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The Tetris Effect is a well-known phenomenon named after the classic game, Tetris. After playing Tetris for so long, people can find themselves thinking about those little shapes falling neatly into place. You might find yourself dreaming about them. Everything becomes tetrominoes. Do you have luggage bags to stack in your car? Tetris them into place. Do you have a lot of books and boxes to stack up? They’re tetrominoes and you need to clear that line. That, in a nutshell, is the Tetris Effect.

A game of Tetris, which the Tetris Effect is named after.
A game of Tetris, that which the Tetris Effect is named after.

As it turns out, Tetris isn’t the only game that can have this effect on people (though the term “Tetris Effect” remains the most common way to describe it). Jigsaw puzzles and Rubik’s cubes are similarly addictive things with patterns that can get stuck in a player’s head. In fact, if you devote a lot of brainpower to anything, your brain will learn to adapt. The patterns in the game or puzzle become part of your daily life.

So, what about escape rooms? When you play escape rooms so often that you start seeing puzzles and locks everywhere, that’s the Escape Effect.

Players solving puzzles inside At Odds With The Gods.

Everything links to a puzzle

In an escape room, anything can be a puzzle. In fact, to beat many of them, you need to figure out what the puzzle is from a handful of clues. What happens after you spend your day trying to figure out the association between colored flowers and a colored lock? How about if you spend hours analyzing wall decorations to figure out their deeper, mechanical meaning?

The human brain is exceptional at looking for patterns, to the point that we see faces on inanimate objects. The brain finds what it’s used to looking for, and you’ve spent a lot of time looking for puzzles. While the Tetris Effect might get you looking for shapes wherever you go, the Escape Effect has you seeing puzzles.

Now you’re home, looking around your room, and you see something that looks out of place. Maybe one of your picture frames is hanging crooked. While you might not have minded before, now it stands out. It’s a clue. You start looking at what’s behind it, and before you know it you’ve turned into Agent J from Men In Black II when he investigates the pizza shop. A simple thing has become a complex puzzle and you are going to solve it.

The players lift a portrait of the late king to reveal a hidden compartment.

Everything has a secret

Escape rooms like to hide things in plain sight. We take the ordinary and make it exceptional. A statue placed on a table might open a secret door. A set of books on a bookshelf could hide the code to a lock. An everyday word highlighted on a page might be an anagram of the password you need. A faint line on a wall could reveal a secret door. If you play enough escape rooms, you’ll train your brain to find all the ways in which something ordinary can hide or reveal a secret.

That loose floorboard in the shed might have a secret compartment underneath it. Your oven dials, if turned the right way, could activate a secret compartment. The nightstand drawer might have a false bottom with a treasure underneath it. These things probably aren’t true, but you’re thinking about it now. That’s the escape room version of the Tetris Effect.

If you play enough escape rooms, the Escape Effect might inspire you to add some hidden compartments to your home!

A photograph of a player inspecting a newspaper article.

Everything is a quest

To varying degrees, escape rooms all have stories and goals. In Tetris, the goal is to fit shapes together. Meanwhile, an escape room might have you solving a mystery or rescuing people from a dungeon. You might even go looking for ghosts or take on a challenge from ancient Greek gods. The goals might be different, but you’re always trying to solve a problem.

You’ve played a lot of escape rooms. You see puzzles everywhere. You find clues and secrets where you never did before. Now, you’re putting it all together into an everyday escape room-style mission.

The Tetris Effect can have people fitting tetrominoes together in their sleep. The Escape Effect has you dreaming of escape room puzzles. That sounds like a pretty fun dream, if you ask us!

Embrace the Tetris effect, escape room-style

See what has people looking for puzzles and secrets in their everyday lives. Click the button below to book, or give us a call at (855) 426-3372.


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