Escape games are often described as rooms filled with puzzles and challenges, but people still question, what kind of puzzles are they? There are many of types of escape room puzzles out there that appeal to different players. Here’s a list of the main puzzle categories.
– Deciphering codes to reveal a clue.
– Math, science or other academic related problems solved by common knowledge.
– Find clues in text or pictures by being observant.
– Riddles or play on words that require out of the box thinking.
– Hidden items in obscure places found by searching and inspecting the room closely.
– Retrieve out of reach items by using clever, non standard strategies.
– Physically putting together items to solve a puzzle.
– Team puzzles that require more than one person to solve.
Not all players think the same. Some people are more analytic, observant, or out of the box thinkers. Everyone has a strength that they can bring to an escape room team and a good escape room designer should use a variety of different puzzle types. This ensures that all player personality and brain types are engaged and have puzzles that they will enjoy.
You can’t just have a bunch of sudoku style math problems. I’m horrible at math, but great at putting together physical puzzles and thinking outside of the box. Most players have their different puzzle preferences and a good game designer should appeal to all. To have a well balanced escape room you should have puzzles that appeal to all different kinds of brain types.
You can judge the quality of an escape room puzzle by how you felt when you solved it. Was it what you expected it to be? Was is a challenge? Were you thrilled when you solved it? Escape room puzzles of any type should engage and challenge a player, even better, throw in a surprise that they were not expecting. Make the player think outside of the box, force them to strategize and cooperate with teammates.
But be careful that you do not make a puzzle too vague or too far of a stretch of thinking to make a connection on how to solve it. A puzzle is not just good because it is difficult to solve, it must also make sense. Make sure there are enough clues in the game that guide the player towards to right solution. Don’t give away the answer, but make sure their mind follows the path you want in order to solve the puzzle correctly.
Lastly, immersion is key to any successful escape room design and all puzzles in the game should match the theme of that game. ie: you shouldn’t have an electrical panel puzzle in a Wizard themed game. A bad puzzle design can break the immersion in the game, taking players out of the storyline. So in summary, make sure the puzzle is a challenge, does not have an obvious solution, but is not too far of a stretch of logic. Lastly, stay in the storyline, keep the players immersed and do not have puzzles that break that immersion.
For more in depth details on these puzzle types and more check out this blog from our friends at Escape Room Tips:
To learn more on escape room design, check out our blog 5 Types of Escape Rooms Explained
To experience the diverse world of escape room puzzles visit us at Clockwise Escape Room in Boise, Idaho! We make sure to include puzzles for all different brain types so everyone will feel engaged and be able to showcase their strengths. Book your escape experience here.
What other types of escape room puzzle are there? Leave us a note and we’ll add to the list!