Have you been wanting to try an escape game?
Escape games are an awesome adventure for groups who are up for a challenge and want to mix things up.
A successful escape room experience starts with a little preparation ahead of time.
I’m not giving you any spoilers for any of the escape rooms that I’ve tried but I am sharing tips that will help you have a great first-time experience so that you know what to expect.
This article is written in partnership with The Escape Game Cincinnati.
Pick a Day and Time Slot Ahead of Time
Procrastinators Beware: You could lose your desired timeslot and theme if you wait too long to book, especially if you are choosing a popular room. Check availability online and book ahead.
I suggest checking the potential time slots first and then checking with your group so that you can find a time that works best.
It’s More Fun To Be in an Escape Room With a Group
Escape Rooms are fun with friends, couples, small groups, and even coworkers.
It’s important to know that if you don’t fill a room with your group, you will be paired with other players that you don’t know….which can be awkward.
I’ve experienced escape rooms with a variety of social groups and every experience has been really fun.
It’s a great icebreaker and team builder if you have a group that doesn’t know each other well or if they just recently met. You can also learn a lot about your family members in an escape room.
You will definitely get to know everyone pretty well on the other side of your Escape Game adventure either way, but I highly suggest… and prefer to experience this adventure with people that I know.
Pick a Theme That Appeals to You
Escape rooms have different themes and plots. Do some research on their website prior to your arrival and make sure that your preferred theme is available during your time of choice.
Pay attention to the difficulty level of your game of choice and the capacity for the number of players.
If you are trying an escape room for the first time you might want to start with a lower difficulty level so that you can work your way up to more challenging puzzles. The more experience you have with escape rooms the easier you’ll find it is to know how to discover the clues quicker.
Be Mindful of Your Time
Escape Rooms typically last an hour and your goal is to escape before the time runs out. I’ve been in escape rooms where we made it out and others were we couldn’t crack the code in time…. and I like escaping WAY better.
When my group tried the Prison Break themed room at The Escape Game we literally got out with 1 second to spare! It’s exciting to make it out just in time…but that was a little too close!
The countdown clock will be posted so that you can monitor your time along the way.
Look for Clues EVERYWHERE!
When you first enter an escape room it looks like there is nothing there. You will be given a brief intro with rules and more about your specific theme before your time begins.
As soon as you enter the room start looking at the walls. Take inventory of ALL of the objects in the room.
Pay attention to numbers and look for locks and random phrases. Some locks use numbers and others use letters. Keep track of clues that you find that could work with the corresponding lock.
You won’t need your phone and everything you need is already in the room.
Your game guide will give you 3 free clues during your session but if you need more clues it’s ok to ask for more. Sometimes the game guide will also give you a hint if they notice that you are really close to solving one of the puzzles.
Know Your Strengths and Work as a Team
Some people in the group are naturally great at numbers, others are great at putting puzzles together, or searching for items.
If you figure out something that is making you feel super frustrated, take a breath and move on and try to figure out another element in the room.
Communicate with each other and make sure that you know who is holding or placing in a pile, any of the unused keys or parts that you find along the way that may be used later in the game.
This helps to reduce confusion and attempts to try previously used elements.
Check for moving parts, secret drawers, etc …basically touch just about everything in the room except the panic button that lets you out early…unless you are panicking.
Also, don’t touch anything that the game guide told you was not part of the game… trust me and just believe them.
Whether you escaped or you ran out of time, you shared an awesome adventure together. Share a meal or a drink afterward and relive your adventure with your group.
Keep Track of Your Favorite Escape Rooms
I have a friend who has decided that escape rooms are going to be something that they do as a family. So far they have played 22 games in multiple cities.
She suggests that if you really get into doing them (especially with your kids) keep a log of the name of the room, the location, your time, interesting features, etc.
Her family loves to review their log each time that they add to it.
How to Save on Your Next Escape Room Visit
At the Escape Game, your game guide will offer you 20% off gift cards to come back, or your reservation can be made in-store before leaving after you complete your game.
Check your email after your first visit because there is typically a discount for a return visit.
The Escape Game Downtown Cincinnati Location
28 W Freedom Way Suite 300
So far I’ve tried two of the Escape Rooms at the Escape Game at the Banks in downtown Cincinnati. (The Heist and Breakout)
I’ve been to multiple escape rooms, including other cities, and these rank near the top of all of them for me. The detail in the rooms and puzzles is truly incredible and next-level.
Currently, there are Escape Game Locations in the following cities: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Pigeon Forge, and San Fransico.