Facts About the “Escape Rate”

Escape Rooms are a lot of fun. If you’ve played one, you obviously know that. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?! Click Here! Go! Book! NOW!!!

But, back on topic. The subject I want to discuss today is the challenge behind the Escape Room. What do I mean? Well that’s a great question! What I’m talking about is the infamous “escape rate” people LOVE (but I hate). Please let me explain before you dig your feet in and choice your side.

What is an Escape Rate?

Before we get into the whole discussion about the “Escape Rate” everyone needs to know what it is. An “Escape Rate” is the percentage of groups that happen to escape a certain room. For example, if you play our Expelled room at KeyMasters, you will find groups escape around 35% of the time. For MANY people, that number is extremely important when selecting a room. Some people want something easier, some want something harder and this is one way to judge it. But is this number really a great indicator?

What is important about Escape Rates?

The main thing to know about an escape rate is…that you’re more than likely NOT going to escape. Most escape rates are nearly 30-35%, which mean 65-70% will fail to escape. But don’t be discouraged, hear me out. We are providing you with 60 minutes to escape, some places offer only 50 minutes. Either way, if we have a higher escape rate, and if things are clicking you may escape in only 30-40 minutes. Was it worth it? Did you have fun? Or would you rather play closer to 50-60 minutes? (We sometimes even give a little OT when we can for groups to finish). Doesn’t that sound more fun than escaping in 30 minutes?

Facts about Escape Rates

I’m about to let you in on a little bit of an industry secret here. MANY escape rooms don’t actually know their true escape rate. WHAT?! It’s true. Most have an idea, or approximation. But even that number may be WAY off. Don’t get me wrong, there are SOME places that keep a TRUE count. But those places are few and far between (and they won’t admit it if they aren’t anyways).

The Issues with the Escape Rates:

Here is the main issue with the “Escape Rate”. It is percentage based on exactly how many groups escape within their time limit. That means, a group of 2 first timers are equal to an expert group of 6. I personally have played nearly 100 rooms and my “team” nearly the same. Is it fair to compare my team with new players? I personally have not escaped a room with a 50% escape rate. BUT, I have escaped a room with a 10% escape rate with over 10 minutes to spare. How could that happen?

Comparing everyone equally

I will tell you right now. There isn’t really a proper way to do this in escape rooms. Nor do I think there ever will be. There are so many variables to consider and everyone has a different way of perceiving a puzzle. There are many things to consider when evaluating a groups potential success in a room, like:

  • Experience – First and foremost, it helps to know what you’re getting into.
  • Group Size – 2 players will be at a disadvantage, but so could 9 or 10.
  • Ages – Younger brains are usually more creative, older brains aren’t challenged as much daily.
  • Style of the Room – Is it linear? Scattered? Multi-linear? Does it play to your strengths or weaknesses?
  • Time of Day – That’s right, it is a great factor. Your brain power changes based on the time.
  • Weather – Again, just like the time of day, the weather effects our attitudes/moods.
  • Hints – It’s one thing to escape, but did you use 1 or 20 hints?
  • Your Team – A very important factor! It’s important to get along and work together in order to escape.

Escape Room Company

This is a huge factor that people don’t realize very often. The place you are playing your game not only effects the fun, immersion, experience. But it also can effect your escape rate. What do I mean by that? Each location is different, obviously. But, some people don’t know, some locations write their own games. Now if it’s one writer designing a game, it probably won’t be too hard. All you have to do is get inside their head, then it’s super easy. A place like ours (KeyMasters Escape Rooms) we have multiple designers with different ways of thinking. Therefore it’s harder to get in our heads.


What is the main point I want to get across with this article? The “Escape Rate” is not a great way to pre-judge a room. We recommend finding a great company (through friend suggestions or reviews). Maybe find a theme you like? We (KeyMasters) get knocked because people think our themes are “easy” because we’re kid-friendly. Our games are challenging, but we can make them easier on request. BUT, most importantly they’re a lot of fun! 🙂

So if you are ready to take on our 60-minute challenge?! Try KeyMasters Escape Rooms in Hamilton Ontario today!

1 Comment

  • ERA
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:17 am

    It’s unfortunate to hear people are under the impression an escape rate is a measure of skill… The truth is everyone, even those of us on the Esc Room Addict team fall flat and get stuck from time to time. We’ve yet to meet a team who can successfully complete all puzzles at all times (and we’ve interacted with 1000’s of escape room enthusiasts over the past 5yrs)…

    Escape rates only give you a partial indication of the room. If players were put inside a giant white cube with the #1 pained on the ceiling and that’s it… well… your escape rate will be near 0% because the solution was to assume the #1 meant to cluck like a chicken. Does this mean only the smartest people could solve this puzzle? No of course not! It’s a poorly designed and unfair room to begin with.

    Anyways, great article and keep up the good work KeyMasters team…we can’t wait to see what you guys have in store next! 🙂

    The Toronto ERA Team.

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