Managing Puzzle Items
Keep used keys in their lock
This tip is designed to help you keep your sanity whilst playing an escape game!
Keys found in an escape room are almost never used for more than one lock. Once you have paired a key with the correct lock leave it in there! This will prevent your teammates from trying it in another lock and prevent you from locking the object again. In the very rare case that a key does open more than one lock make sure you keep it in one of the successful locks and make a note of the others.
Keep a “discarded” pile
To prevent a complete mess and wasted time, separate objects found into “keep” and “discard” piles. This also assists in preventing team members keep examining the same object over and over. This tactic will also assist in making links between objects since they will be in close proximity. One caveat to this however is that some objects may be used more than once in some escape games.
Organise objects neatly
Just like in the “real” world if you want to find things quickly in and escape room you need to keep things tidy.
Some examples of how you can do this are:
- Stack related books together in a pile
- Unfold important documents, pieces of material and garments
- Place loose objects on a table in the room
- Put all unused keys together in a central location
Be thorough in your search
Make sure that you search the entire room when looking for objects and clues. The trick is to look and touch everywhere as if you were preparing to decorate the room rather than looking for something you have lost.
Key objects can be hidden in the most strange and straightforward of places such as:
- Placed on top of a bookshelf
- Hidden inside a book
- Inside a jacket pocket
- Behind a cabinet door
- In a secret compartment located in the floor, wall or shelf unit
- Underneath a rug or mat
Divide and conquer
As soon as the clock starts at the beginning of your escape game split the room into sections and assign different members of your team to each section. This tactic ensures that the entire room is searched thoroughly and prevents some areas missed and some being over searched.
Listen to your host
If you compare escape games to Ikea furniture then your game master is your assembly guide and the key to success for both is to pay attention to them!
When introducing the escape room and rules to you your game master may slip a few helpful hints in which will save time later on. If your escape game includes actors pay attention to them as well. All in-game staff will try to nudge you in the right direction as much as possible.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for hints as almost every escape game as a hint system. To get a hint you may have to wave into a CCTV camera, use a walkie-talkie or pay attention to the in-game actor. However you get a hint we recommend asking for one whenever the game starts becoming too difficult or you have stopped having fun. All in-game staff are trained to lead you in the right direction so you can start solving puzzles again.