Tips For First Time Escape Room Game Players

2021.01.27.

There’s nothing to compare to an escape room game for sheer fun and comradery. Going with a group of mates is a sure-fire way to bring you all closer together as well as get those brain cells working. From the moment you enter, you’re faced with unknown clues and impossible puzzles. And behind all the gameplay, a clock is counting down the minutes until the game is over. It’s stressful, nerve-racking, fun, and when it’s all over, a massive sense of relief coupled with pride.  

Being in an escape room for the first time may seem daunting. You have no idea what you’re looking for, let alone how you’re going to make use of it once you found the solution. For some players, there’s a hopeless feeling of utter frustration. So here are some pointers to get you absolute beginners started. We’re not going to tell you how to solve anything, but help to point your thinking process in the right direction.

Due Diligence

With this, you’re ensuring that they’ll be no surprises. So go check out all the information you can about the game you’ll be playing. This should include the theses, the settings, the rules, and any other requirements needed to play the games. Take a look at their restrictions ie no pregnant woman and their games room group size limits. Remember that if this is a team event for you, then please include everyone in the team with any decision making. Keep in mind that some may feel claustrophobic, so always ask about any medical or mental issues before booking.

Practice Playing

As we all know, practice makes perfect. One way to become an escape room master is to practice online. The internet is filled with virtual escape room games where you can hone your skills on your mobile or computer. This will put your mind-set into an escape room way of looking at problems. Thus armed, a real escape room will be less frightening.
 

Be Prepared

Without wanting to treat customers like children, there are the same basics that you’d ask a child before a long journey or some time away doing an activity. So...make sure you’ve been to the toilet before starting. On the whole, a game will last one hour, so you don’t want to be caught short. We don’t recommend that you tackle an escape room age on an empty stomach either. It’s best to be wearing comfortable footwear and clothing for the occasion. If you happen to be sharing a game with total strangers, then it’s a good idea to break the ice and introduce yourselves before the game begins. After all, you’re all going to be working together towards a common goal.
 


Personal Hygiene Matters

Please make sure that you’re smelling fresh and clean before going on an escape room game. The rooms are more often than not pretty small. And there’s nothing quite like having to share a confined space with someone with bad body odor. Once again, it sounds like we’re addressing children when we say make sure you’ve brushed your teeth, taken a shower, and put on some deodorant. Be sure that your clothes are clean and smell good. 
 

Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Playing

We would recommend that all escape rooms don’t let anyone drunk or even slightly tipsy into the building. The main reason is one of basic safety. It’s imperative that all players can find the fire escape routes in case something untoward happens. We’ve seen how quickly a drunk can ruin the game for everyone. They are a nuisance to others and will quickly find ways of making your life hell. As a rule, just don’t let them in.


Have A Plan

Before the team enters the room, you all must have a plan in place before you all go crazy searching for stuff. We suggest that you divide up the room into sectors. This way you will not be looking where others have looked before. It also means that you’ll cover the overall area faster. Another good idea is to place all the clues into a central location. But have a separate spot for puzzles solved and those which are still a work in progress. 

The Importance of Communication

The teams that do best at escape room games are, by far, the teams that communicate the best. It’s easy to get involved with your clues and puzzles, but you must remember to shout out whatever you’ve discovered, as each little clue and solution goes towards the bigger picture. Many of the puzzles will need to be used in conjunction with each other. Make sure that when you’re reading instructions or any information out loud, speak clearly and quickly. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself until everyone on your team understands what’s being said. Please don’t hesitate to speak your mind. Many of the clues will require a different mindset when you approach them and any thoughts, no matter how wild or far-fetched, may prove helpful.


If There’s a Blacklight, Shine it Everywhere

Blacklights are a common feature in nearly all escape room games. They will illuminate objects and writing that the naked human eye can’t see. Don’t assume that the clues about the blacklight will be nearby. Put the light into every crevice and cranny. You might be surprised as to where it’s going to prove useful.


Move Quickly But Be Thorough

Be prepared to have your work double-checked. This isn’t to signify that you’ve done a bad job. Rather than the more pairs of eyes are used, the greater the chance that something insignificant but essential will be seen by one person and missed by another. Some people are more “visual” and can spot things others might miss. But whatever you do, be as thorough as possible.

Take Notes

This may sound anal for an escape room game. But keeping a record of your findings will help with the game’s progress. You’ll all be able to keep track of where you’ve been and what you’ve discovered. Look at it as an ongoing progress report. 

Know When The Room Is Done

There will sometimes be the frustration of having to deal with a puzzle that makes zero sense to anyone on your team. If you’ve all had a go and had a pow-wow about it, then accept that it’s time to move on, rather than letting this one ten slow the whole team down. There comes a time when you have no other option but to reach out to the game master for a helping hand. He’s not going to solve it for you, but point out some factors that you missed to help you look at the problem from a different angle. If you want to try and tackle it later, then leave it to one side.

Stop Over-Thinking

We’re always pleasantly surprised when we have a family playing an escape room game. So many times the adults are searching for something more in their minds than the actual clues in front of them. They imagine complicated scenarios, when in fact, the answer is straight forwards. Oftentimes, the kids will solve the puzzles simply because they’re not overthinking the clues.

Don't be Embarrassed Asking For Help

 
Before you came into the room, the game master would have given you the possibility of asking for help at any time during the gameplay. Everyone is going to get stuck at some point. After all, these are situational clues that you’ve never experienced before. They require a new way of looking at the world. For some players, it can all make perfect sense from the get-go. For others, the clues might as well be written in an alien language. The game master will offer some hints to nudge you in the right direction. Some rooms give unlimited hints, and others will limit the number. If you’re a beginner, then we suggest going with unlimited hints. 

Don’t Break Stuff

Here’s the thing….if it can’t be moved, then don’t try and move it. You can touch everything in the room. But please understand the difference between the game’s props and the game’s actual clues. It should be obvious, as the clues are designed to stand out from the rest of the room’s objects. If the lock will not open with the combination you’re using, don’t force it. All locks will spring open with the right settings. Likewise, if objects are screwed down it means that there’s nothing underneath. Yes, we get it, the game can be very frustrating at times. But don’t take it out on the props in the room!

Meet New Friends

If you decide to play on your own or with a small group of friends, then there’s always the chance that you might be playing with new people. What’s interesting is just how many people find it a struggle to work with strangers. We’ve seen games where the team members, is composed of a couple of different groups, don’t even say “Hi” to each other. We suggest that if you’re going to be playing with some strangers, then make an effort to get to know them a little before the game begins. After all, you’re all going to be working together. And we like to think that within every stranger, there’s a possible friend.

Have a Great Time

Keep in mind that no matter how tense or frustrating the game may be, that it’s only a game. You’re there, first and foremost to have a blast. So don’t ask the game master what the fastest time has been posted on the room you’re going to play. It’s irrelevant and will only cause you to focus on the wrong thing. Yes, you will be under a huge amount of pressure as the clock counts down the time remaining. But here’s the thing. Only by letting yourself be immersed in the game, will you be able to say that you had the time of your life when it’s over. So...take a deep breath...and off we go!
 

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