The best escape rooms in London for work socials and teambuilding


There are a whole lot of escape rooms in London (TripAdvisor currently lists 103 “room escape games” and experiences), so sometimes the choice can be overwhelming. It can be even harder when adding extra considerations to the mix, such as age, team size, or type of player!

Luckily for you, we’ve put together this handy guide of our top picks for escape rooms to play when that dreaded question of “what shall we do for our work team social this week?” comes to you.

What we’ve considered

When thinking about rooms to play we colleagues there are some key differences that may be important for colleagues, but less important for other team types:

Firstly, many work socials involve a pub (in my experience at least), so rooms near a pub are always great, especially if they’re also near a station for easy commuting.

Secondly, companies that can accommodate larger teams for bigger team events are great, especially if these include some sort of team element.

Finally, I also want to give a nod to outdoor experiences, which may be more fun as the weather heats up.

Rooms near pubs

If you’re familiar with the escape room scene in London you can probably already guess which escape room ‘near’ a pub I’m going to recommend, but you may not have realised there’s a second!

My first pick would naturally be Lady Chastity’s Reserve (previously reviewed). This fantastically spooky room is based above The Hope pub in Farrington – perfectly situated for both drinking and commuting! This is an 18+ room, with a bottle of wine as the price, so is sure to engage those who enjoy a bit of adult humour, as well as fans of spooky atmospheres without being a full-out ‘horror’ room. Although the room only takes 6 at a time the slots run fairly late (later than many rooms) and the pub beneath is a great way to pass the time!

My second pick would be ‘Gangster’s treasure’ by ClueAdventures. This one is further out than Lady Chastity, all the way in Leytonstone (east London) and a little walk from the station. However, it is above The Coach and Horses pub, and boasts two 2-player rooms as well as this 6 player room. I haven’t played this one myself, but can heartedly recommend the 2 player rooms so I’m sure this would live up to the same standards!

Rooms with competitive elements

When it comes to competitive elements there are a few companies that offer the ‘vs’ format, but I’ve picked out 2 who I think do it really well.

First up is ‘ClueQuest‘ near King’s Cross. It’s no secret that we’re a fan of this company, but I didn’t realise until writing this post that they offer an excellent corporate package! For your more formal work social they can cater for up to 66 players, offering extras such as food, drinks and an all-important trophy! Even if you don’t go the official route, their booking system makes it easy to book up to 4 copies of the same room at once (depending on the room) so you can still have a head to head of the same game, as well as also offering a VR experience. The rooms themselves are excellent quality so make a great impression on new players and are well balanced for mixed teams.

Mairi at a Team Social at ClueQuest in 2018

My second choice of a competitive style room would be Secret Studio near Aldgate East station. What I appreciated most about the rooms at Secret Studio is that they are the same but different – although most of the core puzzles are the same, the decor and puzzle specifics are slightly different for each team and they are also able to change certain puzzles. This makes it great for replayability – they talk quite a bit about returning visitors on their site, and even give them the chance to get involved (in more ways than one);

When we played previously as a large group my team finished quite a bit before our friends, and I loved being able to watch them and even interact. I think this also opens the doors for excess players to have fun too, or those who are uncertain about playing.

Outdoor experiences

There are quite a few outdoor experiences in London, although I’m not sure how these may have changed since the early days of the pandemic. However, I’m sure the core elements will be the same and I know they’re great for splitting teams up a bit!

Playing The Enchanted Mirror in 2021

My personal top pick would be a Hidden City ‘treasure hunt’. My first experience with these style of games was playing ‘The Hunt for the Cheshire Cat’ and I still maintain it was one of the most impressive games I’ve played. For a colleague perspective these games are perfect – they can host up to 300(!), stagger teams start times, have in-built (pub) breaks (often with discounts) and have a final leaderboard at the end. They even offer a virtual hunt for remote workers! The treasure hunt itself is amazing fun – you go into places you never knew existed, as well as those you never think to go into, and hunt for things in plain site. There are also in-built story trees, so you could make one decision and a different team may make another, sending you in different directions.

If you’re after a more traditional escape-room style experience I recommend AIM escape‘s outdoor experience. Although I wasn’t hugely impressed by their indoor offering, I found their outdoor experience to be one of the best I’ve played. Rather than using phones each team is supplied with a kit and must undertake ‘challenges’ (puzzles) at various locations. Unlike other outdoor experiences which challenge you to follow precise directions, AIM instead gives you a map and lets you decide where to go and how to get there, really giving the teams freedom (and the chance to plan strategically). They also provide different routes and staggered starts, so teams won’t be constantly following each other. There are 3 pre-built routes, but also the offer to create your own!

Also I personally haven’t played this one, Mairi tells me I’m missing out with Colombia’s Finest by Street Hunt, a new player to the walking puzzle game genre in London. It’s another route perfectly suited for large teams as different people can take completely different routes in this race to catch the criminal. In a less touristy area of London that is packed with office buildings (Temple, St Pauls area), there are several pubs and cafes on this walk making it a great one for a team social of any size.

Have we missed your favourite? Let us know in the comments!

Wordle & The Paradox Of Language In Escape Games


Disclaimer! This is from Wordle 235, dated 09/02/22 and is not a spoiler.

I’m sure the majority of readers have come across Wordle, a 5 letter puzzle game where a word is presented daily to guess in 6 attempts. Then, once you find the word (or not), you can show your achievement of how few attempts it took on all social medias; with a pretty, spoiler-free “footprint” image of your playing history to boot.

A Quick History

Wordle was created by Josh Wardle, an American citizen, and subsequently has been bought by the New York Times as part of their games suite. Despite this, it is currently a huge hit in the UK. I am one of many who enjoys the daily challenge it presents. If you look at my Twitter page, the only things I presently post, are TER news and reviews (usually mine!) and Wordle results. Even my family, have a Whatsapp group called ‘Wordle Nerds’ where we post our results religiously and compare accordingly.

Wordle 235

On Wednesday, this week just passed, we British Wordle users were stopped in our tracks. As the answer to Wordle 235 was a 5 letter word in US English, but a 6 letter word in UK English. Cue twitter enragements. Including myself and my fellow writer Nick.

It was so poorly received, that a “British” version of the game; called Wourdle, was born; with its first word being, you guessed it, the 6 letter word in question. Even the British embassy in the US had their say!

There Is A Point To This I Swear

Ok… rant over. Some readers are probably thinking; “its an American-born game, just suck it up and move on”. But I disagree. If a game is so popular in the UK, surely the chooser of the daily word should be more mindful of our language differences? Also, according to his wikipedia page, Josh Wardle is UK born and spent time studying at university here.

