The Art of Escaping the Room
When you woke up this morning, you certainly didn’t expect to find yourself in this scenario. You stand locked in a room surrounded by dozens of files, empty boxes, flashing lights, a pile of keys and a slowly depleting countdown timer. Have you used all of these keys? Which one did you skip over? Did you read everything in those documents? Are you going to run out of time and forever be stuck in this room?
Not to fear!
These are questions EVERY escapee asks at some point, both new and experienced. As game guides and game creators, we have a few tips for you that should help ease those nerves and help you escape even faster!
- Communication is Key
To many people, this may come as a no-brainer, but we cannot stress the importance of communication with your teammates. This extends to quite a few areas of the room. When you see something that may be a clue, inform your other teammates. Verbalize everything that you see, write down notes so that you don’t forget and let people know when you’ve solved a puzzle. Often times, we see groups who have members who solve a puzzle that someone else was working on, but then they do not share that they’ve solved it. If you share your ideas out loud, even if you’re not working on the same puzzle as your teammates, you could help them to have a mental epiphany!
The biggest thing that we see that keeps groups from escaping our rooms is when they do not multitask. Even though your entire team is working towards the same ultimate goal, the best way to tackle a room is to split up and work on multiple puzzles at the same time. Too often, an escapee will find a clue, announce it and then the entire team will rush over to focus on this one new puzzle, rather than completing puzzles they’re working on. Just remember, one clue that you find may work with another clue, so it’s always best to continually be on the move, hunting for those clues, so split up!
- Have a Set Escape Room Team
It’s so much fun to go to events with groups of friends and with family, and it’s even more fun when you know every member of your team. Know your skill sets! Escape Rooms feature puzzles of many different types, from electrical to mechanical to mental. Some puzzles will require that you physically manipulate objects, others that you make connections between information found hidden in documents. Now, we all know that people think differently, and specifically curating your team based on these skills can greatly increase your chances of success! (Don’t forget to come up with a team name, too! That way, when you escape and sign our walls, everyone will know who the true champions are!)
Remember that pile of documents and keys I mentioned earlier? One of the most overwhelming parts of an escape room can be the clutter that develops as you unlock items and find clue after clue after clue. One of the biggest tips that we can offer is to keep track of what you have and have not used in the room. Keep a discard pile for clues that you’ve used, and keep puzzles you’re working on easily within sight. When you use a key, leave the key in its lock! Very seldom will you encounter a scenario where you will need to use a key more than once, so this is an easy way to keep track of both unlocked items and used keys!
You can absolutely practice before you come to an escape room. Critical thinking is the most valuable tool in your tool bag when escaping, and honing your skills on a daily basis can help you in every walk of life! Play word and mind puzzles like Sudoku or Rubix’s cubes. Look up riddles and try to solve them. The more you challenge yourself, the more you will improve and the better chances you’ll have of escaping one of our carefully designed rooms.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
We totally understand that it can be incredibly frustrating to not understand a puzzle. Believe me when I say it happens to game designers too; however, you don’t have to let that stump you. Ask your teammates for help! If they aren’t able to help you out either, don’t forget your game guides are always watching and ready to help you-you just have to ask.
- Remember, it’s just a Game
Friendly competition is a great way to cut through the stress of everyday life. Tensions can get pretty high in our escape rooms, so just remember to relax and have fun. Even if you don’t escape, you’ve still worked out your brain and your communication skills. Don’t beat yourself or your team up for not escaping—have a good time!
We hope these tips help guide you on your next adventure! If you have any helpful tips and tricks that help you escape rooms, let us know! We are always eager to hear how people improve in such a new form of entertainment!