You’ll never forget the clues you missed.
Say there’s a thermometer case on the wall in your room and you never look inside, then later you find out there was a key inside. The next time you play a different escape room and you see a thermometer case, you’ll make sure to check it, won’t you? Clues you miss this time around will be clues you make sure to find right away on your next game - because you’ll never forget them again.
You still learned about your teamwork strengths and weaknesses.
Whether or not you escape within the time limit, you still had the opportunity to work alongside your friends or family to try to achieve a goal. Maybe you learned from this that you are the person who takes charge and directs your family to cut down on the chaos! You can use that knowledge of your strengths the next time you play a game, or do anything that needs teamwork and cooperation. You can also find weaknesses in your gameplay. Did you learn that you get too in-your-head and don’t pay enough attention to others’ discoveries? Did you discover that you need to be aware of your tone of voice when you get stressed? All of the weaknesses you recognize are things you can work on to improve your own personal ability to work as a part of a team.
You (hopefully) still had fun with your family or friends.
Winning isn’t everything. When you go see a baseball game, sometimes your team loses. But you’ll never forget the scrumptious scent of ballpark popcorn, the joke your friend told you in the fourth inning, or when you caught a foul ball. The same principle applies to escape rooms. Keep in mind that you got to spend an hour being a detective, assisted by people you love or people you wanted to know better. That kind of memory is one that can’t be tarnished just because you didn’t solve all of the puzzles in time. Even if you hadn’t solved any of the puzzles, as long as you had fun, that’s the most important part.