Here are the top tips to beat any escape room:

1.Search the room

One thing that will appear in every escape room is hidden objects. These could be keys, numbers, logos, or anything that will help move your group forward. If you find something, say something. Rarely is something places inside an escape room for decoration. If it exists within the space, there is probably a reason for it. Search high and low, lift rugs, check behind doors, open drawers and cabinets, check pockets of clothing.

2. Think Out Loud

The first tip I give to new players is to think out loud. If you’re standing around staring at some photos on the wall, let your group know what you’re thinking. This can spark ideas in your teammates and lead to a solution faster. Successful teams use the following phrases all the time:

“I got a padlock here. We’re looking for four numbers.”

“There’s a photo of a sailboat on this wall.”

“This lock takes a key. We’re looking for a key.”

“I see some flags in this painting.”

Thinking out loud is the BEST way to beat any room

3. Listen to your game master

It can be tempting to nod out and treat the rules before a game like an airline safety video. This is always a mistake as the game master may be giving you valuable clues for your specific game. They may say things like: “We haven’t placed anything above your head,” or “One key will unlock one lock,” or “This game is non-linear.” All of this information is valuable – Pay attention!

4. Do not show up intoxicated

Most escape rooms have a policy on guests arriving under the influence. Not only will this make it difficult to solve puzzles in an allotted time, but allowing a drunk guest into an escape room can be a recipe for disaster. A well-made escape room may have uneven flooring, bright lights, fog machines, or strobe lights. All of these effects can be disorienting, and it will be up to the game master to decide if they are going to take a chance on allowing you inside.

5. Designate a team leader

Larger groups can often have trouble in escape rooms. The reason is communication. When larger groups (more than 6) play a room together, there’s often too much going on at once. People are talking over each other, and nobody is getting their point across. This is where designating a team leader comes in handy. Choose a player from your group that will be the new lead. During the game, communicate everything to this person. This person’s job now becomes ensuring everyone on the team knows what is happening.

6. Curb your ego, and ask for a clue

Some escape rooms penalize you for asking for clues. Others do not. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a business that will not punish you for asking for help. Regardless of the rules, ASK FOR HELP. You go to work, and you earn money, then you choose to spend that money on an escape room. It is only fair that you get to see the end of the game – the grand finale. A well-made escape room is half-game and half-story. Nobody wants to watch half of a great movie or read half of a novel. Human beings start a story to hear the end! So don’t let your ego get in the way and ask for clues when working on tricky puzzles

7. Don’t argue

It’s nice to know how we act under pressure, isn’t it? Unfortunately, many people can become frustrated in an escape room and take out that frustration on their teammates. This is counter-productive. Keep your cool and work together. Everyone thinks about things differently, so having multiple plans of attack is helpful, not hurtful.

8. Anything is possible

Sound activated, magnet-activated, RFID sensors, touch-activated, weight sensors, lasers, motion sensors, knock puzzles, impact sensors, decibel sensors, WE HAVE SEEN EVERYTHING. Technology in escape rooms is constantly evolving. If you see something that sounds ridiculous in a room, TRY IT. You never know what the curator has built to amaze you.

9. Try a lock twice

It happens to all of us – we find a combination and know it’s correct. We walk to the lock and input the code, but the lock won’t open. In times like these, it’s important to let someone else try. When we are under pressure from the countdown clock, our minds can miss the simplest things. Easy math becomes complicated, red looks like pink, or we forgot to pull down on a lock to unlatch it (yes, this happens a lot). If you try a lock and can’t get it to unlock, let someone else try – to be sure.

10. Have fun

You go to work, and you earn money. You choose to spend that money on an escape room. ENJOY IT. A good escape room owner understands that his room isn’t what you’re paying for; what you’re paying for is a feeling. You’re paying for a memory. Make it a great one!

Joseph W. Brazfield

Joseph W. Brazfield -Prototype Escape Games – Escape Games in Jacksonville