There are over 3000 escape rooms available worldwide, and new ones have been appearing every day. Why have escape rooms become so popular? Well, the answer is pretty straightforward.
Nowadays, most of us live busy lives struggling to find time for work, studies, taking care of the kids and so on. Each of us has a bunch of responsibilities to deal with on a daily basis. Escape rooms, on the other hand, allow us to step out of our daily routine and experience what it is like to be a different person – a book or movie character, for example. The game only lasts about an hour, but the unique and immersive experience of escape rooms brings people into a different reality. Whether you are escaping from a zombie apocalypse, a prison or a spaceship in a galaxy far far away, an extraordinary and unbelievable experience does add spice to your life.
Technically you can do this through video games or virtual reality, however, Escape rooms are that popular because we are actually doing something and taking part in intellectual or physical work rather than just staring at a computer screen.
I am a big fan of quests/quizzes in general and escape rooms in particular. I have already visited 60+ Escape Rooms in my city and would like to share some tips with you on how to make your experience more fun and how to save time. So here we go:
1. Choose a captain
You need to pick up a person who will make decisions based on the info your team has. Bad or good ones – it does not matter. This will help you to avoid conflicts and waste your precious time on arguments.
2. Work as a team.
Try to spread out the responsibilities. If the chamber is linear (you can solve 1 puzzle at a time) – use a brainstorming approach and work together at solving one puzzle. Try not to interrupt each other and make sure that everyone has clear visibility of the puzzle and all corresponding items. If the chamber is not linear, then try to work on a puzzle other people aren’t working on.
3. Make a good start.
It would give you a significant boost if you split the room into sections and assign different people to them right when you enter the quest. Search and look through for everything that comes to your eye for 1-2 minutes and share the noticeable experience with your teammates.
4. Do not panic and use your time wisely.
I am an escape room scenario writer myself and can assure you that you will always have more than enough time to escape the room if you do not panic. The scenarios are usually written and tested to be escaped within 40-45 minutes without any rush. If you start to panic just take a deep breath and try to make a second thought – talk to your teammates, and the panic will go away.
5. Think in a way where you do not need to use any excessive force.
The room developers always build scenarios and puzzles so all the people can play it: strong, weak, old, young, boys, girls so in 100% cases you will not need to use any force so just throw away any thoughts of moving the sofas, wardrobes or other huge items in the room.
6. Follow the 3-minute rule.
If you are stuck for about 3 minutes and have no idea on the puzzle just give the other people an opportunity to solve it. Share the experience and just go and solve another riddle.
7. Organize a place for “used” items.
The overwhelming majority of the rooms prepared are where one quest item works only once. So once you are sure that you used the item put it to a “used” pile. Keep all used items together – that will save you the time on thoughts and useless tries.
8. Skip 1 digit or 1 remaining letter.
Imagine that you need to unlock a 4-digit code lock and you have the following combo: 3*86. Just skip the puzzle and try all options. Trying 9 different combinations will cost you about 30 seconds or less however you solving the puzzle can take you ages. You can do the same with letters.
9. Don’t overthink any of the puzzles.
Escape games are meant to be fun for a large audience, which means that they generally don’t require prior knowledge, specific experience, or a complicated explanation for anything. Go for the simpler solution. Think of how you would do it if you were an escape room owner.
10. Try! Try! Try!
This approach rescued me several times. Just try everything which comes to your head. Name it loudly. Even If you think it’s too stupid – do it! One of your teammates may receive a “pass” and then add something to your idea. In the end, you solve it together!
And of course, I need to mention some obvious stuff like:
A) don’t play drunk
B) listen to your host very carefully (the game owner usually explains some specific rules and give minor tips which can be useful)
I hope my article helps you successfully escape many many rooms!
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