Monday, April 16, 2018

How to Succeed in an Escape Room

Here are several sound escape room tips to achieve a very high success rate in most escape rooms.  The major categories are: 1) team composition 2) teamwork 3) managing the room and puzzles 4) thorough review of all clues and puzzles and 5) effectively and efficiently solving puzzles.

1.       Team Composition

Play with co-workers, friends or family.  Book the entire room to assure that you have a private room but play with less than the maximum occupancy of the room.  By playing in a private room, you can assure that you have a common understanding on how you all communicate with one another.  Having less than the maximum occupancy will: a) avoid overcrowding, b) assure everyone has something to do, c) fewer “aha” moments and d) easier to control the team.

2.       Teamwork

Communicate loudly what you find so that other teammates are incorporating the information.  Teammate should listen to one another.  Be willing to walk away and give another person a try at a puzzle if you have not been able to solve it.  Work on puzzles that others are not working and do not become a spectator by simply crowding around a puzzle.

3.       Managing the room and puzzles

The most important skill here is to be organized with the various puzzle items.  For example: keep used keys with the locks, unused keys in a central area, establish a discard pile and neatly organize books and other items that you have search or used.

4.       Thorough review of all clues and puzzles

Search the room thoroughly and be sure to recall where you find items.  Be sure to break up into teams and divide up the room.  Ask for clues when needed.

5.       Effectively and efficiently solving puzzles.

Usually the puzzle is straight forward; so do not overthink the solution.  Avoid things like random numbers or letters in books or other items.  Avoid electrical outlets and drop ceilings.  Attempt combinations frequently but be cautious of electronic safes that have a safeguard for too many failed attempts.  You can skip the last digit on a numeric or letter combination lock by simply cycling through the last digit.  Finally, on an Enigma machine, once you decipher one letter, look for the same letter and position and apply it to all possible code letter.

Some general tips

  • Don’t play drunk
  • Don’t use excessive force
  • Don’t over think puzzles
  • Don’t be afraid to lose

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