How Long Does an Escape Room Take?
Time. We all know it, we all love it, we all exist in it without purpose or regard as it flows endlessly towards an unknowing future. How much time do we have? With a little luck, enough to create meaningful moments with loved ones and leave an impact for generations to come…. 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 Rooms were first popularized in Japan and with the initial inception came the standard One Hour experience. It’s convenient, easy to keep track of, and became the industry norm for escape rooms all around the world. One hour to save the planet, to solve the mystery, or escape with your lives. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? There’s a sort of beauty in thinking that your personal story can wrap up neatly in an hour. People like tidy bookends and the challenge and pressure that is associated with a ticking clock. 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 escape room here in LA?
Well. I’m not spending my full 98 minutes watching Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie also running around a room and trying to escape the dastardly clutches of Jake T. Austin. Escape rooms are active, involved, and highly engaging whereas movie watching is passive. Which is why your average escape experience is that magical sixty minutes. If too much time is allotted, you either pay for time you don’t use or suffer from puzzle overload. In long-form chess games, things can quickly deteriorate for both players 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.
The Basement Difference
Forty-five minutes strikes the ideal sweet spot for The Basement. We have a perfectly balanced ratio of puzzles and time for our games. This creates a challenging and tense, high stress puzzle environment that fits the theme of our experiences. Truly immersing our guests in the stories we have created is our highest priority. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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:
- 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 friends, wait for them to get back to you, check their schedules, 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 to ensure the game and time your heart truly desires.
- Read endless blog posts about “THE TOP TEN WAYS TO BEAT ESCAPE ROOMS” to guarantee your success.
- When the day of your greatest anticipation finally arrives, file eight people 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.
- Start your spooky, puzzle-packed forty-five-minute adventure! Yeah!
- ESCAPE! Or die trying.
- Gather your belongings, buy a cool t-shirt and discounted tickets for next time (wink).
- Literally talk about the room and nothing else for the next week because of how incredibly cool it was.
Your time at The Basement: A Live Escape Room Experience includes approximately 15 minutes of pre-game set up, 45 minutes of in-room play time, and roughly 10 minutes of post-game tomfoolery. The memories of your time here, however, will last until you decompose gracefully after your imminent demise.