Top 5 Tips to Play (and Win!) an Escape Room
After hosting thousands of escape room players, we have learned a lot about what makes a great team – and we wanted to share! Here is our countdown of the top 5 tips to succeed in an escape room:
#5 Notice the details
Our escape rooms offer an immersive experience, from top to bottom (or in our case, from decorative 1850s ceilings to jungle grass!). As a result, there can be a lot to take in at first glance. It is sometimes easiest to rush to the large or straightforward items. However, what you often need to fully solve a puzzle is a little less obvious.
Make sure to look all around the rooms – up and down, and look at all the details (large and small). Think about if you can make connections between the details. We avoid ‘red herrings’ in our games, so if something has been included it is most likely there for a reason.
#4 Divide and conquer
For the majority of the time, in our escape rooms there is more than one puzzle available to be solved. In other words, they are not fully linear games. You may find it faster (especially if your team has more than 4 players) to split into smaller groups and tackle more than one puzzle at once. If your ‘mini-team’ gets stuck, swap out with another mini-team for a fresh set of eyes.
#3 Check your work
This tip might also be described as ‘take a pause’. In moments where adrenaline is up and you are racing to beat the clock it can be easy to assume that your solution is wrong if something doesn’t immediately open or reveal. Don’t give up! We have often seen teams complete 99% of a puzzle and miss the final little step.
If you think you have a correct answer, take a quick pause and double check your solution. Is everything lined up as needed? Did you miss any steps in an instruction? Have a teammate re-read or check as well. If then it doesn’t work, either start to work on a new idea, or consider Tip #2!
#2 Use a hint
We offer unlimited hints! There are no penalties or time deductions for using hints and we really encourage you to use them if you are stuck. However, we know this can be hard to do. Sometimes there is more debate within a team about whether they should use a hint than over how to solve a puzzle!
We suggest that if you are stuck on a puzzle for more than 5 solid minutes and no progress is being made – reach out for a hint. Our game hosts will provide helpful nudges to make sure you can progress. You can also ask for a hint just to ensure you are on the right track.
#1 Talk it out!
Our top tip when it comes to playing escape rooms is a simple one: “say it out loud”. The best escape room teams realize that they need to communicate non-stop throughout the game.
Talk about what you see and observe in the game space. Share out loud what you are thinking. Tell your teammates what you have found or solved. Don’t keep those brilliant ideas all to yourself! 🙂
The other side of communicating is, of course, listening. If ‘talking it out’ ends up being just a whole lot of loud voices it will be difficult to work out solutions. The most successful teams figure out this balance early in the game.
Do you have other tips? What has worked well for your team? Are there things that you suggest a team should not do in a game? Message us on Facebook or Instagram and we will include them in a future post!