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17 May, 2023
12 min read

Different Types of Escape Rooms + Common Puzzles Examples

Types of Escape Room | Escape Room, Korea Town | Questroom

Are you looking for an exciting way to bond with your family, friends, or colleagues while challenging your mind? Look no further than the world of escape rooms in Los Angeles! Questroom offers a wide range of themes for escape rooms, from crime to science fiction to horror scenarios. We believe that adventure and story are the most important aspects of our games. Our games are story-driven and story-forward, with immersive experiences that challenge your mind and create unforgettable memories! Some are designed for large groups, while others are ideal for smaller teams. In this blog post, we will explore the five most common types of escape rooms you may encounter and provide examples of the puzzles you can expect to face.

Escape Rooms By Place


The most popular escape room type is the in-person game, where players must be physically present and search for clues and objects to solve puzzles. The escape room staff interact with the players, some playing characters within the game.

Physical escape rooms are often themed, with each game having a unique storyline and specific challenges. Players must work together and use their problem-solving skills to uncover hidden clues and solve puzzles, which range from simple to complex.


Virtual escape rooms can be a great alternative if you don't have access to in-person escape rooms in your area or your team is geographically dispersed. While they may not provide the same ambiance as in-person rooms, they often feature interactive challenges and inventory systems that can still make for an enjoyable experience.

Escape Rooms By Game Sequence


In a non-linear escape room, players work on multiple puzzles simultaneously. At the end of the game, they combine their solutions to solve a larger riddle that completes the game. This escape room type is ideal for large groups and experienced players. Everyone has a role to play and is tested on their ability to plan, communicate, and solve puzzles efficiently.


Players must solve riddles in a linear escape room in a specific order. Each one must be solved before the next one can be attempted. The next hint is not revealed until the previous puzzle has been solved. This type of escape room is ideal for smaller teams. It is recommended for novice players since it does not overwhelm them with too many intricacies.

These escape rooms are also ideal for companies that choose escape rooms as a team-building activity, as they encourage players to work together to solve problems.


A mixed non-linear and linear escape room compromises the first two categories of escape rooms. These rooms include a bottleneck riddle that leads to fewer puzzles, which must all be solved to unlock the larger one. Once that puzzle is unlocked, another series of smaller, frequently simpler challenges is produced, and so on, until the game is won. This type of escape room is ideal for all group sizes as it has a precise sequence and order, is well-organized, and offers each player something to accomplish.

Our escape rooms may vary in type, but the story will generally guide you to your next destination.

Escape Rooms By Genre

Scary / Horror / Thriller

Scary or horror-themed escape rooms are not for the faint of heart. Popular films like the Saw series may inspire these rooms. Still, they often involve an original storyline that requires players to escape a house of horrors or evade a deranged serial killer. These rooms may include live actors, jump scares, and disturbing imagery and are generally not recommended for younger participants.


Mystery-themed escape rooms typically revolve around a police or detective narrative, such as a murder mystery dinner event or the adventures of Hercule Poirot. Players must use deductive reasoning to solve a crime and escape the room.


Adventure-themed escape rooms encourage players to explore exotic locations, from ancient pyramids to the jungle's depths. These rooms often feature puzzles that require physical activity, such as climbing or crawling and challenges that test problem-solving skills.


Historic-themed escape rooms transport players to another time and place, such as medieval Europe or ancient Egypt. These rooms often require players to solve puzzles based on historical events or cultural practices. They may feature period-specific props and decor.


Myths, legends, and imaginary worlds inspire fantasy-themed escape rooms. These rooms often feature puzzles that require players to use their imagination and think outside the box. They may include magical creatures, enchanted artifacts, and other fantastical elements.


Comedy-themed types of escape room puzzles are a more lighthearted option, with storylines to make players laugh. These rooms often feature challenges based on popular comedy tropes, such as mistaken identities or slapstick humor. This can also be combined with other genres like horror.

Common Escape Room Puzzles Examples


Escape rooms often involve a variety of riddles that require different types of problem-solving skills. Here are some of the most common puzzle types you may encounter:

  • Math Puzzles Escape rooms often incorporate math problems that involve finding patterns of numbers and using basic addition or subtraction to solve them. These challenges are designed to be solvable without requiring advanced math skills or knowledge.

  • Text Puzzles Escape rooms often hide text in plain sight, which can be uncovered with magnifying glasses. Paying attention to small text and seemingly random letters is crucial for solving some riddles. Even the smallest details can be the key to success.

  • Word Puzzles Escape rooms often feature word and logic puzzles, which can involve verbal math problems and vary from room to room. It's important to remember that words can have multiple meanings or sound different but still carry the same meaning. Logic is key to solving any mystery in escape rooms.

  • Ciphers Cipher wheels are often incorporated into escape room types that involve secret societies, espionage, or the military due to their historical use in encoding secret messages.

  • Repeating Numbers If you notice a calendar date mentioned multiple times during your escape room session, it could be crucial for solving a puzzle. It may be used as an access code or combination to unlock something.

  • Riddles Escape rooms challenge players' critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills with intricate and challenging puzzles that require solving riddles, deciphering codes, searching for hidden objects or clues, and performing tasks under time pressure. Players work together to escape the room before time runs out, making the experience engaging and exciting.

  • Paper on Paper This puzzle involves two sheets of paper, one with text and the other blank with holes cut out. When the blank paper is placed over the text paper properly, each hole reveals a single letter, which spells out a crucial clue.

  • Maps and Coordinates Escape rooms with modern themes may incorporate GPS coordinates. In contrast, those with older themes may use longitude and latitude or require players to navigate using a map.

  • Sudoku Sudoku is a rare and challenging type of challenge that may be found in a puzzle-centric escape room rather than an immersive one, as it requires knowledge of the game to solve.

