The Power of Hints
If we only had FIVE more minutes! This is by FAR the most common thing we hear players say when we enter the theme at the end of a group’s allotted 60 minutes. If you’ve ever played an escape room and said this yourself, you’re in good company. The nature of escape games is that they’re designed with the intention that not everyone will escape, so while this is not always an avoidable situation, effective use of hints is certainly one way to help your group avoid singing this sad refrain.
Some experienced escape room enthusiasts prefer not to use hints, and that’s just fine. Others get so caught up in the moment that they forget using a hint is even an option. In those instances, our Game Masters will often give a reminder or ask if your group is stuck and would like a hint. Regardless of whether you fall into either of these camps, you don’t want to be one of the MANY groups we hear lamenting that in hindsight they shouldn’t have held out to use their 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 them! 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.
It important to understand that it’s not giving up asking for a hint – most well-planned escape rooms will have at least one puzzle that is tricky enough to leave you stumped. Your time in an escape room is limited, so don’t be afraid to ask your Game Master for a hint once you’re stuck. Game Masters have in-depth knowledge of each puzzle and will be able to point you in the right direction, so you can get past that hurdle and start solving puzzles again!
Pick a leader
One way to avoid getting so caught up in the game that you forget to use a hint is to pick a leader before you game begins. The leader will be in charge of the walkie-talkie, which, of course, means they will be the person communicating directly with your Game Master for hints (as well as any other questions or concerns). The role of the leader isn’t to boss everyone around, because where’s the fun in that?! Rather, the Leader’s job is simply to ensure everyone is on the same page and that everybody is staying focused on the task at hand. Having said that, when selecting a leader, you want to make sure this person has the entire group’s best interest in mind—there’s nothing worse than wanting to save your hints and then hearing your leader requesting one without the group’s permission.
What if we’re out of hints?
If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve used up all your hints and you’re stuck on one puzzle, make sure that everyone in your group has the opportunity to try their hand at it. Everyone is different in the way they approach puzzles, and we are all products of our past experience, so some puzzles may appeal more to certain members of your team than others. (Want to know how to create the perfect team? Check out our blog 5 Types of People Needed To Create the Perfect Team). So, if you’re stuck, let one of your teammates give it a try and they may have more success. If your entire group can’t move forward, there is no harm in asking your Game Master for a hand. You may just need some clarification on the puzzle, or need the Game Master to paraphrase their last hint. Rest assured we will never leave you hanging—after all it’s only a game, and we’re here to make sure you have fun!
A pre-game hint
Here’s a free hint (don’t worry, we won’t count it towards your two hints! ?), before you even step into an escape room, pay close attention to the instructions your Game Master provides you. Although you may feel as though those instructions are just simple rules, be sure to listen carefully! That information your Game Master is telling you will definitely contain important details to help you out in your gameplay—it may even contain some secret hints!
A final thought…
Escape rooms are designed to be challenging! Their very nature is that not every group will be able to escape. Like most things in life, escape rooms are a learned skill. And just like learning anything else, there is a curve, and practice makes perfect. As you play more escape rooms, you’ll get a better feel for time-management, and when to use a hint. Also, the more escape rooms you play, the easier they’ll get, which may mean you won’t need as many hints at all! Whether it’s your first time playing an escape game, or just your first time playing one of our unique second-generation escape games, know that you WILL get better at it. You should never feel disheartened for not escaping; just keep practicing, you’ll get better—and who knows, maybe you too will wind up on our leaderboard for setting a record!
Now that you know the power of hints. If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do in Victoria, and think you’ve got what it takes to free yourself from the next generation of escape games, then book now!