Escape rooms are designed to put their players outside of their comfort zone. As a result, it’s important for escape room owners and operators to understand what players consider to be their comfort zone. Escape rooms that incorporate props, hints and game mechanics outside of the players’ comfort zones will create more memorable experiences and in turn, result in more returning customers.
Making players uncomfortable during an escape room is a surefire way to increase their anxiety and make the game more immersive. Interactivity is one of the things that sets physical escape games apart from other forms of entertainment, so it’s important to make the players feel involved in the story.
Here are some proven ways escape rooms manipulate their players out of their comfort zone:
1. Unlocking a door that separates them from the rest of the team
There are many ways that escape rooms manipulate their players.
One way is to unlock a door that separates them from the rest of the team.
This has the effect of making players feel a bit more vulnerable and, in turn, more likely to focus on the task at hand.
2. Players take off their blindfolds and see something unexpected, such as blood or a dead body
Another one of the most powerful ways that escape rooms manipulate their players is through sight. When a player enters an escape room, they expect to be in a new world that is set up for them to navigate. So when they take off their blindfolds and see something unexpected—like blood or a dead body—it can scare them into staying on track and focusing on how to get out of the room instead of being distracted by other aspects of the game.
3. Removing something from the body of a dead character
Removing something from the body of a dead character is one of the most common ways escape rooms manipulate their players.
Not only is this a very off-putting thing to do, it’s also extremely challenging and often requires players to put on gloves or use a tool to get the item out. This gives players the feeling that they are doing something wrong or getting away with something, which makes them more likely to play along.
It can also be used as a way for escape room designers to introduce an important physical component into a game without having to constantly remind players of where it is or what they should do with it.
4. Being separated from their teammates for a period of time
In doing so, they accomplish two goals: they increase anxiety and keep people from being able to work together.
When you’re trapped in a room with no idea what you’re supposed to do, the last thing you want is to be separated from your teammates—especially if one of those teammates happens to be your partner or best friend. You might imagine that person in danger, or feel like their presence would help you figure out how to get out faster.
5. Putting someone into a confined space
They do this by creating spaces that are immersive, tight, and sometimes claustrophobic. There are no windows in most escape rooms, and the walls are often covered in a single color in order to make it feel as though there is no exit. In some cases, there is only one door out of the room, and it’s locked until players complete the puzzles inside.
Pulling off these tricks is challenging when there are so many players such as 10 person escape rooms and there are few escape rooms that can make this happen.
If you live in LA, you can find the best 10 person escape rooms in LA on Maze Rooms website.
Final Words: So that’s how escape rooms manipulate you (of course they’re not all of them). Like in any game, it’s important to bear in mind the rules and be prepared for what you are going to face. Only then can you live through a unique experience. Remember: there is no one magic solution or method. Adaptation, creativity and logic will see you get past all obstacles – escaping the room or not is entirely up to you!