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You’ll find a bunch of boxes, drawers, doors, and more locked up when first starting your game.  For the uninitiated, the challenge in an escape room should NEVER be about figuring out how a common locking mechanism operates, but rather the challenge should be in solving for a lock’s code.

Thus, we have written this guide to give you some insight into the common locking mechanisms.  And don’t worry, even if you forget how one of these mechanisms work while in the game, your host is there to help.

A Master Lock barrel lock.

Barrel Lock

These locks will have numbers, letters, and sometimes symbols.  At The Escape Effect, if a lock is filled with letters, it will make a full word.  To open the lock, rotate the tumblers so that the combination is lined up with the “Master” logo, then pull down on the lock.

A Master Lock directional lock.

Directional Lock

The disk on the front can slide up, down, left, and right.  The code to open will be a series of directions (up to eight at The Escape Effect).  Before entering a code, be certain the clear the lock by pressing the shackle into the lock at least twice.  Take care not to press the shackle into the lock during or after the correct combination has been entered.

A Master Lock luggage lock.

Luggage Lock

These are your basic TSA locks.  These are three or four digits with a vertical line.  Line up the appropriate code from top-to-bottom and pull and twist the shackle.

A push-button locking mechanism.

Push-Button Lock

Push-button locks can come in 6, 8, and 10-button varieties.  At The Escape Effect, we use the 10-button version.  Similar to other locks, these buttons are labeled with numbers.  Unlike other locks, the order of the numbers does not matter.  Once the proper buttons are depressed, squeeze the switch on the bottom to pop the shackle.

These are the locks that you see in 99% of escape rooms in Orlando.  We use them in the first three games we have built – At Odds With The Gods, Sherlock Studies, and Encore.  However, for A Knight To Escape, we have replaced these locks with custom-made pieces that fit the period.  Your host will cover how to operate these mechanisms before the game.