Back in February, a similar issue occured with Wordle 207, however between then and Wordle 235, UK engagement has rapidly increased, hence the larger volume in outcry compared to previous.

My point is, that as game designers, we need to be considerate and respectful of the complexity of the English language when designing word-based puzzles and conundrums. I myself will hold my hands up in failing to acknowledge this, in my previous escape game AIRLOCK.

One of the puzzles designed, included a horoscope page from a newspaper that had letters circled, spelling out the phrase:

“Ten and three, focus on the tears and the spaces you see”.

Pages ten and three in the clue document; given to the team at the start in the game, had rips in them, highlighting the tears in the sentence above. The problem is, tears can be pronounced as tairs, as intended… or tee-ars; as in the tears of someone crying.

Guess what around 90% of teams initially prounounced it as…

Then, guess how long on average it took players to realise to pronounce it differently… about 7 minutes per team on average of a 60 minute timed game, lost on a pronounciation trap.

Whilst designing the game, I never considered the double pronounciation of the word. Now looking retrospecively, I feel it should have been signposted better, to evade the inevitable trap. Or alternatively, scrap the puzzle entirely.

In Conclusion

I feel as game designers, we need to cater to our audience fairly and not provide them with pitfalls to fall in, that can make them feel silly; intentional or otherwise. Hopefully the Wordle team have taken this on board; due to the reaction from Wordle 235, and as a result; create an experience that is universally fair, for all users of the confusing and goal-post-shifting English language.

A List of all 2021 TERPECA Nominated Escape Rooms in the UK


The TERPECAs (or *deep breath* the Top Escape Room Project Enthusiasts Choice Awards) is in our opinion, the most thorough, balanced, and accurate attempt to find the best escape rooms in the world. It is voted on by thousands of enthusiasts from all around the world and in 2021 those who voted had a combined 177,417 rooms played between them. Wow!

Whilst we may be a small island, the UK still boasts around 1,500 escape rooms. Small… But mighty? Perhaps! Unfortunately this year no UK-based escape room company placed in the top 100 rooms ranking, but thankfully we have access to the full list and are able to cherry pick the rooms that placed in the top 315 for a UK-bucket list of the best rooms to try out across the country.

So without further adieu, here is the list:

List of TERPECA Nominated Rooms in the UK

  • 101 Loot the Lanes at Pier Pressure in Brighton
  • 149 Daylight Robbery at Cryptology in Nottingham [read our review]
  • 153 cQ Origenes at clueQuest in London [read our review]
  • 171 Nethercott Manor at Tulleys Escape Rooms in Crawley
  • 178 SpellCraft at Tulleys Escape Rooms in Crawley
  • 183 Viking at Extremescape in Disley
  • 190 Temple Quest at Clue Cracker in Tunbridge Wells
  • 195 UI-55 at Compendium in Bury
  • 206 The Lost Tomb at Extremescape in Disley
  • 222 Pudding Lane 1666 at TimeTrap in Reading
  • 236 Curio at Escapologic in Nottingham
  • 237 The Guardian of the Gallery at Want to Escape in Rushden
  • 241 Escape the RMS Titanic at Houdini’s Escape Room in Southampton
  • 244 The Ram Raid at Escape Reading in Reading
  • 248 The Legend of Miyalock at ClueHQ in Birmingham
  • 252 Project Delta at Archimedes Inspiration in London
  • 255 Monuments at Cave Escape in Nottingham
  • 261 The Citadel at Escape Nation in Stafford [read our review]
  • 263 The Pit at The Escapement in Margate [read our review]
  • 264 Dodge City at Tulleys Escape Rooms in Crawley
  • 266 Age of Magic at Escape Reading in Reading
  • 268 Extinct – Escape from Jurassic Island at Houdini’s Escape Room in Southampton
  • 272 The Comms Room at Escape in the Towers in Canterbury
  • 277 Professor Dunstan and the Search for the Ancient Statuette at Co-Decode in Swindon
  • 278 The Diamond Dogs at Clue Cracker in Tunbridge Wells
  • 287 The Battle for Britain at Escape Plan in London
  • 291 Howitz at Escapologic in Nottingham
  • 293 Into the Reliquary at Dark Master Escapes in Crowborough
  • 294 Sub Terra at Co-Decode in Swindon
  • 295 Dreamscape at Cryptology in Nottingham [read our review]
  • 301 Loop at The Panic Room in Gravesend
  • 303 Pirates of Polaris at The Escapement in Margate [read our review]
  • 304 Spellbound at Make Your Escape in Derby
  • 305 Secret Studio at Escape in Time in London
  • 307 Revenge of the Sheep at clueQuest in London [read our review]
  • 308 The Time Machine at Deadlocked in Reading
  • 310 The Enchanted Forest at Break Escape in Loughborough

Well, that’s an instant bucket list if ever I saw one. Bring on a road trip in 2022!

How many of these escape rooms have you tried? Let us know in the comments!

A List of All Escape Room Conventions and Conferences


The escape room industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world – from an estimated 3,000 escape rooms globally in 2016, there’s currently well over 50,000 in 2021! With great escape rooms, come fantastic conventions and conferences to mix, mingle, and most importantly learn from the best designers and enthusiasts out there.

Here’s a list of some of the biggest escape room conventions and conferences taking place around the world:

Escape Room Conventions & Conferences

TransWorld’s Room Escape Conference

When: April
Where: USA (City Subject to Change)
Attendance Size: Unknown

Transworld’s Room Escape Conference takes place in St. Louis, MO each year and is estimated to be the largest dedicated escape room convention out there. It features seminars, exhibitions, new technology, parties and mixers, and several hands-on demos.

Photo (c) TransWorld

Up The Game

When: May
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Attendance Size: Unknown

In recent years, thanks to the global panini (yes, we really just called it that!), Up the Game has gone fully digital. But pre-pandemic the convention saw great success after it’s foundation in 2016. Primarily, Up the Game is focused on the owner rather than the enthusiast. Topics of discussion and seminars include collaboration, business, innovation, technology, marketing and so on.

Up the Game

Reality Escape Con

When: August
Where: Boston, USA
Attendance Size: 900 approx

Hosted by bloggers, Room Escape Artist, RECON is one of the newer escape room conventions but gaining traction and popularity quickly! With headliners like Neil Patrick Harris during the digital RECON in 2021, RECON’s focus is on creating a convention for enthusiasts and owners alike. Expect workshops, games, immersive experiences, and lectures.

