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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

  • Fabulous staff and had a great time with our teens. We usually do this in every major city we visit. This location was creative and we had a great time. We chose the hardest one with a pandemic, but succeeded!

    thumb Carolyn K
    December 27, 2022

    Visited from Michigan to see some couples from the Black Love and Marriage Program and we decided to check this place out! We had some much fun! The staff was very helpful and hospitable. Their facility and restrooms we clean. We enjoyed our time and we ESCAPED!

    thumb Kenitha Rabb
    December 8, 2022
  • First time doing an escape room adventure for all members of our group(4). We did Blackbeards Brig. We had such a great time. Stephanie was a great host and explained everything very well. Because it was our 1st time we were a little unsure on what to expect. The clues were great, and we were able to win our adventure with 33 seconds to spare. The facilities were well decorated and clean. The clues were somewhat hard but yet achievable. Can't wait to go back for a different adventure.

    thumb Brig Church
    September 22, 2022

    I had a great time at EscapeWorks Denver! We did the Egypt escape room, and it was wonderful! The team bonded wonderfully, and we now work stronger together in more business appropriate parameters. I had a great time dancing around in silly costumes and sifting through sand. However, I'm glad I came with a larger group. You'll definitely need a few sets of hands to escape (which we did!) though I'm sure the experience would be enjoyable regardless. I also did a prohibition themed room a few years back. I don't remember much about it except that I had loads of fun.

    thumb Rebecca H.
    August 22, 2022
  • Helen was an amazing worker! She helped us with our escape room and she was incredibly kind. Helen really made my experience completely worth it! I would come back just to talk with Helen!

    thumb Olivia Svenson
    August 17, 2022

    We had a great time with the Speakeasy room. The setup was fun and the room was detailed. There was a variety of puzzles and it was fun to try to fit things together. Helen!!!! Helen was fantastic at setting the scene and helping us through with little hints when we had the right idea but just couldn’t get something to work because we were slightly off. Thanks!!

    thumb Kaitlyn Kelly
    August 12, 2022
  • We just did the Speakeasy and it was great! The puzzles were designed well; challenging but not impossible and really fun to solve. The rooms themselves were high quality filled with all sorts of fun props and hidden secrets. Helen, our host, was fantastic! Our unseen benefactor kept the action moving and just made the whole experience way more entertaining. Had a blast!

    thumb Brian Sankowski
    August 12, 2022

    This was awesome! The escape room we did had everything—Ancient Egypt, Indiana Jones references, hieroglyphs to translate… It was challenging, but able to be solved in an hour. Our game master Tobi was really friendly & cool. And the “hints” sound was an “Easter Egg” of sorts 😉 Definitely check it out!

    thumb Doug “K'laamas” Johnson
    August 12, 2022
  • Just did the Egyptian tomb n I had a great time. They put a lot of effort into the design, and story. Helen helped us out and made the experience very fun. We almost went back to do a second escape!

    thumb Liy Taliaferro
    August 10, 2022

    We had a great experience with 5 people in the Blackbeard room. Our first time with an escape room challenge and picked the easiest one they offered and thoroughly enjoyed completing the puzzle. Felix was a fantastic host and hints were given appropriately to keep it fun but definitely not excessively. Lots and lots of fun, would highly recommend. We will be back after having such a great time. Thank you!

    thumb Morgan Phillips
    July 30, 2022
  • This was an unforgettable experience! We did the virus outbreak scenario for a teambuilding event. Everyone raved about how fun this was, it far exceeded expectations even for a bunch of engineer dorks. The game was brilliantly designed, the puzzles were very challenging but not frustrating. Each stage or unlock brought a great sense of satisfaction and motivation to move onto the next. Many of the puzzles required unconventional thinking and multiple knowledge domains to complete. Teamwork was a must. Staff was super helpful and their hints were perfectly timed to keep us on track. 10/10, would do again. Thank you!

    thumb Jeremy Smolik
    July 14, 2022

    Been to Escape Works twice now. Had an excellent experience both times. The puzzles are very clever and the rooms are fun and challenging. Particularly enjoyed the casino heist game. Stephanie was a great hostess and even spent some time with us afterwards to explain how things worked. Good fun!

    thumb Stephen Weitz
    June 26, 2022
  • Visiting my friends in Denver and we wanted something fun to do - we made the RIGHT decision here. We booked Blackbeard’s Brig and it was awesome. Well paced and not too difficult. Just the right amount of stress. Patrick was awesome he had our backs and made the experience so fun and enjoyable. He was an awesome host. Highly recommend!!!

    thumb Meredith LoRusso
    June 26, 2022

    My friends and I went to Denver for the weekend and decided to do the Casino Heist room at EscapeWorks. We had so much fun trying to figure out the clues; we didn't end up 'winning' but had a great time anyway. Rose walked us through the clues to the end of the game which was a lot of fun. Thank you Rose and Felix for a fun night. If we are ever back in the area we would definitely to this again.

    thumb Deb Gregg
    June 4, 2022
  • We had the best time at EscapeWorks Denver. My friends and I traveled to Denver for a fun weekend and decided to do the escape room experience. We chose the Casino Heist and had the best time ever!!! A huge shout-out to Rose and Felix who did a fabulous job of making it so fun for us!!! They went above and beyond. Thank you Rose and Felix for making it so memorable!!! We will be back!!! Signed..."The Fun Girls" from South Dakota

    thumb Kim Klundt
    June 4, 2022

    I love this place! I went in March with my daughter and we did Blackbeard's Brig, the easiest one, since I was new at escape rooms. We were paired up with another family of three. We had a blast and escaped! It was such a positive experience, I brought my family back for my daughters birthday. We did the Egyptian Tomb as a private party, since we had a group of five, and escaped! That room was amazing too! My family still tells everyone about how much fun they had in that escape room. The rooms are really well done. The puzzles are fun, unique, not easy but also not so hard you are frustrated the whole time. The themed rooms are spot on with the stories. Everything looks well maintained and clean. The staff is professional and kind. Next Denver trip we will be back for another escape room. Thank you for making our trips fun and memorable.

    thumb Chena Kline
    May 7, 2022
  • The Casino Heist room was a challenge but extremely fun! It’s different than other escape rooms as you’re not allowed to ask for hints; the game master gives them to you at their discretion. Tobi was an awesome game master and only gave us hints when we were completely lost. Highly recommend!

    thumb Amanda Bertelli
    April 26, 2022

    EscapeWorks in Denver is AmAzInG! The gamemasters we're great! We went first to play Blackbeard's Bring, ended up loving it soooo much that after we won, we immediately wanted to do another. We did Outbreak next which was a little more challenging but was a blast to play!!! We're going back to do the other games soon, and I recommend this place to everyone! They have weekday deals, and discounts if you do multiple on the same day!

    thumb Jazz Ramey
    April 26, 2022
  • We had a great time in the Egyptian Tomb! The puzzles and riddles were challenging and fun. Our game master Steph helped us stay on track with minimal hints. Definitely worth the money, for it was an exciting and bonding experience. It was very realistic and there was a lot of thought behind effects and puzzles. If we return to Denver again I would be happy to try out another room!

    thumb lilly M.
    April 15, 2022

    This was such a great experience. Our group of 6 did the Blackbeard's Brigg escape and it was so much fun. The riddles were tough, but solvable. The props and decoration were super fun and all on theme. Our host was Patrick, and he did an incredible job providing us enough clues to keep things going but still keep it fun. He was super nice and personable as well! Def recommend, and will def be back.

    thumb Maxwell Miller
    April 13, 2022

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