Well, that’s one way to do it…

The number one question we get from players looking for advice before they get into the room is: “So, how do we win?”

I usually answer with some pithy joke: “Oh, I’m not falling for that one again,” or perhaps the obvious, “Get out of the room.”

But the truth is there is an answer to that question. There are ways to play an escape game that will give you and your team higher chances of success. These bits of advice might seem obvious at first but remembering them in the moment is what helps great players succeed.

Don’t Stress Out

No matter how much you scream you’re never going to yell that lock open.

Maybe, like many people, you consider yourself someone who “works well under pressure”? Let me tell you, it’s a rare attribute. Most of us don’t do as well as we think we would with the sound of a ticking clock counting away the seconds. If you’re not sure if the puzzle you’re working on is the last one, if the door you’re about to open leads to freedom or a whole other room, sometimes the pressure feel a little overwhelming.

It’s at these times that groups that can relax a little do best, groups that can take a breath and organize their thoughts without getting frantic or snapping. These games were never built to be life or death ordeals, and certainly never built to divide a team. Step back, take a deep breath, and can give it your best shot.

Lean On Your Teammates’ Strengths

Groups of people bring a natural diversity of strengths to the game, and it’s not always apparent which skills are going to come in handy in any given escape room. Because of this, it’s important to give everyone a chance at solving puzzles, whether you’re stuck on a difficult riddle or just breezing through complex tasks. Giving everyone a chance, setting them up for success, and raising the morale of the party will help everyone—and not just in the game!

If it’s your first time playing an escape room you may not even know your strengths yet. Letting every player take a shot at each type of puzzle doesn’t just boost your team’s confidence, it helps you assess which players will be best suited to similar tasks as the game progresses.

Communication Is Key

The clue you’re keeping a secret could be the last piece of another player’s puzzle.

In a game intentionally made to separate clues from answers, hints can lie in the strangest of places and we all only have so much focus. If you’re concentrating on a specific part of the puzzle or room and you fail to mention the clues you’ve found so far, even if they don’t seem important enough to mention, another member of your team may be missing something they need. Bring all your discoveries to light, after all, we hid them to give you that chance. Many experienced players will recommend announcing everything you find to the rest of your party as soon as you find it.

So there you have it, three solid tips to succeeding in an escape room. There’s nothing in an escape room that has never been beaten or cheated through, every puzzle is possible. The secret to success is a matter of staying organized, keeping on track, and using your resources appropriately. After that, victory is a cinch.