Having played my fair share of horror escape rooms, and having recently lurked as a team played one of my personal favorites, Dark Park’s Honeymoon Hotel, I’ve come to a few conclusions about how to build the right team for a horror escape room.
It’s All About the Mix
You need the right mix of bravery and fear among the teammates to maximize the fun for the entire group.
If Everyone is Terrified
When everyone is paralyzed by fear, the team will seriously struggle to play because no one will be able or willing to search and solve puzzles.
If Everyone is Brave
When everyone is unflappable (or pretending to be), then the horror escape room quietly transforms into a regular escape room… just with low lighting, jump scares, and probably lots of gore.
This can still be a cool game, but something is missing.
Strive for a team with a good mix of players who are varying degrees of terrified and brave.
Terrified players need brave players to advance the game (and possibly to cling to).
Brave players need terrified players to protect, and through whom they can experience the fear vicariously… because empathetic fear is a great substitute for the real thing.
The right player mix keeps the game moving and maximizes the emotional experience for everyone.
If you’re on the fence about playing a horror game, find a brave player or 2 with whom you can create a symbiotic relationship for an hour or so.
The REA Duo
We’ve had some of our best escape room experiences in horror escape rooms.
While I’d attribute much of this to the games themselves – we’ve played some horrific masterpieces – some of that definitely had to due with our team composition. Lisa was terrified. I was … not so terrified. Our responses to horror complement each other. We strive to build out teams that are equally balanced.
Horror in Baton Rouge this July
As part of this summer’s Escape, Immerse, Explore tour to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, we will get to play The Asylum, the newest game by 13th Gate, and their first horror escape room.
We don’t get to play together on our tours… so this will be the first horror escape room where Lisa won’t be able to cling to me and I won’t be able to feel through her. Some of you will get to play those roles for us instead. Curious about this game? There are only a few tickets left… and the last day to buy them in Tuesday, May 28th.