Escape From Reality episode 2

A little later than planned but better late than never, right? Episode 2 of Escape From Reality is now live, below or via your preferred podcasting service/app.

In this episode Ken and I:

We’d love to hear your feedback so please comment here or reach out to us on Twitter. Hopefully the next episode, an unconference special, will be published in two weeks, on 20th May.

Also, since the recording of this episode, our Canadian friends the Room Escape Divas have started their own podcast and released two episodes! If one podcast isn’t enough for you get your ears around this one as well.


  1. Hurrah! Agreed with the vast majority of this, often near enough word for word. I loved the escape pods idea, almost to the point where I will regret having had the idea suggested to me in the past, rather than being completely blindsided by it, when (not if) I get to play the game some day.

    The interesting part is the part where I disagree; I absolutely don’t agree that escape rooms have to be mental rather than physical. As a default? Yes, to the point where a primarily physical game would have to be very carefully signposted in advance to set people’s expectations. As a necessity? Absolutely not. If a site has more than a small handful of rooms, I’m firmly supportive of people doing experimental things to try to capture people who might think that an escape room isn’t for them. A primarily physical room would surely be harder and more expensive to make, but might even prove replayable in a way that puzzles can rather less.

    Fascinating stuff!

    • It starts an interesting debate (which might make content for a future episode!). While the majority of the world are still asking “what’s an escape game?”, the ‘interesting’ designers are constantly making it harder to answer.

      It’s usually puzzled based (but not always). It’s usually 60 minutes long (but not always). It usually doesn’t involve live actors (but not always) etc.

      As with so much of life, setting expectations is key. To use The Crystal Maze as a reference point (why use anything else?), my current definition/expectation of ‘escape game’ would cover mental, physical and mystery but not physical, unless it was clearly signposted as such.

    • I sometimes enjoy the thought experiment of looking at an escape room’s FAQ and wondering what a room with the opposite answers would look like:

      Do I need to be physically fit? Yes, there are strenuous activities
      Will I need to force anything? Yes
      Will it be claustrophobic? Yes
      Can I drink / take drugs in the room? It’s compulsory

  2. My hearing isn’t great, so I find walkie-talkies quite hard to use. Although that’s not really a direct problem with game design, and more just that the cheap walkie-talkies most rooms use have awful sound quality. A phone in the room with a hard line back to the GM would work far better. Or even just speakers/mics in the room, if you want a clue just ask the thin air (I’ve even seen one room use this on-theme).

    Escape Games Brighton has the very simplest example of a non-binary win condition/difficulty level. After you find the antidote you can then keep playing to try and track down the evil scientist behind it, which is essentially a couple more puzzles. Even that was somewhat odd though – it was an unlimited clues, but you have to ask for them room – so we weren’t sure exactly how much more ‘game’ was in that second section, so how to pace asking for clues when stuck.

  3. This episode was a great one to listen to. The podcast hosts talk a lot about how escape rooms are becoming more challenging lately, and I agree with them. This is best for the future of escape rooms, and I hope it will happen more.

    • Oh yes, that is absolutely true. Quest rooms become very difficult and it’s getting harder and harder every year …. But this is good, because it’s interesting)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.