Some Escape Room Puzzles and Clues

2020.11.27.

At ExitTheRoom, we love all things around the theme of escape room games. Having played thousands of games with a countless number of players, we are in a great position to delve into the subject of escape room clues. The first thing we should like to point out, is that all the clues found in our games are not designed to be impenetrably hard. There would be zero point to that. We want you to be able to solve the clues, but on the other hand we don't want to make them too simplistic, as then there would be no satisfaction in finding the solutions. So, designing clues and puzzles is rather like a fine balancing act.

Another reason why we don't make the puzzles overly difficult is that we want players to have fun. Nothing will suck the joy out of a situation faster than being unable to solve any of the puzzles. As each puzzle is interconnected with another, then if you get stuck on one, then it can prove fatal further down the game when it's answer would be needed in conjunction with another puzzle.

There are a number of puzzles that you'll find in virtually all escape rooms. These are classics, that have been tried and tested for their timeless appeal. You'll often find these types of puzzles near the beginning of the game, just to get the player's minds ticking over. Many will be purely logic based and will be hiding in plain sight. You'll be surprised as to how many players overlook these simple puzzles, probably because they are almost too simple and the players are thinking that all the clues will be more complex.

Below we have compiled a list of the most common type of puzzles to be found across the board in so many escape room games. This is not designed to show you how to solve them, but to give an idea of what you can expect. If you've never visited an escape room before, this'll help you navigate around the room and at the same time, keep you productive and invested. 

MAGNET PUZZLES

The use of magnets is one of the most common puzzles you'll find in any escape room. Essentially, you'll need to retrieve a metal object that just out of reach. It could be a ring or a key resting in a hole, slightly too long for your arm to reach. On the whole if there's a clue which involves a metal object, then be sure that the first thing you'll be needing to find is a magnet.

DRAW OR MAP OUT NUMBERS

These are truly interactive puzzles and will often require the combined brain power of the whole group of players. You'll acquire a number or series of points and somehow have to find the means to connect them. This could be in many forms, but most often you'll be faced with a map or a grid. Following a series of dots might spell out the answer and so might following directions on a map. These could collateral with a numbered lock or door opening code. 

JIGSAW PUZZLES

Once again a very common type of puzzle to find in virtually all escape rooms. There are one hundred and one variations, but the common theme will be separate parts that need fitting together to produce a single image or result. There may well be torn messages strewn about the room which will need assembling. Of course, there might well be a traditional jigsaw puzzle to solve. These more simple puzzles are great if you have any children with you, as they can work on these, giving you plenty of time for the more complex puzzles. 

PERCEPTUAL ILLUSIONS

If there are any unusual or out of place paintings, drawings or any type of illustration, then be wary as to why it's there. We suggest that you first squint to see if any color patterns or designs starts to pop out. Then turn your head sideways, one way and then the other. If there's something there, you'll see it. Often there will be a number or code word hidden in plain site.

DATE LOCATING PUZZLES

These are often found in virtual games as well as real ones. The idea here is for you to notice some tiny detail that'll give you the required answer. Once again there are a on of examples and variations. A good example would be finding a briefcase with a label reading "Two days after baby born, he finally receives his name". Next to the briefcase is a newspaper whose top story reads "Baby born to famous parents", along with a six digit padlock. So if you look at the date of the newspaper then add two days, then you'll have your answer.

PUZZLES HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

There could be literally thousands of possible dots to connect within any escape room. So, eyes peeled as you look for common themes. For example, there could be random capital letters on the walls around the room. Always keep in mind that everything in the room is there for a purpose. Everything you see has the potential to be an important clue. By placing an everyday object directly in front of the players, on a table top for example, you'd be surprised as to how many players fail to spot it's significance. Hiding objects in plain sight is one of the best methods of hiding things.

MORSE-CODE PUZZLES

Using Morse Code makes creating puzzles very easy. And so it follows that these are very common escape room puzzles. The normal set-up, is that you'll find a key and a paper or recording next to it, containing dashes and dots. On the whole most players will recognize this type of puzzle instantly. Once you see it's based around Morse Code, then deciphering it is easy. 

LOOK UP/RESEARCH THE ANSWER

You'll commonly find an informative sign or piece of paper with a question. Maybe "when was Elvis's birthday?" or the date of the Battle of Waterloo? Now you simply have to search the room for the answer. We know it's tempting, but please try and refrain from Googling the answer! There might be a set of encyclopedias on a shelf or some newspaper clipping to look through. A simple puzzle to create and to find the answer to.

BLACK LIGHT CLUES

This is another common classic escape room clue. As a rule of thumb, if you ever come across a black light that can move, then be sure to shine it everywhere. The best place to start your journey of illumination is around the actual locks themselves. Again, a ridiculously easy puzzle to create and a very straightforwards one to solve. 

CLUES HIDDEN BEHIND PAINTINGS OR PICTURES

If you see a picture, whether hanging on a wall or on a stand on the sideboard, be certain that it was placed there for a reason. As a given, give all hanging pictures a little tug to see if they actually come away from the wall. That would normally point to something being hidden behind the picture. Or there could be something written on either the wall behind or on the back of the actual picture itself. Whatever you find there has endless possibilities whether codes, dates or ciphers, you'll work out their use in good time.
 

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