Escape rooms are a great activity to do with a group of friends, your family, or as a team-building exercise with coworkers and teammates. The Puzzle Masters in residence here at Room Escape Fairfax cut no corners while building our 6 unique and immersive escape room experiences. To solve all the puzzles in one of our completely original and mind-challenging rooms, you’ll need a team that works together well. If you think you’re up to the challenge, check out these tips to give your team the best shot at solving the puzzle within the hour!
Play to Everyone’s Strengths
When you get into your escape room, be sure to do a survey of everyone’s strengths. Find out who’s good at math, who’s able to solve riddles, and who’s naturally organized. It’s especially important to do this if you’re playing with a group that you don’t know too well. You don’t want to spend ten minutes trying to solve a complicated math problem only to find out that one of your teammates has a PhD in Physics. Doing a quick tally of everyone’s strengths can save you loads of time as you try to solve the room’s puzzles.
Make Sure You’re Communicating
Communication is key, particularly in larger rooms designed for bigger groups like Save the White House. Every time you find a clue, be sure to shout it out to your teammates. Even if the clue ends up being a red herring, it’s important that everyone has a chance to look at the clue and think about what it means. Plus, the clue could end up connecting to something one of your teammates has found. If you don’t communicate with your teammates about what you’re doing, you risk missing a clue that’s vital for escaping the room.
Be Open to New Ideas
When you start working on a puzzle, you may feel like you need to finish it on your own. But if you’re not having any luck, call over one of your teammates and ask them to look the puzzle over. If you’re worried that this will hurt your pride, just remember that you’re all on the same team, and that your teammates are there to help you succeed.
Divide and Conquer
Teams that are new to escape rooms may be tempted to search the room together, working on all the same puzzles and looking over the same clues. If you do this, you probably won’t have enough time to find all the clues in the room. Also, if you’re all working on the same puzzle, you run the risk of having too many cooks in the kitchen. You may end up spending most of your time arguing about one puzzle rather than finding all the other clues that you need to escape. When the game begins, have everyone comb the room on their own or in pairs. Once you’re down to the last couple of clues, you can come together to solve the final pieces of the puzzle.
If you’re having trouble finding clues or solving puzzles, your group may begin getting irritated. This can especially be the case for groups doing smaller rooms like the massively popular Bowl Voyage, in Groups who get frustrated have a much harder time solving puzzles and finding the small clues that they need. If you do find yourself getting frustrated, pause for a moment. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind. If you see another one of your teammates getting annoyed, go over to them and see if you can help them out. Working together, you may be able to easily solve the problem.
As you search the room, you’ll pick up objects that could be clues. As you find these objects, be sure to keep them organized. Create piles for different types of objects, like books and keys. Also, have a set pile for objects that have proven to not be useful. If you don’t organize these piles, you may not be sure what’s a clue and what’s a red herring. When you reach the end of the game, you might not be able to figure out what’s what before your time is up.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Hints
Some teams feel like it’s cheating to ask for hints from the game master. This is a big mistake! The hints are there to help you, and they could be what you need to successfully escape the room. Each group at Room Escape Fairfax gets a minimum of 3 hints for a room. Try to use a few of your hints during the beginning of the game, when they’ll help you the most. Don’t wait until the end when you’re panicking about how little time you have left. Before you ask your questions, be sure to confer with your teammates to see which hints will be most helpful for everyone involved. This way, you’ll be able to get the most use out of these hints.
Be Patient with Each Other
If you’re near the end of the game and one of your teammates is having trouble solving a puzzle, you may find yourself getting impatient with them, and it might be hard not to hurry them along. But patience is important in an escape room—instead of insisting that your teammate hurries up, let them have an extra minute or two to work on the puzzle. This could be the key to solving a particularly tricky puzzle or clue like those found in our most uniquely challenging room, Molly’s Horror Room!
Above all else, escape rooms are supposed to be fun. To make the experience enjoyable, stay positive even when you’re stuck on a tough clue. Encourage your teammates and celebrate with them when they solve a puzzle. Enjoy every victory you have in the escape room. This way, even if you don’t escape before time is up, you’ll still have fun together.
The Key to Escape Room Success
Escape rooms are tons of fun, but they can also get frustrating if you’re team isn’t working well together. To get the best escape room experience possible, make sure your team is communicating effectively, have everyone play to their strengths, and stay organized. By doing this, you’ll have a much better chance of successfully escaping your room, and you’ll have a great time while you’re escaping!