The Psychology Behind the Escape Room

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There are psychological reasons behind why the escape room phenomenon is becoming so widespread. Remember your favorite computer games as a kid? Pajama Sam, Freddie Fish, and Putt-Putt are a few names that come to mind. It wasn’t the intriguing story that made them so addictive. Let’s face it, the scripts for these games aren’t winning any academy awards anytime soon. Their popularity was based on the fact that you had to click around, explore, and solve clues to complete tasks.

escape rooms

Human being are naturally inquisitive creatures. If you look into the nitty gritty reasons why we’re so attracted to escape rooms, you’ll find that our willingness to lock ourselves in a room with our closest friends and family members isn’t really that crazy at all. There’s even a game show on the Science Channel called Race to Escape, where two groups of strangers compete against each other to see which group escapes first. Like Tick Tock Escape Games, the show uses two identical rooms to ensure a level playing field. Riaz Patel, the show’s creator, says “The person who enters the room may not be the person who emerges once the door is locked…people who think they are leaders quickly end up being followers.”


So why is this? Why would the added pressure of a competitive element and monetary incentive ($25,000 to be exact) cause us to change our behavior? How is the dynamic between strangers different than the dynamic between close friends? Are we more or less likely to revert to a ‘follower’ role around those we aren’t as comfortable with? Most importantly, why is that we love being locked in a room?

Unique Experience

According to an article on Junkee, part of the escape room appeal is that it’s a deviation from the more passive forms of entertainment, like watching TV or engaging with our phones. Technology has tried to get in on this ‘immersive experience’ trend with 360 degree virtual reality goggles and Facebook videos that give you a 360 degree view of stunning images. Even though technology may be incorporated into some escape rooms, they’re much more about socializing and problem-solving. This study by Eventbrite found that for millennials, “happiness isn’t as focused on possessions or career status. Living a meaningful, happy life is about creating, sharing and capturing memories earned through experiences that span the spectrum of life’s opportunities”. In addition, 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a desirable experience over a material possession. Over 70% said their best memories are from an event or live experience, providing an explanation for why escape rooms are so popular. We would rather collect memories than items that only bring temporary happiness.

escape roomsAccording to an article from Harvard Business Review, there are four key experience-design principles. These include (1) themed experiences, (2) positive cues that give the right impression, (3) available memorabilia, and (4) the engagement of all five senses. Now consider how an escape room fulfills these principles. The rooms are themed (Beasley’s Billions and Pyramid Paradox), you have a photo to remember your experience, and you use almost all of your senses to get out of the room (no tasting necessary—for now). The escape room experience is meant to give you a memory that will last for years. This blog post divides the four realms of experience as entertainment, educational, esthetic, and escapist. Escape rooms provide entertaining storylines, force players to think and learn, have visually appealing environments, and give participants an opportunity to participate and immerse themselves in an exciting situation.

escape roomsDeepening/Building Relationships

You don’t learn anything about a person by seeing a movie with them. Escape rooms force you to put down the phone and engage with others on a personal level. Businesses and corporations are now using escape rooms as a means to create employee bonding. Say you’ve created a new team with people from all around the world—a fun escape room competition between the HR department and IT forces you to work with others and get to know how they respond to situations outside the office. Part of this deepened relationship comes from sharing a memorable experience. Nowadays, family time is spent doing exciting activities outside the house rather than board games played on the kitchen table. With free time so limited, parents are counting on fun activities to entice their kids. An activity that involves so much teamwork and communication naturally lends itself to deepening relationships.

Easily Shareable on Social Media

With the ability to ‘check in’ at certain locations on Facebook, it’s easier than ever to make your every move known to the world. Once you complete (or fail) your escape room, you’re normally asked to pose for a picture with your group. This not only gives the escape room some free marketing (with their logo in the background), but it also gives you a photo that you can share online. Now more than ever, images and videos are taking over social media. Instagram and snapchat are solely dedicated to image sharing, and most Facebook statuses now come with an image. For many, social media is a tool to show people that they live an active, exciting life. It’s more about manipulating other people’s perception of you than anything. Unique experiences like concerts and escape rooms provide great ammunition for a social media post.

escape rooms

What Your Escape Room Tactics Say about Your Personality…

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The Leader—We love to hate on them, but the bossy ones are the ones who unite the team and take charge. They have no issue designating tasks to different people, and they’re the first ones to congratulate you when you finally crack the riddle you’ve been stumped on. They are naturally confident people, and can’t stand to sit around doing nothing as the clock ticks down.