Graphic (c) RECON

ERIC – Escape Room Industry Convention

When: October
Where: United Kingdom
Attendance Size: 500-1,000 approx

Whilst technically closed since the world went into lockdown, ERIC gets a special place on this list as it’s UK based (as we are) and we hope it will return in full force just as soon as the world reopens. ERIC is geared towards owners and creators, showcasing new technology and innovation alongside a series of talks focused on topics like business ownership, management, and collaboration. It pulls in a wide range of expects and speakers from all over Europe.

Image (c) ERIC UK

Immersive Theatre Experience Conventions

Immersive theatre is theatre production in which the audience plays a crucial role. We’ve seen a lot of blurred lined between escape rooms and high quality immersive productions recently, such as events like The Drop, or audio adventures like Morpheus Show. As escape rooms become even more innovative there’ll likely be no distinction in the future. But for now, check out the following conventions to see the very cutting edge in escape room innovation:

The Next Stage

When: January
Los Angelus, USA
Attendance Size: Unknown

The Next Stage has an honorary place on this list because… Thanks to you know what… It’s premier show has been cancelled in 2022! We’re not sure exactly what to expect from The Next Stage onwards, but we’re sure that when it is safe to launch, it’ll be something special!

Electric Dreams Festival

When: July
United Kingdom
Attendance Size: Unknown

A self-proclaimed festival of storytelling through cyberspace, and somewhere where you’ll see fantastic immersive escape room media such as Swamp Motel’s Plymouth Point really come out. Each year every title in the digital show and every talk in the roster sends us down a rabbit hole of mystery and intrigue. Fans of the immersive, genre defying experiences, do not miss this!

Immersive Home Coming Summit

When: August
Las Vegas, USA
Attendance Size: Unknown

The Immersive Industry Homecoming Summit is a gathering of creators within the immersive world- yep, that includes escape rooms too! With features like Disney, Meow Wolf, AREA15, Broadway, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and many more, this summit is sure to impress each year. Shut up and take my money!

Image (c) Immersive Homecoming Summit

Tabletop Gaming Conventions and Expos

In these tabletop gaming conventions, recent innovations from escape room companies who have turned their hand to creating immersive, tabletop puzzle adventures can be discovered. For fans of the escape room industry – these expos are not to be missed!

UK Games Expo

When: June
Birmingham, UK
Attendance Size: 50,000 approx

The UK Games Expo punches well above it’s weight and pulls in a huge amount of visitors from the UK and Europe. But the most important part? It’s very well represented in the escape room industry. From local escape room exhibits, to popular tabletop puzzle makers like The Detective Society, Escape Plan, and 404 Escape there’s something for everyone at the UKGE.

Photo (c) Ben Broomfield

Origins Game Fair

When: June
Columbus, USA
Attendance Size: 20,000 approx

One of the oldest conventions on this list, the Origins Game Fair was first held in 1975. Today it’s grown to a large size and serves all manner of tabletop games – from escape room games, to board games, to wargaming and miniature gaming.

Image (c) Dicebreaker

Gen Con Indy

When: August
Where: Indiana, USA
Attendance Size: 70,000 approx

Part of the Gen Con group, Gen Con Indy is the live convention for tabletop games. Arguably the largest in the United States, Gen Con Indy is home to a range of tabletop games including escape room games – but also pen and paper, roleplaying, wargames, collectable cards, and even live action roleplay. It’s a fantastic haven for all things geeky – not just escape rooms and puzzle games.

Photo (c) Jeff Vrabel in Indianapolis Monthly

Essen Spiel

When: October
Where: Essen, Germany
Attendance Size: 210,000 approx

Taking place every October in Germany, Essen Spiel is the convention for board game enthusiasts and an excellent place to pick up a brand new boxed escape game and meet likeminded enthusiasts. It boasts the highest attendance numbers in all of Europe and is a platform for many exciting talks, workshops, and play tests.

Photo (c) Essen Spiel

PAX Unplugged

When: December
Where: USA (City Subject to Change)
Attendance Size: 40,000 approx

PAX Unplugged is part of the PAX group of expos, but this one specifically focuses on tabletop games. It features an enormous hall filled with tabletop gaming curated from decades of PAX shows, and plenty of panels and presentations. Escape room enthusiasts will enjoy big releases from the likes of Thames & Kosmos, Unlocked! and other publishers.

Photo (c) Dicebreakers

Have we missed your favourite convention or conference? Let us know in the comments below.

The Best VR Escape Rooms on Oculus Quest 2


When in-person escape rooms are closed, or you simply prefer the option of playing escape rooms in your pyjamas – the Oculus Quest is here! With a fast growing library of fantastic escape room style puzzle games that feel as realistic as if you were standing in the centre of a real room, Oculus is the must-have console in an escape room enthusiast’s collection. Here’s a round up of some of our favorite escape room games available on the Oculus Quest 2.

Have a PSVR? Check out this list instead.

Last updated January 2022.

The Room VR: A Dark Matter

If you ask anyone in the escape room industry to recommend you a video game, chances are you’ll hear the name “The Room” thrown around a lot. It’s the quintessential escape room game now available on Oculus. Players are transported into a series of steampunk-come-Victoriana spaces to solve escape room puzzles. The premise is deceptively simple, yet Fireproof Games does it so well. Read more in our review of The Room VR: A Dark Matter here.

A Fisherman’s Tale

Play as a wooden fisherman doll living in a lighthouse, who goes about his daily routine and builds another wooden lighthouse doll in an even smaller lighthouse. It’s basically Simulation Theory: The Game. Now with extra maritime references. But jokes aside, A Fisherman’s Tale is a fantastically charming escape room puzzle game that blurs the boundaries of fiction and reality. Read more in our review here.

A Rogue Escape

Escape the planet or die… and die… and die trying. A Rogue Escape is a fantastically challenging VR escape room experience developed by Spare Parts Oasis. Trapped on an alien planet you’ve taken control of a mechanical submarine. Too bad you don’t know how to pilot it. Read more in our review of A Rogue Escape VR here.

I Expect You To Die (1 & 2)

Speaking of dying… No list of VR escape rooms would be complete without mentioning the iconic I Expect You To Die and it’s sequel from Schell Games. Play as an international super spy and solve puzzles to collect information from the enemy. But one small mistake and you’ll definitely die. Good luck!

Floor Plan 2

If you prefer your escape rooms a little more absurdist, then it’s definitely worth checking out Turbo Button’s Floor Plan 2. More puzzle game than escape room, you play a new employee at Puzzl Corporation and must travel between floors exploring and most importantly, solving bizarre puzzles.

