An Escape room (AKA Escape Game, Puzzle room, exit room, panic room) is fun for everyone. It involves solving a series of clever puzzles in a limited amount of time within a space that has been designed to look like a movie set. Suppose you’ve never played an escape room before. In that case, I highly suggest reading my 8 tips to beat any escape room before arriving at the facility:
8 Tips To Beat Any Escape Room
1. Think Out Loud
An escape room requires teamwork. A team can only function well with proper communication. Your ability to think out loud and let everyone know what’s going on in your mind is key to your success. I would even go as far as to say that you will fail if you quietly try to solve puzzles in your head.
2. Designate A Spot In The Room For Items Of Interest
A good tactic used by winning teams is to find a place in the room to put things. When you play an escape game, you’re going to find objects in drawers, clothing, suitcases, cabinets, and just about anywhere you could think of. When you find something interesting, let your group know what you’ve discovered and set it in the designated area.
3. Separate Groups Into Seekers And Solvers
I am very good at finding things, whereas my girlfriend is good at solving things. For these reasons, we will play into each other’s strengths. I will seek, and she will solve. I will place items I find in our designated spot, and she will sift through them and put the pieces together. Larger groups can benefit from everyone having a role, so consider who will seek and solve.
4. Listen To The Game Master
Your game master knows the game you are about to play. They’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands of guests go through that room. They understand how people think about the puzzles and where they’re likely to get stuck. For these reasons, what they tell you before entering a room is FOR YOUR BENEFIT. Every good game master wants to see your team succeed, so they will inform you of things that will help you do that. So listen!
5. Do Not Arrive Intoxicated
Prototype Escape Games has a policy for guests who arrive intoxicated. Many escape rooms have similar policies. Not only will you not be allowed inside the game, but even if you were, you wouldn’t have a great time. Getting drunk in an escape room is kind of like getting drunk at work… It’s fun in theory, but in practice, you’ll spend the entire 60-minutes wishing you were literally anywhere else.
6. Curb Your Ego, Ask For Help
It should come as no surprise that the groups who fail escape rooms often don’t utilize their allowed hints. My girlfriend and I learned this lesson the hard way early on in our playing career. The game you’re playing is designed to take 60-minutes (on average). The way that most builders of escape rooms succeed in getting to this time is with simple math. Each puzzle should take guests 5-minutes to solve. That means that a beatable room would have 12 puzzles contained within (5×12=60). Far too often, guests will get stuck on one problem, and they will stay with it for 10-15 minutes without asking for help; this sets you far back from the rest of the room. You paid a lot of money for this experience. Do you want to see the ending? Ask for help.
7. Don’t Argue
It’s nice to know how you react under pressure, isn’t it? This problem is common in an escape room. The stress of an escape room can often bring out the worst in us. Don’t let the pressure be your downfall, and work together. Not to mention, the room is equipped with audio and video, don’t forget that you’re essentially arguing in front of strangers that can hear your every word. Embarassing……
8. Occam’s Razor
Occam’s razor is the basic principle that the most obvious answer usually is the correct answer. Watching people play escape rooms has led me to believe that people will make a red herring out of anything. Some simple steganography can quickly turn into an algebra equation if players are thinking simply. Ask yourself: What is the most obvious answer here? If you see 4 photos and you have a 4-digit lock, odds are they go together. So start from the most obvious solution and work your way forward.
Joseph W. Brazfield, Owner
Prototype Escape Games