Have you ever dreamed of being part of an action-packed adventure, solving mysteries, and unraveling complex puzzles? If you’re seeking an exhilarating experience that pushes your problem-solving skills to the limit, then look no further than an escape room.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of escape rooms, exploring why they have become a popular choice for thrill-seekers and puzzle enthusiasts alike. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with excitement and mental challenges.
Gather your team, communicate, spread your efforts, keep things organized, do thorough research, work with your host, solve puzzles efficiently, and ensure everything runs smoothly.
What, saving time and money, as well as closing tips.
ASSEMBLE YOUR TEAM
TIP 1: PLAY WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW
Fortunately, due to COVID-19, many escape rooms have switched to a “private” game model, where each game is just for your team.
However, some companies still make “public” games; we do not recommend this game for players because strangers are wildcards, and you risk losing the common communication context and standards to share.
For example, a group of college friends might be included in the same game as a family bringing their teenagers. For public games, an upgrade to a private experience is usually offered for an additional fee.
You can try your luck by booking your tickets last minute, during the week, or on the day’s first or last time slot.
TIP #2. MAKE YOUR TEAM THE RIGHT SIZE
The optimal team size for a game is never the maximum team size – just because a game says it fits up to 12 people doesn’t mean you have to bring 12 people to join all the games play.
More than necessary. In addition to the physical clutter, overpacking your game means that each player can experience fewer puzzles and “aha!” moments.
There will also be additional overhead to help players get up to speed. As a rule of thumb, the ideal room capacity for a group that hasn’t started is around 50% of the maximum listed capacity.
If your group is too large to play a particular game, consider splitting up and playing in different rooms of the same facility or rotating different games within the building.
TIP # 3. LISTEN TO YOUR TEAMMATES
Escape room groups work best when you’ve tried everything. So if your teammate has a quirky but reasonably logical idea, listen and try it. Encourage them to try it if you think it’s a bad idea. If the crazy idea is reversible, it can bring you closer to the final solution.
At least it will be fun!
TIP #4. SHOUT OUT WHAT YOU FIND
It tends to be quite chaotic but very effective. The escape game is won or lost based on how quickly two party members can find and match the related objects. This includes codes and keys, keys and locks, or a pattern that appears the same in two places.
SPREAD YOUR EFFORTS
TIP #5. WORK ON WHAT OTHERS DON’T WORK ON
This keeps your team separate and each member as productive as possible. There is a tendency to dismiss or ignore some puzzles that are “too difficult” to take at first sight. This causes some puzzles to be forgotten and undone until someone realizes they are necessary.
TIP #7. BE A CONTRIBUTOR, NOT A SPECTATOR
It’s all too easy to be on the sidelines when a puzzle is blazing, but people are most productive when working on distributed tasks. If there is only one puzzle, have them work in groups.
On the contrary – if someone is intensely focused on completing a single task (e.g., entering combinations into a school-style combo lock), resist the urge to intervene and let them focus. Keep their concentration intact!
KEEP EVERYTHING ORGANIZED
TIP #8. KEEP THE USED KEY IN THE LOCK, THE USED KEY ON THE LATCH
A key is rarely used more than once. Could you leave it in the lock for your sanity? This will help prevent key reuse, prevent others from trying another key into the lock, and prevent you from accidentally re-locking the item.
Likewise, keep used locks in their boxes (or hook them onto something it previously locked). It also keeps your workspace organized, and your game masters will love you when they return to reinstall.
Likewise, when you discover a key, that key can almost always be used immediately to unlock something in another part of the room. It’s rare to find a key you can only use immediately if the item you’re unlocking requires multiple keys.
TIP #9. CREATE A “DISCARD PILE”
Separate the game objects into a “used” heap and an “unused” heap. This helps prevent team members from looking at the same object over and over.
It also helps you connect some “unused” items by placing them close together! Note that items can be “used” in some escape rooms more than once. For example, if you place items on a pedestal or in a tile and it unlocks something, leave them in that tile. They belong there now, which reduces the chances of someone coming in to check the clues have been used.
