If you haven’t been to an escape room before, entering might give you an overwhelming feeling. Since it is a new environment, it is hard to know what to do and especially how to do certain things. In our previous blogs, we talked about tips and tricks that can help you to escape from a room, but this time we are going to focus on the clues you need to search for once you got locked. Dr. Scott Nicholson, professor, designer, and architect of the Red Bull Escape Room World Championship. As an expert, he has shared a couple of advice regarding the things you need to find in basically any escape room. Let’s see what he suggests, shall we?
This might be the most obvious to find, yet the hardest to open up due to the number of possible combinations on each lock. Among the various types, the easiest ones to open are the ones that open with a key - the only thing you have to is finding that specific key that opens that specific lock. The second on the difficulty list are the ones with 3 or 4 digit codes. There are also locks that you can up with a combination of letters and numbers that are written somewhere in the room. There are also dial-up locks you can open up with a combination of three numbers by turning it clockwise or counterclockwise. Among the rare locks, we can find ones that you can open with a specific pattern, or with a code containing from 2 to 10 numbers.
A pro tip from experienced players would be that if you cannot find the last digit or number that opens up a lock, just try all your options, usually, there are only 10 of them.
If you escape from a room, you will see a lot of codes written in a lot of places: walls, inside books, under the table, behind doors, etc. If you see a bunch of dots and lines, most probably you have to solve the code by using a morse guide that can be also found in the room - if you know them by heart, easier for you! But pay attention to a blinking line, or if you can hear beeps - that could be your morse code on repeat as well! If you see dots organized in a rectangle shape - most probably that is something written in braille. And lastly, if you see a set of numbers, think if those numbers could be allocated to the letters of the alphabet.
Most probably every escape room has at least one riddle that your team has to solve. There are several ways to hide a message in a letter, for example, so examine it well, if you have found one! A hidden message could be written in bold or italic - those are quite simple to find. However, it is also possible to hide a message by misspelling words that make up a phrase or to write them with capital letters. It is also possible that reading each second word will give you a clue, or that the first word of each line or sentence will give you the answer.
Clues are also often hidden in patterns. If you see a triangle, an octagon, and a square next to each other, it might hide the number combination of 384. Numbers and letters can be given by using the old digital format that we used to see on clocks a lot. Look for patterns and see if they are hiding a number or any message. Since escape rooms are made for everyone, these patterns are not supposed to be that difficult to solve.
Listen carefully to the host before you escape from a room
Listening to the host who will tell you the rules and general information of the escape room you are about to enter is very important. Often the given brief includes some hints or key information you need to know in order to escape, so listen carefully and keep their words in your mind when you escape. If you have a question about the room, do not hesitate to ask!
Don’t forget, escape rooms were made to have fun and train your brain a bit. The goal, of course, is to escape, but it is also important that you enjoy the time spent locked in with your friends and/or family. If you feel stuck at some point in the game, don’t be shy and ask the host for a little help, they are there to guide you if needed.