The Problem Solver/Thinker—This person is the know-it-all who really does know their stuff. They’re normally very patient (with the task at hand, not with other people’s stupidity) and they have a clear eye to look past non-essential information. Image Hermione from Harry Potter. If you’ve always admired her dedication to academics and ability to prioritize, you’re most likely a thinker. While they might have a bit of an ego, these people get the dirty work done.

The Inquisitive Mind—They’re the ones trying to pull the frame off the wall, tear apart the chair cushion, and generally destroy everything. Maybe they had too much red food coloring as a kid, or maybe they just have a lot of pent up frustration from the office drama. Who knows? These people would rather find things hidden around the room than solve the riddles or figure out the locks. They never fail to ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaahh’ over the discovery of a trap door. These curious souls are normally always down for a good adventure, and they’re necessary assets if you want to escape.

The Repeater—we all know that one person in our group. The one who insists a random smudge on the wall must be part of the game, and continuously brings up said smudge every time you get stuck on a clue. They mean well, but we all know that their hunch is totally off. These types of people are normally the stubborn ones. We keep them around though, because one day, that crazy conspiracy theory might actually be right.

And, of course, there’s always the complete goof-off who spends 99% of the time giggling in the corner. They’re essentially useless, but we love them anyway.


Escape Game Problem Solving Exercises for the Holidays

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Don’t let the escape game best you.

We know that this season might feel like the perfect time to slack off. With your house all warm and toasty, lights twinkling on your mantle, and the ability to sleep in as late as you want, it can be tempting to give your mind a well-earned rest and curl up with a good romance novel.

BEWARE! Holiday laziness is one of the #1 causes of escape game failures! Try out some of these fun brain-exercisers to properly prepare for your next Tick Tock Escape Game.


If you’re looking for a quick game of Sudoku to squeeze in during your lunch break, check out this online Sudoku Generator that saves on paper and generates thousands of puzzles for FREE. You can even play while ‘taking notes’ during those boring office meetings.

Sudoku helps with memory, stimulates the mind with logic-based problem solving, and reduces the chance of developing Alzheimer’s by keeping your brain active. Many of our rooms involve a similar skillset to solve the clues, so why not exercise your mind beforehand?


You can find free online crossword puzzles here, or go old school and solve the one in your newspaper. According to this source, crossword puzzles can actually help ward of dementia, expand your vocabulary and increase memory function. When solved as a group, crossword puzzles can even trigger a sense of bonding (hmm…wonder what that sounds like).

Strategy Board Games

This list of the top ten strategy board games to play as a family lists Risk as the number one game. While these games can go on for hours, they also force you to think several steps ahead and weigh different outcomes before making a decision. Unlike Chess, these games have stories behind the strategies, making them more engaging for younger players. If you’re not convinced yet, check out Ben Wyatt’s Cones of Dunshire game featured on Parks and Recreation:

Your escape game experience will be made even better if your mind has been practicing for puzzles, riddles and strategy.


6 Elements That Make a Great Escape Room

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Here at Tick Tock Escape Games, we have a vision for what makes a great escape room experience.  Our vision may not be the same as what you see in other escape rooms around the country, but when people play our games and leave having had an exhilarating experience, we know we’re on the right track.  Here are our top 6 criteria for what makes a great escape room!

Continue reading “6 Elements That Make a Great Escape Room” »

Top Things to Do in Overland Park

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Visiting Kansas City or just looking for some new things to do in Kansas City and the Overland Park area? Overland Park is full of new and exciting things to do, if you know where to look. So, instead of another Netflix-filled weekend, take our advice and try something new with your friends or family! Here are our recommendations for the top things to do in Kansas City and Overland Park:

Shop Local

Instead of going to the mall to shop in those box chain stores, try checking out some local shops. Not only will you be supporting a local business, but you’ll also discover some unique finds rather than buying the same thing that countless other people have. There are many wonderful local shops in Overland Park and Kansas City. Try checking out The General Store & Co. for its “cabinet of curiosities,” including drink mixes, collegiate tees and home decor. If you’re at a loss for where to start, check out this helpful article about some of the best local shops.

Hit Up Happy Hour

Happy hour is always a fun and relaxing way to end a work day. Grab your friends and head to one of the many great bars and restaurants that Overland Park and Kansas City have to offer. For great beer selections and hearty German-style bites, try Barley’s Brewhaus. Ricco’s Italian Bistro, with its delicious Italian cuisine and happy hour wine deals, is the perfect spot for an elegant evening with friends. Last, but not least, The Peanut is always a classic spot for drinks and bar food.

