DOS & DON’TS WHEN PLAYING IN AN ESCAPE ROOM
Escape rooms are a lot of fun, but new players may find them scary. The first game is often one of the most difficult because new players must learn so much so quickly. Gamemasters are often asked how first-time players might maximise their experience and effectively escape. Here are some escape room game “dos” and “don’ts” that any player will find useful, whether they have played multiple rooms before or are seeking guidance before their very first.
- Plan your team carefully. If it’s your first time and you’re going with your family, it is advisable to choose escape rooms for families specifically.The majority of escape room websites will specify the recommended number of players for each game. Often, the “golden number” is a high average between the minimum and maximum number of players the room allows; for example, if the game is acceptable for two to ten people, six to eight players may be a decent group size. A small team requires fewer individuals to take up the slack, but a large team can soon become “too many cooks in the kitchen.” You could also phone the gamemasters and inquire about their recommended group size.
- At some locations, a “private” room (where only your party is playing) demands payment for the majority of room “slots” regardless, so bringing larger groups can frequently be more cost-effective if you wish to play alone. To obtain a private game at my establishment, you must purchase six of the ten available room spaces. Some sites only provide single-room pricing, requiring players to split the bill among themselves. In such a circumstance, the greater the number of participants, the lower the cost per capita.
- In addition to efficiently arranging your group size, it is beneficial to strategically select your players. You never know what puzzles lie ahead; if you wind up bringing a group of three math-haters, you may be lost if a math puzzle is presented. Possessing many mentalities and skill sets is advantageous.
- Use and uitilize the clues when you’re playing an escape room game. Many novices view the use of hints as a sign of weakness or “easy mode” assistance. However, there is no guilt in using hints, and many games are designed with hints in mind, so gamemasters expect the great majority of teams to utilise hints to succeed.
- Prepare yourself to think. Nothing is worse than a group that refuses to use its minds. Escape rooms are mental puzzles. Prepare yourself for hard problem-solving!
- Prepare yourself to read. Reading is frequently a vital component of escape rooms, whether in the form of game pieces or a gamemaster’s hints. Bring your glasses for reading! Bring your best reading comprehension abilities as well. It’s aggravating when groups miss out on vital information because they didn’t read the offered materials well enough.
- Follow the provided hints. When your gamemaster provides you with a hint, be sure to follow their instructions! You’d be shocked at how often organisations leave puzzles unsolved despite having been provided a clue that explains exactly what they need to do. Also, make sure to follow the clues presented within the room; keep note of the information you’ve gathered, and do your best not to overlook anything you believe could be significant!
- Be inquisitive. Unless the gamemaster specifically instructs you not to, look under, inside, and behind items. The undersides of desks, tables, and other pieces of furniture are fair game. Sometimes, getting on your hands and knees and gazing low can help when nothing useful is visible. (Be ready to move, extend, and bend!)
- Be adaptable. Don’t be fickle, but don’t be scared to abandon something, try something new, or experiment with something that would never succeed.
- Think beyond the norm. Don’t be scared to evaluate every single alternative, even if they appear improbable. Using magic wands to cast spells and musical notes to activate clues may seem absurd, but escape rooms are intended to be unpredictable. Try absolutely everything, regardless of how foolish or absurd it may seem. Have a good time!
- Come for enjoyment. Do not become weighed down by self-imposed expectations to flee or concerns about seeming intelligent. Simply enjoy yourselves! Groups perform better when they are having fun than when they are bored, angry, or extremely ecstatic.
- Be destructive. Although you are encouraged to utilise everything you are given to the best extent possible, take care not to damage anything. Occasionally, props may appear to be operable but do not move when attempted. Feel free to put out your best effort, but never force anything.
- Fight among yourselves. This is a very common occurrence among families that have never played before. Resist the temptation to become frustrated when you are confused or believe you are performing poorly. Not only is it useless, but it can also hinder your efforts and deliberately impede your success.
- You rush through all of your hints. Space out your clues. Don’t be hesitant to utilise them, but using them all within the first ten to twenty minutes of the game will almost always backfire against you. It can be helpful to gauge how much of the room remains; if you still need to unlock four locks but only have two remaining clues, you may want to use them carefully.
Overall, the most useful piece of advice I can give to novices is to come prepared to enjoy themselves while playing a team sport! Remember that the most enjoyable aspect of the game is simply playing it, even if the aforementioned tips can be helpful in achieving success. In the end, your experience is more valuable if you have fun and fail than if you fight the entire time and escape. Follow my advice and bring your best attitude, and you will hopefully achieve success.