I went to my first Escape Room this weekend and the experience was great! But their were some things that the creators may not have thought of in terms of safety. I would like to share some of my experience so that other Escape Room’s can think about these things when setting up their game.
1. When we first went in the room we in the pitch dark with a very small dim flashlight. It made for a very creepy experience. Then the screen says: “You don’t have to do this in the dark”…okay, so I start going all the room looking for a switch and the next thing you know I am tripping over an IV pole. A few seconds later my daughter did the same thing. Phew, finally got the light on, much better!
My suggestion, if your game is going to be/start in the dark you may want to consider using black lights to give the creepy feel while still allowing your participants to somewhat see where they are going. Secondly, don’t leave objects such as IV stands in a prominent place where people can trip over them.
2. So once the lights are on we start to find clues, although we really have no idea where to start. “Find the key” the screen says. After searching for a while the screen says “Look above the doors”. Okay, my daughter and I are not over 5ft 1, we can’t reach the top of a door to look for a key. So I take a rolling computer chair and have my daughter stand on it while I am holding her so she can feel above the door frames.
So putting clues up high, not such a great idea. Especially when you don’t leave anything but rolling chairs for players to stand on. Clues should be in areas that anyone can access. Besides short people, the games should be handicap accessible as well…unless you want a lawsuit on your hands.
3. Some of the clues involved taking some fairly heavy objects off of higher shelves. Again, heavy items could easily be dropped on a person’s foot…or head.
4. Other safety tips for your escape room: Do not actually lock your participants in the room. Make sure you have an emergency exit or just do not lock the door behind them. This escape room did a great job of explaining that.
5. Do not have any activities that involve participants climbing up onto anything, even if they are using a ladder. You don’t want to take the chance of someone falling.
Now a few suggestions on the game itself (based on this experience).
I am not sure about everyone, but I would prefer at least a starting clue so that I am not just fumbling around having no idea what I am doing. Even if the clue is a riddle at least I have something to go on.
Don’t make the game TOO hard. For example, in this game apparently we had to somehow know that we had to take some pills that we found in the metal jar across the room, grind them up with a mortar and pestle, add water and then dip a litmus strip in the mixture to get that it is acid. And I still have no idea how knowing it was acid was supposed to get me the code to the safe. Making it hard is fine, but you have to make sure it is something that people can actually solve. Don’t make it too complicated.
If you have locks, make sure you have the players practice with the locks before they go in. I wasted a lot of my time trying to open different kinds of locks that wouldn’t open even though I was using the right combination.
Escape Rooms are growing fast! In our area we have 4 new Escape Room Businesses opening up within the next few weeks. The experience is a lot of fun and really gets you using your brain and working as a team. I understand why they are growing so fast…I can’t wait to go to my next one! If you are opening an Escape Room make sure to call Cossio Insurance for your Escape Room Insurance at 864-688-0121.
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