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What Do Escape Rooms Look Like?

Escape rooms are a worldwide phenomenon, capturing a dedicated audience of established players and newcomers alike. The look of escape rooms will vary wildly depending on their theme, but they will often share some key elements, from room size and layout to the careful use of decorations and furnishings.

The Essentials of Escape Room Design

Originating from online “Escape the room” video games, physical escape rooms grew across the world during the 2010s, offering a wholly unique blend of teamwork, puzzle solving, and creativity within immaculately detailed environments. The specifics will vary depending on which company you visit, but a 60-minute time limit and teams of between 2 and 6 have become standard across the escape room industry today.

What Does an Escape Room Look Like?

Escape rooms are typically built within buildings, to allow complete control over the look and lighting of each area. Things like the size, layout, and visual design can range massively, due to each escape room being unique.

Escape Room Sizes

The look and feel of an escape room can be hugely influenced by its size. Most rooms are designed around 3 to 6 players, which means the size of the room will typically be contained. The crucial elements of an escape room, the puzzles, items, and decorations, will not require an especially large area, and puzzle elements could become hidden or confusing within an especially large room.

Often escape rooms will specifically seek to recreate a recognisable room, such as a lounge, a classroom, or an office. This will allow them to quickly introduce players to that space, and make the room itself more believable and immersive.

The Layout of an Escape Room

This could constitute something of a spoiler for those who haven’t played an escape room before, but most rooms will extend or change in some way across the game, revealing a new section and a new series of puzzles and puzzle elements. This means that the layout of an escape room is something you can expect to change once or twice while playing. 

While some rooms simply have a door that you can unlock to a further room around the halfway mark, others will have panels that slide away, paintings that click open, or many more inventive ways to introduce a new space.

Escape rooms tend to make the most of a smaller area, with the outer walls lined with puzzle elements and decorations, and central areas of the room typically taken up by a larger object. With the right mixture of pieces and decor, they can retain the authentic look of the space it’s imitating.

The Varied Designs of Escape Rooms

Probably the biggest factor in what an escape room looks like comes from its decoration. Decoration will turn a small room into a secret vault, a school for magicians, or an elegant Victorian hall, through decor, furnishings, lighting, and effects. One of the great things about escape rooms is how malleable the concept is, able to be applied to a wide range of settings and genres.

This means that an escape room can be made to look like many different settings, from a haunted castle to a pirate ship, with every aspect of the room tailored to meet that.

Popular Escape Room Themes

Across the UK there are a wide variety of escape rooms available. Here are just a few of the main themes you’ll see from escape room companies across the UK:

  • Murder Mystery: Many escape rooms utilise elements of the classic whodunnit, tasking teams with solving a murder within the time limit. Murder mysteries are a great use of a single location, whether that’s a swanky dining room or a jazz-age nightclub.
  • Horror: Many escape rooms stick with the classic structure of looking to escape a room, using a horror setting or location. Popular horror rooms can include haunted castles, abandoned buildings, or zombie plagues, where you’ll need to find clues and solve puzzles while dealing with terrifying effects.
  • Adventure: Inspired by classic adventure stories like Indiana Jones, many rooms look to ape the look of a hidden dungeon full of traps and treasure. Or for a more modern adventure, many rooms are themed around heists, like our own Million Pound Heist.
  • Espionage: Rooms like Submarine: Mission Wavebreak take players into a world of espionage and spycraft, reminiscent of popular series like James Bond. These stories can provide the perfect source of a 60-minute countdown, whether that’s defusing a bomb, stopping a missile launch, or more.
  • Sci-Fi: Sci-fi rooms could take you onto a spaceship, or task you with dealing with an alien invasion in the current day.
  • Fantasy: The worlds of fantasy and magic can be a great setting for an escape room, such as our School of Witchcraft and Wizardry room, which transports players to the classrooms of a magical institution through decor, sounds, and effects.
  • Historical: Escape rooms can bring people back to historical eras like Ancient Egypt to Tudor or Victorian London, with items, decorations and more tailored to evoke the past.

Do All Escape Rooms Look the Same?

While you can ultimately expect escape rooms to be similar sizes, and to be built around utilising that space for problem-solving, the sheer volume of themes available means that escape games can have extremely different looks, each helping to immerse you in the world and story of the game.

Our Brilliant Escape Rooms in East London

Enigma Quests offers three immersive escape room games in London, transporting teams of 3 to 5 into worlds of espionage, magic, or crime. Located in Shoreditch, a short walk from both tube and train stations, each room combines devious and varied puzzles with a great story and detailed design:

  • School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: This fantastical room will take you to a world of magic, and the secretive School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where you and your team will be sitting your final exams. Only the most accomplished students will achieve the top grade of “Outstanding”, could you be among them?
  • Submarine: Mission Wavebreak: A nuclear submarine has been hijacked and now sits at the bottom of the ocean, primed to unleash a global catastrophe. In this creative and complex room, your team will infiltrate the submarine, with just an hour to prevent armageddon.
  • The Million Pound Heist: This unique room takes players to a world of crime and heists, tackling them by infiltrating the vault of the feared London gang, The Quartet. Once inside, you’ll have the opportunity to steal up to a million pounds in cash, with the most successful teams earning a place on our leaderboard. Could you be joining them?

We operate all of our escape rooms 7 days a week, with evening slots available. Each one is perfect for groups of friends, families, or a team-building exercise with colleagues. Book a room for your next escape experience today.