10 thoughts on “Escape Room Difficulty [Meme]

  1. I’m sure you realize, David, that most good room designers are designing for their target audience. In my tourist town, for example, that’s families on vacation in groups of four to 6, primarily. If the puzzles were harder, 90 percent of my customers would feel less successful and more frustrated playing. And kids are good at searching, generally, more than adults, and more than they are good at puzzling, so some searching gives them something to do.

    I read your reviews, so am aware you know this, but thought it worth commenting. The meme certainly applies, though. And when I encounter difficult puzzles in rooms, I feel like they stem from poor design rather than clever and fair hardness, most of the time.

    Thanks for the writing! (Come play Taphophobia in Steamboat Springs, Colorado!)

  2. So true! It’s one of my pet peeves. If searching is hard – fine – but it has to be consistent (and even better – well clued). I hate when all the searches are easy so you don’t try really searching everything and it turns out they have one really hard search with no clueing. Bleh!

    1. Yeah… similarly when the room initially doesn’t really involve searching, then sometime mid-game searching becomes relevant.

      1. If you didn’t have help while cleaning it could take over 10 minutes. And despite trying to make it universal sometimes the person before you would put something in a weird spot and it wasn’t found and then you’re looking for it too. It was very frustrating at times.

  3. I like to search, if it’s not tedious. I like puzzles, if they are not tedious.

    I like “FLOW” however it occurs. Add a dollop of “interesting” to the recipe and a surprise or two and I’m a satisfied customer/player.

  4. I recently went to a game with no searching whatsoever, which was in my opinion drastically improved the experience as we could really hone in on all of the puzzling elements (which were absolutely excellent).

    1. We’ve seen an increasing number of no search or limited search… I think that more experienced players tend to prefer games with less searching.

      I’m fine with searching so long as it feels fair… and I can totally understand someone not wanting to bother.

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