It can be a bit overwhelming - paralyzing, even - when that door first closes and you realize you’re locked inside the room. You find yourself looking around and asking, “Where do we even begin?” Well, the very first thing you should do is to turn the room upside-down and inside-out searching for clues. When you are done with this, do it again. You wouldn’t even believe how often we hear people say, “How did we miss that?!” Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Look underneath things, inside things, behind things. If the staff didn’t tell you not to touch certain things, get right in there! After all, you never know what may be a clue!
2. Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more.
If you read our previous blog post, “5 Ways To Be an Effective Communicator,” you know that communication is absolutely essential in an escape game. Well, in any aspect of life really… but especially in an escape game! Remember, you are not the only one playing the game. The other people in the room with you are actually your best chance of escaping the room within your one-hour time limit. First, if you know that you have certain strengths and weaknesses, share these with your teammates, and encourage them to do the same. Second, be sure to always shout out what you find so that everybody is aware of all of the clues that are found. Encourage your teammates to do this as well. Lastly, if you’re stuck on a clue or challenge, don’t be afraid to ask your teammates for help. If you don’t talk to each other, share what you’ve found, or ask each other for help, you might as well forget escaping the room within 60 minutes. Don’t forget… you are not in this alone and communication is key!
3. Keep track of all the clues.
There are four main ways to really keep track of all the clues that are found. I guess you could call these sub-clues. One, as mentioned in the previous tip, always shout out what you find so that everybody else is also aware of all the clues that are discovered. Two, if you have to write something down in order to remember it, then do that. This includes not only what you find, but where you found it. Three, never put anything in your pockets, as this is a sure-fire way to forget about clues. And four, keep everything in a central location. If you pile all of the clues in the middle of the room, everyone is able to see and keep track of what is being found too.
4. If you get stuck, try switching tasks.
If you find that you’ve been stuck on a particular lock or puzzle for a bit too long, try letting someone else take over for a while. Sometimes all it takes is a new perspective. Take this time to switch tasks and focus on a new challenge. Maybe each of you has some information or knowledge that the other person was missing. Either way, it is critical that you keep the momentum going the entire time so you don’t run out of time!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for a hint!
We offer you hints for a reason! It’s completely understandable that your pride may take a hit when you finally have to ask for that hint you’ve been needing. You know what’s going to hurt your pride even more, though? Not finishing the game in time. Believe it or not, knowing when to ask for help is actually a very valuable skill in escape games, so don’t feel ashamed to ask for a hint. If you need something to put yourself at ease about asking, try taking these steps first: check to see if every discovered clue has been used yet, quickly explore the room one last time to see if you missed any obvious clues, and then take a step back to analyze everything a final time. If you still don’t have any new ideas after about 5-10 minutes, put your pride aside and just ask! Remember, the clock is always ticking!
Think you’ve got what it takes to escape? Logic, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, along with the ability and mindset to take these five tips into consideration when playing? Give it a shot and show us what you got!
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