First off, Spoilers. If you prefer to go into an escape room without knowing specific things to look for, stop reading now. If you do want to know some specific strategies to use in an escape room, below you will find a list of escape room strategies that might just come in handy!
Wondering what on earth I’m talking about? You’ll want to read about what an escape room actually is, in my Escape Room Tips article.
( A Barber Shop themed Escape Room)
~Strategies to use in an Escape Room ~
- Be familiar with different kinds of locks. Many escape rooms use padlocks. If you see one in the room, immediately notice how it unlocks. Does it have a number code? Letters? Is it a directional lock? Does it need a key? Once you notice what it takes to open a lock – you know what you may be looking for in the room! For instance if it is a number lock – you are looking for numbers somewhere.
- Is there a light source in the room that looks strange? If so, consider whether the lamp or flashlight you’ve found is a black-light. If it is – you can bet there is something written or drawn somewhere in the room, that can only be discovered using that light. Go look for it!
- Take notice if you find a white board or scrap paper. It often means you will have to decipher a code, or pattern, and the Game Master is giving you a way to work it out.
- Split up your group if there are multiple items or puzzle solutions to find. It wastes time to have 8 people staring at one person working out a code. Let 1 or 2 people work on that, and other people go work on finding the next clue. Divide and conquer – but always keep communicating with the greater group about anything you find!
- Just because you moved into a new room, doesn’t mean you won’t need something from where you were! Sometimes unused clues from a room you have moved on from are red herrings, and were just meant to confuse you. But other times – you may still need an object or clue from a previous room. Send 1 or 2 players to retrieve it, but everyone else stay working in the new room.
- Be vocal. Let people know what your strengths are. If the group realizes they need to do a math equation, and you’re a math whiz – say something. If you find a written clue, read it out loud to the group. Think you’ve figured something out? Yell it out! Don’t let the more aggressive members of your group take control and not listen to the quieter members. Communication with your group in all things is key.
- Make Piles. When you first enter the room, agree to put every potential clue or artifact you find in one central place. This helps everyone to see what’s available to solve or use. Then, once you have used an item – put it in a “used” pile. So for instance, if you find a key hidden in a coat pocket – and it opened a safe, set that key in the used pile.
- Be immune to Creepiness. Sometimes, you will hear strange music. Maybe something will fall from the ceiling. Perhaps that closet you’re standing next to, is starting to sound like someones breathing inside. An escalation in creepiness – is usually a pretty good indication that you are close to a clue, or have found one. Try to block out the creep factor and soldier on.
- Most Escape rooms have a difficulty rating. If you can, start with a lower number of difficulty. It will help you get your sea legs.
- De-brief! If you run out of time and cannot escape the room, ask your Game Master to walk you through the puzzles you didn’t get to! Was there a clue you didn’t understand? Ask the Game Master to explain it to you. You will learn oodles about Escape room tactics if you take time at the end of your session to ask questions about the rooms you were in.
Most of all – have fun!
Do you have an escape room tip? I’d love to hear it!