How to win an escape room

We’ve compiled a list of 16 simple tips to help you and your friends have an amazing time at whatever room you take on.

How to win an escape room
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How to win an escape room: 7+ tricks even beginners can master

As of 2023, there were about three thousand escape room venues in the U.S. and an estimated 50,000 escape rooms worldwide. Escape rooms have been captivating adventure enthusiasts worldwide for over a decade now, and their popularity shows no signs of slowing down. If you're an escape room n00b who’s ready to aim for glory, you're in the right place. In this post, we’ll focus on the best practices to help you beat any escape room. Let’s get into it!
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7 tips on how to beat an escape room

1. Choose your team wisely

When embarking on an escape room adventure, team selection is crucial. The puzzles and challenges you'll encounter often demand both skill and agility, making a well-rounded team the ace in the hole. It's beneficial to assemble a group where each member contributes a unique set of skills, ensuring that a wide range of tasks can be tackled efficiently. Ideally, an escape room team should consist of at least four players, each bringing their distinct strengths and perspectives to the table.
In choosing your teammates, prioritize diversity in problem-solving approaches and skill sets. Look for individuals who are not only quick thinkers but also have the ability to think outside the box and approach challenges creatively. While it's not necessary for every team member to excel in every area, having at least one person who is good at scanning and spotting details others might miss, and at least one person who excels at figuring out puzzles will get you leagues ahead of other teams. Remember, the synergy of a team doesn't come from each member being a jack-of-all-trades, but from each person contributing their unique strengths and expertise to achieve a common goal.

2. Listen closely to the story and rules

Escape rooms offer a unique blend of storytelling and puzzle-solving that goes beyond riddles and codes. It's crucial to listen attentively to the story that unfolds from the moment you step into the room, as it sets the stage for the challenges ahead. The narrative isn't just for ambiance; it's intricately tied to the puzzles you'll face, providing context and sometimes even crucial hints that could guide your progress.
The role of the game master in this experience is pivotal. They are the narrators who introduce you to the world of the escape room, laying out not only the storyline but also the rules of the game. These rules are not mere formalities; they are part of the game's design, intended to enhance your experience and ensure a smooth progression through the adventure. As you become more immersed in the escape room's world, remember that understanding and embracing the story and its rules might just be the key to unlocking your path to success.

3. Identify the objectives

When you step into the escape room, it's essential to start with a clear and practical approach. Begin by thoroughly observing your surroundings and identifying your key objectives. Pay attention to the different interactive elements such as keypads that might require a code, padlocks that need keys, keyholes that suggest hidden keys nearby, and any other unique spots that seem out of the ordinary. It's important to mentally catalog these points, as they're likely to be integral in your path forward.
With your objectives in mind, it's time to strategize. If you encounter a door with a keyhole, for example, your immediate goal should be to find the key or the code that unlocks it. Don’t be afraid to get specific; experienced players will call out "I found a 5 digit letter lock," or a "there’s a combination lock here" so other players know what they're looking for. This isn't just about finding a simple key; it's about connecting the dots between the clues you've gathered and the locks or puzzles they correspond to. Approach each challenge methodically, sifting through the clues you collect, and always be ready to think creatively. The solutions might be hidden in plain sight, requiring you to piece together the information in a way that reveals the next step in your adventure.
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4. Search almost everywhere

After you orient yourself in the escape room, you should conduct a comprehensive search for objects and puzzles that could be integral to your progress. Take a methodical approach, scrutinizing every nook and corner with a keen eye, as the designers often employ ingenuity in concealing vital clues. Be vigilant and attentive to details that may initially seem mundane; sometimes, the most ordinary items can hold the key to unraveling the mystery. It's essential to maintain a systematic approach, ensuring that no potential clue is overlooked in the process.
At the same time, it's crucial to adhere to the guidelines set by the game master; these instructions are often there to streamline your experience and prevent unnecessary confusion. If you're explicitly told that no clues are hidden above a certain height, respect that boundary and focus your efforts elsewhere. This not only saves time but also aligns your search with the game's intended design, making your problem-solving more efficient. Prioritizing your searches in areas that are within the established parameters ensures that your time is well-spent and your energy is directed towards unraveling the puzzles that will lead you to success.

5. Communication is key!

Effective communication is crucial in escape rooms. When team members fail to share crucial information, it can pave the way for failure, as each clue or puzzle piece plays a pivotal role in the grand scheme of the game. It's important to let your team know when you’ve found something and to share your theories. This ensures that every team member is on the same page, working towards the common goal with all the available information at hand.
Escape rooms, by their very nature, are designed as a collective task. Withholding information, intentionally or otherwise, can create bottlenecks, stalling the team's progress and diminishing the chances of a triumphant escape. Constant communication acts as the glue that holds the team together, keeping everyone aligned and focused.

