Tips on How to Escape an Escape Room

2020.12.03.

So here you stand with three of your friends. In a darkened escape room. You're surrounded by all sorts of unrelated items, from bunches of keys to books to strange looking pictures. Looking up, you can see a clock that's counting down the hour. In the distance you can hear someone crying. Soon the soft whimpering starts to give way to blood curdling screams. They start to be getting closer. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck. You all look at each other, frozen to the spot. It suddenly feels stifling and hot. Where to start? What should you be looking for? How will you escape? 

If you've ever played in an escape room, then you'll be familiar with this scenario. We thought it would be a good idea to let you know some tips that'll help you make decisions faster and be more certain that you're moving in the right direction.

Communication is of Paramount Importance

Many a times we'll find ourselves searching for a solution. The clock is ticking down and we feel under a huge burden of pressure. Even though you may be playing as a team, there will still be an urge to prove yourself and find the result yourself. This is a fatal mistake. So many of the puzzles will involve different skill sets along with a varied knowledge base, that it's only by combining resources with other players will you make sense of the many clues. When ever you find something of interest, no matter how insignificant, you should shout out your discovery. You may be shy in the real world, but this is no place for the timid. It may well be the final piece of a riddle or puzzle another team member is on the point of solving. Like-wise, any ideas that cross your mind, shout them out and share them with every member of your team. So much time can be lost by working alone. It's a team game, and so all the team need to be kept up to date on any new discoveries or developments. 

Multitasking Saves Effort

You're really going to struggle against the clock if you're not prepared to multitask. Time and again we see that this is probably the prime reason why teams fail. The rooms are chock full of different puzzles and clues. Don't spend all the teams energy trying to figure out one clue. Once again, we'll see someone call out a new clue, only for the whole team to head over to where it is, and then pour all their resources and energies into solving this latest find. No, split up and if you're already working on something, then stick with it. In escape rooms, one clue normally will lead to another. The more clues you can find in the shortest period of time, then the greater will be your advantage at moving forwards. So, don't all hang together, but split up and search as individuals.

Play To Your Escape Room Team Strengths

If you like to play escape rooms on a regular basis and with the same team of players, then it's a good idea to tailor your team to each players individual strengths. Each room will have puzzles that appeal to a different skill set. Some may be for those with a more mathematical bent, and others for those with a greater artistic flare. Everyone thinks differently. Some will instantly understand a clue found by manipulating an object. Other will be super fast at solving a conundrum that's written in a number of related documents. If you can somehow pair each player with a certain thinking process, then it'll speed up the finding and solving of clues. 

Keep Things Organized

As you progress through all the clues and puzzles, and with the added pressure of the clock, it's easy to become confused over what you've already achieved and what remains to be done. As you unlock clues, it's easy to misplace them, only to later have  another team member discover them and start re-doing them all over again. To avoid this, please keep track of what's already done. Maybe you'll place these solved items in a particular spot. But it's equally important to let everyone in the room know what's solved and what's still a work in progress. Once again, this harks back to our first point about clear and open communication between all team members.

Practice Makes Perfect

You don't need to play an escape room to practice. What you're really going to have a greater understanding of is a process we'll call "critical thinking". Everyday, you can hone this skill by doing things that involve using those little grey cells. Whether puzzles, Sudoku or getting the hang of Rubik's Cube, it all the right sort of "brain food" that'll prepare you for your next escape room adventure. The more you challenge yourself with riddles and puzzles, the easier it'll be to find connections when faced with a totally new scenario. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

There are going to be times when you and your team are totally stumped for an answer. Maybe you don't understand what's being asked of you. Maybe it's simply a badly designed set of clues. But whatever the reason, if you can't progress, then don't be afraid to reach out and ask for assistance. It's not a sign of weakness to ask for help. We've seen teams where ego seems to be the largest factor. But it's plain nuts to let the clock tick down and be running around like a demented headless chicken. And all because you're too proud to ask for help. Don't be that person. We want you to have a great time. And that's not going to happen if you're stuck.

Finally, Remember, It’s Just a Game

In the life, some people are much more serious than others. Escape rooms can have a sense of competition involved. But that doesn't mean that the players need to be competitive. Or combative for that matter. Sometime tensions can come to the surface. Tempers can become frayed as the pressure mounts. But always keep in mind that you'll be playing along side other people. Yes, we get it, it nice to win. But don't alienate every other player in the room on your quest for victory. It's a team game. So keep it light, have fun and then you'll all be in a better place when the game is over. 
 

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