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June 20
2019
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Solving Escape Room Activities in Large Groups vs. Small Groups

Solving Escape Room Activities in Large Groups vs. Small Groups

Ah, group size. The incessantly debated topic within every friend group since the beginning of time (don’t fact check us on that one). How does one decide the perfect number of people to invite, while balancing not offending someone with ensuring the least amount of stress for everyone involved?

Then you throw an escape room into the mix, and you want to make sure you have a shot at winning. It can be absolutely maddening. The good news for you is escape room activities are just as fun with large groups as they are in small groups. And the even better news? We’ve laid out the pros and cons of each end group size for you so you can pick the best number of people to fit your objective.

Activities in Large Groups

You may be thinking, “Okay, large is great, but how large are we talking?” Great question. We’re not saying you should bring a huge family reunion or crowd of people everywhere you go. That wouldn’t be fun for anyone. For the sake of plausibility, we’re talking the escape room maximum-number-of-participants size, which is usually eight to twelve people. And for those who balked at the number being above seven, take a deep breath. Here are a few factors to consider.

Pros

The classic “let’s split up to cover more ground” tactic may not always work well in scary movies, but it’s an excellent strategy for an escape room. More sets of eyes over the room will ensure you don’t miss anything, and when you have more people analyzing the clues and information, you’ll be able to find the solutions more quickly. Plus, the whole point of an escape room is to spend time quality time with your group and enjoy yourselves. When you’re with more people you love, the whole experience is more fun and you make happy memories for everyone to look back on.

Trying an escape room in large groups can also be the best way for you and your squad to feel the full effects of this mental “workout.” Escape rooms put soft skills to the test. That’s why so many offices and teams use them as a bonding experience to improve communication, problem-solving, and creativity.  When you bring a larger group into the room, it may be more challenging to implement and master these skills at the moment, but you leave with a great deal of improvement.

Cons

The problem with doing activities in large groups is message interference, a term coined by professionals and professors in the communications realm. Interference is any noise or activity distracting two parties from the information being passed back and forth between them (their conversation). This can especially be a problem for large groups. Having more people in a confined space means more information coming at you from every direction, which causes a great deal of chaos. This makes for more stress, and stress means tension, which is a perfect recipe for disaster in terms of a successful escape room experience.

If you want to try escape room activities in large groups, the previously discussed “cons” are easily avoided with a bit of preparation. Take time as a group to focus, assign roles, or whatever it takes to ensure everyone’s on their game and ready for the challenge.

Activities in Small Groups

While some people might prefer an escape room stint on their own, it’s not typically encouraged by escape facilities (usually there’s a requirement of two people at a time) and it’s not nearly as fun. A small group for an escape room would constitute two to four people, and if those numbers seem like they’d be nice and simple, it’s because they are.

Pros

When you have smaller, more concentrated numbers, you’re able to streamline the escape room experience and enter the room with more focus. Naturally, with fewer people, there will be less of the interference we previously discussed because there are fewer sources of activity in the confined space. Because of this, you’ll be able to process the situation more thoroughly and you’ll feel less stressed by the amount of inevitable chaos caused by larger numbers of people.

Cons

On the other hand, fewer people may mean more peace, but it also means less perspective and ideas. In smaller groups, it’s easier to find yourself stuck on one small portion of the room or one clue because you don’t have as diverse of a skill set and outlook in regard to problem-solving. It’ll take more time for you to move past that mental block, which will tank your statistical probability of escaping. And, honestly, smaller groups are often less fun. You’re with fewer people, and while those people may be fun and exciting, it’s hard to replicate the whimsical, exciting atmosphere of doing activities in large groups.

People who attempt escape rooms in small groups are often the more intense and competitive types. If that’s your speed, more power to you. For those who are more serious about their escape endeavors, there are resources to help you strategize your record-breaking escape time with a perfectly formulated group.

Choosing the Best Group Size for Your Next Escape Room

What’s the verdict on this deeply philosophical and definitely science-based debate? There’s isn’t one. It’s completely up to you and what you’re looking to accomplish by attempting an escape room. Escape room activities in large groups offer a more laid-back and fun experience, while escape rooms in smaller groups offer a more streamlined and competitive approach. Again, it’s highly dependent on the group and the personalities within it.

If you’d like to further postulate the psychology of escape activities in large or small groups, you’re invited to learn more. Or, if you want to put these theories and hypotheses to the test, visit EscapeWorks Denver and reserve an escape room for your group to experience it all firsthand. Purely in the name of science, of course.

The Reviews

  • review rating 5  Amazing escape room! I had a blast! The Casino Heist was one of the best I have participated in. Gen was an incredible host, super friendly and welcoming. Definitely recommend!

    thumb Janeese Brooks
    6/10/2019

    review rating 5  Had a great work team retreat activity here. Loved the puzzles and escaping the "flower shop" (aka: 1920s speakeasy). I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a team building exercise or just wanting to have fun.

    thumb Robert Bogan
    6/20/2019
  • review rating 5  Their flower shop was quite enjoyable, and Dana delivered with a lovely performance. Give her a raise 😁I've only done one room, but it was a great time. It was a bit challenging, yet did not feel too difficult for all levels of problem solving.

    thumb Caleb B
    6/26/2019

    review rating 5  My fiancee and I were vacationing in Denver and tried out the Egyptian Tomb with another group of 4. We escaped with 5 minutes to spare! Very good room layout and good props. Puzzles were challenging and rewarding once solved. I was not a huge fan of how they did the hints... usually you have 3 hints or whatever and you ask for a hint when you get stuck, instead they give you hints when they think you need it. Otherwise, our game master, Trace, was very helpful and personable. Overall, very satisfied with our experience!

    thumb Wes Cantrell
    6/09/2019
  • review rating 5  Went here as a small group recently and had a great time. Instructions from the staff were pretty clear at the beginning and helpful in their instructions in explaining how to try to solve the room. Trace was a great guide for this experience and would happily go again.

    thumb Nate Rogers
    6/10/2019

    review rating 5  So many fun choices, a super safe place with a super professional and kind staff. The room I did was so much fun and planned down to the millimeter. My whole crew had a blast. I highly recommend it. No wait no fuss, treat yourself

    thumb gusgusgeol
    4/17/2019
  • review rating 5  Came here for my birthday and it was a blast! Super nice people. We did the Casino Heist and it was definitely challenging but they did give us clues along the way. Can’t wait to go back!

    thumb Samantha Kendrick
    6/16/2019

    review rating 5  My experience here was awesome! Neb was very knowledgeable and very informative. You can tell he really cares about the customers experience! Thank you guys so much for a great time. Juan the manager is awesome as well!!

    thumb Kristen Barnes
    7/01/2019
  • review rating 5  Great escape room. Would highly recommend. Nice workers. Trace did an excellent job. Definitely plan on coming again. 👍

    thumb Holly Schmidt
    6/27/2019

    review rating 5  We had an excellent time!!! The staff was wonderful and very accommodating!! Malika and Trace were fantastic!! There was also another gentleman with a beard that has the BEST customer service!!! I'm sorry I cant remember his name... Very fun scenario!!! Thanks for a great time! We will absolutely be back for sure !!

    thumb Dhalia 1991
    6/30/2019
  • review rating 5  This was such a great place to go! It was our first escape room and they gave us a great experience! We will definitely be back to do other rooms! EVERYBODY should go here! They lock your phone and you have the key! Such a good friendly staff as well Jenn was such a great help!!! Overall a absoutly wonderful experience!

    thumb Nikki Schepp
    7/03/2019

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