In Part I of the Ocean State Escape guide to beating an escape room, we revealed to you a few ways you can prepare yourself for your escape room challenge in the days leading up to your booked date.
But, like we said at the end of Part I, we don’t stop there.
In Part II, we’re going to reveal a few things you can do on the day of your escape, when you’re at the escape room itself, waiting for your slot to begin.
And, towards the end, we will even outline a few things you can do after stepping inside the room.
So, it’s E-Day (Escape Day). You’ve arrived at Ocean State Escape (or, indeed at whichever escape room you’ve booked) well ahead of your time slot.
Is there anything you can do while you are waiting for your turn to boost your chances of getting your name on the leaderboard?
Make sure everybody knows everybody else on the team
Your team may well include people who’re unacquainted (if you opt for a public booking) or people who’re not very well-acquainted.
In either case, the entire team needs to make sure everybody can call out to people in a split second.
Communication is key to winning an escape room challenge and it will not be good if team members can’t call each other the moment they spot something useful or they need help.
And no, ‘Oi, guy in red shirt!’ is not an alternative to ‘Oi, Pete!’.
Select a team leader
A team leader is critical to roles being assigned to team members and to disputes being resolved.
Sometimes, a leader emerges of their own, simply by engaging in leaderlike behaviour (is that person you?).
If not, you need to agree on somebody being the team leader.
I will refer back to the team leader being agreed on in a while.
Split up into teams
Most escape rooms will not have markers saying ‘Start here’ and showing you what to do one after another.
So, you need to split up into teams and look for clues and puzzles. So you can fan out across the room, covering more space.
Remember who’s skilled in what
Some puzzles and tasks may be general in nature.
But some may call for specialized skills like numerical skills, pattern recognition skills and hand-eye coordination.
Once you have determined whether such a special skill is needed, it is always good to have the person who is good with that particular skill handling that particular task.
So, it would be good if you can list out who on the team is good with what.
While you’re doing all that, your escape slot arrives. You are ushered into the escape room and the countdown begins.
Be positive and remain calm
It’s natural to start panicking once you’re actually inside the room and the clock starts ticking.
However you can’t give in to that. You must remain calm, break up into team as planned earlier, fan out and start looking for clues.
Check whether you’ve got a team leader
Earlier, I said that you need to agree on a certain person being the team leader.
Now you gotta make sure that that person is up to the job of being team leader.
It should be the team leader who’s asking team members to stay calm, take a deep breath and fan out across the room.
If your leader isn’t doing all that, you need someone else to lead and inspire you.
Divide and conquer
Divide the entire hour into slots of 10-15 minutes and keep a watch on progress.
Remember the Red Bull Mind Gamers world championship I kept referring to in Part I? Their final round had an escape mission divided into a few section.
And each team had 10-15 minutes to complete each section. If they couldn’t complete a section, they were let through to the next one. They were ranked based on how much progress they made in each section.
Although that obviously won’t happen at almost any escape room (it certainly doesn’t here at Ocean State Escape) it does indicate the importance of remaining on your toes and maintaining momentum.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
If you are allowed hints, go for them!
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. You will be appreciated for making it out in time. You will not be appreciated for not asking for help even though you couldn’t find a way forward.
And above all, have fun and enjoy yourselves!
Remember, you are there to have one hell of a good time. So, do that!
Ocean State Escape wishes you all the best in your escape room endeavors!