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The Perfect Escape Rooms For First-Timers

Once you’ve decided on which escape room to play, you click the button below to book your game online. You can also call a host to book over the phone. We hope to see you soon!

Escape room first-timers and seasoned pros alike love playing at The Escape Effect! In fact, our escape rooms are so popular that we’ve won the #1 Entertainment Experience in Orlando four times in a row! That’s why we know that our games are perfect for new players looking to have a little fun. We also know that it can be hard to decide on a game, especially if you don’t know what to expect. To make your first escape room experience easier, we’ve put together this guide to help you choose your first game.

You get to be in a real-life video game!

If this is your first time hearing about escape rooms, we understand how strange they sound, but they’re actually straightforward. An escape room is an interactive room where players solve puzzles in order to “escape” from the game’s scenario. A host will explain everything you need to know about the locks, and you’ll get a run-down of the rules. Once everybody is settled, your team will be placed in the room and given an introduction to the setting and story. When the game begins, it’s time to find and solve puzzles. It’s like a real-life video game!

Your team will explore the room looking for anything suspicious. You’ll find clues that need to be deciphered, puzzles that need to be solved, and locks that the puzzles will tell you how to open. Sometimes, you might find a secret door or hidden compartment that reveals important information. You never know exactly what’s lurking in dark corners, so look carefully. Make sure to pay close attention to the clock, too. You only have so much time before it’s game over. Look out for these common beginner mistakes to make sure your first escape room is a fun success!

Despite the stories, which often involve having to escape from somewhere, you won’t actually be locked in the escape room. Players are free to leave at any time. To learn more about what goes on in these games, you can read more about what an escape room is. You can also read our frequently-asked questions page for additional details. After you’ve learned about our escape rooms, you can book your first escape room online.

The player is attaching the sun to Apollo and Artemis' hutch.

At Odds With The Gods

What is this game about?

At Odds With The Gods is a grand 90-minute puzzle marathon inspired by the Ancient Greek gods. The gods have made an offer to your team: complete a pantheon of puzzles for a chance to become immortal. Travel to Mount Olympus, conquer their challenges, and collect the ambrosia before time runs out. Succeed and you will join the Greek gods in their mountain home. Fail and you will be forced to live out the rest of your lowly, mortal life.

A player is entering a code attempt into a number lock.

If you’re looking for a non-stop puzzle fest, this is the game for you. The room is filled with many different types of problems to solve, and it’s non-linear. That means that the solutions do not necessarily go directly from one to the next. Rather than solving one puzzle in order to find what you need for the next, like in a linear game, multiple can be solved at once.

Non-linear games may sound a little complex, but they offer a fun opportunity. Your team will be able to split up and work in different areas at the same time. This divide-and-conquer style of gameplay is great for large groups and escape room first-timers. Players can choose to solve puzzles that play to existing strengths. Just pay attention to who’s already solved what.

Here’s what you need to know about this escape room:

  • At Odds With The Gods is 90 minutes long, which gives players plenty of time to explore the space and solve the many puzzles within!
  • The room is well-lit and open, so everybody can spread out to search for clues and puzzles.
  • This is a favorite escape room amongst enthusiasts, who will find fresh twists on many familiar puzzles.
  • Because of how many puzzles are in this game, it’s important to stay organized! Keep track of what you’ve already done to avoid accidental backtracking or confusion.
  • This game can fit 2-10 players. We recommend a group of at least 5 people in order to take advantage of the space and the non-linear flow of the game.

Why is this game perfect for first-timers?

At Odds With The Gods has a well-lit open space that escape room first-timers find easy to navigate. Being able to see what’s happening in the room also makes planning and spreading out easier. Players can divide and search for clues. Because this escape room also features more classic puzzles, the challenges are very first-timer friendly.

The 90-minute time limit is comfortable for new players. Because it’s non-linear, splitting up lets you save time. Your teammates also have the option to choose which puzzles to solve when they split up. It’s the perfect game for escape room first-timers who want to experience a wide variety of problems to solve. You can use this opportunity to see what types of challenges you like best!

