Psych Ward Tips: Confessions of a Game Master
Hello everyone! It’s been a while since our game masters have shared their wisdom with you. We’ve all been going a little crazy getting the new Psych Ward running, but now that it is accepting patients, our Game Masters decided they should prepare you for this new experience. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know before taking part in the experiment.
WHAT IS THE PSYCH WARD?
The Psych Ward is NOT an Escape Room. The Psych Ward is a strategic game of trust and betrayal. It incorporates escape room, board game, and immersive theatre elements. Traditional escape rooms require you to solve every puzzle in order to escape, but in The Psych Ward you can solve as many or as few puzzles as you need to win. Your goal is not to escape The Psych Ward, but to win.
TIPS TO WIN
• The Psych Ward requires active participation. The Psych Ward is more than solving puzzles: it involves deduction, strategy, and exploration. This means not only will you be solving puzzles, but you will be trying to figure out who on your team you can trust. If you prefer to simply solve puzzles to try and escape a room, I recommend one of our other great games. The Psych Ward is an experience designed for those who want to try something new.
• Observe your fellow patients. It’s not enough to solve as many puzzles as you can. Pay attention to how helpful others in your group are. Remember, you can’t trust everyone.
• Pay attention to the rules. Just like when playing a new board game, you have a new set of rules to learn. Pay attention, especially when scoring is explained, to make sure you understand how to earn points.
• Come up with a strategy. You need to be able to identify those who are not on your team and earn points. Feel free to discuss strategy with your fellow patients but remember you can’t trust all of them, so it might be a better idea to keep strategy to yourself.
WHO IS SANE? WHO IS INSANE?
In each game, there will be a mix of sane and insane players. Who is sane and who is insane is decided randomly by the game each time. The number of insane players depends on the size of your group.
WHAT IS THE WIN RATE?
The Psych Ward has an even 50/50 split of Sane/Insane winning. The difficulty depends on your group and how observant or sly you can be.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE
• BE ON TIME. Timing, of course, is everything. The Psych Ward runs on a very strict schedule and games cannot be started late. Players are NOT ABLE to enter a game once it has started.
• PLAYER LIMITS ARE STRICT. This game is designed for 5-8 players. It will not function with less or more than the specified amount.
• SPECIAL EFFECTS. This experience incorporates loud noises, fog, theatrical lighting, tight spaces, and restraints. It is not scary, but you may be put in tense situations.
• KEEP YOUR GROUP IN THE KNOW. It is extremely helpful for your teammates to know what they are getting into. Feel free to send them this post for a quick crash-course on The Psych Ward.
• THE PSYCH WARD IS A REPEATABLE EXPERIMENT. Since the experience is based on deduction and strategy, you are encouraged to come back and play with a new strategy. Which patients are sane and insane is random with each game, so you may be on the other team when you replay. This experience was also designed with more tasks and tests than can be completed in a single hour-long experiment, so return players can unlock new paths and secrets within the room.
The Psych Ward is the perfect experience for fans of escape rooms who want to try something new. Adding a level of deduction, trust, and betrayal takes this experience into new realms of possibility for interactive games. If you are a fan of board games or card games like Werewolf or Mafia, The Psych Ward should be your next game.
Manager, Game Master, Insane (and won!)
Cross Roads Escape Games
February 8, 2019 @ 3:21 am
So, are you thinking that this game should only be played by a group where everyone knows each other pretty well? Or is it ok to grab people who are only connected through you? Is it worth it to put in the extra effort to really curate a group, or is the game enough of a bridge so it doesn’t matter. Mostly asking because the wife and I are out of state (Arizona) and it’s hard to find groups for 4 player games, and even harder for games with higher minimums.
February 13, 2019 @ 2:40 am
It’s up to you! It can be helpful to play with people you already know, so it is obvious when they may be acting suspicious. Playing with people you don’t know well would add to the challenge, but should not be a deterrent.
February 11, 2019 @ 8:15 am
Thanks for sharing these great tips. Escape room games are something that people of all ages can enjoy. And, studies have shown that such games are a great way to inculcate team spirit, while enhancing communication and problem solving skills among employees. So, the next time you are thinking of a fun way to boost morale and build a more cohesive team, consider escape room games.