How to escape an escape room

Keep your eye on the task at hand, keep the team together and keep the momentum going

If you’re a regular follower of Express Digest, you may already know what an escape room is.

Now the challenge is to find out how you can win it.

How can you escape an escape room before time runs out…and preferably faster than anybody else ever has?

There are two ways to escape an escape room – fast.
One is to partake of some Dutch courage…you will be ejected from the premises even before you have a chance to enter the game.

The other is to follow the Winning Trifecta

● Keep your eye on the task at hand
● Keep the team together
● Keep the momentum going

Good so far? Well, allow me to make it even better.

Let me lay out for you six steps you can follow – 2 in the days leading up to your booked date, 2 before you enter the escape game and 2 for during the game – to boost your chances of escaping fast.

Let’s proceed chronologically.

First of all come the days leading up to your booked escape date.

1. Banish all thoughts of personal achievement

Whatever achievement is made in an escape game situation is due to the capacity of the entire team.
So, any thoughts like ‘time for me to shine’ or ‘I’ll stick it to Tom’ need to go out the window.
You need to work together as a team. Achievement needs to be share among the team; just as blame cannot be assigned to any single person.
All for one and one for all!

2. Start thinking out of the box

Escape rooms are known for instigating creative thinking and building capacity to innovate.
Try to look at mundane, everyday objects and think up alternative uses for them, especially those that are a bit out of the way and even a little odd.
For example, a coin could be used to weigh something down delicately. A pen could be use to support an ill-fitting key in a lock.

And then the day arrives.

The team assembles at the escape room location and starts signing in and briefed.
These are the 2 things you need to get done before stepping into the room.

1. Ensure everyone is on first name terms

This might sound laughable if you’re a group of friends…but trust me, in a crunch situation a lot of things don’t happen the way you expect…including remembering the names of your friends.
And if it’s a public room and you’re paired up with other players, it’s absolutely essential for all the players to get acquainted with each other.
Communication is essential to win, and for that everybody should know everybody else by the first name.

2. Split up into two-person teams

Divide and rule.
Split up into multiple small teams and start tackling different parts of the escape room.
Gradually you will need to come together since a lot of the puzzle design is linear but it always makes sense to split up and explore different areas of the game simultaneously to start with.

And when you’re inside the room

1.Select a team leader

The team leader is needed to resolve conflicts, assign different puzzles to different teams.
And they also perform another crucial function which I will discuss right now…

2.Maintain momentum

This is keeping tabs on the overall progress and ensuring that fatigue isn’t setting in or the team doesn’t get stuck at a bottleneck.

The entire time is divided into slots of 10 or 15 minutes each.
And if the number of tasks completed in one slot is much smaller than in the previous one(s), the team leader knows it’s time to switch teams.

These tips and tricks should not only help you crack escape rooms but also to succeed as a team generally in your everyday lives.