An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. The games are physical versions of “escape the room” video games. Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons and space stations, and are popular as team building exercises.
7 tips for handling room escapes:
- Go to the bathroom beforehand.
Adrenaline triggers increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism. Trust us on this one.
- Work together as a team
No room can be escaped by one person, nor should they, when other people don’t do the puzzles, they don’t have fun. This being said, the team should spread out and work as a hive mind. Run in parallel.
- Call out what you see
This helps your teammates and you interpret the clues and keep track of what’s going on.
- Take notes
Rooms typically provide pencils and paper or markers and whiteboard. A word or two about the clue lets people spread out and look for all the clues at once.
- Work fast
An hour is shorter than you think it is; don’t get complacent. If you finish fast enough, you might even beat a record.
- Don’t overthink
Since room escapes are built for the general public, they tend to teach you any tricks or background knowledge you need before completing a more technical task. Always keep what they taught you in mind, even if it’s not obvious.
- Ask for clues
You typically get at least one free clue. Don’t be too proud and wait until it’s too late to ask for your one clue on where you went wrong forty-five minutes ago.
If you only take away one thing on this list, and all the other lists telling you how to escape a room, it’s this: work together! All the rooms we’ve escaped have had a team that ran like a well-oiled machine. This is why it’s such a great team building exercise, and why it’s possible and even enjoyable to play this with strangers. You flex your skills in communication and leadership. Everyone needs to be fairly autonomous and take initiative, while taking the team along with them. It’s this juxtaposition of opposite traits – autonomy and cooperation – that makes room escapes a most valuable form of entertainment.