Are you an escape room junkie?
Escape rooms have become all the rage in the last few years. It’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and one of the best group activities for any burgeoning sleuths out there.
Even if you’re incredible at solving puzzles, escape rooms can present unique challenges. Learning how to beat escape rooms is quite a lot different than playing a video game or solving a riddle.
To solve escape rooms, you need to combine problem-solving skills with attention to detail, the ability to work well with a team, and abstract thinking. It’s no wonder why they’re so popular as team-building exercises these days.
Today, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to solve an escape room before your time runs out. If you’re brand new to escape rooms, chances are you’ll probably fail once or twice. Even if you’re a seasoned escapee, you can always use a bit of help.
Let us be that help. Here are 7 strategies to employ to escape from an escape room.
Strategies for How to Beat Escape Rooms
Every escape room is a bit different. For that reason, we can’t give you specific tips on how to beat one, as it won’t apply to the next.
Instead, try to employ a few of these general strategies and see how they allow you to stay one step ahead of the puzzle. Once you learn how to open your mind to the various strategic elements, you’ll become an escape room expert.
- Team Members and Teamwork
Choosing the right team instead of a large team is going to help you solve puzzles more efficiently. If you’re in it to win it, don’t go in with a party mentality. You won’t always have the luxury of choosing your teammates, but if you do, pick people that have different skillsets.
You want to have a good mix of personalities in the room with you. Artist types, engineer types, science types, and math types should be accounted for because there’ll be all sorts of different puzzles.
Teamwork is key. Make sure you work together and don’t get frustrated when you can’t figure something out right away. As soon as you turn on one another, it’s as good as over.
- Listen To the Host
Pay attention to the rules of the game. If you’re actually listening to what the host is saying, you’ll be able to pick out clues that are going to help you later on.
Furthermore, if you’re aware of the rules then you won’t touch anything that you’re not supposed to. If the host has to come in and fix something, you’ll waste valuable time.
Hosts often give you in-game advice that will be cryptic, but it’s most likely going to be urging you in a certain direction. Read into what they say, that’s why they’re there.
- Spread Out
Don’t all crowd around the same puzzle or bunch up in one part of the room. The more efficient way would be to break off into teams of two and search different parts of the room. You’re more likely to find clues and keys that way.
Two sets of eyes will see more than one, but too many sets of eyes in one place leaves another area ignored for too long.
- Be Vocal but Don’t Take Over
If you notice something, always speak up. Even if it sounds dumb or you think that it’s probably nothing, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Always listen to your teammates because they could say something that you hadn’t thought of.
Communication is key, but if one person is dominating the room, it’s no fun for anyone. Try not to criticize your teammates’ ideas and encourage each other to follow hunches.
- Ignore Some Things
There are things to specifically look at and things that are almost never involved in the puzzle. Objects often do appear in weird places, so check on top of bookshelves, inside of books, in jacket pockets, behind doors, and on high ledges.
What you can safely avoid are prices written in books, electrical outlets, and anything having to do with ceiling tiles. These are just functions of the escape room and it’s doubtful that any host would include these things in the puzzle.
- Keep Clues Organized
Always keep your clues organized. This goes back to communication and teamwork. If you find something that is going to help you down the road, put it in a pile, but not the same pile as an object that you’ve already used.
Specifically, with keys, you should always keep them in the lock that it matches with. Keys are rarely used more than once.
As long as you keep your used and unused objects in separate piles (and all the team members know which is which), you’ll avoid any redundancy and wasted time.
- Keep a Wide Scope
Don’t get too hung up on a single puzzle. If you’re going to solve the puzzle in time, you need to keep going back to the big picture. Go over all of the clues instead of just one. If it stumps you, move on to something else and come back to it.
When you spend a long time on one piece of the puzzle, not only are you going to waste your time, but it’ll actually become harder to solve. Many times, it’s better to take a step back and let your brain recharge before taking on that puzzle again.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. It’s great to learn how to beat escape rooms and be successful, but don’t forget that you’re not actually trapped. The host will let you out at the end and you can try again another time if you fail.
Try out some of these strategies and see how you do. At the end of the day, you’re there to hang out with some friends or coworkers, so enjoy yourself.
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