Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
Unless you and your teammates are all telepathically inclined, it would be nearly impossible to complete an escape room without communicating with one another. The more your team works together like a well-oiled machine, the faster you’ll move through all the clues and puzzles.
Share everything you find.
Don’t be shy when you find a clue or solve a puzzle.If you think you’ve discovered another clue or answered a riddle, shout it out! Though the room can be hectic at times, the teamwork will be more effective if you communicate what has already been solved. What you may be working on could directly correlate with another riddle your teammate is solving; or it may even direct you where to look for another clue. The possibilities are endless with what a solved clue can do for your team.
In most groups, at least one leader takes charge in delegating roles and creating a sense of order. While it’s good for someone to begin establishing order in a scenario requiring speed and concentration, that individual may unintentionally lead the team in the wrong direction. If you find yourself becoming that person, continue to help collaborate with your team but be careful by avoiding steering the team in the wrong direction.
Divide and conquer by splitting up!
This is a simple escape room strategy that will help move things along quicker. At the very beginning of your time in the escape room, quickly assess your surroundings and have a team huddle to figure out what areas each person will work on. An escape room could have any given number of clues. The sooner everyone is on the same page, the more efficient your team will work.
Don’t spend too much time on one clue or puzzle. It might be a red herring!
If half of your team is looking at the same clue and shouting out potential solutions, who else will help solve the other clues? Some escape rooms contain items, numbers, and artifacts meant as “red herrings” to distract you from the real clues. If you find a key or number that could crack a code, one or two people should work on that code while everyone else continues looking for other escape elements.
Watch the Clock.
Time flies when you’re trying to solve your escape room. Sixty minutes isn’t very long, and most of the groups that escape successfully make it with just a few moments to spare. You must make every second count and minimize idle time.
On hard clues, rotate who is figuring it out to keep a fresh set of ideas rolling. If you previously split up the room by assigning one person to a section, switch up the sections every ten minutes or so to ensure that everyone is keeping interest and solving clues.
Stay organized. Place all useful clues in the same spot!
An easy timewaster is misplacing a discovered clue. You could miss your escape because of spending those three extra minutes looking for that one misplaced lock, book, or number. Establish a clue table, chair, or shelf where everyone neatly places all the items found. Keep in mind that some clues and objects can be used more than once in a single room. That way, when you need something, you will know exactly where to find it.
Keep all used keys in their appropriate locks.
In most escape rooms, keys are never used more than once. To prevent forgetting which key belongs to an appropriate lock or accidentally re-locking it and not knowing the key’s whereabouts, keep the key inserted in the lock. This saves precious time and helps keep track of where you are.
Don’t forget the room’s theme!
Most of the clues you will find are related to the overall theme of your escape room. If you are trying to escape a casino, what elements in there would hide clues or keys? Like method acting, getting into character as you complete the escape room will help you find clues to crack the code and help your team escape. Well-designed games will have puzzles that relate strongly to the theme.
Arrive to your escape room early.
This may not seem like a helpful tip, but the more energy you spend rushing to your escape room in fear of missing your start time, the less mental and physical energy you will have when it matters most! Try to arrive at your escape room fifteen minutes early to prepare yourself mentally for the challenge ahead. If you know that you cannot concentrate on an empty stomach, try eating a meal before you come!
In addition, arriving late will reduce the amount of time your group has to finish the game!
Escapeworks has even been featured in the team-building press, including in Epic Team Building Denver and the Let’s Roam’s Team Building Blog.