Ready to break record times? After watching hundreds of groups, we compiled our favorite tips and tricks. Take 1-minute to read the best tips from Cluemaster Escape Rooms (Gilbert, Arizona).
1) Check Every Square Inch
The first order of business when entering an escape room is to thoroughly examine the room to take inventory of the clues and tools available to you.
Rigorously examine all props.
Check every lock and all drawers and cabinets. Groups have had group get stuck for 15+ minutes (25% of their time!) because they didn’t realize a particular drawer was unlocked the entire time.
Look high, low, under, above, inside, and out.
Keep mental notes of clue locations, and pay attention to any oddities about the room.
As you take inventory of the room, don’t assume two props go together. Instead of trying to force two clues together, try to keep an eye on the larger picture.
Alert the group of any impediments, and note the style (ex: 3-digit lock, puzzle, password needed, riddle). Finding clues becomes easier after understanding what needs to be solved.
If you solve a puzzle, let everyone know and tell them how you did it. We have seen this too many times – a puzzle gets solved, but it isn’t communicated to the group so others are trying to solve that already-solved puzzle. This wastes time!
Say your ‘stupid’ ideas. We have had teams avoid weird ideas – only to find out it was correct.
Keep everyone involved and stay working as a team. We often see groups splinter into smaller cliques, which is a great way to multitask, but they forget to talk outside of their smaller clique.
Understand how group size affects communication. Smaller groups (ex: 4) have an easier time communicating. With larger groups (ex: 8) there is often a lot of screaming, with no progress being made.
3) Stay Organized
The more people in your group, the more organization matters because more players must be ‘in the know’ of what is happening.
Place blatantly obvious clues together so they can be easily accessed or ordered.
Use a discard pile to keep old clues apart from active game props.
Props are only used once so once you use it, it is done – unless otherwise noted.
You’re going to have a lot of creative ideas for solutions; however, most will be wrong (sorry!). Be sure to keep your wrong guesses organized too so you don’t regurgitate wrong ways of solving the puzzle.
4) Use Your Hints
You’re allowed to get hints – use them. Too many groups don’t ask for hints until it’s too late.
Don’t let pride get in the way. Here’s the typical scenario: “We’re so smart, we’re not gonna use any hints!” Then 25 minutes goes by, and nothing has been solved.
Understanding when your group is stuck is vitally important. Our best groups understand when they are stumped, get a small hint, then BAM! they’re rocking and rolling again.
At Cluemaster, we have 14-17 puzzles per game so you must be solving a puzzle every 5-minutes to escape…Yes, it’s very fast paced!
Put these tips into action – Book your escape room today!