Get Some Culture

When is the last time you went to a museum? If you’re looking for things to do in Kansas City or Overland Park, there are so many great options for museums to visit. Look beyond the Nelson and try out some of the city’s lesser-known museums, like the Museum at Prairiefire, which is currently in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History to present an exhibition called Brain: The Inside Story. Feeling a little more artsy? Try the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the campus of Johnson County Community College.

Overland Park’s Best Escape Room Games

Ready to get your pulse racing and your mind working? Tick Tock Escape Games is the perfect place to come for a fun time with friends or family. You and your teammates will work together against the clock to work out our tricky puzzles and clues. Find out if you can escape before the time runs out!

Best Corporate Team Building Activities in Overland Park

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Great companies know that you have to work hard and play hard in order to have a successful business and a healthy employee morale. Work shouldn’t be all about work 100% of the time; your employees need time to chat, relax and bond in order to have a truly positive and efficient work environment. Many companies find that participating in corporate team building games and other activities is the perfect way to improve teamwork, boost morale and make the workplace a happier place. We’ve put together a list of ideas for your Overland Park business to put your team building skills to the test and have some fun!

Bring Out Your Inner 12-Year-Old at PowerPlay

PowerPlay is an 80,000 square foot entertainment center that has fun activities for all ages. PowerPlay frequently hosts corporate team-building activities and events, so it’s a no-brainer to check this one out. They have a variety of awesome team building games, including laser tag, bowling, and our favorite: WhirlyBall. You’ll leave feeling like a kid again.

Get Your Hearts Racing at iFly Kansas City

iFly Kansas City combines the exciting of skydiving with the safety and security of an indoor, controlled setting. iFly uses a wind tunnel that moves air in a vertical column to keep those inside safely floating through the air. If you’re looking for a little excitement, this could be the perfect opportunity for you and your employees!

Learn Some New Skills at The Culinary Center of Kansas City

The Culinary Center of Kansas City is located in the historic Downtown Overland Park and regularly holds group cooking classes. They have the option of planning an event especially for your group, so you can cater the class to your needs. Cooking classes allow people to express their creativity while learning a useful new skill. The best part? In the end, you’ll all have something delicious to snack on!

Try Volunteering as a Group

Volunteering as a group can be a great bonding and team-building experience for your company. Pick your favorite local charity and set up a time when a group of your employees can come together and contribute positively to the community. Stumped for ideas? Check out Habitat for Humanity Kansas City or the Ronald McDonal House Charities of Kansas City, both of which frequently have group volunteering opportunities.

Put Your Teamwork to the Test at Tick Tock Escape Games

We love hosting coworkers at Tick Tock Escape Games of Overland Park. Our escape rooms are full of challenging puzzles and tricky clues, which make them the ultimate team building activities for your employees. We also have rooms with different exciting themes, like the Pyramid Paradox and Beasly’s Billions, so you can pick the perfect theme for your group.

Ready to try one of our escape room challenges for your next corporate team building activity? Simply click “Book Now!” to book online!

5 Date Ideas in Overland Park

5 Fresh Date Ideas in Overland Park, KS

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Out of date ideas for your next date night? Don’t sit through another boring movie or dinner. If you really want to impress your significant other and have a great time, it’s time to try something new and get out of your comfort zone. Check out these five fresh date ideas to do in Overland Park!

Downtown Overland Park Farmer’s Market

Overland Park’s downtown farmer’s market has been around for more than 3o years, but you may never have checked it out. Full of local farmers’ produce and other foods, this is a great place to pick up fresh and organic ingredients. Why not find a new recipe, get the ingredients you need while strolling through the farmer’s market, and then head home to make a delicious meal with your significant other.

New Theatre Restaurant

The New Theatre Restaurant is Overland Park’s very own theater and dinner experience, and one of our favorite local date ideas. Check out what’s coming up in the theater’s current season, and plan a date night that your S.O. won’t forget.

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Spring is in the air and it’s the perfect time to consider some outdoors date ideas. The Botanical Gardens are 300 acres filled with beautiful natural ecosystems and native vegetation. Try strolling through the gardens and then explore one of the center’s five miles of hiking trails. Finish off with a snack at the Arboretum Cafe and you’ve got the perfect date.


Feeling a little sporty? Topgolf may be the perfect date idea for you and your significant other. Pass away a few hours practicing your swing and playing fun golf games. There are plenty of delicious food and drink options if you and your partner get famished from all that golf club swinging.

Tick Tock Escape Games

We love having couples come to Tick Tock Escape Games for a different kind of date night. Challenge yourselves and see how well you can work as a team to find your way out of the room within one hour by completing our puzzles and deciphering clues.

We hope you feel inspired to try something new the next time you have a date! And if you’re ready to take on our escape games, call us today at (913) 396-9144.