We have all been there in an escape room: we are on a roll with puzzles being solved left, right and centre, and then suddenly – stuck. No matter how experienced you are at playing escape rooms, sometimes a puzzle can stump you. But do not despair, getting stuck doesn’t have to be the end of your fun! Here are some handy tips with how to get out of that rut and back to solving:
#1) Have another look around.
Often the main cause of being stuck in an escape room is that you don’t have all the information. Whether you know you are missing something or not, having another look around may yield that crucial piece of information that ties it all together and gets you back on your solving streak. Double checking your searching can be useful in other ways too – even if you don’t spot something related to the puzzle you are stuck on, familiarising yourself with other props, information and the location of locks might mean you avoid getting stuck later on in the room.
#2) A fresh pair of eyes
It is very easy to get stuck in one way of thinking. An example of this is when my partner and I were visiting an escape room and we found four different coloured objects. We worked out quickly that each object translated into a number, the only problem is we couldn’t figure out the order. We assumed the order would be colour related, and looked high and low for those colours. When we asked for a clue we were prompted that the order was actually written on the objects. We were so focused on looking for colour we completely missed what was in front of us. Having someone else take a look can be really helpful, they will have a fresh way of thinking and are more likely to spot details others have disregarded.
#3) Work backwards
Sometimes it can be helpful to work backwards, what is it you need from the puzzle? Is it to release an item – for example a key from a maze? If so, where is the end of the maze? If you work backwards from the end to the start is the route easier to spot?
Or do you have a padlock that needs a certain number of digits? Could the puzzle yield these? Once you know what it is you are aiming for it can be easier to see the path to get there.
#4) Bonus Tip – Remember you can always ask for a clue!
If you have tried all the tips above and you still cannot work out the answer it may be time to ask your games host for a hint. When you play each of our escape rooms you will always have a friendly dedicated host on hand to offer clues. Each room has its own thematic clue system, and your host will explain how to use these before you play the game. Our hosts are trained in the art of giving just the right amount of information, allowing you to solve the puzzle yourself without giving everything away. So don’t worry you will still get that amazing ‘ahah!’ moment for every puzzle you solve!