Beat the Clock with Riddles, Clues, Hints, and a Strategy

Are you an adrenaline addict? How about the feel-good endorphins that come after exercise or an exciting or emotional experience? You don’t have to sky-dive or run a marathon to enjoy the thrill, suspense, and catharsis that comes with extreme sports or a horror movie. An escape room experience provides that delicious sense of urgency and anticipation as well as a surge of energy that makes you feel alive.

At Trapped Puzzle Rooms, our escape rooms are designed as winnable pressure-cookers. We turn up the intensity, but make sure you have the resources and support to handle the challenge. Escape rooms are fun group activities that hit your survival and competitive buttons while also requiring you to work together as a team.

The fun of having to beat the clock is a lot of what makes escape rooms so immersive and exciting. Here are some ways to maximize your escape room experience for optimal enjoyment.

Listen to the Intro Briefing

You might be tempted to tune out the facilitator’s introductory briefing, especially if you are a seasoned escape room enthusiast. But unlike airline safety announcements, an escape room briefing is not the same script every time. Sure, there are some similarities, but pay attention to how the facilitator explains the room’s premise and instructions. Often, there are subtle hints about what to look for, how a puzzle comes together, or where to look – if you’re paying attention.

Create a Strategy

Create a strategy

After the intro briefing, quickly chat among your team to create a strategy. You want to think about assigning tasks or creating zones in the room. You also want to spend a couple of minutes asking each participant what strengths they bring and also what they don’t like to do. Then you’ll have a better idea of how to divide up the tasks and complement everyone’s varying knowledge and abilities to round out your team.

Embrace the Strategy of Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are puzzle-solving on adrenaline, but when they are at their best, they are strategy games. You’re playing against the clock, and you have to solve specific puzzles, but you’re also going head-to-head with the strategic minds of the escape room creators. If you can think like they did when creating the room, and pick up on the way the individual puzzles work together as a system, you’ll be more successful at solving.

You’ll also enjoy that strategic chess-like battle between your nemesis: the escape room creator. You’ll be able to say, “I see your red herring! I’m not falling for it!” or “haha! You tried to confuse us, but I can see your plot twist.” Or even, “well-played, puzzle creator. That was clever.”

Look Everywhere for Clues

Looking for clues

Escape room designers are masters of hiding clues in plain sight. Be sure to check the ceiling, walls and floors for patterns, objects, or things written or posted on them. Be sure to follow the rules in your safety briefing before you started.

You shouldn’t have to take items off the walls or remove ceiling tiles or AC vents – even if you might get tempted. But if tiles are painted specific colors in a pattern, it probably means something.

Find the Breadcrumbs

If you’re a video game player, you know that the game designer usually puts in signs or arrows, or glowing lights or some clue to show you which way you should go. These are known as breadcrumbs, as a reference to the Hansel and Gretl fairy tale where they dropped pieces of their bread to leave a trail so they can find their way out of the forest again.

Escape rooms have breadcrumbs too. There’s always an easy-win puzzle that can be solved quickly to get your momentum going. Everything you will need for the first puzzle will be available when you enter the room.

Look for pieces of things that need to be collected and put together or things that look like sets. You can also look for things that go together in a complementary way, such as a sword and its hilt, a cup and its saucer, etc.

Once you’ve solved the first puzzle, it should reveal information that acts as a breadcrumb to the next puzzle you should tackle. The escape room designer will lead you through the experience if you’re following their clues. Picking up on them and moving in a sequence is one of the best strategies to beat the clock.

Figure Out What the Puzzle is Asking For

What is the answer to the riddle?

Escape rooms contain many types of puzzles, so you get a different thrill and fun. Some puzzles are linguistic, looking for rhymes, or word-based clues. Anagrams, homonyms, puns, crosswords, and riddles are puzzles for participants who are good with words.

Other puzzles are mathematical, asking you to create and solve equations, perform arithmetic, or know your math rules and operations. There might be a Sudoku-type puzzle or a substitution cipher. These puzzles are usually leading to a result that will go into a lock. It might be a 4- 5-, 6-digit code that you need to enter somewhere to unlock more information.

Your escape room might have a physical puzzle, where you have to move, put together, or physically manipulate something. Some of these require two people to work together to solve it. A person in your group might have nimble fingers or be just the right height to make the puzzle easier.

When you’re trying to beat the clock, it can affect your coordination or make your hands shake, so some deep breaths and steadying yourself can do the trick.

Trapped Puzzle Rooms Provide that Rush to Solve and Escape

At Trapped, our puzzle rooms are designed for maximum immersion and strategy packed into the one-hour escape experiences. Try your hand at one of our four themed rooms in our North Loop Minneapolis location, or there are four more rooms in our St. Paul shop. When you’re ready to try to beat the clock and put your best strategies to work, book your time online. See you there!


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