Answering The Most Common Escape Room Questions

In nearly 10 years of running escape rooms and answering escape room related questions from thousands of escape room playing groups of all different sizes, ages, and skill levels, I’ve noticed certain questions that come up again and again. They come up often enough, in fact, that it seems worthwhile to dedicate a blog post to answering them! This has some overlap with our FAQ page of course, but the FAQ page has concise answers specifically for people who are thinking about making a booking and are looking for a bit of additional information about one of our locations or policies before they do. This post will not be so specific, and I will be able to go into more detail in the answers.

My hope is that if you have a question you’ve been wondering about escape rooms, you’ll find an answer here, and of course if you don’t you’re welcome to send us a message or send me an email and I’ll be happy to answer it for you!

So, without further ado, let’s jump into answering the most common questions we’ve received about our escape rooms from 2015 to 2024!

“Where can we go for a drink after our escape room?”

(Closely followed by “Where can we go for a drink before our escape room?”)

Some of the many cocktail options at Hourglass Cafe & BarOk, I’ll admit this is kind of a joke one to start with, but it truly is the single most common question we get! And this question was a big part of my inspiration behind opening Hourglass Cafe & Bar, the thematic cocktail bar and restaurant located within The Lodge of Lazarus Crowe. But for our St. Paul and Minneapolis escape rooms, we’ve got answers lined up for you on our FAQ pages.

Also, as someone who enjoys a good cocktail and a good escape room, I have a pro tip for you: it is a much better idea to go for a drink after your room than before: you’ll be better at solving the puzzles with a clear head, and you’ll want to sit down and get a drink and talk about the experience with your teammates afterward! It’s the best of both worlds.

“Are escape rooms scary? / Are escape rooms like the Saw movies? / Will I be claustrophobic?”

These, and other questions like them, are some of the most commonly asked escape room experience questions we get, almost always from people who have never played an escape room before. Because most escape rooms, as you realize as soon as you play one, really aren’t scary at all. Sure, some companies specialize in gruesome horror rooms with gallons of fake blood oozing out of every nook and cranny, and some companies do creepy psychological thriller rooms as well, but those are definitely the exception not the rule.

None of our escape rooms in Minneapolis or St. Paul are scary, and they aren’t small spaces either – we have never had someone leave an escape room because they felt claustrophobic. Most of our escape rooms are designed to be whimsical and a little bit silly, as well as challenging from a puzzle-solving perspective. Just look at some of our themes: Video Game Mayhem, It’s All Fun & Games, Robot Rampage… We aren’t trying to make you scared or stressed, we want you to have fun while figuring things out. 

Some cool ghosts that aren't very scary

“You’re probably laughing at us from in there…”

Ok this isn’t a question. But this sentiment is expressed VERY frequently by our guests, and I get it – they know there are cameras and microphones in our escape rooms so we can see and hear them, and they assume that we will be cackling away like little schadenfreude goblins whenever they can’t figure something out or get stuck or do something wrong… NO! We aren’t doing that. We want you to succeed! We love seeing when a puzzle clicks in someone’s brain and they light up and start on the correct next step. We WILL laugh at you if you do or say something that is genuinely funny, but then, in those scenarios most of your teammates will be laughing at you too. We’ll just be in on the joke!


“How do you come up with these ideas? / How do you build your escape rooms? / How long does making an escape room take?”

These questions about our design and build process could fill an entire blog post, at least, and I’m sure I’ll write more about this in the future! But I have a briefer answer that covers the most important stages of an escape room’s development.

We almost always start with the THEME of the room. So we know we want the room to be a Wizard’s Study or a Museum Heist or a  Toy Shop That’s Secretly a Front For Criminal Activity or a Super Villain’s Lair or whatever it’s going to be. From there we start thinking about what should be in a space like that – a toy shop might have a model train, it might have a shelf of board games, it might have… and then thinking about how those things can provide puzzles or effects that will make for a fun and exciting escape room game. We also come up with the story or plot of the room, which helps us figure out the flow from one part of the experience to the next. After we have all that worked out, we design the room on paper and test the puzzles that we can test in a paper format. Once we’re happy with how the paper playtest goes, we’ll start building in earnest!

The complexity of the props and the technology in our escape rooms varies significantly, but a new room usually takes us somewhere in the realm of 2-6 months to complete – a lot of work goes into designing and making these experiences! 

“How often do you change your escape rooms? How often do you replace old rooms with new ones?”

We get this question all the time, and the answer is always “it depends!” At The Lodge of Lazarus Crowe we have a ton of unused space to build into, so we aren’t planning to swap out any rooms soon, we would much rather just add to the new space! At our St. Paul and Minneapolis escape room locations, we don’t have any more space, so in order to create a new room we HAVE to switch one out. How do we decide when to do that? It mostly depends on how well our various escape rooms are booking – if one room is doing worse than the others for whatever reason, we will lean towards switching that room out. We do strive to keep new experiences of some kind coming out semi-frequently at least, since we know that once someone has played all of our rooms they probably won’t come back and play them again! (Though that HAS happened… which is a story for a future blog post on some of our more interesting customers and groups over the years, perhaps)

“What happens if we don’t get out?”

“Well, I’m leaving at 9pm so if you’re not out by then I guess you’ll stay the night” or “The last group is still in there, you can ask them!” or some other cheeky response is the usual answer to this question. But I know what you really mean is “what happens if we hit the time limit and we have not yet completed the experience?” And the real answer to that question depends on the company. Some escape room companies will kick you out of the room when the giant countdown clock on the tv screen above the door to the room hits zero. At Trapped Puzzle Rooms we really want you to succeed so we’ll give you as much time as possible to finish the room even if it’s over the allotted time. It’s so much more fun to be able to complete the room than be kicked out especially when, most likely, you were pretty close to finishing at the hour mark! We do occasionally have to stop groups before the end of their experience if we have another group waiting and we’ve already gone past the time when that group is supposed to start. But that would mean that the group being kicked out has gone a full half-hour or more over their allotted time, which is extremely uncommon, and even if we have to do that we’ll still walk through the rest of the puzzles and the conclusion of the room with the group! But for the most part I wouldn’t worry too much about the time limit – the reason we don’t utilize countdown clocks in our rooms is that we don’t want you to worry about the time limit either. 

“What’s your favorite escape room?”

This is such a hard question, and I think every one of us on the Trapped team will have a different answer to it. If we’re talking about Trapped Puzzle Rooms experiences, my favorite is often whichever one we built most recently. (Which currently are Eternity Battle in Minneapolis, Robot Rampage in St. Paul, at The Founder’s Secret at The Lodge of Lazarus Crowe) I love seeing people play our new games and I feel we have done a good job over the years of keeping things fresh and interesting even after having designed and created so many different escape rooms at this point, so I am biased towards the newer rooms. My favorite non-Trapped experiences I have played are all over the country, but include some local rooms at Puzzleworks, an awesome company that I highly recommend. (Some of the funniest rooms I have ever done as well!) Looking further afield, I have really enjoyed rooms at Rabbit Hole outside of Denver, 13th Gate in Baton Rouge, and Locurio in Seattle. 


What questions did I miss?

Have you been wondering something about our escape rooms or the escape room industry that you haven’t seen answered here? Let me know your questions and I’ll be happy to try to answer them! You can email me at and I’ll do my best to get back to you soon. 🙂

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