Escape room

Common Escape Room Mistakes

Maybe it’s a societal thing, but these days everyone seems to be focused on themselves. The individual takes precedence overall and the idea of sharing appears to have taken a back seat...

Maybe it’s a societal thing, but these days everyone seems to be focused on themselves. The individual takes precedence overall and the idea of sharing appears to have taken a back seat. You can see this behavior spill over into what should be shared activities. And that includes how the players behave in an escape room game. Having witnessed hundreds of games, played by a whole cross-section of different people, we can make some generalizations concerning why some teams fail constantly. Because the game master is viewing the game continuously as it’s being played, he gets to see, first hand, how things go to the dogs. As an unbiased observer, he’s able to see first hand the types of behavior that lead to certain failure. It’s not a problem with the team. It’s more down to the fact that most people simply don’t know how to be team players in the truest sense of the term and in moments of stress or pressure resort to their default setting of “me”.

Not Sharing Information

Whether it’s not wanting to share knowledge or simply hoarding information, it’s something that we see time and again. People want attention and glory. That’s not going to be so focused on a single individual in a team game. So some people just forget about the team aspects and go on their merry way alone. Without a commitment from every player towards the team, nothing is going to function well. Solutions need to be shared to help solve other puzzles. It’s often the case that one person will want to assume total control and start acting like a boss. When the other team members refuse to cooperate, then these alpha types just go off and do their own thing. 

The problem here is that each player is bringing something unique to the table. Some people are more logically minded. Some are more visual. Working as a team allows everyone to bring their special way of looking at the world to the game. Also, there’s a lot to keep track of as the game progresses, and it’s more than a single person can handle alone. So...if you’re one of those who likes to take charge, just take a step backward. Teamwork isn’t about having everyone do as you say. It’s about listening to each other. Encouraging new thinking and giving everyone the same platform to express themselves. Only by working as a team will all the solutions come into view. 

No Need to Argue

We see this a lot. And it often is connected with the above problem. As the clock counts down the time, there’s a genuine desire to complete the room before the time limit. Part of this is the immersive element of the game, leading players to believe that something drastic might occur should they fail in their endeavors. Tempers start to rise as the finish line comes into view. On many occasions, everyone is pulling the same clue in a hundred different directions. But losing your temper will not make the solution work, or help you leave the room any faster. Try to remain calm. That way you can be thorough in your actions. And, as you’re probably playing with friends or work colleagues, always try and be civil. Though you’ll have sweating palms, please remember that it’s just a game.

Not Enough Players

Most escape room games will need a minimum of at least 6 players. There’s a good reason for this. With 6, there’s enough room to work without feeling crowded. Also, the design of many games has enough puzzles and clues to keep 6 players busy. Any less in the number of players might well result in a lack of time to complete the whole course as it’ll be a struggle to process all the solutions in the limited time available. It's also a great number of people to bounce ideas off without it all descending into a free for all. 

Please Pay Attention to the Game Master at the Start

The game master is there to help ensure that you have the best time possible. His job is to make the game appear real and with real consequences. He’ll first show you where all the health and safety features of the premises. This is about the safety of your life, so please be sure to listen carefully. Then he’ll tell you the story behind the game. That'll give you a better understanding of what exactly you’re trying to achieve in the allotted time, and why the time is so important. Please pay attention to everything he says. There’s a reason why he’s telling you this stuff. Many times we’ve become aware that certain players didn’t pay close enough attention at the games briefing, as they later start making dumb moves in the escape room itself. Having to pay attention for a couple of minutes before the game starts, will make for a much more enjoyable experience. 

Trying to Solve Puzzles Too Soon

Look, we understand that you’re keen to get on with the game and start solving everything you can lay your hands on. But without all the relevant information, it’s going to be an impossible task. You can see that the lock requires 6 digits, so why not wait and do something else until the code is known. Don’t be a dufus and try and run through every possible lock combination. Instead, put it down and go do something useful. With escape rooms, the trick is to find out what you need, and then work backward to get it. Many players, in their nervous haste, forget about having a complete picture in their hands before they start to tray and decipher the locking in front of them. This is pointless. Don’t be afraid to put things down to come back to them later. 

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