I remember being apprehensive about going to an escape room. I even said, "Who wants to be locked in a room anyway?" (BTW most rooms don't lock you in!)
There is a reason why escape room enthusiasts are fanatic about escape rooms.
Once you open your first lock, that rush of adrenaline is something truly remarkable.
Here are a few things I wish someone told me before my first escape game.
Who are escape rooms for?
1. Escape Rooms are for everyone.
If you can read this, you have what it takes to play an escape room!
Unlike other fun activities, escape rooms are not physically demanding.
If you like fun (that's a loaded comment btw) then you deserve to take a chance and try one.
If you are like me, you and your friends might just find a new favorite obsession.
2. Don't expect everything to be a clue
Somethings in the room are clues, these are items that serve a purpose for the game.
Keys, hidden notes, secrets, riddles, locks and so much more can be considered a clue. Search for these.
Somethings are non-clues. These are things like ceiling tiles.
You don't need to count ceiling tiles.
3. Check everything thrice
This is the #1 tip most escape room enthusiasts mess up on.
If you have a code you think is correct, try it on everything you can.
If that didn't solve it, ask your teammates to try the code on everything.
If that still didn't open anything, might as well try again right?
You would be surprised at how many times players don't realize the lock opened up in the first place. Don't lose time because you weren't thorough!
4. If you get a hint, just focus on that.
Most rooms allow you to ask for a hint if you ever get stuck.
Don't get sidetracked!
The hint your Game Master sends your way is the most important thing you should be working on.
Hold on, let me rephrase that.
The hint your Game Master gives you is the most important thing they think you should be working on.
It's up to you if you want to take their advice, but just know they have ran the game countless times, and for you it's never.
They know the game, but it really is your choice if you take the hint or not!
5. Be diligent, even when the time is ticking!
It's easy to get caught up by the timer, don't like it psych you out!
The time is your number one enemy in the room.
It can get even the best players if not managed correctly.
Always be aware of the time, but don't let it bog you down.
If you panic and think you aren't getting out in time, that is a surefire way to make sure you lose!
6. Don’t get sidetracked
When a million things are happening at the same time it's easy to lose focus!
Always pay attention to the last thing your unlocked, and think why the game designer wanted you to open it when you did.
Sometimes you will find props or keys that can be used immediately.
Other times you will find something that will be useful later!
Keep these items in mind for later, you never know when you get the lightbulb moment you need with a certain prop!
7. There may or may not be a really difficult math problem
Be honest with yourself and your team; who likes math the most?
Most escape rooms have caught onto the facts that you can make some great puzzles with math, and that most people hate math!
So when you choose your team, try to find at least one person who can answer a problem without whipping out a calculator!
8. When all else fails, logic can help.
This is a trick that has gotten me out of a few tricky situations:
You solve 3/4ths of a puzzle which gives you 3 digits you need for a 4 combo lock.
If you know 3 of the 4 digits you need, there are only 9 possibilities left for what the real code is not.
With great power come great responsibility. Use this power responsibly!
*If this hint doesn't make sense to you then it is not meant for you!
9. Nothing is designed to break
Escape Rooms are not the same thing as Rage Rooms!
Don't expect to come in and start smashing things across the wall for an hour.
Most game creators design their rooms in a way so that it can be played over and over by hundreds of players. They probably don't want you to break into the computer if you have a hunch.
On a side note, if the escape room DOES want you to break something it will either be made painfully obvious (RE: Popping a balloon with a key in it) or it will be deliberately mentioned during the rules briefing.
10. Don’t be a hero!
Teamwork makes the dream work!
Escape rooms are social games, don't try to hog all the glory of opening locks yourself.
Don't keep critical information a secret from you team, even if you think you have it handled.
Those are the 10 things I wish someone had written a blog about and forwarded before I played my first escape room.
Join me next time as I share some info a different way to play escape rooms- Solo Escapes!