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What NOT to Do in an Escape Room

 In Atlanta, Silver Spring

When describing an escape room to first-timers, we often describe what an escape room is and what we should do, and rarely focus on what NOT to do. This approach can leave a vague understanding of what you can really do while on your escape room adventure.

That’s because there are a ton of things in an escape room that you should avoid to keep your team from wasting time, or even accidentally damaging a clue. Knowing what NOT to do will be the deal-breaker on actually escaping in time!

So, let’s get right into it!

The Classic Escape Room Setting

In an escape room setting, it is important to know what kind of environment you’ll be getting into beforehand. Here are a few things you can expect from your common escape room:

  • An outwardly normal look – The best escape room makes you feel like you are in a real science lab, circus tent, office, or really any setting!
  • Locks, keypads, and sensors – Upon further inspection of the room, you will notice locked items and sensors around the room. Communicate clearly the number of digits your team is looking for on every lock you locate, then start searching for clues on how to get them open!
  • Books, nick-nacks, picture frames, and otherwise normal-looking objects – not to get off topic… but you actually CAN touch these things. They are oftentimes filled with useful information or even are the keys to unlocking the answers you seek. Be gentle – you will never need to use force!

What Not to Touch

Here come the rules! It is important for the safety of the guests and game guides to know what not to touch while you’re rummaging around in your adventure. Also, we are on a time crunch and the pressure is on! Your team can ensure no time is wasted if you know the rules before you go.

  • Wires or wall outlets (unless otherwise specified)
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Anything glued or nailed down
  • Anything that requires force to be picked up or moved
  • Heavy furniture
  • Any clues that are out of easy reach (You may not need to hold the clue – just look at it!)
  • Your cell phone – most times you won’t need it – pay attention to your intro as this is not the case in all of our rooms at BER

Keep in mind these hold true at Big Escape Rooms, and every escape room is slightly different. Your game guide will be there to answer room-specific questions you may have and give you an introduction at the location you are visiting.

What Not to Do

There is what not to touch, and there is also what NOT to do! Here is what NOT to do:

  • Stand on or move heavy furniture
  • Use force of any kind
  • “Sneak” clues out of their boxes or google answers – you are here to solve puzzles, not to cheat!
  • Pull-on or touch any wires or plugs
  • Take the game too seriously – we’re here for a good time, not a long time!
  • Avoid your clues – escape rooms are tough! Use your clues!

If you are not sure about something – just ask!

Remember – you can ask your game guide any question you have about the game during your experience without it counting as one of your limited clues!

Understanding Common Structures/Patterns in Escape Room Games

There are a few more things you shouldn’t do in an escape room that I haven’t mentioned yet. These next items are more about how escape games function and common things to look out for/avoid doing for optimal escape times. The games have a certain way they are played, and once you understand this, your escape abilities will increase 10 fold!

Escape Room gameplay: what NOT to do:

  • DON’T reuse used lock combos. Clues will generally help you open just 1 lock
  • DON’T reevaluate used clues. Just like codes, clues are only used once
  • DON’T move lock boxes and clues around the room. More often than not, your clues to get your code are in close proximity to the box it opens
  • DON’T guess answers. As an experienced game guide, I promise you this wastes a lot of time. Educated guesses fair better, but try to actually solve the puzzle if time allows. Escape games have been solved hundreds of times and there is a way!
  • DON’T solve the last digit of your code! Working on a puzzle where you need a four-digit code? Once you figure out the first 3 digits, try all numbers (1-9) in place of the last number until you uncover the last digit! This strategy works great for when you are down to the last seconds of the game
  • DON’T only work together – you will cover more ground and increase your chances of escaping if you split up! There is a lot to do in a short amount of time. Coordinating how to accomplish this is part of the team-building fun you find in escape games!

We hope you find these tips helpful! Let us know in the comment section below if there are any tips we may have missed. We would love to discuss escape room strategies with you! Happy Escaping 🙂

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