How Long Does an Escape Room Take?
Time. We all know it, we all love it, we all exist in it without purpose for age or regard as it flows endlessly towards an unknowing future. How much time do we have?
Oh. Wait, you mean in an escape room? Ooooooooooohhh. Okay. I get it now. That’s a good question.
THE STANDARD ESCAPE ROOM LENGTH
Live Escape Room business was first popularized in Japan and with the initial inception came the standard One Hour experience for the first escape room – well that and a minimum age limit at the door too.
It’s convenient, easy to keep track of, and became the industry norm for escape rooms and online games all around the world.
60 MINUTES OR 90 MINUTES?
There’s a sort of beauty in thinking that your fun personal story and escape room game can wrap up neatly in an hour. Friends like to play and solve games with tidy bookends from start time to finish.
However, if you think about other entertainment we pay for, an hour seems… short. The average movie lasts about 130 minutes, so why shouldn’t my visit to an escape room here in LA?
WHY CAN’T THE PUZZLES BE LONGER?
Well. I’m not spending my full 98 minutes watching Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie. Escape rooms are group-active, person-involved, and highly engaging for playing group participants whereas movie watching is hours of passivity.
If too much time is allotted, you either pay for time you don’t use, get too tired to complete the escape game course, or suffer from puzzle overload and get beat by your own team member.
A FULL HOUR FOR A WHOLE EXPERIENCE
In long-form chess games, things can quickly deteriorate for both participants due to a very real thing called decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is caused by being forced to make too many decisions in one sitting.
Imagine what it would do to you if you were trying to escape a serial killer. One puzzle seems like enough, right?
THE BASEMENT DIFFERENCE
Forty-five minutes strikes the ideal sweet spot for The Basement. Our game master has a perfectly balanced ratio of puzzles and time for our feel-good team games.
This creates a challenging and tense, high stress puzzle environment that fits the theme of our rooms and game experiences. Truly immersing our guests in the stories we have created is our highest priority.
PRESSURE FOR TEAM BUILDING
It’s one thing when you get through the first room or game. But a team needs to feel that their group mission is complete – that any sign or clues they miss could be the teams’ last chance at victory.
Part of that world building involves making the players feel threatened, and getting that balance of challenges to personal life endangerment right is key.
Heh. Key. Get it because like, escape rooms? Anyway.
PHOTO FROM THE STUDY IN LOS ANGELES, CA – “MOTHER’S ROOM”
There are some experiences that stretch or shrink the industry standards to extremes. There are games that can last up to four hours, overnight experiences, or those that simply double game time.
These unusual examples have their own place in the industry, setting themselves apart with wild time clocks and a fountain of puzzles to fill them with.
60 MINUTES TURNS TO 5??
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the five-minute games, the bite size adventures that will really make you sweat. These games are reminiscent of where escape rooms came from: point and click adventure video games.
Like collecting a plate of various hors d’oeuvres at a well catered if not somewhat awkward family reunion, for me, short escape rooms are best consumed in a large quantity, in rapid fire succession.
THEMED ENTERTAINMENT BY VALUE OVER TIME
When purchasing any level of themed entertainment, whether it’s a ticket to Fantasyland or Edward Tandy’s murder house, getting your money’s worth is crucial.
At large, sprawling theme parks, even without going on a single attraction, you are in a highly detailed setting, dressed to the nines with opportunity.
You could spend all day or only a few hours, but either way, the price is the same. That puts the decision (and the pressure) to have fun on you.
MAKING EVERY SECOND COUNT
Timed experiences like escape rooms treat your minutes spent inside their walls as a precious commodity. When your time is limited, there is more assurance that you will reach a maximized level of entertainment value.
Each moment and each dollar needs to cultivate into a worth-while experience. Escape rooms that are so easy you can solve them in fifteen minutes are cheating you out of the remaining forty-five minutes that you paid for.
BY THE SKIN OF YOUR TEETH
At The Basement, every second counts and believe me, you need to utilize them. When people escape, typically it is with mere moments left. And that’s the way we like it.
PHOTO FROM THE ELEVATOR SHAFT IN LOS ANGELES, CA – “THE SERVICE TUNNEL”
SO REALLY, HOW LONG DOES AN ESCAPE ROOM TAKE?
Let’s b-b-break it down, shall we? (Okay, I’ll stop.) From start to finish, I would venture a guess as to say it takes about a week and a half to do an escape room. Let me explain with a series of blog friendly numbered steps:
BOOKING THE RESERVATION
- Read some weird blog post on an escape room website that gives you the incredible and not at all subliminal idea to book a room with The Basement: A Live Escape Room Experience.
- Check your schedule, call your adult friends, wait for them to get back to you, check their schedules for an available date, realize that everything is complicated and this will never work out. Oh hey maybe if we went Sunday at 11:50 am. PERFECT.
- Book your reservation a few days ahead of time.
- Read endless blog posts about “THE TOP TEN WAYS TO BEAT ESCAPE ROOMS” to guarantee your success and to get a sense of how to accomplish a task or find extra clues when you get stuck.
ASSEMBLING OTHER PLAYERS FOR YOUR PRIVATE PARTIES
- When you arrive on location the night of your greatest anticipation, file your eight-person-group into a comical clown car and carpool your way to The Basement.
- Arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to your booking time to give yourself some comfortable wiggle room for the check-in process on location.
OPEN THE DOOR AND PLAY OR GET PLAYED
- Start your spooky, puzzle-packed forty-five-minute adventure! Yeah!
- ESCAPE! Or die trying.
- Gather your belongings, buy a cool t-shirt, grab a drink, and get discounted tickets for next time (wink).
- Literally start talking about the room and nothing else for the next week because of how incredibly cool it was.
CHOOSE YOUR TEAM AND EXPECT THE WORST
Your time at The Basement: A Live Escape Room Experience includes approximately 15 minutes of pre-game set up, 45 minutes of in-room game play time, and roughly 10 minutes of supposed post-game tomfoolery.
The memories of your time here, however, will last until you decompose gracefully after the age of your imminent demise.