Everyday life may offer some opportunities to prepare yourself for an escape room. Learning how to solve puzzles in your free time can be great for preparing your brain and training your problem-solving skills. If you have a job where you have to work in teams, or you play a team sport, you might already have the important communicative skills it takes to work together efficiently. All this is great and will help you during the game, but it certainly won’t cover all bases.
Therefore, another great way to prepare yourself for this sort of game is to inform yourself about how it works, for instance by reading this blog!
Things to consider before visiting an escape room:
- getting a good start is important if you want to finish the game successfully before time runs out;
- working as a team is the most important thing when it comes to playing an escape room. Don’t think about it as a competition for first place;
- there is no one winner, you either all win or you all fail. Of course, a little competition between teammates to see who can solve a riddle faster is fine and can actually help speed up the game;
- however, you should not be hiding any clues or keep any important info from your teammates in order to get ahead of them. This will be harmful to the entire team and could slow down the game unnecessarily or even lead to losing the game;
- winning is still the goal of this game, as is with most games, but everybody is on the same side.
At the escape room
It’s getting serious. You have gathered together and you are ready to give it your best.
Depending on whether you are going to be paired up with another group or not, you might want to get to know your teammates a little bit before you start playing. Knowing people’s names will be very helpful, especially if the escape room is dark and has many corners, or perhaps even more than one room. As it is with all team efforts, communication is the way to success.
Selecting a leader
While this may not work for all teams, it can be advisable to select a leader. If, for instance, you have somebody in your team who has already built up a lot of experience playing escape rooms, they might be your best choice because they will have developed a sort of instinct for finding hints and solving puzzles. If all of you have the same amount of experience, may that be a lot or none at all, perhaps you could choose a person that has good motivational and organizational skills, who can divide the group according to the different tasks and challenges that need to be worked through inside the escape room and who can give directions which everyone can follow.
If somebody is a natural leader and takes the initiative, the rest of the group can follow them, provided they all agree and the person in charge is a worthy candidate.
Skills and strengths
Once you are inside the escape room and the countdown is running, the brain switches into performance mode, and under the pressure, it can be difficult to keep in mind this simple concept – Know Your Strengths.
Every member of the team has their own strength, whether it’s logical thinking, a knack for puzzle solving, or out-of-the-box thinking to find those impossibly hidden clues.
Find out what your strengths and those of our teammates are and put them to good use.
If there is a leader, they must decide how to divide up the team and which tasks should be tackled by which members.
Opening your mind to unconventional ideas and possibilities is essential if you want to be able to find solutions for the more complicated or confusing riddles you will come across during the game. Sometimes you need to think outside the box, so however crazy your idea might seem, try it! You might be surprised at the results.
Another important skill is logical thinking. Whatever objects you may find, consider their usefulness for the game and think about how you can combine them with other things, or which other items you might need to find in order to use them properly. A classical example of this is lock and key. You find an ornate, old looking key, you want to start looking for a similar lock.
Apart from these important attributes, some historical knowledge, some basic maths, a healthy amount of general knowledge and of course, some good old common sense will always be helpful for these types of games.
Find a partner
Another thing that will give you an advantage is to find a partner. Sharing your ideas with the entire group can often be difficult, as everyone will be talking over each other and whatever you say might get lost in the noise. If you are working with a partner, you can exchange ideas and information on a more intimate level and work towards solving a problem together. Even if one of you is doing most of the work, it can still be helpful to have somebody to share ideas with or to simply motivate you during the game.
Of course, you still have to share important discoveries or ideas with the group, so the team leader should make sure to call everyone together at certain points during the game to report on the progress they are making and to help each other out.
Sometimes the entire team has to work together in order to solve a puzzle.
If the escape room you chose to play has a horror theme, you might find out you are not as brave as you thought you were. The most important thing is this case is to stay calm. Find a partner who can stay by your side and make you feel safer and remember that it is just a game and nothing bad can actually happen to you. As far as preparation goes, you can, of course, try to build up some resistance by watching horror movies or tv shows. Visiting a ‘Haunted House’ at an amusement park could also be helpful, but you might not always have the opportunity.
Of course, there are many different themes for escape room games so if it’s all too much for you, you could try to convince your teammates to pick a different option. There will always be some excellent alternatives that will be fun for everyone.
Being prepared before playing an escape room is a great way of making sure that you have a fun experience, but even if it’s a spontaneous visit and you are an absolute beginner, the most important thing is to remain calm and to trust in your abilities. Work well with your teammates and don’t be afraid to contribute your own ideas and you will have a great adventure.