Escape rooms offer a thrilling experience for gamers of all backgrounds and ages. The most popular escape room games are ones where you have to find the clues that will help you get out of the game. But, there are other ways to make an escape room more exciting than just solving puzzles. In this article, we’ll discuss some strategies used in escape rooms with different themes like horror or mystery.

Strategies That Make An Escape Room So Thrilling

The Use of Music

One way escape rooms amp up the fun is to use music. Different types of music may be used for different themes. For example, horror games could have dark, scary sound effects and ominous background music playing throughout the game, while mystery games might play more lighthearted tunes such as whimsical jazz songs or jaunty pop hits.

Having Themes

Different themes are also used to make escape rooms more thrilling. For example, if the players are solving a mystery game, the creator might use different themes like an abandoned carnival to make it more atmospheric.

The themes help set the mood for the game, but they also add an extra dimension to puzzles. For example, there might be puzzles about different carnival games in a carnival theme escape room like the “shell game” or “ring toss”. These puzzles might require players to use math skills, spatial reasoning, and observation skills to solve them!

Featuring a Narrative

Another strategy that is used to make escape rooms more thrilling is adding a narrative. Narratives are mini-stories within the game which provide extra context and background information. These narratives can take various forms, from comic-book-style illustrations to audio recordings that are played throughout the game.

Narratives are not the same as the theme. The themes just set the tone. For example, horror is a theme. However, a narrative makes the game into a story. For a horror-themed game, the narrative could be that the players are scientists finding their way out of a zombie-infested laboratory.

Using Special Effects

Special effects can be used in escape rooms as well. For example, in a game where players have to find their way out of a haunted house, the creator could use different lighting effects for each section. They might dim the lights in hallways and make it more challenging to see so that players are forced to solve puzzles while feeling claustrophobic.

Using Interconnected Clues

Another strategy for making an escape room more exciting is to use related clues. For example, players might find a hint that’s needed later in the game when they’re solving puzzles on their way out of the haunted house. The related clues make the escape room feel more realistic and more like an adventure. This also makes players think that every item or clue they find should be kept in mind.

Different Types Of Puzzles

Puzzles are another way to make an escape room thrilling. Different types of puzzles can be used to create a more varied and exciting experience. For example, in a mystery escape room where players are trying to find clues about some jewel thief’s next heist location, the creator could use different types of puzzles like logic puzzles, word searches, or even crossword puzzles.

For horror-themed games, creators might include riddles that will help players build up their courage and solve puzzles while feeling creeped out. For fantasy-themed games, puzzles can be more like puzzles in the real world. For example, players might have to find a hidden key or solve a math problem to move on to the next level.

You can also make the escape room more challenging (and puzzling!) to players by including lock picking. Have you seen the latest Escape Room installment? Spoiler alert in case you haven’t. In the last room of the game, the players needed to find a shaded place to protect themselves from the acid rain. Sadly, two players were burned to death because they couldn’t open the shops, the phonebooth, and the cab. Lock picking could have been part of the game master’s plan if you think much about the movie. Just imagine if the two players knew how to pick locks and brought the best lock pick sets. They could’ve made it out alive like Zoey Davis.

Make Challenges Just Difficult Enough

Another strategy is to make the challenges just tricky enough. Too tough, and players will get frustrated; too easy, and they’ll get bored. The best escape room creators know how to balance the puzzles to be challenging but not overwhelming!

A great way to test the difficulty of a puzzle is to show it to someone who has never played an escape room before. If they don’t get the answer right away, but they can solve it after some time, then the puzzle is just challenging enough.

Choose Puzzles Strategically

Puzzles should be chosen strategically. They should be challenging but not too difficult. Players need to have a chance of solving the puzzle otherwise, they won’t feel like their time was well spent. As a general rule, players should solve around 60% of the puzzles in an escape room.

Another thing to consider is to have some puzzles be red herrings. This will make the game more exciting and exciting, but they should be used cautiously as players typically don’t enjoy wild goose chases that won’t pay off in the end.


Escape rooms are an exciting way to play a game, and there are so many different strategies that are used to make escape rooms more thrilling. The creator of the room gets to choose what type of music will be played, whether or not they want different themes like horror or mystery, and if they want special effects such as dim lighting. They can also use related clues and various types of puzzles to make the game more exciting.

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James Johnson, a journalist with a Master's degree in Communication Technology from MIT, has been a leading voice in tech and gadget journalism for over a decade. Since joining our team in 2019, he has specialized in providing insightful reviews and cutting-edge coverage of the latest tech and gadget trends. Before his current role, James contributed to various tech magazines and websites, enhancing his expertise in consumer electronics. When not exploring the newest gadgets, he indulges in photography, a hobby that complements his professional interests.

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