Escape rooms are unique challenges you and your friends and family can partake in to test your skills and wits. Working together towards a singular goal, solving puzzles and finding clues, your mind the only asset at your disposable – completing an escape room can be a rewarding and worthwhile achievement.

But sometimes a game, no matter how complex it may seem, can be hoisted by a simple mistake. Here are the top 5 mistakes you should avoid when playing an escape room.

FORGETTING WHERE YOU FOUND GAME PIECES

Such an easy thing to do! In the excitement of searching the room, you and your team may have the idea to pile everything in the centre of the room so everyone has access to it. Ingenious, right? Well…not really. A game item’s placement may be impertinent to its function and moving an item away without remembering where it came from could hinder your game in a surprisingly big way.

NOT COMMUNICATING

In a room where the sole objective is to work together, it’s rare that people don’t talk to each other. But you will find some people who are very quiet on their findings. Whether it’s because of an internal competitive streak amongst the group, pure forgetfulness, or they just don’t think what they have is important, it can stop progress of the game. Always remember to share your findings, even if it may seem insignificant.

NOT READING THE GIVEN HINTS CORRECTLY

When your team is given a clue, it’s often because the Game Master senses you do not understand the puzzle. It is there to aid you and keep you on track. The time pressure is not only on you – your Game Master has the responsibility to make sure you will have enough time throughout your game to solve every puzzle and escape. They will always send you the most appropriate and helpful clue – by not reading it properly, the Game Master cannot help you anymore than they have, and you may get the wrong end of the clue. Always double and triple read any hint that gets sent to you to make sure you have the right information!

NOT BEING OPEN TO NEW IDEAS

Everyone loves being right. Being the first one to solve a puzzle inside the room can be a big confidence booster, and you may be eager to prove yourself the best of your team. Even so, it’s always a good idea to accept the fact that you may not be 100% correct. Try every solution presented, even if you think it could be wrong. Nothing stops a game deader in its tracks than a team member refusing to test out another theory. Plus, it’s common courtesy to hear everybody out and give them their chance!

THINKING EVERYTHING’S A RED HERRING

In the more challenging escape games, the room might try to trick you by having items which aren’t related to the game. If the room is designed like a murder scene, office or laboratory, anything could simply be decoration that increases the immersion of the game. But don’t be too sceptical! Anything could be handy to you – try anything and everything you believe to be right, even if it uses a seemingly conspicuous game piece.

These are the top 5 mistakes we notice in any given game. Making any of these mistakes can impact your game – in the sense of time and enjoyment – so it’s always best to keep focussed and try to avoid making them!