An escape room player ventures through the dungeon in search of her friends.

A Knight To Escape

What is this game about?

A Knight To Escape is an epic medieval-themed escape room set in Stonebury Castle. Half of your team has been captured by the evil King Cassius. While they try to break out of the dungeon, the rest have stormed the courtyard to rescue the prisoners. You only have two hours to escape from the castle before you’re trapped forever! It’s a feature-length medieval rescue mission that’s sure to delight everyone.

This game is a split-start escape room, meaning that your team is divided into two sides that need to reunite. Unlike many other split-start games, which let you reunite near the beginning, A Knight To Escape keeps you separated for about 75% of the game. Even though you can’t see the other side, you can still talk to one another and pass important clues and information between the sides. Only by working together will your team be able to reunite and escape. Don’t be afraid to shout through the walls when you find a clue or need something from your teammates!

A dark dungeon cell illuminated with light with two opened windows, one locked window and various crates on the floor.
An outside view of the stone walls of the castle decorated with a banner, a notice board covered with wanted posters and a hitching post.

Here’s what you need to know about this escape room:

  • This game is 2 hours long, making it the longest escape room that you’ll find in Florida!
  • The room is divided into two distinct sides, the dungeon and the courtyard. Each side has different types of puzzles, as well as clues to help the other side.
    • The dungeon is a dark space. It has some classic puzzles that players are more likely to be familiar with.
    • The courtyard is a brighter area. It features puzzles that rely on environmental clues. They might be less familiar, but first-timers can still solve them.
  • A Knight To Escape is very communication-based. Both sides need to share information with one another in order to solve the puzzles! If the two sides aren’t able to communicate, you won’t be able to succeed.
  • At least 4 players are required in order to play. It is physically required; having fewer than two people on each side would make the game impossible to beat. Make sure you have enough people on your team. While the game can comfortably fit 4-8 players, we generally recommend a team of 6.

Why is this game perfect for first-timers?

While many players consider this to be one of our hardest games, we’ve seen many first-timers win when more experienced players didn’t quite make it out. Having more experience can help, but it’s not necessary. All you really need is for your team to be able to communicate well! As counterintuitive as it may sound, many escape room first-timers find it easier to shout at their teammates than more experienced players.

The two-hour time limit can go by quickly in the heat of the moment, but the longer game can be very good for escape room first-timers. Five extra minutes spent on a puzzle in A Knight To Escape isn’t as bad as five minutes in a 60-minute game.

The players are examining various sheets of classical music

Sherlock Studies

What is this game about?

Sherlock Studies is a thrilling 75-minute murder mystery set in the world of Sherlock Holmes. There’s mystery and intrigue around every corner of this Victorian study. Enoch Drebber has been found dead in an alley behind a bar. The police think they know who the true killer is, but the evidence doesn’t quite add up. Detective Sherlock Holmes has left the evidence around his apartment. It’s up to you to connect the dots and figure out who the real culprit is before the they escape!

The players are assembling a mind map of the evidence.

This exciting game puts your team in a Clue-like mystery. You’ll need to find where Sherlock has hidden the evidence, then piece together his findings to discover the identity of the true killer. This is a linear escape room. That means that each puzzle will lead your team neatly into the next, making it a great game for escape room first-timers.

Follow the chain of evidence and look closely at what you see. Sherlock has a mind map on the wall of his study, which you can use to set up and organize your findings. Figuring out which suspect is connected to what pieces of evidence is the first step. Determining who the real killer is? That’s the real puzzle. As with any murder mystery, you’ll need to find the motive and the murder weapon in addition to the killer’s name. Remember, you’re the only one who can solve this mystery!

Here’s what you need to know about this escape room:

  • Sherlock Studies is 75 minutes long, which gives your team plenty of time to read through the evidence and find the killer.
  • The game is comfortably-lit so that you can easily read all of the notes and evidence. You don’t need to worry about dim lights or reading by flashlight.
  • You’re going to need good reading comprehension in order to get through this game! Organize your files and look closely to make sure you understand all of the details.
  • Good deductive skills will be important here. As you gather and examine more evidence, you’ll need to determine what points are connected. This is where the mind map that we mentioned before comes in! Use it to figure out what evidence is related.
  • This game can fit 2-8 players, though we usually recommend a group of at least four players who enjoy solving a good mystery. More players looking over the clues means you’re less likely to miss something important.

