Escape Room is a physical adventure game where players go into a room full of puzzles and riddles, which they have to solve with the help of hints and strategy in order to achieve the final goal, which is to escape. The idea is to unveil the secret plot that leads to their goal, but they have to do it within a set time limit.
While escape rooms are exciting and good for team-building, they can be seriously mind-boggling. On your next escapade, take these tips with you:
1. Be united as a team but avoid bunching.
This is pretty basic advice but there’s a catch when you apply it to escape rooms. Well-designed escape adventures typically pull a fast one on players by dispersing different parts of the same puzzle inside the room. Therefore, every member of your group must be all over the place looking for different clues, instead of bunching around a few. Usually, when a team member finds something, everyone rushes to it and that’s the time they begin failing.
2. Announce it.
Whatever good clue you find, shout it out for the entire team to hear. Early on, it’s not even the puzzle you should be thinking of, but getting a sense of the plot. And whenever a team member calls out what they’ve seen, it puts everyone else in the same boat. The most critical part of this stage is making sure that everyone is on the same track.
3. Be decisive and swallow your pride.
When they get comfortable thinking they have an entire hour, they may dilly-dally during the first few critical minutes. When they realize the trouble they’re in, it’s usually too late. Therefore, get that sense of urgency started from the get-go.
Ask for hints if you need them, and don’t think that’s cheating because it’s not. Don’t let your pride get in the way, and ask as soon as possible, not when you have 5 minutes left. Who doesn’t want to be a Sherlock, but if you also want to win, be more like Columbo – ask questions!.
4. Think like an engineer.
Most escape room games are created by mechanical, software and electrical engineers, so put yourself in their heads when you’re out of ideas. Because almost everything you’ll find in an escape room is custom-built, there is a 99.9% chance that everything in it will be useful at some point. Take mental notes and be open to working backwards.
4. Also think like a writer.
Yes, a writer. After all, what is an escape room if it has no plot? If all stones have been turned and still you have nothing, think like a storyteller. Just picture out what might happen from the point of view of a narrative. When planning your next escape room adventure, get a Lit major in the team.