What is an Escape Room?
Escape rooms, also commonly referred to as escape games, puzzle rooms and adventure games, are a real life adaption of the popular online point and click adventure games. These real life physical adventure games have players collect clues to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in order to escape the room. This usually involves a specific theme, task you need to complete and a time limit.
So basically you just have to solve all the puzzles before the time runs out. Seems pretty simple right? Wrong. Escape room games are designed to make you use your intelligence, wits and intellect. Following a few simple rules and ideas can be the difference between escaping and being trapped forever.
The most important rule is to listen to your instructions. The Game Master isn’t just giving information about your game play, they also give some helping information that will stop you from wasting time. Of course, there are a number of things that fall under this rule (and they vary from location to location which is even more of a reason to listen extra well).
- When we tell you that things with a “Do Not Touch” sticker aren’t part of your game, we aren’t trying to trick you. In fact, we’re just trying to help! The stickers are on things like locks/doors that aren’t part of your game and props you don’t need to move to solve the puzzles.
- When we say that there is nothing hidden in the ceiling and you don’t need to move big furniture (yes, a bed/couch/desk/dresser all count as big furniture) we aren’t lying! There is nothing in the ceiling (anywhere in the ceiling, I promise) and moving furniture around will just waste your time.
- DO NOT USE FORCE. This one is super important. You do not need to use force to open doors, drawers, cabinets or locks. Using force could result in you damaging a prop and even hurting yourself. If it doesn’t open easily it means you either don’t need to open it or you haven’t gotten to that point in the game yet.
Use your clues! This one is super important but, often overlooked. If you feel stuck on a puzzle and are just standing around not knowing what to do then you’re standing around wasting precious game time. You have no idea how many times in a night our Game Masters are sitting there thinking “JUST ASK FOR A CLUE ALREADY!!! I can’t help you if you don’t ask!” Many escape rooms offer the use of clues in their games and a lot of the time, there is no time penalty (each game is different but, your game master should let you know in the instructions if there is a penalty or not). A good rule of thumb to follow is: If you’re all standing around and doing nothing, ask for a clue.
And while we’re on the topic of clues; when you get a clue, focus on what the clue is telling you. The Game Master knows exactly where you are in the game and what you’re supposed to be doing. The clues are designed to help keep you on track and moving in the right direction. If the clue says something like “Double check the desk drawers, there may be something you missed” I wouldn’t head over to the book shelf and start looking through pages. We see this in our games on a regular basis and believe me, we get as frustrated as you do when it doesn’t help you move forward.
One of the best ideas to use is Have two sets of eyes and hands. No, I don’t mean that you need to mutate into a creature with 4 eyes and 4 arms but, having a teammate double check and area or try the same combination on the lock you couldn’t open is a good idea. They may find something you overlooked or they might have ‘the magic touch’ and be able to open the lock.
A general rule a lot of escape rooms use is a one lock, one use policy. This means that every key or code you find and use will only open one lock. Staying organized is important too and unless you need to collect the keys as part of your objective it’s a good idea to just keep the key in the lock you used it to open. That way no one in your group will think it needs to be used again, saving you time.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” In escape rooms I like to say “There’s no such thing as a stupid suggestion.” meaning that if you have an idea about how a puzzle might be solved, say it out loud to your group. Even if it’s not the right way, it may spark ideas for someone else and help solve the puzzle.
Going into the game you need to know that not every group will be able to complete the objective and escape the room. I don’t know of a single escape room that has a 100% success rate. But, as long as you tried your hardest and had fun with your friends/family/co-workers, that’s all that really matters. It’s like going to an arcade, you probably won’t win all the games but, you’ll still have fun!
We hope to see you using these tips to escape from our 5 available games at Live Action Escapes!