The Stages of an Escape Room Player's Emotional Rollercoaster

Thu, 21 May, 2020

Escape rooms bring players on a tumultuous emotional rollercoaster that often leaves a lasting impression of each and every participant.

Here are the five chronological stages that you’re likely to experience – all in the space of an hour! 

Stage #1: Fear

Regardless of the number of escape games you’ve clocked up, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a complete newbie – you’ll feel the slightest hint of fear once the threshold has been crossed. Fear of the unknown, failure or embarrassment; despite claims of bravery and bravado from the usual suspects, the game masters are experienced enough to sense the nervous energy radiating from each player. 

Stage #2: Confusion

There’s a lot going on inside escape rooms; from the puzzles to the props and décor – it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed once the clock starts ticking. Household ovens require a few minutes to heat up before you can pop your food in, so think of this as the ‘preheating’ stage – except your brains are the ovens! You’ll notice things will start moving quickly after your group acclimatizes to their new surroundings and the fog of confusion clears.

Stage #3: Excitement!

So, you’ve made it past the first two stages – well done! Time to get the ball rolling. There’s a general feeling of positivity and collective excitement as roles have been assigned, goals have been set, and the communication is flowing. Like a well-oiled machine, everyone now knows what needs to be done to achieve that elusive successful escape attempt! 

Stage #4: Doom & Gloom

Uh-oh. After a period of solid and uninterrupted progress, disaster has struck… Your team has hit a wall and things have come to a grinding halt. You’ve finally arrived at the room’s most difficult puzzle, and after trying a series of futile solutions, it seems you’ve got nothing left to give. Time is against you, arguments have broken out, and cracks are really starting to appear. Can you make it through this period of adversity?

Stage #5: Breakthrough!

In the famous words of Ancient Greek scientist, Archimedes: “EUREKA, EUREKA!” A breakthrough has been made (without the game master’s help) and you’re now on the final stretch. You blaze through the remaining puzzles and escape with just minutes to spare! Joy, relief, ecstasy – it’s over, it’s finally over! You now have the honour of calling yourselves successful escapees!