If you're looking for something fun and different to do on a Saturday night, an escape room is an excellent break in the usual routine. Escape rooms are basically live-action versions of escape-the-room style video games – along with a group of friends or strangers, you find clues and solve puzzles that reveal a secret. Take a look at some tips that can help you be successful in your first escape room experience:
Spread Out and Speak Up
One common thing that happens in an escape room is that once someone finds a clue or a puzzle, everyone else gathers around to see it. This may be a natural instinct, but it's a waste of valuable time and resources. When everybody bunches up to figure out one clue, that's time that some of the group could be spending looking for one of the other clues.
Of course, you never know which person in the group might have the skills to figure out the clue you're looking at. So you definitely want to let the rest of the group know when you've found something. When someone in your group locates a clue or thinks they have, they should call it out. If you've found a hieroglyphic message and someone in your group has experience with hieroglyphics, you definitely want that person to come over and help. The rest of the group can keep searching.
Bring a Pen and Notepad
It's important to keep track of things that you find in the room. The clues and puzzles will be connected to each other, so you'll probably have to move things around. However, knowing where you found a particular clue may be important to solving the final puzzle as well, so you don't want to forget.
A pen and small notepad can be invaluable for noting what you found and where you found it. Many people won't think to bring a pen and paper, so you can be a valuable member of the team just by showing up prepared.
Don't Let the Clock Paralyze You
You only have a limited amount of time – usually an hour – to solve the puzzle and escape the room. Usually, the escape room has a countdown clock on the wall to let you know how much time you have left. However, the clock can be more of a hindrance than a help. It's easy to become panicked or paralyzed while you watch how quickly your time slips away.
Your best bet is probably to ignore the clock. Knowing how much time you do or don't have left is probably not going to help you solve the puzzle any faster; it's only going to distract you. Spend your time on the puzzles. That way, whether or not you solve it, you'll know that you didn't waste any of your precious time watching the seconds tick away.
Remember, a successful escape room experience is one where you felt challenged, had fun, and managed to work well with your team. It's definitely fun to win the game, but even if you don't, you'll leave having learned something you can use the next time you play.