A First-Timer’s Guide to Escape Rooms

So you’re thinking about going to an escape room for the first time – congratulations, you just discovered a whole new level of entertainment. If you like puzzles and racking your brain, escape rooms can easily become your new favourite pastime.

But how should you prepare for your first escapade to an escape room? Is it even possible to be prepared when you do not exactly know what you will be facing? With this short guide, you’ll learn the ropes in advance, what to do and what not to do, saving you time when the game actually starts. Follow this advice, and you’ll become an escape room master in no time!

What exactly are escape rooms? Are they scary?

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The history of escape games points back to similar stories in different countries. USA, Japan and Hungary – all three have been pioneers of the escape games industry inspired by video games and trainer theories.

Even though in each country a different concept was used, and the escape room concept has developed a lot since, some elements were and remained the same: find clues, solve puzzles, think logically and benefit from teamwork in order to get out of a room you have been locked into.

There is a common misconception that escape rooms are always scary and creepy, spooking customers that might’ve actually loved the experience. While it’s true that some escape rooms might feature horror or thriller themes, not all of them do.

In fact, many escape rooms in Manchester are more about puzzles than they are about adrenaline. Most of them will feature finding keys and codes, as well as assembling various objects and machinery together. If you’re looking for something more thrilling, you’ll definitely find options with a spooky twist to it.

Before choosing an escape room, consult with your teammates – after all, it’s best you agree on the theme so that you can all enjoy the experience.

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Can you prepare to an escape game at home?

Yes, of course! Before coming to the actual game, we suggest you going through one of our online escape room games so you can get familiar with tasks that you might encounter in the physical game. Also being familiar with simple puzzles and riddles can help you a lot, so you can definitely be comfortable solving them once in the room.

Listen carefully during the briefing

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Before every escape room, you’ll get a description and intro into the scenario you’ll be playing. Some escape rooms like to give the briefing already in-character, while others only give you some general information about the game – you’ll have to find out the rest yourself.

You should also read the backstory of your scenario on the escape room’s website if they have one – it’ll give you a better idea of what you might expect during the game, and potentially, clues that will help with some puzzles.

When searching for the best escape room offers, check out Code to Exit’s escape rooms, where Andras and Zoltan will take you through intense puzzles on an hour-long journey through your chosen scenario. We offer unforgettable memories and affordable prices, in addition to various discounts.

Keep your search organized

It’s very easy to lose track of your progress when solving puzzles under time pressure, especially when working with a haphazard team. A great way of making steady progress is to divide the room you’ll be playing in into separate areas. Assign a couple of teammates into each area, so that they can be nearby to help each other, but they can still each solve different puzzles.

Don’t just clump in one area – make sure you spread your search out. The more ground you cover, the higher the chance you’ll find the next clue. When one of you finds something interesting, immediately notify the others – who knows, maybe that thing is the solution to a puzzle someone’s just been working on?

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If you’ve used items, set them aside. Group together all already found objects in one place. This organization will allow the other members of your team to progress and see more clearly. During the game, do not hesitate to divide the tasks between yourselves. There is no point in all being on the same puzzle. Just ask for help if you get stuck.

If you’re stuck and can’t seem to figure out the next step, most escape rooms give you a certain amount of hints you can use. Don’t waste the hints, though – save them only for when you really need it. If you’d like some extra challenge, you can establish with your friends before the game that you won’t be using any hints.

What to look for in escape rooms?

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Finally, let’s see what are the things that you will most probably need to find in an escape room in order to get out. Since you are locked in a room, it might not be surprising, that you will need to be looking for locks. But finding them is only partial success, you will have to figure out how to open them. The easiest ones open with keys that you can find hidden somewhere in the room. Locks that open with a digit code are more difficult to open, mostly the numbers are hard to gather, or cannot be seen with a naked eye. Get creative when you are looking for the information you need! Another common type of locks is the dial-up one. You might have the right numbers, but it is easy to make a mistake by turning the lock clockwise or counter clockwise. A pro tip to open locks 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.

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An escape room is usually also full of codes. The thing is: anything could be a code, but players often make a mistake by thinking something in the room is a code when it is not. You will be able to recognize codes better once you have played enough games! Codes can really be anywhere – written on paper, on the walls, in a computer, it can also be a sound or a flashing light. Morse codes are often part of an escape game, knowing the morse code system can be an advantage. Some escape rooms also use braille or numbers that indicate a letter in the alphabet. It is important to keep your eyes open and pay attention.

Riddles are also very common in escape rooms. It can be implemented in the briefing before entering the room, or a letter you find inside. If the interpretation of the text does not really make any sense, look for misspelled words, random words starting with a capital letter, look at every second word and so on. The point is to use your creativity and figure out what could be the hidden message.

Clues to escape can also be found in patterns. For example, if you see a triangle, an octagon, and a square next to each other, it might hide the number combination of 384. However, do not overthink it, escape rooms are made to be a fun experience for everyone, so these patterns cannot be extremely difficult to decipher!
If you are ready to start your journey as an explorer of escape rooms, click here!