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Are Escape Rooms Scary? Common Escape Room Fears Answered

08 Aug 2019

They sound fun - but are escape rooms scary?

After all, you’re locked in a room and placed on a time limit to escape. Will there be scares in horror or even non-horror themes? What if you get claustrophobic? What if you can’t solve the puzzles?

These escape room fears are common and understandable. That’s why companies specifically design their games to be fun, not scary – even if they’re horror themes!

Knowing what to expect can be a great relief before trying out an escape room. We’re here to help. 

Let’s explore what escape rooms really are, and why you have nothing to worry about, so you can enjoy these games!


What are Escape Rooms?

Definition

An escape room is a puzzle-solving adventure game. These games always involve:

  • A Story: You and your group of family or friends enter a room that was designed based on a theme or story – such as a deserted island, the scene of a crime, or a bank vault.
  • Puzzles: This room is full of puzzles, clues, and even secret compartments. Your goal is to find the clues and solve all the puzzles before the time runs out!
  • High (But Fun) Stakes: Depending on the theme, your goal may be framed as “escaping the island” or “breaking into the vault,” but all escape room games involve racing the clock to solve a series of puzzles.
What Kind of Puzzles Do They Have?

The puzzles themselves may lead you to ask, "Are escape rooms scary?" After all, who likes feeling stumped?

While the puzzles vary from room to room, they can include word puzzles, math puzzles, or physical puzzles.

Don’t worry – you’ll never be expected to know every solution to a puzzle! As such, clues to these puzzles are hidden throughout the room; maybe in a book on a shelf, pressed behind a picture frame on the wall, or even played in a series of Morse code beeps in the background music!

The puzzles usually follow a sequential order and play into each other, keeping your brain engaged throughout the game.

What is the Time Limit?

Escape rooms usually have a time limit to add a challenging element to the game. This means that you and your family will have to manage your time to beat the escape room!

An hour-long time limit is common, though the limit may be longer or shorter based on the difficulty level of the room.

Are escape rooms scary because of this? Not at all!

Because of this time limit, you and your group will have to work quickly if you want to win. You’ll typically get so immersed in puzzles that you’ll forget you were ever scared in the first place!

Number of Players

Escape rooms are not solo activities. The point is to work together as a team, so the puzzles are usually spread out all across the room, their relevant clues hidden in various locations.

Escape rooms are designed for groups, and these groups are usually more than two people. Some games will hold as many as 16 players. As such, you’re never alone inside of an escape room; friends and family are there to help!


Are Escape Rooms Scary? No, and Why Not

Some escape rooms are ‘horror’ themed, such as escaping a zombie apocalypse or solving the mystery of a haunted house. Even still, they’re designed to be fun, not genuinely terrifying. You’ll get a good spook, but never be actually afraid for your safety!

Is horror not your style? Don’t worry. These games are clearly defined as “horror” in their description – both at the business itself and online. You’ll never be surprised, and can always choose a non-horror theme.

For horror and non-horror escape rooms, you still may have concerns. Here are some fears you can put to rest.

Is It Actually Being Locked Up?

You need to solve puzzles in order to “escape” a room, and that means you’re genuinely locked inside the game, unable to leave until you lose or win. Right?

This is a common misconception.

If you’ve changed your mind, are feeling a bit overwhelmed, or have an emergency that requires you to leave, never fear. You can always exit the room before the time limit runs out!

Some escape rooms provide you with an exit button to press, while others will tell you to simply open the front door. Depending on the rules of the specific escape room, you might not be allowed to re-enter the room if you choose to leave. This helps to avoid cheating.

However, you are never truly locked into an escape room. Being “locked-in” is an illusion to raise the stakes for the story, but is never designed to actually frighten you. You can leave the game at any time!

What If You Lose?

If you can’t find the clues or solve the puzzles, will you stay locked in? Is there a punishment? Will you be shamed?

The answer to all three is: “Absolutely not.”

Remember: these games are designed to be fun! Losing games is both entirely normal and entirely okay.

Should you be unable to finish the game, or should the time limit run out, the game is over. At this point, there may be a conclusion to the story, such as you being notified that a zombie virus was released or the police arriving to bring your bank heist to an end. That’s a bummer, but – ultimately – it’s just a game.

The door is then unlocked, and the escape room game-master congratulates you on your hard work. You’re welcome to try the game again or simply high-five your teammates for a valiant effort and call it a day. No worries!

What If You Cannot Solve the Puzzle?

You do not need to be a puzzle-solving genius to have fun in an escape room! Escape rooms are designed with everyone in mind, from all walks-of-life and education levels.

Check the escape room’s description before you visit to evaluate its difficulty level. Some rooms are designed with younger or more inexperienced players in mind, while others will involve trickier puzzles that will delight expert puzzle-solvers.

Some rooms even require some physical activity. These details are always set out in the room’s description before you play. If you get really stuck on a puzzle, some escape rooms will provide you with a certain number of extra hints if you ask for help!

How Can You Call For Help?

Escape room employees or a designated game-master will always be observing your game in real-time. This allows them to provide clues if needed, unlock the door at your request, or answer any general questions you may have about the rules.

This is true no matter the escape room, its theme, or its difficulty level.

Some escape rooms provide you with a walkie-talkie or other device to communicate with the game-master. You can always ask for help at any time, whether you want to be let out or just need a helpful tip.

While escape rooms are not scary, if you get scared, then help is always close at hand!


Why 60OUT?

Are escape rooms scary? No – they’re fun!

Now that your fears are alleviated, you may be excited to try a game for yourself! 60OUT hosts more than twenty different immersive, themed escape rooms, and they are constantly coming up with more titillating adventures.

These games range in difficulty level and cover many different genres, including fantasy and science-fiction themes. You’re sure to find a game that’s best for you and your group!

The best part? 60OUT escape rooms are always privately booked. If you’re worried about having to share your experience with a stranger, never fear a 60OUT escape room – you get to choose exactly who you bring in with you!

Are you ready to play? Then book your escape room adventure at 60OUT’s website today!

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