Escape Room Tips for Winning
The Basic Tips for Winning
Before you enter the room designate a leader. "Too many cooks spoil the broth", right? If everyone gives instructions it's the same as no one giving instructions. Choose a team leader. Optionally you can organize your puzzle solving groups ahead of time.
Participants immediately begin exploring and observing the items in the room, speaking out loud the possible clues they see. Start with the most obvious places first, then get creative about where you look all the while speaking out loud. Everyone in your group starts the game this way, speaking out loud as they go around the room. The walls may be decorated with "normal-looking" pictures, within the themed artwork there may be numbers, symbols or images. Everyone immediately begins observing and calling out what they see. As the game and time progresses individuals or several small groups try to solve puzzles, but don't let observation stop.
After the whole group has gone around the room several times, the leader calls together the smaller puzzle solving groups; optionally they may form naturally, and they begin working on puzzles. This is also done out loud. Several smaller puzzle solving form connecting the dots, and developing leads, asking questions out loud. The leader gets the small groups formed and on task. Diversity is a strentgh and an important tip in putting the smaller problem solving groups together. If you organize your puzzle groups ahead of time, assign people with varying backgrounds, culture, age and gender evenly.
Verbalizing the problem-solving process or shouting out questions may seem like it would create chaos, but this is really an important tip for winning escape rooms. As new details are noticed these new facts should be made known to the large group in hopes that someone may find it useful, or notice a connection the smaller group doesn't notice.
Limit puzzle solving in size to two, three or four people. The leader should help get the teams formed in the right size. Too many people focusing on one puzzle is a waste of time. If there are too many people hovering around one problem the leader should suggest a couple people move to another puzzle.
Listen to the music -- Music is often a clue. It might be the year the song came out; it might be the artist; it might be lyrics; it might be the style.
Listen to the Gamemaster -- The gamemaster will give hints to help you along, but don't wait for the hint to come, ask for hints and tips.
Don't get bogged down -- If it doesn't come right away move on to something else. Don't overthink. The solution should is usually in the set of clues. If a small group is taking too long the leader should suggest they move on to something else while keeping this puzzle in mind. Often a little break will lead to a breakthrough when they come back to it.
Make a "Used Pile" -- Once an item is used to solve a clue put it in a discard pile. This prevents others from reconsidering it as they work on their puzzle.
Tips for Winning Attitudes
Attitude. Ever heard the saying "Attitude is everything"? In terms of winning tips for winning escape rooms, attitude is one of the biggest factors.
1) have fun
2) be positive
3) don't stress out
These three aspects of attitude will contribute to your success more than anything else.
1) Fun. The most successful people at anything enjoy what they do. "When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. --Joe Namath", "It's kind of fun to do the impossible. --Walt Disney", "I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun. --Thomas A. Edison". According to Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, "There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, there are better outcomes..." So "having fun" is important to productivity, but it's also catching. Your teammates will pick up on it and your whole team will benefit. So above all, have fun.
2) Be positive. It's a well known principle in every aspect of life... you get more done with a positive approach. A positive approach to a problem is catching, and others pick up on it and begin reflecting the same drive and enthusiasm. Squash those negative thoughts and words as soon as they appear. The leader should gently guide the discussions in a positive way and gently remind nay-sayers to keep it positive and all ideas are welcome. Catch the positive vibes yourself. "Believe you can and you're halfway there." --Theodore Roosevelt; "Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results." --Willie Nelson; "In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision." --Dalai Lama; "Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier." Gen. Colin Powell.
3) Don't stress out. Stress inhibits creativity. If you are hyper this stress will be passed on to the other members of your team. Of course the goal is to escape, but really the best tip is to just make the goal be to have fun with your friends! Being overly goal-orientation creates a level of stress which inhibits creativity which you need in order to succeed at your goal. The leader should personally exhibit a stress-free approach, smile, laugh, which will be "catching" among the group. The key is to have fun. Make fun your goal, not escape. You are there to have fun, while doing an activity which is seeking clues and piecing them together to solve a puzzle. It all leads to escape, but the goal is to have fun.
The Most Important Tips for Winning Escape Rooms
1) Observation. Developing your own personal observation skills not only helps in escape rooms you'll find benefits in many areas of our daily lives. Keen observation and associating what you observe with the the other objects is a key skill to winning. False Clues are a distraction, but don't let that hold you back from pointing something out. Just say it out loud and let the unproductive bunny trails go without a second thought.
2) Communication. The key to keeping communication open is to accept whatever is said in a positive and encouraging way. If an idea seems "dumb" to you that's fine, but don't shut it down. Let it float out there and see if it gets traction with anyone else. The "dumb" idea may not lead directly to anything, but if you let ideas spring from it, they may lead to new ideas that do lead to something. The key is don't shut anyone down for their idea or suggestion, take them all in equally and let them spring from one to the next.
3) Phases. There are two basic phases to winning at escape rooms: The observation/discovery phase, and the problem solving/puzzle phase. In the beginning of the session the group observes and reports what they see. The problem solving/puzzle phase begins when the leader begins to assign tasks to smaller puzzle solving groups.
4) Ask for Hints. The gamemaster is watching and listening. A hint at the right time may be the tip you need to escape.