Why is this game perfect for first-timers?

The linear game flow of Sherlock Studies makes it easy for escape room first-timers to keep track of what they have done. This is important in a game with a lot of details, like the evidence. Don’t let the abundance of clues worry you. If you keep your documents organized and take advantage of the mind map, solving this mystery becomes elementary.

With 75 minutes on the clock, your team will have plenty of time to work through all of the puzzles and solve the murder. Escape room first-timers will also have some flexibility in how they handle the challenge. You could have the entire team take on the whole case together or set some people on the task of studying the evidence as you find it.

A photograph of a shadowy figure using the SD1000 to view spectral messages in Fright Before Your Eyes.

Fright Before Your Eyes

What is this game about?

Fright Before Your Eyes is a fun and spooky 90-minute ghost-hunting adventure. About 100 years ago, magician Victor Strange was the star of the Grand Compass Theatre. He delighted audiences with stunning magical performances. However, underneath the fame and glamor lurked a dark secret. One by one, his assistants disappeared. It’s up to your team to investigate the now-abandoned theater and uncover the truth behind Victor Strange.

A photograph of a SD2000 device being held to contact spirits in Fright Before Your Eyes.

In the darkness of the theater, your team will be armed with flashlights and a unique ghost-detecting device: the SD2000. This curious little machine is used to scan items related to the ghosts. However, you’re going to need to find those items first. Scour the backstage area and find the messages left behind by the assistants. Those messages will lead you to find what you need.

As you search the theater, the story behind the mysterious disappearances is gradually revealed. Escape room first-timers are in for a real treat with this unique game! Fright Before Your Eyes is also non-linear, so your band of ghost hunters can split up and explore different corners of the building. Pay close attention to what the spirits have to say! They want to help your team solve this mystery. Their messages will be the key to uncovering the truth.

Here’s what you need to know about this escape room:

  • Fright Before Your Eyes is 90 minutes long, making it a feature-length ghost-hunting adventure!
  • This escape room takes place in the pitch-dark, but your team will have flashlights to help you search for clues. If you need a little more light, let a host know. We’ll be happy to make some adjustments so that everyone is comfortable.
  • This game is non-linear, which means your team will be able to split up and solve multiple puzzles at the same time.
  • Listening is critical in this game! A large part of the game is audio-based, so pay attention when the ghosts start talking.
  • This game can comfortably fit 2-6 players, though we recommend bringing a team of 4 to explore this old theater.

Why is this game perfect for first-timers?

Despite the dark setting, escape room first-timers will have a good time exploring this space. The game is equal parts puzzles, mystery, and scavenger hunt. If you make use of all of the items you’re given, you’ll be able to find the important information. You’ll do well spreading out to search all corners of the room.

Like At Odds With The Gods, Fright Before Your Eyes has a comfortable 90-minute time limit. This gives first-timers plenty of time to explore. With fewer puzzles in this unique game format, you have more flexibility in how you go about exploring the escape room.

All of The Escape Effect posters lined up together.

Which game should an escape room first-timer choose?

The game you choose depends a lot on your team and your taste! Everybody has different interests, and our escape rooms are diverse in both gameplay and themes. Your teammates’ previous experience might also be a factor in your decisions. A group entirely made of escape room first-timers might want to try their hands at a linear game. A mixture of experienced players and first-timers may want to test their skills with something longer. Your team may choose their game based on theme, regardless of the puzzles they’ll find. It’s also important to consider how many players are in your team so that you can choose a game that will fit everybody.

If you’re having trouble choosing a game, take our escape room quiz. We’ve designed this quiz to account for group size, experience, and personal interests to help you find the perfect game. Just answer the questions and see which room is perfect for your first escape room experience. Once you’ve picked your game, choose your date and time and make your reservation! It’s super easy to get started with escape rooms.

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