An escape room or exit game is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms.
Some tips on playing escape rooms and exit games.
The more games you play, the better you will be! The first game you play, don’t expect to get out on time. As you play more games, and try out a variety of themes and styles, you will start to learn about how to look for clues and where to find them. You will understand the varieties of locks that are out there; reducing the time you spend just figuring out how to enter the answer into the lock. You’ll learn about word-number puzzles, and what parts of the room are made to move and which are not.
Choose your teammates wisely. You want to have a good mix of leaders and followers, those who prefer different types of puzzles, and people who are okay with yelling at each other! A lot of your success at an escape room game will come down to who is in the room with you. If you can interact with each other in high stress conditions, you should be fine. We definitely don’t recommend escape games for dates, particularly first dates.
If you are stuck on a puzzle and simply can’t figure it out, switch places with a group member. Fresh eyes are always important. Don’t be afraid to have someone try the lock once again. Comments of, “Oh I tried that already” don’t really work in escape rooms. Let someone else try as well! It might just make the difference.
Every puzzle master provides a set of rules and/or instructions before players begin. These may be given in the form of a paper you need to read, a speech, or a video to watch. Pay attention! These rules are important for a reason, and they may even give you some guidance on types of locks found inside the space. Unusual locks can trip people up, so if you hear the puzzle master mention something then listen!
Actors were part of the problem solving route - you just needed to ask the correct questions
Operation Secret Window - Aldershot 2021
The route took the players around the Town Centre of Aldershot
Actors from the 1920s recounted stories of Aldershot from 100 years ago.
Immersive actors who kept in character and period - had plenty of information about the Town
Most teams took one hour to complete the challenge
From the Casebook: Operation Secret Window
Especially created for Rushmoor Borough Council Operation Secret Window was an outdoor adventure game with escape room clues and immersive actors. The game utilised six window art installations created to celebrate the heritage of Aldershot Town Centre. Each window reflected a shop or business from the past one hundred years and the game involved players locating shops that stood one hundred years ago. By asking actors placed on the route relevant questions they could lead you to a shop that stood for over 150 years - a musical shop on Potters Corner. Most teams successfully completed the challenge in one hour. Special congratulations to team “Missing in Action” who completed the route in 37 mins! They had played Operation Secret Agent (a 1940s themed outdoor escape room) and attended the Heritage Tours Torchlight Tours had provided earlier that month. It pays to do your research!
(photos by Rushmoor Borough Council - Shaun Jackson)