- Search: Start with searching. All escape rooms involve searching and it is important to thoroughly look at everything, including opening drawers, looking under furniture, and flipping over rugs. Pay attention to the Gamemaster during the introduction. They will often give you information on where to not waste time searching. For example, at The Escape Hatch, we don’t have anything hidden in the plants. If your team is not sure what to do next in a room, it is likely because you haven’t searched thoroughly.
- If You See Something, Say Something: While searching if you find a lock that needs to be opened or anything that you think could be a puzzle or a clue, COMMUNICATE the information to your team! Lack of communication among team members is one of the most common reasons teams don’t complete their mission. If you find a lock, it is important to say not only that you found a lock but to communicate what kind of lock it is. For example, a lock that needs 4 numbers, a lock that needs 5 letters, or a lock that needs a key. It is impossible to find the solution to opening a lock if the entire team doesn’t know whether they are trying to solve something with letters, or numbers, or if they are searching for a key.
- Stay Organized: In most escape rooms, props, clues, and keys are only used one time. If something is used more than once, you will be told during the game introduction by your Gamemaster. Designate a used prop and clue location and make sure that everyone on your team knows where it is. Once you use a prop or clue, make sure you put them in the designated location, so that you don’t waste time working on something that has already been solved. Similarly, when you use a key, leave it in the lock where it was used.
- If You Need A Hint, Ask For A Hint: Very few teams can beat an escape room without any hints, even experienced teams. A good rule of thumb is that if your team is standing around for more than a few minutes with no ideas on how to proceed, ask for a hint. Similarly, listen to your Gamemaster. Your Gamemaster wants your team to complete your mission as much as you do. The Gamemasters know where you are in the game, how many puzzles you have left to solve, and if you are running out of time. If your Gamemaster asks your team if you want a hint, you should take the hint, because it means that you are getting way off track.
Don’t Use Force: Nothing in an escape room ever requires force. A good rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t move with two fingers, don’t force it. Also, never climb on top of furniture or other people to reach things. If you see something that is out of reach that you think you need, there will be a puzzle or prop that will allow you to get to it without climbing. If you are unsure about whether something moves or not, you can always ask your Gamemaster. Asking for that type of information does not count as a hint. Also, if you think that you have the correct code for something, but it does not open, do not try to force it. First, check to make sure you have the code lined up in the correct spot on the lock, if it still doesn’t work, let another team member try to enter the code. Remember, Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!