  • Crossword Puzzles Regarding escape rooms, clues can be hidden or disguised in various ways. For example, some escape rooms use crosswords to challenge players and make them think outside the box. These puzzles can range in difficulty, with some being more straightforward and others requiring players to work together and use their collective knowledge to solve.

In addition to riddles, escape rooms may also use other techniques to encourage collaboration and teamwork among players. For instance, some rooms may feature larger-than-life puzzle pieces that require multiple people to move and manipulate. This can help build a sense of camaraderie and make the experience more engaging for everyone involved.


Physical challenges in escape rooms involve manipulating objects, such as moving furniture, fitting together puzzles, situating objects, and untangling barriers. These types of puzzles tend to be more apparent, so looking for anything that feels out of the ordinary in the room is essential.

  • Magnets If you come across a metal object, such as a key, just out of reach, look for a magnet in the room. You can also check for a magnet on long objects to help you retrieve the key.

  • Keys Keys are often crucial in escape rooms but can be difficult to obtain. Many mysteries require players to complete other tasks before finding the key or unlocking the lock, making the search more challenging and exciting. Some escape rooms may also place the key far away from the lock to add an extra layer of complexity to the puzzle-solving process.

  • Matching Puzzles You may notice a specific image in certain escape rooms that appears repeatedly. This may be done to emphasize an important clue or concept, or it may be used to help you connect different parts of the image throughout the room to unlock a clue.

  • Jigsaw Puzzles Jigsaw puzzles are a common feature in many escape rooms. They function like puzzles you assemble at home, where you piece together fragments to reveal a larger image. Sometimes, you may have to assemble a picture of letters, a secret message, or an important image. The completion may also unlock something. The Saw franchise, which features intricate death-trap style riddles, notably infamized the jigsaw puzzle in popular culture.

  • Labyrinth In escape rooms, you may encounter labyrinths involving navigating a maze. To progress or obtain a clue, move an object from one end of the maze to another. This type of puzzle does not require advanced navigation skills and can be solved by anyone.

  • Electrical Current Electrical Current involves multiple players simultaneously placing their hands in specific areas of an object. The electrical currents are mild and will not cause any harm to the players, but they are enough to complete the puzzle.

  • Visual Design Puzzles Escape room designers often incorporate clues and hints into the room's decor. Some visual effects may only be visible when viewed from a certain angle. Players should also be aware of oversized or uneven objects in the room as they may be part of a puzzle.


Puzzles that use your senses, like lights, sounds, and smells, are often overlooked because they seem part of the environment. However, in escape rooms, nothing is coincidental. Pay attention to lights that blink, subtle sounds, or distinct smells, as they may be pointing you toward a solution. Make sure to remember these cues.

  • Sound Puzzles Escape rooms often use sound to enhance the game's atmosphere and communicate hidden messages. For example, the "Imperial March" in Star Wars indicates that Darth Vader is approaching. It's important to listen closely for clues, as they can be hidden anywhere in the room.

  • Light Puzzles Escape rooms often use light or UV paint to reveal hidden messages or codes; some may even use Morse Code to communicate. Attention to the lighting is crucial, as clues may be hidden anywhere in the room. If a black light flashlight is provided, shining it all over may reveal invisible ink. If no clues can be found on the walls, check inside prominent objects.

Escape rooms often incorporate UV light, common in spy-themed rooms. Some escape rooms may use laser lights with mirrors, and some clues may only be visible when light is shining on a particular object or when the lights are off. Pay attention to both well-lit and very dark areas, as they may be crucial to solving the puzzles.

  • Smell Puzzles Distinctive scents can enhance the immersion of an escape room of various kinds by matching the room's aroma with its theme and environment. For example, a pirate-themed room could have the scent of salty air, while a Christmas-themed room could have the scent of gingerbread. Additionally, certain smells may also serve as clues to puzzles, such as the smell of food indicating the location of a clue near an oven.

Red Herring

Red herring escape rooms are named after the red-headed foil kid in the 1980s mystery-comedy series, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. These rooms can be non-linear, linear, or mixed, but the central component is filled with tricks and ploys. You should always watch for anything that can divert your attention from the real problems when you are in one of these escape rooms. There might be several dead ends and time wasters in the form of hints. Some players become annoyed if they choose the wrong option.

In contrast, others genuinely relish the opportunity to tell the real hints from deceptive signals. Due to their nature, large teams that struggle to agree and adopt a single course of action may find a red herring escape room quite challenging. On the other hand, teams with excellent communication skills, patience, and expertise will surely enjoy this game. It is important to say not everything you don’t use is a Red Herring. At Questroom for example we have extensive set design and a lot of things are placed in our rooms because the story we are telling requires they be there even if the puzzles don’t. These aren’t meant to trip you up but to immerse you to the fullest in the experience!

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunt escape rooms are similar to red herring escape rooms in that they can be non-linear, linear, or mixed. Their main concept is that there are usually no riddles or puzzles to solve, and they are solely focused on scavenger hunting. As a result, these escape rooms typically do not require strategy. Instead, the objective is to find specific items, find more items, and repeat the process. While every escape game involves hunting or finding clues, a scavenger hunt escape room does not combine hunting with actual problem-solving. Instead, scavenger hunt escape rooms involve discovering things and hints and require fewer problem-solving skills.

We Have Games for Every Taste!

No matter what your interests are, Questroom has real-life room escape puzzle examples that will suit your preferences. From scary horror experiences to exciting adventure games, our escape rooms offer something for everyone. We pride ourselves on providing high-quality, immersive experiences that challenge your mind and create unforgettable memories.

Ready to book your escape room adventure with Questroom? You can easily book online, call us at 310-707-1240, or email us at [email protected]. Don't wait - start your escape room journey today!

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