The number one most popular question we get asked is, “Which game is your scariest?” Since horror-themed escape rooms are all the rage, we thought it might benefit all you keen horror fans if we outlined some of the key differences between horror-themed escape rooms and haunted houses.
Game vs Experience
The most obvious difference between escape rooms and haunted houses is that escape rooms are a game. They have objectives to meet and puzzles to solve. A haunted house has only one purpose: to terrify you. Because we’re designing escape rooms where you are an active participant in the story, we have to consider the intensity of the horror elements. It doesn’t benefit us to scare you so badly that you can’t solve puzzles; but, at the same time, we can simplify puzzles and tasks so that very scary games are accessible even for the most frightened players.
The Fear Factor
A haunted house may have the leisure of being scary for the sake of it, but an escape room has to handle its horror elements more carefully. Since escape rooms are interactive, there are a number of tricks we can use to increase the fear factor. Illusions and surprises when you interact with objects can heighten the immersion and make you feel a palpable sense of danger, but anything that’s too scary runs the risk of distracting players from their purpose.
Haunted houses and other horror attractions can be experienced without constraint. They are designed for you to explore at your own pace. Escape rooms come with the additional stress of a time limit. At Escape Games Canada, all of our games have a one-hour time limit, which means that we only have an hour to scare you. It also means that since we know exactly how long you’ll be in the game, we can plan the scares accordingly. Escape rooms may not have the same freedoms as haunt attractions, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t work within our constraints to create a truly horrifying experience.