Escape rooms are great fun, but they can be disappointing or frustrating if you aren't able to escape them and win. After all, if you're going to do an escape room, you want to make sure you win. Read our best tips to improve your chances of escaping, whether it's a haunted mansion escape room or a jail-breaking theme.
How to Improve Your Chances of Escaping
To help improve your chances of escaping an escape room, here are our top tips.
- Play with Friends
Playing with people you know and get along with is key. If you don't know your teammates, you may not work together as well which can lower your odds of escaping. You don't want to bring a handful of friends along and be paired up with a family that has younger kids. This can make the game less fun and you might feel like the two groups are playing separately.
- Smaller Teams
Escape rooms will always have a maximum team size. While it may seem like a great idea to get a huge group together and play with the maximum number of people allowed, this can actually make it more difficult to win.
With a full group, you'll have less physical space, not enough tasks for everyone, and it can be difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page. Ideally, your group should only be 50%-70% of the maximum size.
- Search High and Low
Clues can be hidden anywhere in the room. They won't always be where you think they are. In order to find the right clue in time, you'll have to look high and low. Check behind furniture, try and find a secret door, and see if there are any hidden messages that can be revealed.
Many of the decorations in escape rooms are hardly just decorations. They can be flipped over, twisted, or pulled to reveal a possible clue or hidden room. Make sure you're checking absolutely everything even if it seems a bit absurd.
- Divide the Work
You may be tempted to have the whole group search for one thing. If you want to win, however, you'll need to divide up the work amongst your teammates. By splitting the work and allowing your teammates to work on different tasks, you won't be wasting your time. You can all look in different areas of the room for a clue and get the work finished much sooner.
- Listen to Teammates
You're all trying to escape and to do so, you'll all have to work together. This includes listening to your other teammates. Listen to their suggestions, their ideas, and what they've found. Someone might notice something that you missed. Even crazy ideas should be tried out. After all, you never know if the clue is upside down or if tap dancing unlocks a secret tunnel.
- Yell Loudly
This doesn't mean yelling all the time. However, anything you find should be called out. Someone might find a key and you might find a lock, but unless you both yell out what you've found, you might skip right past them.
Calling out what you find can be a bit chaotic, but it's efficient at finding things that go together. Instead of making everyone search every part of the room, you're able to split up and look in smaller areas while still keeping each other in the know.
- Make a Discard Pile
In order to prevent others from trying to find the same clue or use the same key, create a discard pile. You can leave keys in their locks, but any other items you find should be placed all together so that everyone on your team knows they've already been looked at.
It is possible that some items may be used more than once, but this is very, very rare. If this is the case though, you'll know where to find what you need and you won't have to search the room again or try and remember where you put that important item.
- Listen to Your Host
Even if you're not new to escape rooms, listen closely to your host at the beginning of the game. They'll explain the rules, but they might also give you some hints that you don't realize are helpful until you're already in the game.
- Ask for Hints
It may seem like cheating if you ask for hints during the game, but there's a reason hints are provided. They may not necessarily be easy to find either. You might have to find a walkie-talkie or a camera before you can ask for a hint, but if you're really struggling, it may be the best way for you to proceed.
- Look at the Broader Picture
Hints can be hidden in obvious places, but this makes them easy to miss if you're looking too closely. Sometimes you may just need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You can even have someone whose only task is to look at the picture as a whole instead of searching for individual clues.
Escape rooms are designed to be fun, so try not to stress. You certainly won't be trapped forever if you fail to escape and you won't be the first group to mess up. To help you and your team win though, follow the above ten tips and you'll be set.