Escape rooms seem to be all the rage lately, and for a good reason – solving one of those rooms can be the most satisfying morale boosts that you experience all weekend. If you’re about to experience your first escape room or if you’re looking for a few tips to make it out alive, take a look below. We’ve listed the top five helpful tips and tricks for beating the games.
1. Escape with Your Besties
Although the majority of horror movies have the victims waking up next to total strangers, you don’t have to choose that option for your escape room. Plan to book a room with your friends, your coworkers, or age-appropriate family members. Before planning, take a look at the number of players viable for the escape rooms, and plot your best team to take to the room. Although not strictly discouraged, booking the maximum amount of players for a room can be a hinder. There will be less physical space, and sometimes there’s simply not enough for everyone to work on. It’s recommended to fill 80% of the slots with your squad. Lastly, the family can sometimes the best group to go with, but as you will also be using your brain during this activity, and as each escape room is meticulously built with care, so it might not be the best idea to bring along small children for these activities.
2. Divide, Communicate and Conquer
From someone who has helped run escape rooms in the past, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is when the entire group of eight people is all clustered around one clue – while there are five other clues in the room that need to be solved. The second biggest mistake I’ve seen is when everyone is divided up and looking for clues, but the room is filled with radio silence. There’s certainly a line between the two strategies, and walking that line is vital. Pair off or split up to thoroughly search the room, and shout about what you’ve found. It can get noisy, but that’s part of the fun!
3. Keep Your Room Clean
Some of the most wasted time can be spent on reexamining clues that have long since been used. It immensely helps to start a discard pile; while some items may be used more than once, it’s not as common as you may think. For example, keys and combination codes are almost never used more than once. (Again, it’s not impossible, but very rare.) Try also putting alike items together such as putting all unused keys together, all similar small objects together, and stacking books together. Your mom should be pleased to know that organization does help in the real world.
4. Set A Speedy Pace
An hour of time seems like a lot of time, but when the clock starts ticking, an hour can slip by in what feels like a matter of seconds. Keeping this in mind can save the entire room; it’s easy to pick up the pace and rush through the clues during the last five minutes, but an hour-long room simply cannot be solved in fifteen minutes of work. The same goes for hints; you’ll be told how many you get at the beginning of the room. I know that everyone wants to feel like a Sherlock Holmes when they solve the room with no hints, but sometimes, even the best of us need some help. Don’t have the game monitor try to rush you through the room in the last ten minutes by giving you all your hints at once.
5. Think Like Saw
At this time and age of escape rooms, they’re all designed by people, so almost every part of the room has been set up for a purpose and will most likely be used. Be observant of the room, and try thinking about the room if you were to create it. What would you use that book with the circled page number for? Where would you hide a key? But on that note, don’t overthink the room. It’s designed by people for the average population to enjoy. They’re aware that it’s a game, and the parts that need to be put in the room won’t be hidden in the drywall or anything. Usually, there’s a clear moment when you know that you’ve solved a puzzle in it.
Final Thoughts – Well, if you’ve heard the phrase, “the point of the journey is not to arrive,” then you can understand what I’m getting at. Never be afraid to lose, because if the escape rooms didn’t provide elements of challenge, they wouldn’t be very good at all. Enjoy the game and the company that you’re with; at the end of the day, it is a game meant for entertainment…right?
Now that you have all the know-how, think you are ready to try and escape?
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