Red Matter

Setting a new standard when it comes to immersion and graphics, Red Matter is a tense space-horror escape room adventure and one of the most highly rated puzzle games on the Oculus. Take on the role of Agent Epsilon, an astronaut of the Atlantic Union dispatched to an abandoned Volgravian base on Rhea, one of Saturn’s moons. Your mission: to investigate a shady top secret research project.

Have we missed your favourite VR escape room on this list?

Let us know in the comments below!

The Best VR Escape Rooms on PSVR


When in-person escape rooms are closed, or you simply prefer the option of playing escape rooms in your pyjamas – the PSVR is here! As a long standing Playstation fanatic (wait, it isn’t normal to collect and display every console back to PS1 in your living room?), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a PSVR. Several years later, I’ve played through and rounded up a collection of some of the most fantastic escape room style games you can find on the PSVR.

Prefer Oculus? Check out this list.

Last updated January 2022.

The Room VR: A Dark Matter

If you ask anyone in the escape room industry to recommend you a video game, chances are you’ll hear the name “The Room” thrown around a lot. It’s the quintessential escape room game now available on PSVR. Players are transported into a series of steampunk-come-Victoriana spaces to solve escape room puzzles. The premise is deceptively simple, yet Fireproof Games does it so well. Read more in our review of The Room VR: A Dark Matter here.


Challening but not too frustrating, Statik is a perfect example of a well balanced escape room game. Statik is a VR game about solving puzzles in a place you don’t know, with a person you don’t recognise, and hands that aren’t completely yours. Good luck!

A Fisherman’s Tale

Play as a wooden fisherman doll living in a lighthouse, who goes about his daily routine and builds another wooden lighthouse doll in an even smaller lighthouse. It’s basically Simulation Theory: The Game. Now with extra maritime references. But jokes aside, A Fisherman’s Tale is a fantastically charming escape room puzzle game that blurs the boundaries of fiction and reality. Read more in our review here.

I Expect You To Die (1 & 2)

Speaking of dying… No list of VR escape rooms would be complete without mentioning the iconic I Expect You To Die and it’s sequel from Schell Games. Play as an international super spy and solve puzzles to collect information from the enemy. But one small mistake and you’ll definitely die. Good luck!

Floor Plan

If you prefer your escape rooms a little more absurdist, then it’s definitely worth checking out Turbo Button’s Floor Plan. More puzzle game than escape room, you play a new employee at Puzzl Corporation and must travel between floors exploring and most importantly, solving bizarre puzzles.

Red Matter

Setting a new standard when it comes to immersion and graphics, Red Matter is a tense space-horror escape room adventure and one of the most highly rated puzzle games on the PSVR. Take on the role of Agent Epsilon, an astronaut of the Atlantic Union dispatched to an abandoned Volgravian base on Rhea, one of Saturn’s moons. Your mission: to investigate a shady top secret research project.

Have we missed your favourite VR escape room on this list?

Let us know in the comments below!

How to Play the Crimson Room (2004)


You wake up in a Crimson Room, suffering from retrograde amnesia. You don’t know where you are, or how you got there. All you know is that you need to escape this mysterious red room. The objective is simple. Find the key to the door and escape. Search for clues around the room and look for clues that help you reach your goal of escaping.

Developer: Toshimitsu Takagi
Console: PC (Flash)
Number Of Players: 1

About The Crimson Room

The Crimson Room is widely credited as one of the first ever ‘traditional’ escape games created. For sure, many previous TV shows and teambuilding games are similar – such as The Crystal Maze in 1990, or The Adventure Game in 1980, but Toshimitsu Takagi’s Crimson Room pips the post for what we understand an escape room to be today. Created for Fasco-Cs, the exploration game has you wake up in an unfamiliar space – a locked room. Hidden around the room are a number of clues and puzzles that are the key to escaping.

The OG Escape Room Video Game!

“Hey Russ, I tracked down the original file for The Crimson Room, the original escape room video game! Are you up for playing it?” asks Mairi.

I mean I’m obviously curious as to what was developed 17 years ago. My interest was piqued with questions I wanted answers for.

Is it an important historical escape game artefact that paved the way for present-day games?
Is it still relevant?
Does the file even load?!

Well the last one I can answer a yes to, however you need the .swf game file and a browser flash emulator online to play it; it’s not as simple as streaming it off a dedicated site. Thankfully, I had both ready to go!

Where (and How) to Play The Crimson Room Escape Game

As a flash game from the early 2000s, it’s not an easy one to track down, especially if you want to avoid dodgy links on the internet. So here’s how we played the game (reliable and accurate as of 2021):

  1. Download the SWF file here (please note: this URL is hosted externally on Free Room Escapes)
  2. Choose a Flash emulator. We used this one:
  3. Select “Choose File” and upload your SWF file and select an emulator of your choice from the drop down (we used “Flash Emulator 1”)

And now, it’s time to escape!

The Premise

You’ve woken up in a crimson coloured room (hence the title) after too many drinks the night before. You can’t remember how you got there but you know you need to escape. Cue searching for items!

The Look and Feel of The Crimson Room

I mean absolutely no disrespect from this, but the game looks to have been made in MS Paint. The visuals are simple but striking with its bold colours and geometric-centric models. Special mention to the projector puzzle with it’s dancing animation, which back then I imagine was deemed as super impressive.

The Gameplay and Control

Most of the game consists of searching for items in a linear fashion, to edge further and further to successful escape. There are some unlocking of drawers, a placement meta puzzle and a single 4-digit combination safe.

Also there is a clue that directs you to a real website which has the answer to the safe combination. Well… it did. The site is no longer active. For the record, if you need the code to the safe; it’s 1994. That being said however, this puzzle mechanic of searching via an external website page, is rife in present-day online escape games. Quite innovative, this being executed over a decade prior to games we are more accustomed to.

Control wise, its a double-click method for everything ie: click in the corners of the screen to look around the room. Being so used to pushing a mouse to turn around, this took getting some used to, but hey; it’s 2004, this was a totally acceptable form of control back then.

The Duration

As to be expected, it’s just one room. The longevity of it however is arguably extended by its requirement to be precise with mouse pointer clicks. There are a few areas in the room that are hard to get to (and subsequently gain integral items), unless you do some mass trial-and-erroring with mouse clicks. In this day and age, this could be deemed as a massive no-no for escape games. It also adds additional fire to the debate of games in the 20th and very early 21st century, being harder to complete due to unfair or frustrating mechanics… but that’s a thought (or article) for another time! Again however, not a criticism; just a commentary on the historical difference.

