What Is An Escape Room and How Does It Work?

Escape rooms have rapidly become a popular activity for those looking for an engaging and unique experience. But, what is an escape room, and how do escape rooms work

Escape rooms traditionally evoke images of a thrilling challenge where participants are seemingly locked in a room, working together to solve puzzles and uncover clues within a set time limit to “escape.” This concept has evolved considerably over time, reflecting in the engaging and diverse experiences offered by our games. Unlike the conventional setup, our participants are never actually locked in, addressing concerns of safety and comfort while preserving the excitement. Furthermore, our objectives extend beyond merely escaping, introducing a variety of goals that encourage problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking in a fun and immersive setting. What makes our escape room experiences stand out for family gatherings, team-building events, and personal celebrations is the unique and memorable bonding opportunities they provide. Delve into our games for an innovative twist on the traditional escape room, where the essence of collaboration and challenge brings people together like never before.

Understanding how an escape room works is the key to unlocking this thrilling adventure, where every clue solved brings you one step closer to the ultimate goal: escape.

An escape room is a real-world, immersive puzzle adventure game.

Let’s break that down.

    • “adventure” refers to a goal that you’ll have to accomplish. It all takes place inside a game space (one or several rooms large) that’s been decorated to simulate the game setting as described by the backstory.
      Our game The Terminal, for example, features the exploration of an abandoned NYC subway station. But things don’t always go as planned. As the stakes rise, you and your team will be called on to save the day.
    • “real-world” means it’s not a video game; you get to manipulate real things in a real space.
    • “immersive” means we engineer our sets, decor, and characters to make you feel like you’re there in the story.
      For example, for our Stolen Relic game, the goal is to retrieve an ancient relic from a deranged anthropologist’s home, so we set up the space to make you feel like you’re actually in an academic’s study.
    • “puzzle” means there are things to do and solve. These aren’t jigsaw puzzles, more like Indiana Jones how-do-I-open-this-ancient-door puzzles.

    • To proceed through the game you’ll have to work as a team to solve puzzles and accomplish tasks, which can yield a clue or remove an obstacle, allowing you to move forward. And you have to do all that within 60 minutes.

    How Does An Escape Room Work? 

    Escape rooms offer a thrilling and interactive experience, challenging participants to use their wit, problem-solving skills, and teamwork to escape from a themed room within a limited time. But how exactly does an escape room work? Let’s dive into the details.

    The Basics

    When you enter an escape room, you’re stepping into a carefully crafted story where you become part of the narrative. The goal is simple: escape the room before time runs out. Typically, you have 60 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles, and unlock the mystery of the room. It’s a race against the clock that requires quick thinking and collaboration.

    The Theme and Storyline

    Every escape room is designed around a specific theme and storyline, which could range from solving a murder mystery to escaping a haunted pirate ship. This theme is not just for decoration; it’s integrated into the puzzles and challenges you’ll face. The storyline provides context and motivation, making the experience immersive and engaging.

    Puzzles and Clues

    The heart of the escape room experience lies in its puzzles and clues. These can vary widely, from physical tasks and finding hidden objects to solving complex riddles and working out codes. As you progress, you’ll find that these puzzles not only vary in style but also in difficulty, providing a dynamic and intriguing journey towards achieving your goal. Each clue solved is a step closer to unveiling the final mystery, ensuring that every participant can enjoy the thrill of success and the excitement of the adventure.

    Teamwork and Roles

    One of the key aspects of how escape rooms work is the emphasis on teamwork. Success often depends on the ability to communicate effectively, share discoveries, and work together to solve puzzles. Participants might naturally take on different roles, such as leaders, organizers, or problem solvers, making the most of each player’s strengths.

    Hints and Guidance

    If you find yourself stuck, most escape rooms offer a way to receive hints. These can be limited in number and delivered via a screen in the room, a walkie-talkie, or by a staff member. Here at Intrepid Escape Rooms, we ensure you have access to unlimited hints. These are personalized and conveyed by your dedicated adventure guide, enhancing your engagement and immersion in the story. This method not only aids in guiding you through difficult puzzles but does so in a way that enriches your adventure, ensuring that the game remains an enjoyable challenge.

    The Final Escape

    Solving the final puzzle or completing the last task is the key to escaping the room. This moment is often designed to be dramatic and satisfying, marking the culmination of your team’s efforts. Whether you escape in time or not, the experience is rewarding, with many groups leaving with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to tackle another challenge.

    Sounds exciting, but what was all that about personal celebrations and team building events?

    Here’s the deal: An escape room game such as the ones here at Intrepid, is an opportunity for adventurers to have experiences they’ve always dreamt about. By designing story-driven escape room missions, room decor and special effects, we put adventurers front and center, actively driving the story forward.

    This actively encourages players to shed inhibitions, put away their phones, and participate in the game, engaging with the others and stepping up to challenges.

    That’s what makes escape rooms like Intrepid such a great option for family bonding, team building, and celebrating personal occasions like birthdays.

    That’s nice! What escape room themes do you offer at Intrepid?

    We currently have 2 escape room missions in our facility – one that sees you have an action-packed adventure in an abandoned subway station, and another in which you explore the house of a mad academic.

    We also have 2 portable/mobile escape room missions – one with a pirate theme and another set inside a scientific laboratory – that we can bring to your home or any other venue where you’re having an event.

    Please visit our on-site rooms and mobile rooms pages for more information.

    Do I need any special skills to take part?

    Teamwork: Collaborate and communicate effectively with your fellow adventurers to open locks and decipher clues.

    Quick Wits: Keep your wits about you to spot hard-to-find clues and solve difficult puzzles.

    Composure: Remain unfazed, even if the clock seems to be ticking down faster than you think it should!

    Humor: Remember, these aren’t your SATs! Enjoy your adventure with your teammates here at Intrepid Escape Rooms. Have more questions? Visit our FAQs page.

    Book an Escape Room at Intrepid Escape Rooms!

    If you’re living in or around Tustin in Orange County and are intrigued by the challenge and excitement that escape rooms offer, Intrepid is your go-to destination. Our escape rooms are designed to provide an unforgettable experience, combining captivating themes with mind-bending puzzles that encourage teamwork and creativity. 

    Whether you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion, bond with your family, or engage in team-building with colleagues, we have something for everyone. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Intrepid to book your next adventure or if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to ensure your escape room experience is nothing short of extraordinary. Join us, and unlock the door to an adventure you won’t forget!


    What should I bring to the escape room?

    You don’t need to bring anything special to enjoy our escape rooms. Just bring your sense of adventure and your thinking cap!

    How early should I arrive before my booking time?

    Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time. This allows us to brief you on the game and answer any questions you may have.

    Can I book an escape room for a private event or party?

    Absolutely! Our escape rooms are perfect for birthdays, team-building events, or just a fun outing with friends and family. Contact us for special arrangements.

    What happens if we don’t escape in time?

    If you don’t escape in time, don’t worry! Our game masters will walk you through the remaining puzzles and explain how close you were to escaping. That said, our adventure guides work hard to scale the amount of help we provide to give everyone their best chance of saving the day!

    Are escape rooms scary?

    Our escape rooms at Intrepid are designed to be thrilling and engaging, not scary. They are perfect for families looking for an exciting adventure that stimulates the mind and encourages teamwork, making them an ideal choice for participants of all ages seeking a fun and memorable experience.