Over the past few years, the world of escape rooms has exploded. It has quickly become a popular outing for friends and family, while also acting as a go-to corporate event for co-workers. Between the fun themes, the creative puzzles, and the excitement that comes with solving a clue, escape rooms are incredibly appealing for those who are looking for an original way to spend time with those around them.
The past year and a half have put a damper on the accessibility of escape rooms, as we’ve been required to limit our interactions with others. However, that hasn’t stopped us from experiencing the thrill that comes with completing a room, thanks to the emergence of virtual escape rooms. Many escape room companies have incorporated this option into their business, allowing people to participate in escape rooms from the comfort of their own homes. But what exactly do virtual escape rooms look like? Let’s take a look at how virtual escape rooms work.
Turn To Video Calling
The main difference between regular escape rooms and virtual ones is where you participate. Normally, you would gather with your friends or co-workers at the venue and enter the escape room together. With a virtual escape room, however, you simply join in at home. Your team leader, aka the person who booked the game, will receive a link, which they will then share with you. Simply use that link to join the Zoom or Skype call with the rest of your team.
As a note, if you are working as a family out of a single location, you can simply work around a computer screen together, rather than everyone logging in independently.
No Time Limit
In-person escape rooms typically have a time limit in which you need to complete the puzzles. If you are unsuccessful, then you remain “locked in” and have therefore lost the game. The average time set for escape rooms ranges between 45 minutes and an hour. However, virtual escape rooms often don’t have time limits; instead, you play until you have completed the room. This is partially due to the fact that communicating clearly over a video call is more challenging, and having that time limit can add unnecessary stress to an already difficult game.
If you’ve ever been to a regular escape room, you’re probably familiar with the introductory video at the beginning of your booking. This establishes the stakes and scenario, allowing you to immerse yourself in the game. Virtual escape rooms are no different. Once all your members are ready to go, a video will play, setting up the story and your tasks.
Just as you would with a regular escape room, you need to have a place to explore. In virtual escape rooms, the location from which you are trying to escape is shown on the screen. You are able to use your mouse to control where you explore and what you look at. As clues present themselves, you are able to click on them; these clues are generally stored in an inventory, allowing you to refer back to them when needed.
Teamwork is crucial in virtual escape rooms. While regular escape rooms allow you to branch off and tackle several tasks at once, virtual escape rooms are limited to one task at a time, as everyone is sharing the same screen. This can run the risk of getting stuck on a puzzle for too long, but it can also allow you to work through them quicker if everyone’s contributing.
As a side note, hints are still available in virtual escape rooms, but rather than speaking to a worker, you typically interact with the program. However, the company with whom you booked is always on standby, ready to help you out!