TIP #10. DIVIDE AND CONQUER TO SEEK
At the start of each game, divide the room into several sections and assign different people to explore each section for important items. This ensures the part is thoroughly checked without missing some areas or repeatedly checking others.
TIP #11. SEARCH ROOMS CAREFULLY
Be extra thorough when looking and touching everywhere, like painting the room, instead of just searching where you put your phone.
Sometimes important items can be found in more exotic (or non-exotic) locations, such as:
- in jacket pocket
- hidden away in a part of the whole
- stuck in a book
- in a safe
- in a secret compartment on the floor, wall, or shelf
- magnetically attached to a pole
- stuck between floor and wall
WORK WITH YOUR HOST
TIP #12. LISTEN TO YOUR SERVER
Listen to the introduction and rules from your admin – your admin may soon come up with some helpful tips that will save you a lot of time. This also applies to the hints they give in the game, especially if they are live-action players.
All game staff will try to push you in the right direction.
TIP #13. ASK FOR ADVICE
There is almost always a hint system in the game. You may need to wave to the camera, use the walkie-talkie, or pay attention to the actors in the game. Regardless of how hints are delivered, we recommend asking for suggestions whenever you feel too stuck or have stopped having fun. Game masters are trained to put you on the right track so you can start solving puzzles again.
SOLVE PUZZLES EFFECTIVELY
TIP #14. KNOW WHAT TO IGNORE
It’s best gathered from experience, but newcomers discover a few common things that rarely matter to escape rooms.
NUMBERS STAMPED ON OLD FURNITURE – These numbers are left by the furniture manufacturer as model identifiers or serial numbers.
ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS – This is a safety issue, never mind the power cord or outlet.
DO NOT TOUCH THE CEILING – Never try to look behind the drop ceiling or touch the ceiling. This is a waste of time and also a security issue. However, there may be objects you can place on the ceiling, but these objects never involve touching the ceiling.
TIP #15. TRY COMBINATIONS REGULARLY
Unless the lock is some secure “lock,” trying out combinations whenever you have a reasonably accurate solution will give you quick feedback on whether you’re doing it right.
If you’re lucky, your first guess is right! This trick pairs well with the next one – if you have 3 out of 4 numbers on the combination key, enter even three digits and cycle through the last number.
DON’T BREAK ANYTHING
TIP #16. DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE FORCE
If everything breaks, it will negatively affect both the escape game and the player, including game functionality, player safety, and important game recordings.
For example, avoid using force to open the door or remove anything difficult to remove from the wall. Likewise, avoid climbing on the furniture or touching the ceiling. Game masters will often tell you in advance what you shouldn’t do.
TIP #17. DON’T PLAY DRUNK
Escape rooms are much more fun when played soberly. Come with a clear mind, ready to solve puzzles, make quick decisions, and communicate effectively! Then, celebrate later rather than before!
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
TIP #18. CHECK THE COMPANY’S SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PROMOTIONS
Escape game promotions are often advertised on social networks (mainly Facebook and Instagram). They may also have mailing lists that you can join from their website.
Fare details must also be published on the website (some companies offer lower fares on weekdays). Many escape rooms offer gift cards and coupons during the holiday season.
TIP #19. BOOK NOW, AND ADD ADDITIONAL PLAYERS LATER
For private games, the Escape Room allows you to add (and pay for) players upon arrival, as long as the maximum room capacity is not exceeded.
If you want information about your group size, you can pre-order everything you need for your match seats (consider it a deposit) and pay for the rest when you reach. Note that this may not work in public matches.
TIP #20. DON’T AIM FOR RANKINGS
You paid over $30 per person for a 60-minute experience. Do you want to rush out and complete everything in 25 minutes? While being on the leaderboard is a good boost to the ego, the value of the escape game lies in the experience itself, and we always recommend it; enjoy the story and the environment. Also, if you’re setting records, you’ve brought a team that’s too big.
TIP # 21. LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE
Avoid getting stuck in an individual puzzle; you may need more clues to solve it. Instead, ask at least one team member to follow the bigger picture, which includes finding small puzzles to complete, final items to collect, or final goals to complete.
This sometimes allows you to skip smaller steps.