We’ve all been there–you’re looking at a puzzle and you’re sure you understand how it works, but for some reason you just can’t solve it. It might be a combination lock that you’ve tried to open several times, or you might be struggling to get through the next door, or maybe there’s a mechanism that you can’t seem to work. Whatever the puzzle that’s standing in your way, we can help you conquer it! Just follow these three steps, have some patience, and we’re sure you’ll be able to solve even the most challenging escape room.
The biggest barrier to solving puzzles is frustration. Sometimes it’s tedious to gather the information you need, or maybe you mistyped the combination the first time; whatever the source of your frustration, it could be preventing you from progressing through the game. When you feel yourself getting frustrated, the best thing to do is step back. Take a moment, take a breath, and walk away. You wouldn’t believe how productive it can be to get a little distance between you and the thing that’s frustrating you. This space will let your brain reset, and you can come back to the problem fresh and ready to solve it.
Sometimes you’re too close to see the problem, and that can create more problems. It’s important to be able to walk away and trust another member of your team. Even if you all agree on the combination, if a lock isn’t opening, ask someone else to input the information. Don’t be afraid to have somebody else try the same thing, it can often yield results. Even if it doesn’t solve the problem, having someone else try that same combination can rule out user error. When you’re stumped by a puzzle, every bit of data will help you get closer to the answer, so don’t be shy about handing it off to someone else.
If you’ve taken a breather and allowed someone else to try, then it’s time to re-evaluate and re-assess the solution. Ask yourself: Did I make any assumptions to get to this answer? Is this where the information in the room logically takes me? Is it possible that there’s another way to approach this puzzle? These questions should help you examine your logical approach and make sure that you’re on the right track to solving any puzzle that has you stumped.
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