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Escape Room Dos and Don'ts (According to a Game Master)

Want to get the most out of your escape room experience? Not sure what to expect? Afraid of being “that guy”? We’ve got you covered! Check out these helpful tips from a Game Master on what to do (and what not to do) when you come to play.

DO

  • DO come prepared. Put on your thinking cap (figuratively or literally), do some Sudoku, meditate, memorize the room description. Whatever works for you. I’d recommend that you eat and hydrate beforehand (no food or drink allowed in the room, sorry!), use the restroom, and get PUMPED.

  • DO listen carefully to instruction. Assume that any information your Game Master gives you is vitally important, whether it’s rules, backstory, or helpful tips. This applies both before you go into the room and once you’re inside!

  • DO talk to your Game Master. We want to give every group the best experience possible. If you’re a hardcore group of escape artists who absolutely do not want any help, tell us! If it’s your first escape room and you wouldn’t mind a little extra help, that’s good to know, too. If you know what kind of game you want, it’s super helpful to communicate that to us. Similarly, if anyone in your group has difficulty seeing, hearing, standing for extended periods of time, or anything else relevant, please let us know. We’ll make whatever accommodations we can to ensure that everyone enjoys their game.

  • DO touch everything, unless you’re told otherwise. This is not a museum, it’s a hands-on experience! Pick things up, turn them over, open things, etc. You never know where a clue might be hiding.

  • DO ask for help! Most rooms have some kind of clue or hint system to let you ask for help when you get stuck. Use it! Almost every group that escapes our rooms uses at least one clue, and most use more than one. We give you three freebies, no strings attached, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

  • DO keep an eye on the clock. The hour will go MUCH faster than you expect. "Shortest hour of my life" is something we hear a lot from new players. If there is a timer or clock in the room, be sure to glance at it every now and then. And work quickly! A sense of urgency is absolutely key if you want to escape.

  • DO work together. Teamwork really does make the dream work here. Communicate with your teammates, whether it’s a group of your friends or a group of strangers. And remember, communication goes both ways; if you’re not listening, you’re not communicating.

  • DO have fun! One of the most important factors in whether or not a group escapes is, believe it or not, their attitude. At the end of the day, you’re just playing a game. Have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously. Whether you escape or not, you’ll still have a great experience.

DON’T

  • DON’T be late. Escape rooms operate on a strict schedule, especially on busy days, so if you’re not here on time we can’t guarantee you’ll get your full hour in the room. We want you to have as much time to play as possible, and you’ll want plenty of time before the game to fill out waivers, use the restroom, and go over rules. If you absolutely can’t make it on time, call and let us know! We’ll do our best to accommodate you.

  • DON’T cheat. If you’re asked not to use your your cell phone, don’t take it out. If you’re asked not to pick locks, don’t pick locks. You came here to solve our puzzles, and even if you’re totally fine with cutting corners, it’s really uncool to ruin it for everyone else. Everything that you need to escape the room is in the room. We promise.

  • DON’T overthink it. Occam’s Razor –– the simplest solution is usually the correct one. Kids often do very well in escape rooms because they’re less likely to bring in outside knowledge and overcomplicate a puzzle. If it’s not common knowledge and the information isn’t available in the room itself, it’s probably not relevant.

  • DON’T break our stuff. I have yet to hear of an escape room in which you actually need to rip up the carpet, climb up into the ceiling, knock a hole in the wall, break furniture, or stick anything that isn’t a plug into an electrical socket. I have, however, heard of players doing every one of those things. Likewise, if something is nailed to the floor or screwed into the wall, it’s probably supposed to stay there. If it can’t be easily reset within 10-15 minutes, it’s not the answer.

  • DON’T play under the influence. This one is more of a suggestion, but hear me out. You’re playing an hour-long puzzle game that requires logic and critical thinking skills, and most people don’t get better at those things when alcohol is introduced. If you’re coming straight from happy hour, I would stick to one or two drinks at most. You can always grab a celebratory cocktail after you play!

  • DON’T act inappropriately. Our rooms have cameras and microphones for us to monitor your game. It’s only creepy if you make it creepy. Please don’t make us watch you make out.

  • DON’T panic. While our rooms are "locked" for the purposes of the game, you’re never actually trapped inside. There is an emergency exit button in every room, and you are free to leave at any time. It doesn’t count as escaping the room, but it’s useful if something can’t wait until the end or if you start feeling claustrophobic.

  • DON’T get discouraged. Escape rooms are challenging! That’s what makes it so rewarding when you do escape. Most people will lose at least one escape room, so whether it’s your first or your fiftieth, try not to let it get you down. I lost the first room I ever played, and I’ve lost rooms since. There’s always the next one!