The 10+1 People You’ll Encounter in Escape Rooms
Maybe it’s something about the puzzles. Maybe it’s something about the environment. Maybe it has something to do with the unique microcosm of human society that develops between a group of people in isolation over the course of one hour.
Whatever the reason is, escape rooms seem to attract certain personalities, and anyone who’s played in more than one has encountered at least some of them. They are your friends … they are your family … they are strangers (who perhaps seem more stranger after the room is over) … heck, maybe they’re you.
There’s one in every pack, and there’s usually at least one in every escape room. This person is the first to speak up once the timer starts, and they won’t let you forget that timer for one second. The Alpha is rarely elected, but the sheer number of escape rooms they’ve completed (even if it’s only one) gives them an almost divine appointment to lead the group to victory. Through barking out orders and “gently” reminding everyone else in the room that this is a timed exercise, they never fail to ramp the tension level in the room up a couple of notches.
They’re not that great at puzzles. Clues seem to have some kind of cloaking system when their eyes cross over them. But NO ONE is more excited to be here than the Cheerleader. What they lack in practical know-how, they make up for in moral support, general enthusiasm, and an unwavering confidence that you will shatter all time records. Whether it’s just because it’s their first time and they have NO clue what’s going on, or it’s because they’re too impressed by the intricacy of the prop design, the Cheerleader is a constant reminder that no matter what happens, everything is indeed AWESOME!
You know you’re kind of in for it when someone starts the conversation with the gamemaster by asking “Is it hard?” Where the Cheerleader agrees that everything is awesome, the Naysayer believes that everything is impossible. The clues are too well-hidden, the puzzles are too difficult, and there are far too many locks in this place. The plus side? They are completely amazed whenever someone manages to accomplish anything, and we all love a good ego boost.
One of the best parts about escape rooms is the puzzles. There’s something about using those skills you developed playing word games, Sudoku, logic puzzles, etc. to actually DO something that is immensely satisfying. Which is what makes the Cheater so annoying. While everyone else is looking for clues and working out codes, they are wandering around the room pulling on locks, trying random combinations, and pulling doors, hoping to get lucky. In the Cheater’s mind, it’s just looking for shortcuts, because … well, the goal is to finish quickly, right? But nothing will ruin your experience quicker than when they manage to accidentally get something right … proving to themselves that cheating pays.
Escape rooms can get a bit hectic sometimes, and no one wants to be searching for that essential clue when it really matters. In those moments, the Collector is your best friend. To this ever-ready player, each item is important, but it can only fulfill its duty if laid out in a neat, organized fashion. If there’s even a remote chance that an item might lead to beating the room, they will either carry it everywhere they go or take up half the room laying it out according to some intricate, mental filing system.
The Beautiful Mind
Lots of escape rooms are designed by high-level mathematicians, putting their big ol’ brain to work for your entertainment. So it never hurts to have someone equally bright in your corner once the timer starts. However, in an environment where everything could be hiding something, the Beautiful Mind comes to believe that everything is. They can become easily fixated on “clues” that are really just props, so much in fact that you think they might have actually solved an escape room that the designers never intended to build by the time it’s over. Just be thankful most escape rooms don’t allow you to bring in yarn and pushpins.
The Drama Llama
Escape rooms are an awesome activity for all sorts of groups — families, friends, co-workers. They can strengthen bonds and teach people to work together in new ways. But sometimes there is that player who instead uses the escape room to work through the most traumatic moments in the history of your relationship. The Drama Llama has some insecurities to deal with and when you’re struggling, they won’t miss the chance to tell you it’s all your fault, just like that time they needed a ride home so that they could get some sleep before that big meeting the next day, but you were just SO busy hanging out with …
The Instagram Model
Social media makes everyone a potential celebrity these days. Combine that with the fact that escape rooms are still kind of an undiscovered niche with lots of curious people wondering about what goes on inside, and you’ve got recipe for likes and shares. The Instagram Model makes the absolute most of that opportunity, documenting the entire experience with endless selfies. The strange part is how upset they get when your team loses, especially considering all the hard work they put in over the last hour.
The ultimate point of escape rooms is to have fun, but the Comedian always seems to take things a bit too far. In some sense, they are above the whole exercise and not terribly interested in helping work through the room. Instead, they find their enjoyment in making jokes about the scenario or messing around with the props. If you win, the Comedian usually becomes one of the best things you remember for all the laughs they brought to the room. But if you happen to lose, you may very well remember them for a very different reason.
The Wrecking Ball
Sometimes you wonder if it’s really necessary for the gamemasters to tell you not to “physically damage the room or props in any way.” Then you meet a Wrecking Ball and you totally get it. These are the players who are content to flex their muscle muscles rather than their mental muscles, trying to physically pry doors open, break locks off the wall, or force puzzles to go ways they were never meant to go. Don’t think you’ve ever really encountered a Wrecking Ball? Well if you’ve ever had trouble getting a puzzle to work just right because it seems overly “loose”, or you’ve ever been disappointed by a gap that clearly shows a door that’s supposed to be hidden … you’ve felt the weight of the Wrecking Ball.
Escape rooms are a great way to unwind with friends after a long day/week, and many folks work it into a full night out with dinner and drinks to boot. The High-Lifer doesn’t know how to do it any other way. This kind of player loves escape rooms … but only when they’re drunk or high. Something about how people interact with the games seems to be intimidating enough that the High-Lifers need to “loosen up” a bit before playing. It’s kind of like karaoke that way.
No matter what kind of player you are, and what kind of players you find yourself playing with, escape rooms help bring people together, and promise a great time while you’re at it. So why not grab your friends and bring them to a PanIQ Room near you to see what kind of player they fancy themselves to be.