There are many types of escape room formats that game designers keep in mind when creating new escape rooms. Below are the main 5 Types of Escape Rooms explained in detail:
These formats have puzzles and challenges that progress in a line one after the other with one starting point leading to one end point. Players will start these types of games focusing on one puzzle at a time. This puzzle progression allows for a very focused storyline as each puzzle can represent a new twist or turn in the game’s story. This format is great for small teams of 4 or less as the team is small enough to work on one puzzle at a time together. If the group gets too large in a linear format game then some players may feel left out or find they have nothing to do in the game.
These formats have multiple tracks of puzzles going on side by side with multiple starting points leading to one end point. These different puzzle tracks often come together at the end to solve the final puzzle to escape the room. Generally, each puzzle track will unfold one aspect of the game’s storyline. As each track is completed, multiple aspects of the story become clear, leading the team to solving the final mystery of the game. Nonlinear games are great for large groups of 4+ so players can split into smaller groups to divide and conquer challenges while keeping everyone engaged. In this format, all players will feel engaged with enough activities to be shared amongst the group.
This format is a hybrid of both linear and non linear games. Usually, these hybrid games may begin with multiple puzzle tracks where teams break into smaller groups, but streamlines to one track midway through the game to bring the team together again. This format is generally used in heavily story driven games where the game developer wants all players to focus on the storyline nearing the end of the game. Game designers have to be careful that the linear puzzle track has complicated enough puzzles so multiple players can still be engaged as they follow along.
Are game formats with a lot of distractions, fake puzzles or distractor props and make you stray from progressing in the games. Games with too many red herrings can get frustrating for players as they distract from the proper course of the game. Often red herrings occur when a game designer inputs too much fluff into their storylines or too much decor in their game rooms. This results in players thinking they have found a “lead” that they need to follow to solve a puzzle, but in reality, it was just decor. Game storylines should be focused on the puzzle tracks and designers should be careful not to have items in their storyline or room decor that will distract from the puzzle tracks.
This format incorporates a lot of seeking and find challenges to solve puzzles. Items will be hidden in strange places and you’ll have to collect them to open a lock, or input a code, etc. Scavenger Hunt games are great for young children as the puzzles are generally not that difficult to solve with the main mission being finding hidden items. These games also work very well for large scale games that are outdoors and span across a large space, ie: downtown area, public park etc. In this large scale format, players will generally follow a map and cryptic instructions to successfully progress from one location to another, finding necessary items along the way. In addition to being called Scavenger Hunts, they also go by Treasure Hunts or Puzzle Hunts.
At Clockwise our games incorporate a mixture of Linear/Non-Linear and Scavenger Hunt elements. Our rooms are built for 4-8 players. That sweet spot where the group size is small enough that you can all work together, but can also split off into smaller independent groups to divide and conquer challenges. We challenge our players in different ways, a variety of ways so there is something for every brain type and strength area. This keeps our players thrilled by the pace of the game, interacting with each other, and all equally engaged in the game.
Come check out our escape rooms in Boise, ID and let us know what you think of our game formats!
What is your favorite type of escape game format? How do you like to play the game?