Hindsight is 20/20

When teams come out of escape rooms, they often have plenty of insight on how they could have been more efficient and successful in escaping the room. It’s one of the most frustrating things in the world – walking out of a room and realizing that you could have escaped in record-breaking time, if only you had done a few things differently! As avid escape room players, we here at Quest Reality Games definitely understand the struggle! So, what if you could avoid some of the most common mistakes altogether?

Whether you’re planning to attempt your first escape, or you’re a seasoned escape-game enthusiast, we could all learn a thing or two from the benefit of hindsight. 

With that in mind, here’s a handful of pointers to help you avoid making time-consuming mistakes and escape that room!

1. Listen To The Pre-Game Instructions 

Although you may feel as though those instructions that the Game Masters are giving you before you enter are just simple rules, be sure to listen carefully! That information your Game Master is telling you will definitely contain important information to help you out in your gameplay—it may even contain some secret hints! 

Pay attention to any information they might give you about how to operate tricky locks, or if they give you a specific first task to work on, such as focusing on a particular puzzle, reuniting with your teammates from whom you’ve been separated, or reading a certain item. 

When you’re excited to get into the room and play, it can be easy to lose focus and ignore everything that your Game Master is telling you beforehand, but it is important to do your best to keep what they said to you in the back of your mind. It’s a little thing that makes a huge difference.

2. Details, Details, Details

Almost everything inside of an escape room is there for a reason. Room designers make sure that even their smallest props have significance. Whether a prop will help you better understand the story-line of the room, or hold a secret puzzle, make sure that you pay attention to the details in the room. Does one object seem to stand out from the rest? Is there a famous painting displayed in the room, but something in it just doesn’t seem quite right? Or does one book on the bookshelf look slightly different than the rest? Make sure that you note these things, and don’t just brush them off as odd. Everything is the way it is in a themed room for a reason!

3. Divide And Conquer 

When you first walk into an escape room, there is a lot to look at! Most rooms have a large number of props to look at, and searching the entire room can be a daunting task. It’s best to divide and conquer—especially if you have a large group. Have part of your group working on a certain puzzle while the rest look for potential clues, and then if you are unable to solve a puzzle, you can switch out with other players. As you only have an hour in the room, you want to make sure that you are as productive as possible—and dividing up the work is the best way to do this!

4. Remember Everything!

Escape rooms test all parts of your brain—including your memory! The worst feeling is walking out of an escape room without winning and realizing that you forgot something critical that could have helped you to escape. Our advice: Keep all of your clues in one place until you use them. This way you have a visual reminder of a hint if you have not used it yet, and then can see them easily later on when you need them. If you are unable to move a clue (it’s stapled to the wall, or it was a verbal clue, for example), make sure that you say it out loud so everyone in your group is aware of it. The more people that know about that clue, the more likely that someone will remember it.

5. Communitcation is Key

Have you ever failed to escape a room, and then while discussing the gameplay with your team afterwards realized that one of your teammates knew the answer to one of the puzzles all along, but didn’t communicate it? Just as communication is critical in relationships outside of an escape room, it is also critical inside escape rooms! Make sure that while you’re in the room your entire team is communicating throughout the game play. If you find a piece of information that may be of use, such as a combination for a lock, make sure that you let everyone in the group know!

6. Holding Out To Use Your Hints

A lot of teams enter the room and feel as if they shouldn’t use their hints until they are further on in their game play. While you don’t want to “waste” your hints, if your group is stuck don’t be afraid to use it! After all, that’s what they’re there for! A good rule of thumb is that if you are stuck on a puzzle for more than five minutes, use a hint. Keep in mind that time is precious in escape rooms, so you need to make the most of it! Don’t hold back from taking a hint because you want to save it for later, it is way more important to keep the game play moving. 

Escape rooms are meant to be a fun memory for you and your team to look back on, not something that you hold regrets about. In order to make sure that you make the best of your time in your next escape room adventure, keep these tips in mind. Armed with the knowledge of these avoidable mistakes, you are ready to try your hand at one of our four rooms! Gather your team, and book your next adventure at Quest Reality Games online now.