You might hear your teammates shout “We need a telephone number” or “We need a safe combination”. You might hear a teammate shout “Well there are a load of long numbers on these books, let’s try all of them!” Your reply should always be “No – that is a waste of time”. ISBN numbers are never the numbers you are looking for.
Highlighter and notes in books
When an escape room owner is looking to source props for their escape game their first port of call will be Goodwill stores, Thrift stores, Secondhand bookshops and yard sales. Used books more often than not will have sections that have been highlighted or have handwritten notes in the margin.
Now whilst it is is good idea to check to see if there is anything hidden in books found in the escape room, it is a bad idea to get sidetracked by these highlighted sections and handwritten notes. Reading a student’s notes in an old copy of Psychology for Dummies is not going to help you escape!
“We need a 4 digit code to open this padlock”, “Well this book cost $15.99 so why not try 1599?”, “It didn’t work”, “Oh well at least we tried!”.
Just like ISBN numbers – price tags are never used as codes.
Maker/warehouse notes on furniture
Have you ever turned an old chair upside down or taken a draw out of a chest of draws and noticed there is a number or series of numbers? In the cold light of day you might not notice these notes but in the pressurized environment of an escape room they might make you suspicious.
You shouldn’t be suspicious. Just ignore them.
Even the most open minded of escape room owners will not want participants pulling the drop ceiling in their bid to find clues and make their escape.
You will only be wasting vital time by moving the ceiling tiles or worse trying to do your best Tom Cruise impression and reenacting Mission Impossible and attempting to climb through the ceiling. At the very best you will soon realise you are on a wild goose chase, at the worst your escape game will end in tears and possibly broken limbs!
Wearing clothes found in the room
You open a wardrobe to find a wide array of outfits hanging up. Your first and only step should be to check the pockets of all the garments to find clues.
What you should not do is put any of the outfits on. Playing dress up is never part of escaping and escape room.
You should remember the advice that your parents gave you and don’t play with electric sockets.
Whilst in the video game versions of escape games you might be asked to plug things in or rewire something this should never be the case with “real life” escape games.