When it comes to playing an escape room there are many factors that can determine how successful a team is.  Whether you are playing your very first room or you have played three hundred rooms, these five tips can help come out on top.

The players are gathering the elements needed for Dr. Watson's medical experiment.

Communicate

The one thing that will make or break your team is how well you communicate with your team.  Call out what type of locks you see, when you find an object, when you unlock anything.  Nothing will drain your time more than spending time looking for clues that a member of your team found at the beginning of the game without telling anyone.

A player presses the host button to request a hint.

Know When To Use Clues

I know, I know, part of the fun is solving the puzzles on your own.  But let’s face it, we all need help sometimes.  Nothing is more frustrating then losing a game to our own pride.  Sometimes, all you need is a nudge in the right direction to get your stride going.

A good rule of thumb is to ask for a hint if you go five minutes without making any kind of progress.  Keep in mind, this is more of a guideline as each escape room has a different hint policy.  However, if they give unlimited clues (like The Escape Effect!), don’t be afraid to ask for a bit of help early-game.

A player is stepping onto an "E" engraved into the courtyard floor.

Don’t Skip Steps

As you play more games, you may start to see the same type of puzzles repeat in multiple rooms, which means that you may be able to quickly identify similar puzzle mechanics and understand what to do more quickly than a new player.

However, if you take outside knowledge of a puzzle and apply it in the game, you may open a lock early and throw the intended game flow off.  This means that you won’t necessarily have all the components to succeed on the next step or just the opposite – you may have skipped to the end of the game without going through all of a game’s puzzles and steps.  In either case, it makes for a not-great experience.

All that said, at The Escape Effect, the puzzles across all of our games are unique and we’ve twisted common escape room tropes enough to make solutions unique, so you won’t guess.

The players are examining various sheets of classical music

Don’t Overthink

In any good escape room, there are a mix of both difficult and easy puzzles. The shorter puzzles are usually meant to get the mind going or to provide relief after some of the more lengthy ones.  In either case, it can be very easy to not trust how easy some of the lower-level puzzles can be.  This causes our skeptical minds to overthink the challenge which will cost you valuable time.

For example, if you have a riddle, the answer might not be an object you need to find.  In fact it is more likely that the answer will be a code for one of your word locks.  Save yourself some time and stress and try the simple solution first.

An escape room player ventures through the dungeon in search of her friends.

Look (And Look Again) Everywhere

Sometimes, the most difficult part of an escape isn’t the puzzles, but rather just finding objects hidden in the game.  Game developers are becoming more crafty and are creating devious new ways to hide objects and puzzles in the room.  It can be through lower lighting, clever camouflage, or interesting illusions.  Game developers are constantly innovating new ways to manipulate the environment to keep players challenged.

The key to success is to be observant.  If it isn’t heavy, glued down, or locked, search it!  Open every drawer and every box.  Does something appear to be locked?  Double-check that it actually has a lock or key hole keeping it closed!  If you are certain you have accessed everything possible in the room, try double-checking everything you’ve opened!  The best place to hide something is in plain sight after all!  It is very easy to overlook small details or objects.