Year after year, escape rooms are gaining more momentum as a fun outlet for groups of friends, or even as team building opportunities for businesses. When you’ve gone through enough escape rooms, you’ll begin to see that there are specific kinds of players that tend to emerge. While it’s possible, of course, that there will be those who don’t exactly fit into specific player types, you will undoubtedly recognize some of these personalities along the way. As an owner and designer, we recognize that each of these personalities bring a great deal to the experience overall.
Generally, this player has never been to an escape room. She doesn’t really know what to expect. As a result, she will be very excited about her surroundings. “What’s this?” “Is this something?” “I see different colors over here. Does that mean anything?” These are the kinds of responses you can expect if this player has been genuinely wanting to experience an escape room for a while. Escape room owners love these kinds of players because they bring a sincere joy to the game, especially when they love everything about it. Typically, this will bring a great sense of accomplishment to the owners, as well.
Veterans have been through hundreds of escape rooms and are a desired type of player. These players are not shy when they enjoy a venue and will tell their friends and family. They will also remember what is different from venue to venue. In terms of playing, you can expect a veteran to find the most initial clues and puzzle parts throughout your time inside the room.
This is the kind of player that tends to bring a special kind of skill to an owner when a room is being tested. A designer is close to implementing what they believe is a perfect escape room. However, the cheater will soon put that belief to the test, finding small inconsistencies that the designed had no idea existed. Getting a cheater into a test environment is a great way for a designer to improve upon the game he has made.
The over thinker finds meaning in everything that is in the room – even if it is just made to help create ambience. For example, he may suddenly point out “the background music coming from the speakers is a waltz. I wonder if ‘three’ means anything.” This kind of a player is great for an owner to determine if there is simply “too much” of something in a room. It can help with changing color schemes, audio, or even creating new puzzles.
“Don’t break anything” is a common mantra in rules for escape rooms. The destructor seems to forget this rule and would use the strength of a rhino to pick a flower, tearing the roots from the ground in the process. Besides obviously showing flaws in puzzle durability, these players are the most common reason games are “paused.” Owners want to welcome all player types, but this is one that keeps us constantly on our toes.
Nearly every team will have a manager that emerges. This is the kind of player that basically becomes the “spokesperson” for the game, so to speak. Players will naturally turn to the manager for a fresh look at a puzzle that they don’t quite understand yet. Managers will be the catalyst for that “a-ha!” moment in which you suddenly realize that a number sequence in the first room matches with one in the second.