Tips and Tricks to Win Escape Room Games Part 2

2020.12.11.

Manage Puzzle Items

 

Always Keep Used Keys In Their Locks

On the whole, a single key will only ever be used once. You can save a huge amount of frustration by simply leaving it in it's appropriate lock. Sounds simple enough, but the number of times players remove a key from it's place would make your head spin. This means that other players will be forever trying their own keys in a lock that's already been solved. And make sure everyone in your team follows this important directive.

 

Make a “Discarded Pile”

Once again we're really talking about order, as opposed to disorder. Once an object has it's purpose determined, then place it somewhere so that other players will know it's already been solved and they don't have to try and work it out again. So much time is wasted in escape room games with players re-doing what's already been done. Make a separate pile of those items. And ensure that all the players know what that pile of items represents. But do also keep in mind that some objects or items can be used more than once.

Organize Items Neatly

So much of the game's time can be saved by simply keeping things tidy. This helps other players in your group recognize clues faster. It let's you find exactly what you need when you need it. Nothing is worse than going back to find a useful item only to discover it's been moved to God knows where. Related items belong together. Keep them that way. All unused keys in one location. All similar books stored together. On the whole, if you see a bunch of books on a shelf, then you should first check for a book-safe and failing that, check the titles for clues. 

Search The Room Thoroughly

OK...Captain Obvious! Yes, we know, but so many players miss huge clues right in front of their faces. And one of the main reasons for this is that their are only looking superficially, instead of making everything a deep dive. You have to reach out and actually touch everything you see. There will always be some clues which are considerably easier than others. Get those one's first and maybe they will be the clues to help you move forwards. 

Divide And Conquer The Room

When you enter the escape room for the first time, it's a good idea to split up into at least two separate groups. Then divide the room into clear sections. This is a means of ensuring that the room has a thorough inspection. It also ensures that no areas are over-looked as well as ensuring that the same parts of the room are inspected more than once.

Listen To The Host

Before you start the game, there'll be a talk from the Games Master. They will go through a basic introduction and tell you all the rules. Pay attention at this point as Games Masters always like to drop subtle hints to help you all get started.

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Hints

Every escape room game will have a means of communicating with the Games Master. And they are all open to giving out hints and suggestions. They want you to have a great time, and sometimes there'll be just one clue that stumps everyone. At this point there's no shame in asking for a clue. Whenever the game grinds to a halt because you're stuck, don't be shy about asking for help. All Games Masters want you find the solutions and are trained to help you on your journey. On the whole, they will not tell you the answer directly, but allude to something that you might of missed.

Solve The Puzzles Efficiently

Work Out What To Ignore

Once you've played in a few escape room games, you'll realize that there are any number of things in a room that you can safely ignore. These can include such things as random numbers scrawled on a wall or written in old books. Power outlets are there because we need power. Please don't mess with them. If the room has a dropped ceiling, that's the actual ceiling of the room and there's nothing going to be placed in there.  

Attempt Group Solutions 

Typically when it comes to combination locks try everything. First thing is that you might be right straight off the bat. Let everyone shout out what they think and why. Remember that as soon as you have four out of five numbers, then you shouldn't be waiting any more, but scrolling through the last reel yourself.

Skip The Last Digit Or Letter

As we mentioned above, it's not necessary to find the last digit or letter if you have the first three in a four figure combination lock or puzzle. With a lock quickly cycle through the last reel. If it's a "word-lock" and you know the first three out of four, do the same but with letters. It's just like a crossword and when you hit the correct answer it'll be instantly apparent. Keep in mind, that missing a letter or a number from a puzzle might mean that there's still an unsolved puzzle in the room. 

General Tips

Don’t Use Excessive Force

If a drawer or cabinet doesn't open, then it's like that for a reason. You don't have to try and force it open. Everything you find in the room has a functionality, and it doesn't need any force to reveal it's secrets. Like wise, nothing in the room will need breaking open to reveal what's inside. Either it'll open thanks to you solving a puzzle and finding the correct key or it's just not meant to be used in that way. In other words, please don't break stuff.

Don’t Play Drunk

Escape room really work best when you're sober, wide awake and have all your wits about you. Being drunk is not conductive for a good time. If you do turn up drunk, then there's a good chance you will not gain entry. This is for safety concerns both for other players as well as for yourself. Once the game is done, that's the time for a celebration. 

Step Back And Look At The Big Picture

We see this time and again. A player will be fixated on trying to solve one particular puzzle to the detriment of all others. It's great that everyone is getting on with solving their own puzzle, but it's also good to have someone who's able to see the bigger picture. This person collates the game and the clues, so they know what has been achieved and what needs doing. This person acts an an overseer, and will certainly help speed up the game as they cut out repetition. 

Apply Occam’s Razor

Essentially, you don't want to be over-thinking anything. The puzzle are as they are, nothing more and nothing less. Escape rooms are designed as a fun activity for a large general audience. Most players are new to the genre. To that end, there's nothing there that's going to be overly complicated. It's interesting from our perspective to watch players struggle with something, only to have a eureka moment because they decided to take a simpler route.

Wear A Wristwatch

On the whole, this is the only object you can actually bring into an escape room. Many games don't provide a clock or else it's provided, but only in one of a number of rooms. So knowing yourself exactly the minutes left is going to be a massive help.

Don’t Be Afraid To Lose

With escape rooms the old adage of "it's not about winning, but taking part" is absolutely correct. So many players are delighted with the game, even if they didn't crack the last lock or clue. The fun is in solving the puzzles and clues together as a group. So, whether you and your players win or not, that's besides the point. One things for certain, and that's the sheer camaraderie that comes from having participated in a new activity with a group of friends.  

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