As a general rule, you should have 4, 5 or 6 people in your group.
However, that depends on the company, the specific room and your city. Here in Winnipeg, we at Next Level Escapes have designed our rooms with small groups in mind, and we do have some wiggle room to accommodate small or medium-sized groups.
In our Saloon room, the group should be between 3 and 7 people for ideal time use and puzzle flow. For experienced escape artists, a group size of 4-5 is best. With 7 people the room feels a little tight, and is the maximum allowable number of players. We can sometimes allow a 2-person team to attempt the room (just not on Saturdays).
In the Office, we also suggest the group be between 3 and 7 people, but as the room has been designed to be a bit more challenging, 5-6 players are ideal. 7 players is also the maximum, and we have had a couple couples attempt it as well.
For the Train, we heard from a number of our groups that there were not enough rooms for very small groups. This escape room is just a single room and should be attempted with 2-3 people, and is great for a date night. It can also be done with 1 person (would need to pay a minimum of 2 admissions) or up to 4 people.
At Next Level Escapes, we want our escape rooms to be challenging and enjoyable, building on the experiences we have had in other rooms. There are a few design elements that we wanted to avoid:
The catch-all room: These escape rooms are advertised as being for super small and large groups, for example for 2-10 players. In our experience, there are basically no instances where these rooms provide a good time. If you have 2-3 players, there are likely too many puzzles to complete in the given time. For 9-10 players there is usually times where some players are standing around doing nothing, or they escape very quickly.
The huge room: Usually allow for 10-14 players maximum. With so many people completing the puzzles, even for experienced players, confusion plays a large role. Players end up spending most of their time trying to figure out who did what puzzle and how it fits in to the overall story, rather than actually solving the puzzles.
The small (but very cramped) room: Sometimes companies want to cram as many people in to one room as possible, advertising that a small 1-room escape could hold as many as 6 or even 7 people. We feel that there is a need for smaller escapes, but that the number of people should reflect the desired experience for a better quality result.
We are always interested in your thoughts. What are your favourite room sizes or the size of your escape room crew? Let us know on Facebook or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to hear from you!