TIPS FOR ESCAPE ROOMS PART 2:
You and your friends are looking for something unique to do in Victoria, and have decided on an escape room. But how can you maximize your chances of successfully escaping? Whether you’ve never played an escape room before, or you’re a seasoned enthusiast, there is more to being successful than waiting for the door to lock behind you and hoping for the best. In fact, there are so many great tips for success that we’re posting this as a follow-up to our previous post, Tips for Escape Rooms!
GET THERE EARLY
For most players—both experienced and first-timers alike—the element of the unknown, and the uncertainty of what happens once you’re locked in that room can be exciting and also a bit unnerving. One way to mitigate any potential anxiety about the experience is to give yourself plenty of time at the venue before the escape game begins. This will give everyone in the group sufficient time to take care of signing waivers and securing belongings in lockers before the game begins without feeling rushed. More importantly, it ensures you maximize your time in the room to solve puzzles. Arriving early gives everyone time to use the washroom so you don’t have to spend precious game time to answer Nature’s call while the clock is ticking back in the room. The last thing you want to do is limit your time in the room by arriving late to the venue or wasting game time taking care of things that could have been done before your game time began.
MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE RULES
Every escape game facility operates slightly different, and you can’t win at their game unless you know the rules! Your Game Master will go through all the rules before your game beings so that you are familiar with what you can and cannot do in a given room. Listen to them. We get it, you’re excited and anxious to get started. But the rules are not something to ‘get over with’ so you can hurry up and play the game—they are essential to your enjoyment, and the enjoyment of anyone planning to play the game after you. For instance, if they say not to take anything off the walls, don’t take anything off the walls! You don’t want to lose time if someone has to come into the room to tell you not to do something, or have your experience (or that of future players) ruined because you broke something you weren’t supposed to touch. Plus, you’ll be wasting time doing things that won’t help you escape. Once you’ve been given the rules, be sure to ask any unanswered questions that the rules haven’t covered.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE INTRODUCTION
All escape games have a theme, and most have some sort of storyline to help you become immersed in the world and to give you a goal you must achieve in order to escape. When you’re excited about your experience, it can be easy to get distracted either by others in your group who are joking and horsing-around, or by looking for clues to escape. Even experienced players (sometimes especially experienced players) can be so eager to start solving clues that they forget that the introduction can contain information that’s critical to their success. At the very least, the intro will tell you about your ultimate goal, which will help you immerse yourself in the story, and get in the right mindset for escaping. Whether your goal is to elude the mad scientist or solve a mysterious occurrence, the intro will outline the major tasks you need to complete in order to put all the pieces together and escape the room–so pay attention!
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
This tip was in our first blog on Tips for Escape Rooms, but it’s so important that it’s worth repeating! Nothing is more vital to successfully escaping from an escape room than your ability and willingness to communicate. Talk about what you see. Talk about what you hear. Talk about what you think about what you see and hear. Just like opening drawers and putting things that you find in a commonplace in the room, vocalizing your thought processes for others to hear will help your team work together more effectively to solve puzzles. There will be times when communication is required because the puzzles that must be completed to escape require more than one person to solve them–for example, a pattern painted on the wall in one room that must be replicated in another. There will be other times when communication will be key to solving a puzzle simply because two heads are better than one, but only if the heads are talking to each other and can work together.
One of the most important reasons that communication is vital to your successful escape is the amount of time it can save you. Make sure that everyone knows which clues have already been used and which puzzles have been solved. No one wants to waste time on something that has already been done.
If everyone in your group is working on the same puzzle chances are you’re not making the best use of the horsepower you’ve got. Also, you’re probably wasting valuable time you could be using to solve other clues simultaneously. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. If someone on your team looks like they don’t know what to do next, they will probably be grateful if you kindly pointed out a puzzle they could start solving. If one person is able to take charge of assigning distinguishable tasks, everyone is better able to keep track of what has been done and what still needs to be done (see our blog on 5 Types of People Needed to Create the Perfect Team). While some puzzles will be harder than others, all puzzles are important, because they all need to be solved in order to escape!
If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, don’t be afraid to switch tasks. If you are stuck on a puzzle, grab a teammate. Explain what you have figured out so far and let them take a crack at solving it. You can save a lot of time by moving on and finding a different puzzle more suited to your personal strengths.
GO FORTH AND CONQUER!
Now that you’re armed with these tips for success, you’re ready to put your skills to the test in one of our second-generation escape games, so book now!