Everybody wants to break records when they play an escape room; it’s just natural to want to be the best. There’s just one little problem, so many groups make the same mistakes when they escape. Since we’re escape experts (an occupational hazard), we thought we would help you out by listing the mistakes we commonly see. Here are the top 5 things to avoid when you play an escape room:
1. Hoarding Information
There is nothing more detrimental to escaping than keeping information to yourself. See a number or a pattern? Make sure you tell your group! That little clue could be the key to escaping, and holding onto it is wasting precious time. It also doesn’t help when someone gets in front of a lock or mechanism and insists they can figure it out. The more eyes and brains you get working on a puzzle, the quicker you’ll solve it so make sure to share.
It happens, people lose their temper. But insisting that you’re right isn’t the way to escape faster. Between the theatrical environment and the game’s clock ticking down, your adrenaline will probably be high when you set out to escape, that’s even more reason to keep a cool head when you interact with your group. Remember, you’re all in it together and there to help one another; there’s no “I” in team!
3. Bringing too many/ too few players
We’re not saying you’re not smart, (you may be brilliant, we don’t know) but we still think you should aim to have about 6 players in your escape team. 6 is the magic number because it lets you comfortably split up or work together as the game demands. It also guarantees that there aren’t too many people so you aren’t stepping on each other’s toes, but you also have enough brains and bodies to get any escape game solved!
4. Not paying attention to the information given
We know escaping is exciting, we get excited too, but believe it or not, the information we are giving you is important. It feels like your game master is droning on and on but in reality they are telling you exactly what not to do. Listening to your safety briefing and the story of your mission can help you understand what to look for, what to ignore and how to maximise your time in the game. So next time you’re headed into an escape room, pay attention. Those two minutes of rules could save you valuable puzzle solving time.
5. Trying to solve puzzles without all the information
We see this all the time, people spend tonnes of time trying to solve puzzles without having the information they need to solve them! For example, if you see a lock that has numbers, but there isn’t a clear way to find the combination, you may need to come back to it. The number one trick to solving an escape room is figuring out what you need and working backwards, but way too often people get caught up on the first piece of information they see and even though they may not have the complete puzzle, they fixate on it. Don’t focus on a piece of information just because it’s the first thing you happen to see, look around and solve puzzles that you have all the information for so that the game unfolds in a logical order.