As you try more and more escape rooms, you'll inevitably find yourself in both private escape rooms and public escape rooms. A public escape room is an escape game where you buy a ticket per person and are paired with other individuals who bought tickets for that same time slot. A private escape room is an escape game where you purchase admission for a whole group either at a flat rate or a tiered rate and no strangers can join your time slot.
At Quicksand Escape Games, we offer private escape games with tiered pricing (the price per person decreases as you bring more people). We dipped our toes in public games early on but made the switch to private escape rooms and never looked back.
Public escape rooms can be great experiences but they can also be very not-great experiences. Our sentiments are likely similar to others who have played both private and public, while public games can be fine, we've never met a customer who preferred being paired with strangers to their own private game if/when given the choice.
Common public escape room problems:
- Matched with very experienced players as an inexperienced player
- Matched with very inexperienced players as an experienced player
- Matched with very large groups or families as a couple or small group
- Matched with young children
- Matched with...unpleasant people
- Matched with two, three or even four different groups in one room
- Matched with drunk people
- Expecting to be matched up with more people in a difficult room and finding you're the only one booked
And the list goes on. Perhaps you can luck out and get matched with your future best friends but you probably have a better chance at one of the scenarios above. With a private escape room, you choose your team and you know exactly what you're getting.
We'd never rule out a few public escape rooms on our schedule, but generally speaking, private is preferred. You'll feel more comfortable communicating with each other without having to worry about being polite. You know each other's strengths and weaknesses. You'll end up working faster and smarter, and ultimately have a better chance at escaping!
At Quicksand Escape Games, we use the term "pre-solve" to describe when a player comes up with a well thought out theory about an eventual next step. You may figure out exactly what you need to do, but don't yet have the tools or final piece of the puzzle to complete it. When you do find that final piece, you will be well on your way. When pre-solving, be sure not to lose sight that a theory is a theory and don't get too hung up on something too long.
Did you just find a 2"x2" red ball with two blue dots on it? Tell everyone. Maybe that's exactly what your teammates have been waiting to find. It may seem like overkill but communicating what you've done and what you've found can save the team precious time in an escape room. It also prevents some teammates from spending time with items or puzzles that have already been solved. The better you communicate, the more cohesive and cooperative your escape room team becomes.
Always have your teammates' backs. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Borrowing from the first tip, don't assume your teammate is infallible. Whether it's double-checking a drawer or shelf or double-checking a combination/code you solved, don't hesitate to confirm what a teammate has told you. It may seem inefficient at times but too often a teammate will mishear the code they were tasked with inputting or excitedly forget to keep searching after finding a clue in a particular spot.
Don't Ignore Hints
Though different escape rooms in San Diego and across the globe have different methods and rules on hints, they all offer them in some way. When you ask for and/or receive a hint, don't ignore it. Unless the moderator is trying to waste your time, which would be pretty lousy, hints are given when they are given to push you towards a next step. While its always more fun to get it on your own, taking hints helps you progress and see more of the escape game, which is the best part.
Feel like you could take on any escape room now? Check out our schedule for the next available escape room at Quicksand Escape Games.