Traditional Escape Rooms vs. Online Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are one of the most exciting, thrilling and unique experiences present out there. No wonder they are a huge hit among the audience.

Escape rooms are games in which players (usually in a group) are left in a room – of a specific theme – filled with clues and puzzles, their goal being to solve the mysteries present and escape the room within the given time, which is usually 60 minutes or so.

While traditional ones have been around for quite some time now, online escape rooms are also starting to make their way into the entertainment space due to the present situation around the world and with social interactions being cut off. Both offline and online escape games provide a diverse gaming experience and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and interests.

Here we’d like to give you a brief description of how online escape rooms differ from their traditional counterparts when it comes to 3 main domains: the overall experience, the skills imarted and the advantages they provide.

1. Overall Experience

Traditional Escape Rooms

In traditional escape rooms, the experience feels more real and solid, in the sense that you go through all the emotions and actions physically, since you’re actually present in the room with your entire team. You can explore the room freely, interact with the clues, organize them, and work through them one by one.

There is little scope of distraction as you’re right in the middle of the mystery. As a result, you will find that you’re fully immersed into the happenings of the game and are able to put complete focus on what’s needed.

Online Escape Rooms

In online escape rooms, a sense of real connection isn’t really possible. Instead, your team is connected together via an online conference call, and you only interact with the room through a game master who’s present in the room and follows the instructions your team tells.

In this scenario, as you yourself are not performing the actions, it can sometimes lead to a slight loss of the thrill factor. However, this is more than made up for by the unique and interesting challenges that are possible online, and of course the task of coordinating with your team and winning the game with only one player to control for the entire team.

2. Skills Imparted

Traditional Escape Rooms

In traditional escape games, you play with your friends or family. You build really strong communication skills and as you communicate extensively for the duration of the hour, you get to know each other much more than you otherwise would have.

You also learn skills such as time management, dividing the work amongst yourselves, and build upon your problem solving and analytical thinking.

Online Escape Rooms

In online escape rooms, the main skills imparted are communication and coordination. As your team is connected online, certain rules should be adhered to while communicating, such as not speaking together, not cutting each other off, and giving each other enough time to speak. Violating these rules has a much greater impact when the communication is via online rather than offline.

Online escape rooms also present the possibility of teaming up with strangers, which teach you how to communicate and work together with people you’ve never met before. You will learn to solve all the puzzles together as a team rather than dividing the work.

Your observational skills increase significantly as you have to carefully observe the actions made by the game master and look for ways to minimize the errors. You will learn to make fast, well-formed decisions within the given amount of time. The forming of clear, simple instructions is important so as to gain a sense of trust in the game master implementing your decisions, and also to reduce any errors made by him/her.

3. Social Interactions

Traditional Escape Rooms

The main advantages of traditional escape rooms are the ability to physically interact with friends, family and loved ones and have a shared experience of a completely new, thrilling activity. The whole group is fully involved in the experience and have a great time together.

This strengthens bonds and creates unique memories for all the people involved.

Online Escape Rooms

As the word right now is slowly turning online, online escape games can be played at the comfort of your homes without much prior planning. They can be played at any given time as there’s no need to pre-book a slot at a physical location to attend these games. Also, the option of playing with varied people can help form new connections, increase your exposure to the different thought process, and assist you all in growing together.

Social interactions play a much more important role in online escape rooms, than in offline ones. As the interactions are all online and with a wide variety of people, you will need to express your thoughts in a clear, unambiguous manner. This will lead to the improvement of your soft skills.

Thus, while providing the advantages of traditional escape rooms, online escape rooms also provide the added advantages of social distancing, convenience of timings, exposure to a wider set of people, and the development of soft skills.

4. Working Simultaneously

Traditional Escape Games

In traditional escape rooms, you have the option of splitting up the work amongst yourselves, with each of you working simultaneously on various aspects of the clues and puzzles. This teaches you to rely on each other to get the work done. It induces a feeling of responsibility on each member of a team to deliver their part successfully. It also increases the pace at which the clues are decoded and solved.

This results in greater team coordination and spirit.

Online Escape Games

In online escape games, it is not practically possible to split up the work as there is only one player present in the actual room and the remaining players are observing the situation through him/her.

In such a scenario, it is upto the entire team to work together on all the clues and puzzles, and bring in all of their ideas and knowledge to solve them quickly and effectively.

5. Time to get Acquainted

Traditional Escape Games

In traditional escape games, it takes much less time for players to get a feel of the scenario, and become fully immersed within the game. The design and layout of the room and the presence of props all add to the look and feel of the room and the feeling of being trapped in such a room.

Thus, players are quick to get moving on their feet and are eager to solve the puzzles to escape the room.

Online Escape Games

In the case of online escape rooms, due to the online factor, it takes a little bit of time for players to get fully immersed into the game. As the players are not physically present at the location, it is mainly upto the game master present in the room to induce a sense of excitement and fascination among the members. As it is the game master’s life at stake in the room, he/she should also make the players feel the same tension sitting in front of their screens.

However, although a little slow in getting players acquainted with the flow of things, online escape rooms do provide enough clues and puzzles to keep you thinking and on your game master’s feet!

Well…while both are unique in their own way, we can’t really say one is significantly better than the other. That’s because each of them – online or offline – cater to a different set of audience and tastes. This way ensures that there’s something for everyone. But we can tell you this – whichever one you choose to go for, you will have one hell of a joyride!

Happy gaming!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *