More Tips And Tricks To Win Escape Room Games

2022.03.21.

We previously wrote an article on tips and tricks to win escape room games, and now we thought we'd follow up with Part 2.If you're already a veteran at playing escape room games, many of these may seem obvious. But if you're new to the whole escape room game genre, then these tips may make the difference between winning and losing. So, without further ado, let's jump right into it.

Thoroughly Search The Room 

OK, this sounds totally Captain Obvious. But you'll be surprised as to how many players fail to really look thoroughly. In other words, they're looking without seeing. It's an escape room game and therefore many of the clues may well be hiding in plain sight. That means they're right in front of your nose, written large. And yet, unless you look closely or take in the big picture, you will fail to recognise the clue right in front of you. Sometimes objects will be hitting behind or under things, such as:

stuck on a ceiling-supporting pillar
tucked in the pocket of a coat 
on the top of a bookshelf
behind the cabinet door 
inside a book
placed on a ledge high on the wall
in a floor, wall, or shelf unit’s secret compartment

Use Divide And Conquer When You Search

Rather than going it alone, we suggest that when you enter the escape room game, you all split the room into different sections and have different groups working solely on their particular section. This will ensure that the room gets thoroughly inspected. More importantly, it will also do away with the time wasting aspects of having parts of the room overlooked, and yet have other parts of the room repetitively searched.

At The Beginning Listen To Your Host

Before every escape room game begins, the Game Master will go through all the aspects of gameplay, including the rules and the story narrative you will be following when you play.  Please ensure that you are paying attention to what he's saying. There will be many times when there will be some helpful hints or clues slipped into the narrative before the game even begins in earnest. Remember that the Game Master wants you to be able to escape within the time limit. And will do everything in his power to nudge you in that direction.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Hints

Following on from the above, please don't be afraid to ask the Game Master for hints.  Whatever system is used to communicate with them, be it via walkie-talkie or simply waving at the camera, it's important that you are not shy or feel it's some sort of failure when asking for help to move forward in the game. Sometimes a single puzzle can be holding you up and this can actually start to suck the fun out of the game, as you and your team become at first frustrated, and then start to lose heart. All Game Masters are trained to give subtle hints and nudges, but without telling you the actual answer.  That's because they recognise that part and parcel of the game being successful, means that the players need the satisfaction of completing the clues and puzzles themselves.

Understand What To Ignore

Once you've been playing escape room games for a while, then what to ignore will become second nature. But if it's your first time, then we'll give you some markers that will, hopefully, save you some time. 

Random numbers written over furniture, walls or old books are just decoration. Nothing more. Power outlets are not there for you to stick objects into but rather so the cleaners can clean the rooms in the evening. If you look upwards and see drop ceiling tiles, believe us, that is the actual ceiling, so don't start trying to lift up the tiles, as there's absolutely nothing there.

Attempt Frequent Combination Solutions 

Attempting combination solutions is a great way of seeing whether your solution is plausible. It'll give you quick  feedback as to whether you're heading in the right direction.You never know, you might get lucky and your first guess may be correct! So, if you have 3 out of the 4 numbers of the combination lock, then simply input the first three and then cycle through the last one. 

Always Skip The Last Digit/Letter

Following on from the above, this makes perfect sense in trying to save time. For example, there's no point in trying to figure out the last digit in a lock if you already know 3 of the digits in a 4-digit combination . Simply cycle through the last one. Likewise, if you're dealing with a word lock where you have a 5 letter word that starts with “M” and ends with “C”, then try inputting the word “magic.” You never know, it may well be correct.

Some More General Tips

Please Don’t Force Things

The first thing to note, if you come across any drawer doors or cabinets that are hard to open, don't struggle with them. The chances are that they are glued shut. Following on from this, don't try to force anything that cannot be moved. Everything you need will be within cupboards, cabinets or drawers that will open easily. After all, it's an escape room game, not a strongman competition. Time and time again all escape room game rooms see furniture and objects broken simply because someone was trying to force something. In a similar vein, please don't climb on furniture and don't go touching the ceiling. On the whole, the Game Master will tell you at the beginning of the game what the rules are. And what you shouldn't and shouldn't be trying to move.

Don’t Come To The Escape Room Drunk

Escape room games will need you to be absolutely sober in that you will want all your faculties to be functioning at their optimal performance.  If you come even slightly drunk or tipsy, then you will struggle to recognise both clues and puzzles, let alone be able to find the cryptic answers. We suggest that you save your celebrations until after the game.

Try To Look At The Broader Picture

We have seen so many escape rooms where an individual gets stuck on a singular puzzle,  and spends an unnecessary amount of time trying to solve it. That's why it's important to have a team member who is keeping track of the larger picture and ensuring that both smaller puzzles and larger ones are being solved in the correct order. As well as keeping track of all the objects that may need collecting. In many cases, by having someone manage the whole process, you'll be able to actually skip over any smaller steps, as they will not prove to be significant anymore.

Use Occam’s Razor

As a basic principle, you shouldn't break your head by over-thinking any other puzzles.  Everything in the escape room is going to involve some form of logical or spatial thinking.  Remember that escape rooms are also designed to be a fun experience. To that end, we suggest you always look for the simplest solution first. You'll be surprised how many players struggle over a puzzle, only to have that Eureka moment, and then start laughing about how simple the puzzle really was. 

Take A Wristwatch

Personally, we don't like people bringing mobile phones into escape room games. It's always possible to ask Siri or Google Assistant to help you out. But this removes a level of fun from the whole experience. But it's important to be able to know exactly how you're doing for time.  Many games will not provide you with a clock. Or may only have a clock in a single room.  Having a watch with a luminous dial will also be useful in case, for example, you want to shine a light on a lock mechanism in a dark corner of the room.

Don’t Be Afraid To Lose

Finally, always keep in mind that the escape room game isn't about just winning. Talking with players afterwards, we often hear that they prefer to try and solve the puzzles themselves, as opposed to rushing headlong to try and finish the game within the allotted time. Escape room games are not designed to be easy. They often contain many puzzles and riddles that you may well have never come across in your entire life. Many of these will require a completely new way of thinking in order to solve them. So please don't go breaking your head if you hear the buzzer sound before the game is complete. Just know that you did your best and had a great time along the way. There's probably something in the fact that the more escape room games you play, the more you are able to see more clearly how the puzzles and clues come together in a generic way across the whole escape room genre. As they say, it’s the journey that matters, not the goal.

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