Escape rooms are exciting, fast-paced adventures in which you are locked in a room generally for 60 minutes. You are given clues and elaborate puzzles to solve in order to make progress and find your way out before the time limit is reached. These fun experiences can be further enhanced if you have a better idea of what you are getting into. Here are lessons learned by seasoned escape room participants:
Have a Leader
Like most things in life, you must have a leader. Someone needs to organize the team and make sure everyone stays on track.
Divide and Conquer
Escape rooms often have many clues that you must solve in order to make progress toward the next phase of the escape room. Sometimes having more people on the same task is not the best solution. Instead, try to divide the group to solve different puzzles that have presented themselves.
Even if you are working separately, be sure that you each know what is going on in other factions of the group. Without a communication liaison, you may not realize that you are each working on separate parts of the same puzzle. Constant communication can ensure that everyone has the same information.
It’s Okay to Come in a Small Group
If you do not have enough people for a full room on your own, it’s okay to come with a small group (such as 2-4 people) and get paired up with another group. This can be a great way to meet new people and install additional skillsets within the group.
Look for Clues Everywhere
Escape rooms may give certain rules to narrow down the possible ways to find a clue, such as not breaking anything, looking in lights or moving furniture. However, besides these basic escape room rules, look for clues anywhere else. If you are given any written clues, look for hints within the hints, numbers that look like letters or on the back of the card. Look at pictures in the room or other indications.
Lean on Each Other
Escape rooms are designed to be solved by groups, not individually. Your team has the same goal to escape the room as quickly as possible. Try to find out the strengths of each participant and lean on them for support.
Disregard Red Herrings
Escape rooms sometimes add red herrings or other items that are meant to distract you from your goal. Use good judgment to discern what is an actual clue and what is a mere distraction. If you feel that you are taking too much time on one task, switch things up and see if you can approach the problem in another way.
Don’t Give Up
Consistency is key in an escape room. You only have a limited amount of time to successfully escape the room. If you have hit a brick wall with one puzzle, try to transition to another and let someone take over your puzzle. Give the room a fresh look for anything that you may have missed in the excitement of reaching a new clue.