Escape rooms are definitely on the rise. But for your first-time escaper they can be a little bit frightening. Getting locked in a room? At the whim of your captors? Who knows what scary tricks are in store for you there! And in fact, there’s a lot of misinformation about exactly what escape rooms are–which only serves to heighten the anxiety of first-timers. If you’re not sure what an escape room is, check here. If you’re ready to get started, read on!
So first, what’s an escape room exactly? Well, an escape room is a room (or a series of a few adjoining rooms) that you and your friends get locked into. Your goal is to find a way out using the clues left in the room with you. The clues will help you unlock puzzles that will in turn unlock the door, or doors. These puzzles vary in scope and complexity–thus determining the difficulty of the room. It feels a little bit like being in a real-live game of Clue–escape rooms challenge you and your friends to work together intellectually: to find the clues, to put together the pieces, decode the puzzle and get out of the room.
And you’ll be happy to here that we’re here to tell you that escape rooms are not as scary as they may seem. Here’s your basic top five tips for first-timers—how to get out and keep your cool.
#1 – Don’t be scared
It’s only a game! You’re not really getting locked in a strange place with no hope of escape. You haven’t actually been drugged only to wake up in some godless unknown location. It’s all a game–and, what’s more, all escape rooms have safety features. If you really can’t handle it, or if anyone in your party actually starts to feel unwell, you can get out.
#2 – Use the bathroom before you get locked in
That’s right. Don’t be cocky. It may seem pretty obvious but it’s been known to happen. The last thing you want to do is cut the fun short because of an overfull bladder.
#3 – The clock’s ticking
Remember, it’s a race against time! You only have a set amount of time before the game is up, so keep busy. While your friends are searching for clues in the desk drawers, you should shake down the curtains. Who knows what’s you’ll find. . .
#4 – It’s okay to get caught up in the moment
Because who knows? When you’re finding clues, putting together all the pieces, you may actually start to feel like you’re trapped in the doctor’s office, in a turn-of-the-century mental asylum, desperately trying to unlock the mysterious box in the desk drawer so that you can blow this crazy popsicle stand. It’s okay! And isn’t that the point? To get a little bit carried away? And if that’s really your things–escape rooms are perfect for that.
#5 – Plan for a debrief
That’s half the fun! You may be trapped in the room for forty-five minutes but you can relive it with your friends for hours! Like how your pal solved that math puzzle like a whiz—or how your other pal figured out the cryptic cypher scrawled across the wall in a flash—or how your other other friend got scared when you had to crawl on your hands and your knees through a secret passageway into a pitch-black room. . .
Chin up, newbies. You’re going to be great. You’ll have a blast! Happy escaping! Check out these killer escape rooms, right in your backyard.
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