The Verdict

Is this a game to rush to play? Probably not.

Is this a game to view and appreciate how far escape games have come since 2004? Absolutely.

Crimson Room doesn’t offer much when compared to present-day gaming standards, but the ideas that it spawned most certainly helps it to walk, so future escape games could run.

If you don’t want to play it, but still want to view to scratch your curiosity itch, see this super-fast walkthrough here 👇

The Best Halloween Escape Rooms at Home (2021)


Calling all ghosts, witches, and vampires… The spooky season is upon us! And what better way to spend it than curled up at home on a rainy, autumnal evening playing an eerie escape (or two, or three!) before heading out to an in person escape room.

Here you can find some of our favourite at-home escape rooms as compiled by The Escape Roomer team. Missed your favourite? Get in touch on Instagram or Twitter.

📹 Remote Avatar Halloween Escape Rooms 📹

A remote avatar escape room is a room that is hosted by an avatar. They’ll typically act as your eyes and ears around the room – but will need to be booked in advance!

Hourglass Escapes: Evil Dead 2™ Dead by Dawn Official Remote Escape

Evil Dead is to Halloween what Miracle on 34th Street is to Christmas. So why not elevate your at-home Halloween movie night by playing the official live escape room too? Hosted by Hourglass Escapes in Seattle, their live avatar version is playable by anyone in the world. It’s packed with Easter Eggs from the film, from jump scares to creepy details and characters you’ll recognise.

Scare Level 👻👻👻 (Spooky)

Read our review of Evil Dead 2™ Dead by Dawn Official Remote Escape here.

District 3: Haunted

Despite the name Haunted and the allusions to ghostly denizens from beyond the grave, Haunted is rated PG and it’s not too scary. No jump scares, only a lingering light tension and the occasional splatter of blood. If you do want jump scares though, I’ve heard the prequel (incredibly, set in the exact same room) Arca Malum is full of them.

Scare Level 👻👻👻 (Spooky)

Read our review of Haunted here.

Emergency Exit: The Exorcist & The Beast

Escape roomer beware… You’re in for a scare! There’s no denying that The Exorcist and The Beast are absolutely terrifying. Thankfully, if you want less of a scare (or aren’t able to book the hosted, live avatar version), both games are now available as Telescape point-and-click.

Scare Level 👻👻👻👻👻 (Very Scary)

Read our review of The Exorcist and The Beast here.

Mystery Mansion Regina: The Sleepyman Trilogy

An excellent horror trilogy from the brilliant Mystery Mansion Regina. If you’re feeling up to it… Why not book all three in one go? But hurry! Mystery Mansion Regina have plans to discontinue their remote avatar versions soon.

Scare Level 👻👻👻👻 (Scary)

Read our reviews of Night Terrors, D’Viles Curio Shoppe, and Sleepy Man here.

Headlock Escape: The Keeper and the Fungus Among Us

More funny than scary… In a mysterious land far, far away, the evil Mushroom King Paxillus awakes from a 1,000 year slumber and swears to turn every resident of the peaceful Toadstool Village into mushrooms. But not all is lost! To meet Paxillus’ challenge is a hero for all ages: The Keeper. This millennium, The Keeper is a curious, slightly sassy, five legged spider.

Scare Level 👻 (Very Low)

Read our review of The Keeper and the Fungus Among Us here.

💻 Online Escape Games for Spooky Thrills 💻

By contrast to Remote Avatar, Online games typically do not require a host. You’re free to play in your own time and click around a digital interface when best suits you.

Real Escape Game: Escape from the Strange Village

To this day probably still one of my favourite at-home escape room games. The Strange Village tells the story of a village plagued by Werewolves, as each night more and more villagers become infected. It’s up to you to figure out what is going on and save the day. Since it is largely video-driven, you can sit back and enjoy the show.

Scare Level 👻👻 (Spooky)

Read our review of The Strange Village here.

Puzzles Escape Games: Find the Professor of the Occult

With the promise of jump scares sat securely in our minds, we enter the professor’s study and I notice I’m gripping my mouse ever so slightly too tight.

Scare Level 👻👻👻 (Spooky)

Read our review of Find the Professor of the Occult here.

Dave Escape Rooms: Rita’s Cult Following

A renowned actor, Rita Vasconcellos is due to play at the Palm Street Theatre when suddenly she goes mysteriously missing from her dresser room. Thankfully, she’s left behind some clues hidden in locked cases, boxes, and compartments around her room.

Scare Level 👻 (Very Low)

Read our review of Rita’s Cult Following here.

E-Scape Room: The Alp

I absolutely love the horror genre, and with that comes the excitement of horror escape rooms. The unsettling feeling of fear combined with time sensitive puzzle solving gives me such an adrenaline rush, so I was eager to play E-Scape Room Games’ The Alp.

Scare Level 👻👻👻 (Spooky)

📦 Boxed & Board Game Halloween Escapes 📦

Dark Park: The Witchery Spell

The Witchery Spell is a delightfully spooky game about witches. Cast spells, draw summoning circles, and try not to draw the mysterious Death Tarot Card. Witchery Spell is the first of it’s kind and has won a tonne of awards in the escape room industry. Not to be missed, but to be sure – it’s best played by candlelight on the darkest nights in October.

Scare Level 👻👻 (Low)

Read our review of The Witchery Spell here.

Escape Tales: The Awakening

The Awakening is a spell-binding, mysterious experience, merging board game and escape room, all pulled together by an emotionally charged, superb story. We played this during Lockdown 1.0 in Summer 2020, and absolutely loved it!

Scare Level 👻👻 (Low)

Read our Review of Escape Tales: The Awakening here.

USB Escape

The creepiness increases as you progress with the game, so we would recommend playing this in a couple of longer sittings (or one major sesh, if you’re hardcore), to ensure that you get the full experience of being pulled into the tension.

Scare Level 👻👻👻👻 (Scary)

Read our Review of USB Escape here.

Scarlet Envelope: The Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri

Mr. Ferri is dead… Or is he? A brilliant little challenging game from the creative geniuses at Scarlet Envelope. Whilst The Mysterious Mansion of Mr. Ferri can be played standalone, you’ll want to check out the full series for the best experience. There are no real scares in the game, but it’s a cosy mystery set in a (probably) haunted mansion. What more could you want?

Scare Level 👻 (Very Low)

Read our review of The Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri here.

