Is this just another one of those meaningless ‘you need to communicate well with your team’ kind of ‘encouragement’ blog posts that are a dime a dozen?
Nope, not by a long shot.
The Ocean State Escape guide to winning an escape room challenge gives practical, useful advice drawn from our own experience and our observing of various teams negotiating their way through our escape room.
So, you’ve decided to go on an escape room challenge. You’ve chosen your team, set the date and booked your slot.
The days to your escape room challenge slowly go by.
What can you do in this time to prepare yourself for the challenge and boost your chances of beating the clock?
Start thinking in terms of ‘we’ and not ‘me’
An escape room is a team effort, period.
This is not just a cosmetic piece of advice but something that is pretty concrete.
If you keep thinking ‘I need to win’ or ‘I need to show everyone how skilled at riddles I am’, things like collaborating with your team members and sharing information will not come naturally to you when you’re in the escape room.
At the Red Bull Mind Gamers global escape room championship, every single task required team collaboration. Teamwork in an escape room is that important.
Now, if this sounds obvious, it kind of is. However, when you step inside an escape room for the first time, the clock starts ticking and you are acutely aware of the stakes, common sense goes out the window.
Train yourself to think analytically…
What exactly is analytical thinking?
Well, analytical thinking means adopting a step-by-step approach to your thought process and arriving at your final answer through a series of logical conclusions.
Let’s take an example.
At the Red Bull Mind Gamers global escape room championship that I referred to earlier, there was a challenge involving a door that could be opened by entering a particular symbol. The challenge was to find the symbol.
Here would be one way of analytically figuring it out
- Looking around the room, you would be able to observe a symbol that was appropriately weird for it to be part of the solution.
- Further looking around the room you would see a chair in front of a mirror. Neither had been used in the escape mission till then.
- If you sit down in the chair, you can see the mirror image of the weird symbol.
- The mirror image can be reasonably inferred to be the door opening symbol.
It’s not a particularly smart piece of analytical thinking but I think you see what I’m driving at.
On the other hand, creative thinking means thinking in a way you don’t usually.
One of the finalist teams at the Red Bull Mind Gamers championship used this to great advantage.
A task they had to tackle involved re-arranging a number of cylinders in a particular order. The cylinders were quite large and placed in slots along a panel.
What this team did was – instead of re-arranging the cylinders on the panel, they placed all the cylinders on the floor, arranged them in order (easier and faster than if they’re in the slots) and then proceeded to place them on the panel.
A creative solution, one that saved time and effort – and one the game creators themselves admitted to not having thought of when they were designing the game.
And as (hopefully) you do all that, the days keep going by and E-Day arrives.
Escape Day – the day you’ve been waiting for.
You and your friends meet up and arrive at the escape room nicely ahead of your time slot.
And that is where our guide ends, and you’re on your own from thereon…Not.
The Ocean State Escape guide to winning an escape room challenge doesn’t end here.
Part II of this guide will focus on things you can do once you’re at the escape room, waiting your turn. And even some bonus tips on how best to proceed once you’re inside the room…