms. Yet, they’re not so obvious to players because we might take the light, smell, or sound in the room for granted and not notice that it’s part of the puzzle.

Some common elements of sense puzzles could be blinking lights, smells, or repetitive sounds.

Pick the Perfect Escape Room for a Day With Friends

If you’re bored of playing group video games all day without seeing your friends’ faces or just want to get up and move while having fun, then an escape room is the perfect activity for you.

Escape rooms are also easier when you do them as a group. This also means they’re double the fun as you socialize while putting everyone’s skills together to beat the room.

We hope this article helped you answer the question “what is an escape room?” For more fun and interesting content, check out more posts from our entertainment category!

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