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Tips to Beat Your Escape Room Challenge

Escape Room is an adventure game where players enter a room and solve a number of puzzles and riddles with the use of hints, clues and strategy to reach a final goal – escape. The idea is to unveil the secret plot that leads to their goal, but they have to do it within a set time limit.

Escape rooms are fun and great for team-building, but they are also serious mind-busters. On your next escapade, take these tips with you:

1. Be united as a team but avoid bunching.

This is no more than basic advice but there’s a catch if you use it in an escape room. In a well-designed escape adventure, players usually get pulled a fast one with various parts of the same puzzle scattered inside the room. Therefore, every member of your group must be all over the place looking for different clues, instead of bunching around a few. The usual scenario is that when somebody finds something, everybody rushes to it, and at that moment, they start to fail.

2. Announce it.

Each time you find a good clue, announce it to everyone. Early on, it’s not even the puzzle you should be thinking of, but getting a sense of the plot. And each time someone calls out what they’ve seen, they put everyone else into the same boat. The most critical part of this stage is making sure that everyone is on the same track.

3. Be decisive and swallow your pride.

When people know they have a whole hour to solve the problem, they may dawdle during the earliest minutes of the game. When they realize the trouble they’re in, it’s usually too late. Therefore, get that sense of urgency started from the get-go.

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Ask for hints if you need them, and don’t think that’s cheating because it’s not. Swallow you pride and ask as soon as possible, not when it’s 5 minutes to the end. Everyone wants to be a Sherlock, but those that want to win are more like Columbo – ask what you don’t know!

4. Think like an engineer.

The best escape room games are designed by electrical, mechanical and software engineers, so think like them when you’re up against the wall. With almost everything you’ll see in an escape room custom-built, you can bet that nearly everything in it will help your case. Take mental notes and be open to working backwards.

4. Also think like a writer.

Yup, a writer. Besides, what kind of escape room will have no plot? If all stones have been turned and still you have nothing, think like a storyteller. Just picture out what could happen from a narrative perspective. When planning your next escape room adventure, get a Lit major in the team.

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