6. Get organized

Establish a system for organizing the objects that you think are clues. Begin by designating specific spots for used items and another for those that are still unsolved. This clear division prevents confusion and clutter, ensuring that every item has a designated place. And this systematic approach ensures that everyone involved knows exactly where to find what they need, which will help minimize disruptions and maintain a streamlined process.
Understanding the structure of an escape room can definitely make the experience better. These games are designed to follow a logical sequence, making it crucial to organize related objects together. This organization not only simplifies the process but also guides your team towards the solution in an intuitive way.

7. The answer is always inside the room

In escape rooms, the answers are always within reach. Designers of escape rooms meticulously engineer each scenario to be self-contained, ensuring that participants can find all the answers they need within the room. This deliberate design choice encourages players to rely on their observation and problem-solving skills, rather than external resources or prior specific experience. That being said, don't be afraid to ask for hints. Even the most experienced players are not ashamed to ask the game master for clues when they get stuck.
Embracing simplicity is key when navigating the complexities of an escape room. Participants are often reminded that the most effective approach is to avoid overthinking. The puzzles, though they may appear intricate at first glance, are frequently built around straightforward solutions. It's a common pitfall to assume that a more complex answer must be the right one, but in the world of escape rooms, sometimes the solution is simpler and more obvious than you initially think.
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BONUS TIP:

If you're aiming to elevate your game, designate an Alpha for your team before entering the room. The Alpha takes on the role of team leader, focusing on time management, task delegation, and ensuring the team effectively utilizes the strategies and tips mentioned above.

Additional tips to keep in mind

Don't overdress!

Plan your attire accordingly. Don't wear clothes that might hinder your mobility or comfort. You wouldn't want to miss a crucial puzzle because you're worried about your outfit.

Play with a sharp mind!

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption before entering an escape room. A clear mind is essential for solving puzzles effectively. Overindulgence might lead to disqualification or hinder your performance.

Have fun!

Remember, the ultimate goal is to enjoy the experience and have fun. Escape rooms are challenging but thrilling. Avoid arguments with teammates; after all, the essence of the game is entertainment.

What not to do

The most crucial advice re. what not to do in an escape room is to keep yourself from guessing. Escape room challenges are meticulously designed, and the clues needed to solve puzzles are hidden within the room. Guessing might ruin the fun and diminish your chances of beating the game. Instead, focus on finding the clues and building a solution with your team.

Conclusion

And there you have it! You're now equipped with the best practices, team strategies, and tips to conquer any escape room challenge. So, pick your preferred location, book a game, and get ready to embark on an exhilarating escape room adventure! Remember, the clock is ticking, and victory awaits those who embrace the thrill of the challenge.

FAQ

What is the trick to escape rooms?
The trick to escape rooms is teamwork, communication, and attention to detail. Work together with your team to solve puzzles and uncover clues to unlock your path to success.
How do you solve the game escape the room?
To solve an escape room, you need to search for clues, decipher puzzles, and unravel the story. Collaborate with your team, communicate effectively, and use your wits to overcome challenges.
How do you make a successful escape room?
A successful escape room should offer a well-designed and immersive experience with a balance of challenging puzzles and an engaging storyline that keeps participants entertained from start to finish.
How do you hack escape rooms?
Hacking escape rooms is not encouraged and goes against the spirit of the collaborative experience. Instead, focus on solving puzzles and challenges using the clues provided within the room.
Are escape rooms suitable for all ages and skill levels?
Escape rooms are designed to accommodate a wide range of ages and skill levels. Many offer varying difficulty levels, making them accessible to both beginners and experienced players. If you have teammates who are under 18, check with the venue before booking to ensure that all members of your party will be able to play.
What should I wear or bring when going to an escape room?
Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes that you can move in. You generally don't need to bring anything specific; just bring your enthusiasm and problem-solving skills.
Can I win an escape room if I’ve never played?
There is no experience required when it comes to escape rooms. Anyone with a knack for puzzles or problem solving is already well on their way to becoming an escape room pro. Keep in mind as well that different rooms have different difficulty levels, even within the same venue. Choose the challenge level that suits your team’s skills and experience.
Are escape rooms safe?
Escape rooms are designed with safety in mind. They are typically monitored by game masters, and there are emergency procedures in place to ensure the safety of participants, including emergency exit buttons.
How long does an average escape room game take to complete?
The duration of an escape room game varies but typically ranges from 60 to 90 minutes. Be sure to check with the escape room venue for specific timing.
Note: Morty encourages fun, teamwork, and adventure in every escape room experience. So, go out there, enjoy the games, and build lasting memories with your team of adventurers!

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Written by

Brandon
Brandon

Product Manager of Morty, former founder, and angel investor.

     
     
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