Unlock! The House on the Hill

Scare Level 👻👻 (Low)

Read our review of The House on the Hill here.

📜 Printable Halloween Escape Rooms 📜

Okay, so there’s really only one game on this list, but it’s absolutely brilliant:

clueQuest: Halloween Survival Training

To create the print + cut + escape game Halloween Survival Training, clueQuest took all the best things about Halloween: Vampires, Frankenstein, Zombies, and smashed them together with brilliant tactile puzzles. The result? A fantastically spooky and light-hearted escape room at home that’s sure to give the warm fuzzies.

Scare Level 👻👻 (Low)

Read our full review here

Live in the UK?

Here’s our list of the best in-person Halloween Escape Rooms

The Best UK Escape Rooms to Play This Halloween (2021)


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas? Pfft, it’s all about HALLOWEEN! We’re calling it – spooky season is upon us and the perfect way to get into the ‘spirit’ is to play as many ghoulish, creepy and downright terrifying escapes! And lucky for you, we at The Escape Roomer have pulled together a roundup of the most spook-tacular escape games out there so you don’t have to.

Our list covers spine-chilling games from across the UK, as well as some to give you the creeps from the comfort of your own home (we know, we know, there’s nothing better than settling down with a classic PSL for a rainy autumnal afternoon escape at home, before getting the willies watching scary movies all night!).

But we also know that being scared WIT-less doesn’t work for everyone (and their puzzle solving capability). Never fear! You can still enjoy spooky season; we have included some tamer escapes that are guaranteed not to scare, but that fit in perfectly with the Halloween season.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s find your perfect Halloween escaping plans!

Disclaimer: These scares levels were accurate at the time of writing, but we know some companies like the ramp up the scare for Halloween, so if you are a bit nervous, please check with the company directly if they’ve snuck in an extra scare (or a live actor, no one wants a surprise live actor!!)

😱 Hardcore Scary Escape Rooms 😱

Want to be scared out of your mind? Try one of these escape rooms for an extreme scream…

The 13utcher – Escapologic, Nottingham

If you know anything about scary escape rooms, you will have heard of Escapologic’s the 13utcher! This game is notorious among the escape community for being one of the most terrifying escape experiences in the UK. You accidentally get trapped behind the shutter of what turns out to be the Butcher’s lair and there’s no saying when he will return (it’s definitely during the hour!).

We haven’t yet played the 13utcher (we’ve been working our way up to it), but we have heard amazing things- including overhearing a lad scarred by the fact that the butcher stole his shoes! If you like hardcore scares, this is the game for you!

Please note this game is advertised as 18+. You can book to play the 13utcher at

Edith – Unescapable, Derby

So Unescapable aren’t really an escape room company- they’re a super secret time travelling facility masquerading as an escape rooms company, but we’re sure they won’t mind us telling you that! When they open a time portal they send one of their scientists back to make sure everything is ok, and Edith was just the lady for the job… only things went awry when they lost communication with her. She should have shut down the portal but something stopped her. It’s your job to go back and get that portal closed!

We can vouch for the scare levels of Edith- there’s plenty of opportunities to get the adrenaline flowing! Something evil stalks you on your mission and takes every opportunity to make you jump, scream and, at times, get separated from your team mates. There were certainly a fair few nervous giggles among our team when we played, but we loved every heart racing moment of it! If you like a scare, this is one not to miss!

Please note there is an element of crawling required by all players in this room. You can find out more and book to play Edith at

Operation Clearsafe – Project Breakout, Brighouse

You’ve infiltrated a top secret facility rumoured to have been undertaking unethical tests on humans and animals to expose their secrets. Unlucky for you, these test subjects have broken free. Can you avoid the creatures to escape the compound with your life?

Operation Clearsafe can be run on scalable levels of scary. So if live actors and jump scares just really aren’t for you, you can still enjoy all the fun this game has to offer without the fear (fun) factor.

You can find out more and book to play Operation Clearsafe at

Phobia – Paralysis Escape Rooms, Stoke

Local people have been going missing and you believe Riser Kane, a creepy psychologist known for his boundary pushing experiments, is to blame. So, of course, while he is detained, you choose to head down into his cellar (shudders) to find out what has truly been going on. Can you manage to overcome your phobias and make it out with the crucial evidence before Riser Kane returns and takes you as his next ‘patient’?

You can find out more and book to play Phobia at

👻 Escape Rooms That’ll Make You Jump 👻

Scary, but not “scarred for life” scary. These rooms will make you jump!

Sleepover – Escapologist, Cleethorpes

Breaking into the abandoned house of the infamous murdered family is a great idea right? What about planning to sleep over there? Easy Peasy! But when the door locks itself behind you, those rumours of the place being haunted start to make you worry a little more…

Sleepover is a jam-packed 80 minute game that you really get your money’s worth from! If you enjoy a good jump scare, you’ll be sure to have a great time!

You can find out more and book to play Sleepover at

Cabin in the Woods – Stuck in the Riddle, Huddersfield

Memory implant technology sends you back into the memory of serial killer the silent slayer’s last victim. You find yourself in a remote cabin in the woods. Well of course, what could be more appropriate as a killer’s lair?! Your mission is to find out the identity of the killer and get out of the memory before he comes back to kill the person whose memory you are inhabiting.

We had a great time playing this as a pair and can safely say there were lots of nervous giggles following being made to jump.

You can find out more and book to play Cabin in the Woods at

Scarytale – Deception, Matlock

Not all fairy tales have happy endings… as the Millers found out when the price of a game they played with a wicked little man was their daughter Olivia, who was taken by him. They’ve spent years trying to find him to have a second chance at the game, and now that they’ve found the man with no name, can you help them defeat him?

A brilliant, dark and unnerving twist on a well-known fairy tale! We loved this room and enjoyed just how cleverly the elements are woven together.

You can find out more and book to play Scarytale at

Seance – Enigma, Wakefield

Rated 18+, Seance is a chilling game including genuine arcane artifacts, demonic symbols and rituals. You enter the home of Tabitha, a sickly child who was lost when her mother did a ritual to try to help her. Expect a couple of jump scares incited by Tabitha popping to see what you’re up to. Lots of creepiness in a relatively small space, this is a really fun room!

You can find out more and book to play Seance at

Howitz – Escapologic, Nottingham

Escapologic again?! Yes! And while this is a significant step down in terms of outright terror from the 13utcher (no live actor for a start), it is still a creepy room set in a disturbing toy shop with the ability to prompt some good jump scares! Escapologic have really thought about the *special* touches to send a shiver down your spine in this game. We absolutely loved this game, in particular the amazing clue system they use, which lends itself completely to the theme and fans of spooky stuff will LOVE!

