What is an interactive Escape Room?
There are different types of online Escape Rooms, all of which have different features, advantages, and disadvantages. The most widespread online escape rooms so far are so-called point and click adventures in various forms. From small online browser games, in which you puzzle your way through a few rooms in a typical escape room style, to classics like Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle, which are full-blown adventure games in which you walk through different environments and interact with NPC characters to continue the story, there are no limits.
Apart from these online Escape Room variations by now, there are also Virtual Reality Escape Rooms, which are much closer to normal Escape Rooms than other variations.
Last but not least, there are also so-called interactive Escape Rooms or live Escape Rooms, which consist of an employee of an Escape Room provider standing in one of the rooms with a camera and being connected to the customers via live video feed. The customers can now give orders to the employee to solve all the puzzles with his help.
What is the difference between a normal and an online escape room?
The obvious biggest difference is of course that the players are not directly in the room and cannot react with the objects and tasks in the room themselves. As a result, many players prefer “real” Escape Rooms and find them far more interactive. But that’s not all, while the classic point and clicks come up with a good story and different characters, free online browser games often have a negligible story and a mere string of puzzles.
The VR Escape Rooms are already taking a better step in this direction, as the direct proximity of the virtual space makes it possible to make the game intuitively more interactive and realistic.
Of course, the closest match is a Live Escape Room, because finally a real Escape Room is streamed live. This directly combines the comfort of an online escape game with the usual high level of story and puzzles of a normal escape game.
Another fundamental difference between many online escape rooms and real rooms is that many online games can only be played alone and not as a team, which makes many positive effects that an escape game usually has on a group sufficient.
What are the difficulties of an online escape room?
As mentioned before, a big negative point of online Escape Rooms is that they are often only playable in single-player mode, which many players dislike. But even here live Escape Rooms are a remedy because they can be played with up to eight players at the same time.
But often it is a little bit problematic to transfer the atmosphere of a room via the camera in a way that the player also gets something out of it. Many Escape Rooms are generally too dark, in order to come across properly in the live stream, or are equipped with further light sources, in order to be brighter, which takes some atmosphere away with a dark topic like a nuclear shelter. For this reason, it is very important that the game master takes an active part and leads the player along with the story without interfering too much with the puzzles.
In summary, there are big differences between the different online variants, but when you realize what you enjoy most and what exactly you want to experience, the decision is much easier.
So someone who puts a lot of emphasis on a polished story and different plots, but would rather play alone, should stay in the point and click genre. Someone who mainly wants to solve different puzzles is well off with browser games and someone who wants to have an experience like in a real Escape Room with friends, without traveling far or playing directly from home, should have a look at a live Escape Room.