Solving Puzzles Efficiently
Know what to ignore
Now this is usually learned through experience by playing many escape games but we can give you a head start. These items are almost never important to escaping the room.
- Random numbers written in marker pen on old furniture or in old books –
These are usually just artifacts left over from when the game master purchased the item.
- Power outlets –
Remember your parents advice and don’t play with power outlets. This is both a safety issue and a waste of time
- Drop ceiling tiles –
Never try to look behind a drop ceiling tile or touch the ceiling. It is a waste of time and also a safety issue.
Try lock combinations frequently
Unless you are dealing with some kind of “lockout” safe where you have a limited number of attempts, you should attempt entering any plausible combination you have. This tactic will give you quick feedback on whether you are on the right path and if you’re lucky your first attempt might the the right one!
Skip the last digit/letter in a puzzle
It is possible to skip finding that last digit or letter for a clue or a puzzle.
Some examples of this are:
- Figuring out the last digit in a lock –
If you have a combination lock where you have 3 out of the 4 digits required, you can enter the 3 digits and then just cycle through the 4th until it opens.
- Figuring out the last few letters in a clue or wordlock –
You can treat this like solving a crossword. If you need a 4-letter word that starts with F and ends in K, try FORK!
Note: You should only do this if you’re ok with missing out on a puzzle. Usually you can ask a game master about the puzzles you skipped at the end of the escape game.
Be careful and don’t break stuff
You parents will have told you that you should look after your toys and items in an escape room are no exception to this rule. Breaking objects is a bad idea as this not only affects your experience but also ruins it for other people too.
- Avoid forcing anything open
- Pulling anything off from the walls that doesn’t easily come off
- Avoid climbing on furniture
- Avoid smashing objects open unless explicitly told to do so
If however, you are interested in breaking and smashing everyday objects we can offer you that opportunity. Our Rage Room experience allows you to go all out with an implement of your choice on everything from crockery to tv screens. You can find more information by clicking here.
Don’t drink and play escape games
Escape games are best enjoyed sober! Start out fully focused and ready for puzzle-solving, quick decision-making and effective communication. You can then celebrate your escape with your teammates later with as many beers as you like!
Keep the broader picture in mind
It is very easy to get totally absorbed into trying to solve one individual puzzle. This can take up valuable time and resource. You should nominate one team member to keep track of the larger picture. This involves keeping track of what objects have been found, what objects are still needed and which clues and puzzles need to be solved. This tactic can allow you to skip over some of the smaller steps of the escape game.
Apply Occam’s Razor
All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one.
Don’t over think the puzzles or clues in an escape game. Whilst escape rooms are designed to have a level of difficulty, they are also designed to be fun for a large range of people. This means usually you do not require any prior knowledge, experience or be able to come up with a convoluted explanation for anything.
For example if the puzzle is asking for the answer to 1 + 3 then you should try 4 rather than chicken! Every escape game has that “Aha!” moment when you discover the correct approach which is usually the simpler solution.
Wear a watch
A wristwatch is potentially the only item you will be allowed to take into the escape room and use during the game. This is to prevent anyone cheating or taking shortcuts rather than anything else.
A watch however will prove very useful, allowing you to keep track of how much time has passed or how much time has been spent on a particular puzzle. A watch that has a light function or an LCD screen can prove even more useful in a dimly-lit room.