There is a section which will require the group to separate, but we managed this as a pair and while unnerving, no one comes into the room so you’re as safe as you can be in a creepy toy shop!

You can find out more and book to play Howitz at

Sacred – LetsXcape, Newark

Father Frederick has asked you to enter the Monastery at Kelham Hall to search for Novice Tobias who has gone missing. Your Sacred mission is to search for his whereabouts and discover the truth… A really atmospheric game set in the grounds of Kelham Hall. Who knew that monks could be so creepy?

This game is rated 12+ with parental advisory. You can find out more and book to play Sacred at

The Orphanage – Lucardo, Manchester

Lucardo provide a PG rating for this game which is sure to give you the creeps. The derelict St Josephine’s Orphanage for Girls is up for auction so you’re headed there to take a look at the site and its redevelopment potential. Upon entering the building, the previous residents have left eerie signs of their unhappy time in the Orphanage and you get caught up in the history of the place. Just try not to get singled out by the cruel woman who ran the place, and try not to get locked in the Keeper (we thought this was veeeery reminiscent of the chokey from Matilda!)

You can find out more and book to play the Orphanage at

Run – The Great Escape, Sheffield

You may recognise this as the game Ariana Grande played on the Late Late Show with James Corden (just at a different branch, somewhere in the USA, rather than Sheffield). Set in a dilapidated ex-children’s home, local urban legend claims that many moons ago the home’s Headmaster used to pay for his own immortality with the souls of these poor unfortunate children. Of course this means that exploring the place you uncover unnerving items, things that go bump in the night and downright creepy goings-on. IF you want to break the curse, set these poor children’s souls free and make it out of the derelict building unscathed, you may have to RUN!

You can find out more and book to play Run at

Abigail – Trapp’d, Kettering

An innocent little girl called Abigail whose life was stolen by her cruel parents who locked her away in her bedroom for years. Tragically she was taken by the flames of a blazing fire, burnt and alone. Some say they still see a little girl walking the hallways of the now derelict Hallows House. Since Abigail’s death in the early 1940s, there has been a terrifying amount of disappearances and accidents within the walls. 

You’re part of a paranormal team investigating Hallows House when things turn sinister. A haunting looking doll has been watching you and you realise the uncanny familiarity the doll has to long gone Abigail. This is really exciting game spread over a large space giving you plenty of chances to get the willies as you go off exploring the house, and with a few opportunities for jump scares thrown in for good measure.

You can find out more and book to play Abigail at

💀 On the Creepy Side of Tame 💀

More creepy than spooky, these are perfect for those dark October nights.

Mr Chuckles’ Funhouse – Escape Quest, Macclesfield

If you are a longstanding fan of scares and escape rooms, you may remember Bad Clown. Unfortunately we missed out on playing this as we have heard that it was SCARY- in fact, owners Elaine and Mike said that so many teams would refuse before the beginning was over! As a result, a tamer version, Mr Chuckles’ Funhouse, emerged and we have had the pleasure of playing this!

You need to outsmart Mr Chuckles and his puzzles to escape his creepy funhouse. To do this, each player needs to win a ticket. The catch? The time ends as soon as the first golden ticket holder exits the game, sabotaging the rest of the team’s chances of exiting the creepy funhouse, so you need to decide what’s more important – A fast time or for every member of your team to win the game? Will you come together as a team to overcome Mr Chuckles and his games or will it be every player for themselves?

For teams unlucky enough to still be inside without a ticket or too slow to get out as the final seconds tick by, Mr Chuckles has one last surprise up his sleeve…

You can find out more and book to play Mr Chuckles’ Funhouse at

Jilted? – Deception Matlock

A missing bride is never a good thing…. Jilted? Or is something more sinister at play?

Can you go to hell and back to find out what really happened after the bridal party left the bride? Jilted offers plenty of puzzles in an impressive and interactive set that really immerses you in the unorthodox rituals the bride got involved in during her preparations for the big day. While there are definite creepy vibes and a darker story line at play, this game won’t scare your pants off (well not too much anyway!)

You can find out more and book to play Jilted? at

Hellevator – Clue HQ, Birmimgham

A very dramatic (and black mirror-esque) introduction sets the story line for the Hellevator: your torturous ascent will be live streamed to the general public watching your every move as you try to solve the series of trials to make it up to floor 13 successfully! The drama and tension escalates exponentially as you ascend towards the final level, creating an intense and exhilarating finish, and feeling a rush of adrenaline followed by relief to have completed the Hellevator!

You can find out more and book to play the Hellevator at

Murder Motel – Enigma, Wakefield

Sam has been sticking around in your Motel for longer than the average guest. To add to that, something doesn’t feel quite…right…about him. He gives you the creeps and you want to know what he’s hiding. So, opportunity strikes when he heads out one evening and you take your chance to snoop around his room and find out who Sam really is. Just try to be quick and make it out before he returns to discover you in his dingy motel room, otherwise things could get really nasty!

You can find out more and book to play Murder Motel at

The Night Watchman – Eskape Whitby

Out on the docks of Whitby, people have been disappearing. These are dark times, and there are rumours of things being spotted in the shadows. The locals have grown fearful, but the night watchman might have uncovered the secret. He’s the next person who has gone missing, but managed to leave a trail of clues. As the top detectives in Yorkshire, you have been called in to help. Can you follow in the night watchman’s footsteps find out what is wreaking terror on the town. (If you know anything about what Whitby is famous for, you may be able to hazard a guess at what or who that might be…)

You can find out more and book to play The Night Watchman at

🎃 Halloween Escape Rooms for the Family 🎃

These rooms probably won’t scare you, but they scratch the Halloween itch just nicely!

Frankenscape – Ctrl Alt Esc, Margate

You might be able to guess what the theme of this room is from the name! Professor Alec Smart has been working on a groundbreaking experiment that some may think is controversial. The key to its success is lightning and a storm is a-brewin’. Ctrl Alt Esc has gone all out on a thrilling room, and the end sequence is unforgettable!

You can find out more and book to play Frankenscape at

Carfax – Cave Escape, Nottingham

If you’re a fan of gothic classic Dracula, you’ll love Carfax! You are called upon by Van Helsing following some strange goings on, to find out what is going on. In Carfax, you follow the story of Dracula from arrival in the dockyard, through to overcoming the infamous vampire himself. And to add to the gothic atmosphere, Carfax is built within Nottingham’s underground cave network. Does it get more spooky and atmospheric than that?! But rest assured, this is not a scary game, just based around a Halloweeny theme.

