Posted on November 26, 2018
Escape rooms are designed to challenge a person's ability to think and act strategically. But solving numerous, difficult puzzles can become frustrating; especially when working with other people to solve the problem. But in order to get you and your team out of the escape room on time, you'll need to exercise patience, calm, and effective communication. To help you get out of that escape room while still having the most fun possible, follow these 7 tips for avoiding escape room frustration.
Who you solve the escape room challenge with is just as important as what the puzzle requires. There are times when you may have no choice but to complete the challenge with strangers, but when you are selecting your team, remember to do so wisely. Try to pick team members that work well together and who have various strengths. Avoid choosing people who are easily irritated or do not work well in teams. If your team cannot work effectively with each other during the challenge, it can lead to a lot of stress and frustration. And escape room challenges are meant to be fun, remember?
There is typically a lot of information and activity involved in an escape room. There is also a limited amount of time to solve the puzzles. That is why it is essential to provide every member of your team with specific roles. Before even arriving, divide your team's roles. Giving each person a job not only helps with managing your time but also takes a lot of guesswork and frustration out of the equation. With every member on the same page, doing the job they were assigned, the puzzle can go smoothly. Try using your teammates' strengths to decide on their responsibilities. Pick someone to keep track of clues or information, someone to observe items in the room, someone to solve math or word problems, someone to keep track of time, etc.
Once your team is on the same page with your responsibilities, it's time to get to work. To avoid getting frustrated with each other, each member must be able to conquer each part of the room as an individual but also be able to work together as a team. After all, multiple sets of eyes are always better than one. Before moving on to each individual puzzle, try using your teammates to observe and scour the entire room first. This can help all of the members brainstorm, find evidence, and create a plan that works the best for your team's abilities. Try not to gather around one puzzle (unless absolutely necessary) and instead spread out, attempting to solve multiple problems at one time.
There's no surprise that escaping from one of these rooms takes more than just observing. Effective communication and listening is key to not only solving the puzzles but in preventing frustration and stress as well. You must listen for clues or information, to your teammates' ideas, and to the information they've found. Staying calm and solving the puzzles can be difficult if you and other team members cannot talk and listen to each properly. Teammates must be able to calmly share evidence, brainstorm ideas, and work out a problem together. You should feel comfortable enough with each other to ask for help without frustration or impatience.
No one walks into an escape room challenge and solves every puzzle right away. These puzzles are designed to be difficult. Expectations of an easy challenge or winning quickly is not only unrealistic, but it can also lead a lot of frustration and upset. You will need to brainstorm numerous ideas and make sense of a variety of clues and information. In fact, many escape rooms have clues and puzzles in place that are designed to purposely throw you off track. It's important to continue to gather information, let go of mistakes, and keep moving forward. Stay calm, don't panic, and don't worry. No one is perfect.
Most escape room challenges allow teams to use hints or predesignated clues during the challenge that can help you solve the puzzle. This can cause a lot of strife and frustration in escape rooms because many people disagree on when or if these hints should be used. Discuss this with your team before entering the challenge and try coming to an agreement with each other. Listen carefully to instructions on how to ask for hints and how many your team is allowed. You shouldn't be too stingy with hints, as they are designed to help keep you going when you get stuck. But remember to always try to save 1 or 2 hints for the end, since they can help with any last minute clues you'll need.
You won't have all day to solve the escape room challenge. You and your team will have to manage time wisely, which can be difficult to do when you are solving numerous puzzles and problems. Time management can become especially difficult when working with a team. Try designating 1 person in your team as the "timekeeper." This person can keep track of how much time you have left and how much time you've spent working on certain puzzles. Though time is of the essence, it is important to keep your patience. These challenges are not designed to be easy, and growing impatient will not allow you and your team to solve the challenge any quicker. To avoid frustration when solving puzzles, try discussing time limits with your team. This can limit the amount of time one person spends on a puzzle before asking for help; avoiding frustration within the team and aiding in effective communication.
Escape room challenges may not be easy, but they are designed to challenge and entertain. By following the 7 tips you've seen here today, you and your team can have a fun and exciting time solving an escape room challenge, without any of the frustration.