As more and more escape rooms pop up around the world every month, the escape game industry is well and truly thriving. While the current novelty aspect of the games is keeping most businesses busy and interesting, it won’t be long before the uniqueness of the activity wears off, and then it will be a case of seeing the best games remaining popular, while the less exciting versions may disappear. So what goes into creating an amazing escape room?
Some businesses like to link the same theme through a number of different rooms, while others like to mix it up with a different theme in each room. As long as the theme is clear, consistent and interesting, it shouldn’t matter either way, although it is worth noting that London’s number one escape room has the same theme through all the rooms, with a slightly different back story.
The theme is also important in order to get the customers excited about the story. They know they have an hour to find the way out, but they also know they will be freed regardless – the theme gives them a proper motive, so a strong narrative is important.
LENGTH OF TIME
The ideal length of time for an escape game is 45 to 60 minutes. Anything less is too short; it doesn’t give the guests good value for money, and doesn’t give them long enough to really get stuck into the game. Anything more, and players can start to lose focus, and toilet breaks can interrupt flow.
Giving players a satisfactory ending will leave a lasting impression that will ensure they return for another visit, or recommend the game to friends. Whether they manage to escape or not, a post-game briefing can answer any questions that arose during the game, and let the guests know anything that they may have missed. Opening the door into a bar or café can also be a welcome ending for many especially as tensions may run high during the game. It also gives anyone else in the room a bit of a giggle as the contestants escape.
How much an escape room charges really does matter. Most places charge slightly less per person for larger groups, and have a minimum room fee. While the trailblazers in the escape game industry have been able to charge what they like, the market is getting busier, so it is important to remain competitive. Most places tend to charge around £15 – £25.
These basic points are central to all escape games, but obviously there are other aspects that help to secure success. The best way to decide on what works is to play a few competitor games – as if you needed another excuse!