You can find out more and book to play Carfax at

Carfax – Cave Escape

Afterlife – Cryptology, Sheffield

Can you beat Death himself? Find out in this adventure through Purgatory, Hell and into the pearly gates of heaven. If you succeed, you get to add your name to the Book of Life. Fail, and I guess you’re…well…dead.

You can find out more and book to play Afterlife at

Ward 13 – Enigma, Doncaster

You’ve been mistakenly put on Ward 13, and that is a place you do NOT want to be! Can you manage to work out how to sneak your way out before you end up in the same position as the patients before you? If you know Pretty Little Liars, think Radley vibes… A creepy theme, but rest assured that you can enjoy this safe in the knowledge that there aren’t going to be any jump scares to throw you off your puzzling!

You can find out more and book to play Ward 13 at

Sweeney Todd – Enigma, Lincoln

I’m sure you know the story of Sweeney Todd. Barbershop… people going missing… plenty of delicious pies in Mrs Lovetts’ shop downstairs. Enigma have created a magnificent recreation of the Victorian tale in this game, with an amazing centerpiece that sets this off perfectly! Despite the dark tale, you won’t be too scared, just make sure you don’t try any of those pies!

You can find out more and book to play Sweeney Todd at

Salem – Trapp’d, Leeds

While visiting Salem, you hear stories that supposed witch Marjorie Sutton can still be seen prowling around in her old stomping ground and you want to know the truth, so you head to her abandoned shack in the woods to explore. But while you are there, the witching hour strikes. Transported into the world of Salem Witch trials, you must find and destroy the book of the damned and escape the cabin before you are trapped in the Salem forest forever. A great game to enjoy the atmospheric witch-y theme with no scares to freak you out.

You can find out more and book to play Salem at

Spellbound – Make your escape, Derby

What a magical game! We’d recommend bringing a big group to this game as the room is jam packed with puzzles and is quite the challenge. In fact, with this game- the more, the merrier as it is a spacious room and can accommodate up to 10 players. Based on a real tale of witch trials that took place in Derby in the 1600s, you enter the cabin of these two accused witches, centuries after their conviction for witchcraft, to explore their cabin, find out the truth and become part of the legend. A perfect way to celebrate Halloween with all your fellow spooky season connoisseurs!

You can find out more and book to play Spellbound at

Stuck at home?

Here’s our list of the best at-home Halloween Escape Rooms

How long could someone ACTUALLY survive in a sealed escape room?


I’ve lost track of the number of escape rooms I’ve played that follow the following premise:

You have 60 minutes to escape before you run out of air!

Whether that’s escaping from a submarine… Or locked inside a safe room without any windows… Or a crew on a space ship with the oxygen rapidly depleting…

It’s a familiar premise and escape room enthusiasts know the drill by now. But let’s rewind for a second and ask the big question:

How long could you survive in a sealed room?

Let’s consider a couple of variables:

How many people are trapped inside the room?

Rarely, if at all, are you escaping from a room alone. Who you choose to bring with you into this death-trap escape room is entirely up to you… But let’s assume you do have to bring at least one other person. Is it your 5 year old kid? Your elderly grandma? Different people consume oxygen at different rates.

But let’s say you want to absolutely maximise your chances of escape, so you invite all your friends to play. You have 9 friends. There are 10 people trapped in this room.

How big is the escape room?

I’ve never measured an escape room, but let’s assume all 10 players want to be comfortable. Our hypothetical escape room is:

3m x 4m x 2.5m

Our escape room has a volume of 30 meters cubed. But don’t forget! An average person has a volume of 0.1 meters cubed, so we want to minus 1 meter cubed. We’ve only got 29 meters cubed left once everyone has crowded in.

Photo (c) Kdwk Leung

How much oxygen is there in the room?

Depending on where you are in the world, air can be made up of different gases and therefore have different quantities of oxygen. The global average percentage of oxygen is around 21%.

We’ve got 29,000 litres of air in our escape room, 6,090 of which is oxygen.

In an average 24 hours, a relaxed person consumes around 550 litres of oxygen a day.

Show me the numbers!

B. Geerts has a formula you can use for this: (total oxygen consumption rate) = (volume of oxygen consumed) / (total time lapsed)

Or to get more technical…

nC = {Vr – nVp}{Li – Lf}/t


t = time lapsed from initial time to time of loss of consciousness (s)

Vr = volume of enclosure (m3)

Vp = volume of a person (about 0.1 m3)

Li = initial oxygen concentration (21% or 0.21)

Lf = final oxygen concentration (12% or 0.12)

n = number of people in enclosure

C = per capita rate of oxygen consumption (3.33 10-6 m3 s-1)

Less numbers please!

The TLDR is that things look great for our 10 escape room players. They have over 24 hours until they run out of oxygen. However, people pass out at around 10% of oxygen, so in reality they have 21 hours and 47 min to solve the room. Phew.

Except there’s one thing we haven’t thought about…

The Carbon Dioxide Problem

In reality, the carbon dioxide levels will kill our ten players before low oxygen levels will. With each breath our escape room players breathe in 0.04% carbon dioxide and exhale 4% carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is poisonous. I’ll repeat this for those in the back: It’s poisonous!!

When the air in the room reaches 4% carbon dioxide, our players are in big trouble.

With ten players in the room, the carbon dioxide levels will reach 4% at around 2.5 hours.

Oh no.

The Most Important Rule: Don’t Panic!

One more problem. one tiny, itty bitty problem. These calculations are based on a group of 10 people relaxed and standing perfectly still. Why is this a problem? People in escape rooms don’t stand still.

You have to rush around, solve puzzles, talk to each other, and yeah… I’d probably panic too if I only had 2 and a half hours to escape before I suffocated.

The longer our players spend in the room, the more oxygen will deplete from the space and the harder it will become to solve puzzles.

Photo (c) Marten Newhall

After a couple of minutes, the players will feel a headache.

After about an hour players will feel nauseous, clammy, and weak at the knees.

At two hours, players will feel a wave of exhaustion.

At two and a half hours, players will start to pass out.

The Answer

10 players would last 2.5 hours in a small, airtight escape room.

I’m no mathematician so my calculations may not be airtight (no pun intended!), but the verdict is clear: Players will die of carbon dioxide poisoning long before they’ll run out of oxygen.

The moral of the story: Bring a smaller group, maybe some plants to balance the carbon dioxide, and by god try and escape quickly and calmly.