Enigma Quest Logo

What Makes a Good Escape Room?

The best escape rooms combine excellent and varied puzzles, vibrant and surprising room designs, and a compelling story to drive your team towards its goal. A huge variety of escape rooms exist across the UK, transporting players across our world and to other worlds entirely. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020 there has also been a rise in online escape room experiences, which bring their own positives and negatives.

The Escape Room Essentials

While the elements of an escape room can vary, several essentials will usually be found across the UK. Escape rooms task a small team with solving puzzles to complete a goal in a set amount of time, usually 60 minutes. Originally this goal was simply to escape the room, but today it could be anything from solving a murder to robbing a criminal vault. 

Each room will consist of a variety of interconnected puzzles within a detailed and immersive environment, bringing you into the world of the game and requiring excellent puzzle-solving and teamwork.

What Makes a Good Escape Room?

As escape room enthusiasts, we believe 4 essential elements make up a good escape room, and will be found across the best.

Fantastic Puzzle Design

The heart of an escape room is its puzzles, which should offer both variety and carefully tailored difficulty in order for teams to have the best experience possible. Within an escape room, there are a huge number of puzzle types and elements that can be used. Everything from item manipulation to code breaking, visual puzzles, and pattern recognition can be used and combined. The best escape room designers utilise a true range of puzzles, keeping players on their toes and challenging them throughout.

While some escape room companies will offer different rooms at varying difficulty levels, and most will provide hints through a gamemaster, getting the right level of challenge is crucial. If teams feel like they are hitting a roadblock with every puzzle, or relying on hints to proceed, they’re likely to have a negative experience. 

The same is true for rooms where solutions are continually easy. The goal should be for most teams to feel a true sense of accomplishment, only just completing the room within the time limit, and without relying on too many hints to get through puzzles.

Immersive Decor and Effects

Escape rooms transport players to another world, bringing them into tales of magic, espionage, derring-do, and much more. This is achieved through the decorations and effects around the room. The decor, lighting, and furnishings will play a crucial role in this, as will the puzzle elements themselves, with a magical room utilising things like wands, or a room set in a victorian mansion using a candelabra, for instance.

Many rooms will also use effects, from hidden additional rooms and spaces, to smoke, sound effects, and videos. These elements will further surprise and engage players, helping to distinguish an escape room.

A Thrilling Story

Each of our escape rooms opens with an introduction from a Questmaster, who’ll bring you into the world of the game. Having a rich narrative with a clear goal to work towards will further bring players together. This could be stopping a missile launch, uncovering a hidden treasure stash, or much more. Puzzles can also be used as part of the story, with clues hidden within important letters or video elements.

Friendly, Helpful Staff

While this is not strictly associated with the design of the room, a huge part of the great time offered by the best rooms starts with the front-of-house service and gamemaster. This helps to ensure that teams feel comfortable and prepared, regardless of their experience level. Escape rooms like Enigma Quests will also be able to make accommodations for players, whether that be offering help with certain elements, or altering aspects of the room to ensure everyone is comfortable.

Are Online Escape Rooms Any Good?

While escape rooms grew from the world of video games, they have traditionally existed as a real-world activity, bringing groups of friends, colleagues, or family members together within an immersive recreated space. However, online escape room experiences have grown in popularity over recent years, especially during the Covid lockdowns when real escape rooms were inaccessible.

A virtual escape room can still offer many of the same benefits, with a selection of puzzle types, a compelling story, and immersive design elements. It also allows those who are not located near each other to play together. The actual content of online escape rooms can vary hugely, from those that offer an explorable 3D space to others that are text-based. While we don’t think the immersive experience of a physical escape room can ever be wholly replicated virtually, there are plenty of high-quality options available.

Three Great Escape Rooms in Shoreditch, London

Easily reached by nearby tube and train stations, our three escape rooms combine complex interconnected puzzles, brilliant room designs, and attention-grabbing stories, perfect for a huge range of players. We are run by enthusiasts, who want to offer the best possible experience, whether this is your 1st or 31st escape room. Each of our rooms takes your team to a captivating location with just 60 minutes on the clock:

  • Submarine: Mission Wavebreak: This espionage-themed room transports players to the floor of the ocean aboard a hijacked submarine that is 60 minutes away from triggering armageddon. You’ll need to work together across this multi-room experience to have any hope of saving the world.
  • School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: This magical escape experience takes your team to the famous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where you’ll need to muster all your magical know-how to pass your final exams and achieve the ultimate “Outstanding” grade.
  • The Million Pound Heist: This inventive heist room tasks players with gaining access to the secure vault of a feared London gang. Should you make it inside, you’ll be able to steal up to a million pounds, with a leaderboard showcasing the very best teams. Could you be joining them?

Our rooms are available to book online, with slots 7 days a week including evenings. Designed for teams of 3 to 5, they could be the perfect birthday party, team-building event, or just a great evening out with friends. Book any of our rooms online now.