Puppeting with Escape Room Gamemasters [Player Tip]

This is a tip for the more serious escape room players.

For those of us who like to play larger rooms with smaller teams (or even solo), it’s frustrating when companies won’t let a small team book because there is a hard minimum.

Hard minimums

Many games have puzzles that require a certain number of bodies to complete. For example, three people need to push buttons in different rooms at the same exact time. That’s a hard minimum. The game physically requires the presence of three people to complete an interaction.

Stylized photo of a devil and dog puppets being held up from behind a table.


Puppeting is when teams that are too small to complete a task are permitted to summon a gamemaster into the room. That gamemaster only does what they are told by the players to complete a multiplayer challenge.

In the example above, the gamemaster pushes a specific button when directed to by the players.

This allows a team to dip below the hard minimum and still enjoy the game.

Not every game needs puppeting.

Not every company will allow puppeting.

However, it’s a good thing to keep in mind if you’re short a player and really want to play a game. It’s always worth asking.


  1. Very cool tip. I have not heard this term before, but I like it! We have had solo players before who have written us poor reviews because we either wouldn’t allow them to play alone, or because we wouldn’t “give them extra time for free” when we were on a tight schedule on a busy day. Puppeting might have prevented this. Thanks again for this great tip.

      1. I know, we thought so, too. People can be very entitled, but it isn’t just escape rooms, it’s restaurants, hotels, life.

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