If you have never played an escape room before, you may be wondering what to expect upon walking into a room. After-all, you’re about to be locked in a room for an hour, tasked with solving a variety of puzzles. ‘Puzzle’ is quite a broad term, especially if you have never played an escape room before. Escape rooms are a fun activity when you’re looking for something to do, and being prepared for what may be required of you will help to make the experience all the more enjoyable.
While all escape rooms vary, there are a few standard types of puzzles you can expect to come across.
Some form of a riddle will appear in most escape rooms. Whether it is a written riddle that leads to an answer for a lock, or a verbal riddle given to you by a Game Master that will direct you to your next step. Riddles are often a key puzzle in any escape room.
Sometimes in an escape room you know something is important, but it just doesn’t make sense! Oftentimes, escape room puzzle designers utilize ciphers. These can vary from Morse code, to World War Two code ciphers. Occasionally, you will find a tool to help you with the cipher, especially if the it requires a skill outside of common sense, such as Morse code.
If you ever find a black light flashlight in an escape room, use it—everywhere! Many escape room creators use UV paint to hide riddles, codes, or other important information for your game play. If you can’t immediately find anything on the walls, check out the insides of important objects, or the inside of any drawers. It is especially prevalent in spy theme rooms.
Some rooms use a small electric current conducted through your body to solve a puzzle! The currents are so small that you won’t even feel it, but it makes for an interesting puzzle. If you see two hand prints in a room and placing your hands on them hasn’t done anything, try holding hands with the person pressing on the second-hand print! It might feel silly while you’re doing it, but they are a very cool puzzle type.
Is there a metal object slightly out of your reach in your room? Look around and see if there’s a magnet for you to use to reach it! For example, the key to a door may be too high for any person to reach, but low and behold a pool cue with a magnet at the end of it will do just the trick!
The first thing any player should do upon entering an escape room is search the room for any hidden objects! Escape room designers lovefinding creative ways to hide objects in the room that fits well with the theme. Be sure to search for secret compartments, and to look through the room thoroughly.
The classic game from your childhood is equally as fun inside of an escape room! Jigsaw puzzles can come in many forms in escape rooms, from putting together pieces of a letter that is important to the game play, to traditional puzzles with images.
Assembled puzzles can do several things, from showing you an image with information that you may need later in the room—completing the puzzle may even unlock something on its own!
If there is a date that stands out throughout your time in the escape room, it may be important to solving a puzzle! If you can’t figure out a combination for a lock, looking for a date that is integral to the story of the room could be your answer.
Although math is one of the less common puzzle types, some escape rooms do include simple math in their rooms. You might find a series of related numbers somewhere in a room, doing some simple addition may help you through a puzzle!
It may seem simple, but sometimes finding a key is difficult, and may require completing several other puzzles before you are able to find the key—or find a use for a key that you’ve already found. A helpful hint that applies for some rooms, although not all, is that most escape rooms use a one key per lock policy, so once you use a key don’t stress about finding somewhere else to use it!
Oftentimes in rooms, you will see a certain piece of information or image more than once in an escape room. This may be to reinforce an important clue for your gameplay, or it might be so you can match up information in different parts of the room to solve a puzzle. For example, placing objects over images of them may unlock your next task!
A properly-designed escape rooms won’t expect you to have knowledge on specific topics, such as how to play a piano, or understanding Morse code, but you may need to be armed with some common real world knowledge to escape. For example, knowing what color the sky is or how to work a simple DVD player may come in handy.
Logic puzzles might be reminiscent of word problems from math class, but they are a fun take on riddles that many escape rooms utilize! While it’s hard to prepare for a logic puzzle, it is important to pay close attention to the given rules for the puzzle, and if you are truly struggling, try switching out with a teammate to get a fresh pair of eyes on the game. And remember—most escape rooms are designed for players of all ages and abilities, so try not to over-think. Most of the time, the simple solution is the correct one!
If a light seems to be shining on a particular object, pay attention to it! Also, many escape rooms combine the use of lasers with mirrors in order to complete a puzzle.
Go Forth and Play!
Now armed with the knowledge of several puzzle types you may encounter book an experience at Quest Reality Games to see our version of some of these puzzle types, along with many others, and see which one is your favorite!
This list includes many common puzzle types you may encounter at escape rooms. Our industry is continually evolving, and is full of clever, creative designers who are always looking for new ways to challenge players, so this list is by no means exhaustive!
At Quest Reality Games, we offer a premium interactive real-life escape room experience in Victoria, including both indoor and outdoor escape games. Our indoor escape rooms offer a unique escape game experience. If padlocks and keys are what you’re used to, you won’t find many here! Our premium themes offer a gameplay like no other. Be prepared to test your problem-solving abilities in many ways—our themes will challenge your memory, powers of observation, logic, deductive reasoning, and code-breaking abilities. Think you’ve got what it takes to free yourself from the next generation of escape games? Book now!