Tips to ace your first escape room

You’ve finally done it: your first escape room appointment is coming up! Feeling excited, or maybe a bit nervous? Well, here are some tips we think might be useful for your first ever escape game.

1. Take a good look around

You’ve been briefed and prepped by your game master, the door has closed behind you, and the timer has started ticking the hour away. But what should you do first? The answer is – spread out and take a good look around. Examine all of the props carefully, investigate decorations, open everything that can be opened and you’ll quickly discover the hidden clues and puzzles. Start there.

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2. None of us are as smart as all of us

Escape rooms are designed as a team experience. You have to work as a united front and communicate with other players. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Share what you’ve been able to find and notice around the room. Brainstorm ideas together, compare mental notes, make sure everyone feels included and be open to their ideas.

3. Remember your strengths

If you’re known to be great at math, you might volunteer to solve an equation, while your eloquent friend tries his hand at the linguistics puzzle. If you’re at a dead end, move onto something else and let your teammate try their hand at the mystery. Our brains all work in unique ways and you never know when it might be your chance to shine.

4. Divide and conquer

Sometimes it helps to break into pairs or small groups and work on different things at the same time. If the room is non-linear (meaning puzzles do not have to be solved in a particular order), this will allow you to get to victory even faster. Just remember to share the exciting solutions with the whole team.

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5. Think outside the box

Do not rule out something that does not sound logical. Instead, give a person who thought of an idea a chance to implement it. What if it works? Even if it doesn’t, it might bring you to a more sensible idea, or to an even crazier one. However, be careful not to damage the room. Which brings us to the next tip.

6. Make sure you remember the don’ts

During the briefing, your game master will lay out the most important rules. Pay attention. While the general idea is not to damage anything, this can also be used to limit your search. If they tell you paintings are not a part of the game, that’s one less place for you to look.

7. Do not hesitate to ask for hints

If you’re feeling stuck, ask for help! Asking for hints is completely normal. Most hints are not straightforward anyways and still let you solve the mystery by yourselves. Many companies allow one or two hints without it compromising your escape time or status - just be sure to check your ‘free’ hint allowance before starting the game.

8. Let things fall into place

While you shouldn’t rule out crazy ideas, try not to overthink the clues. There is usually nothing under the carpet or in the socket. The stains on the pages of old books are just stains. Most of the time anyway. If you’re not sure whether your idea is sensible or not, or whether something is relevant or not, you can always ask your game master for a green light. They’ll be happy you asked!

9. Dress accordingly

The game might involve physical activity, crawling or jumping. It’s best to wear closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothes.

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10. Have fun!

And keep in mind it’s not always about winning. Escape rooms are for having fun!
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