Escape rooms are all the rage these days, and they’re great for everything from dates and outings with friends to team-building activities. Having an outline for a plan of action can go a long way in helping you come out on top of your escape room adventure, which is why we’ve taken the liberty of compiling this escape room guide to give you a hand during your next escape room event in Chester County, PA.
1. Play with Friends or Coworkers
To be fair, you could play with anyone you want. However, playing with people you already know can help communication go a lot more smoothly. Mutual understanding and rapid response are essential to a successful getaway, and having teammates who are used to your speaking style is key to group cohesion.
2. Choose a Leader
Speaking of communication, having a designated “manager” for your team can help facilitate proper coordination as well. A big part of tackling an escape room is informing your teammates whenever you find a clue, solve a puzzle, or crack a code. Instead of having every teammate call out every new development, try choosing one person for the role of sharing new information — you could even have this person stay out of the puzzle-solving process and make calling out new breakthroughs their exclusive job.
3. Work Together
Remember to listen to your teammates rather than talk over them, even if their idea seems “out-there.” Also, make a point of fanning out, and avoid clustering around a single puzzle all at once. It’s often tempting to delay tackling the trickier puzzles in favor of doing some group brainstorming on a single clue, but spreading out to different areas of the room is frequently more efficient and effective.
4. Organize Your Puzzle Items
To avoid getting confused in the tumult of search and problem-solving, try designating a single spot to keep all of the clues your team finds to stay organized. You could even divide the collected items into a “used” and “unused” pile: for instance, keys and password-related items that have already served their function could be kept to one side, while items whose purpose or meaning still remain mysterious could be kept to another.
Speaking of keys, keep in mind also that rarely do keys ever serve more than one purpose in most escape room scenarios. If you’ve already used a key once, you probably won’t need it again.
5. Be Thorough
This may seem self-evident, but always search the room thoroughly. Don’t forget out-of-the-way spaces such as bookshelves, hidden compartments, far-off ledges, and even the insides of books. Dividing up the room into different sections or quadrants and assigning them out could help a lot as well.
On the other hand, remember not to be too thorough. The room’s designer probably never intended to hide clues inside light bulbs or anything you would need to break open. If you find yourself considering ripping out a wall socket or shattering a ceiling panel, you’re probably overthinking things.
6. Consider the Clock
Remember, you only have one hour to escape the room, which means that the puzzles your team has been given were designed to be solvable within a 60-minute time frame. If you think that the solution to an obstacle would take hours of guessing and tinkering, you’re probably not on the right track — instead, use the time frame to your advantage by looking at it from the designer’s point of view.
7. Some General Advice
A few other tips that are worth bearing in mind:
Avoid excessive force.
As mentioned, you should never need to break anything. Stay away from forcing open doors or wrenching items out of place.
Remember the big picture.
Don’t get too involved in solving just one piece of the puzzle. Otherwise, you could lose precious time as you miss the forest for the trees.
Occam’s Razor states that the simplest solution to a problem is usually the correct one.
Most of all, have fun! Some of the most enjoyable escape rooms are the toughest ones to crack, and whether you make it out of the room or not, the point is to have a good time. Embrace the experience, relax, and focus on the thrill of the game itself rather than the outcome!
To learn more about our escape room team-building activities here in Chester County, PA, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (484) 652-2956 and give the gift of adventure today!