Looking for some insight into how difficult escape rooms are, and whether beginners can beat them?
Searching for some tips and tricks on what first-timers can do to maximise their chances of success?
Then this is the guide for you!
What you can expect from reading this guide – a sneak-peek
From key escape room concepts you should know to how to prepare for your adventure and even tips and tricks to help you conquer your beginner escape room – our guide covers everything you need to know.
As we shall see, you need to select an appropriate escape room, assemble a team with diverse capabilities, and bring your A-game as far as teamwork, communication, observation and quick thinking are concerned, if you want to win.
What is an escape room?
An escape room is a live-action, interactive experience where participants work together to solve puzzles and riddles to accomplish a “mission” within a set time limit.
To put it another way – think back to the movie you most enjoyed watching, and imagine yourself being in the thick of the action instead of watching passively from the theatre or on your laptop.
Key escape room concepts you should know
As a first-timer, you need to know about some of the basic and crucial escape rooms concepts like the game theme, room design, time limit and the game master.
Let’s dive in!
The theme is crucial as different players have different tastes and would prefer some themes over others.
Immersing yourself in the theme can help you feel more engaged and excited throughout the game.
The design and layout of the room
Escape rooms are designed to be visually stimulating and engaging.
You’ll likely encounter hidden compartments, secret doors, and various props that will help you solve puzzles and escape.
Paying attention to the details of the room can help you find clues that will help you progress.
Keep this in mind as we will take a look at some of the most common escape room puzzle types in a while.
The time limit
As we said before, there’s a time limit within which you must find all the clues and “escape” the room.
You didn’t think you’d have all day to work through the puzzles, did you?
And this “ticking clock” aspect is a key attraction of escape room experiences.
Most escape room games have 60 minutes as the time limit.
Four of the games here at Lost Reality Escape Room Perth challenge you to escape in 60 minutes.
One of our adventures – The Witch’s Potion – gives players 15 minutes longer (i.e., 75 minutes) to get to the final clue.
What do you think? Will that extra 15 minutes prove a Godsend for your escape attempt?
Would you be tempted to book that escape room for your very first escape game?
Hold on to that thought; we will revisit it in a bit.
The game master
The game master plays a very important role in an escape room game.
The details vary from escape room to escape room, but broadly speaking, the game master could be responsible for a variety of things from welcoming you to the facility, briefing you on the game, monitoring your progress, giving you hints if you need, and helping you out any other way you require.
Scared of trying out escape rooms? This easy guide can help you get past your fears.
How to prepare for your very first escape room game
Preparing for your first escape room experience can be both exciting and intimidating.
While there’s no set way to do it, based on our experience as enthusiasts and having interacted with many first-time teams, here’s a good way of going about it.
Assemble your team
Escape rooms are all about teamwork, so it’s important to select a group of individuals with diverse abilities and strengths.
As we explain in our escape room IQ blog post, it’s the collective skill set of the team that matters, not the IQ of any one individual.
Consider inviting family members, friends and colleagues who enjoy puzzles, have strong communication skills, and can work well under pressure.
Pro Tip: As this is your very first escape room adventure, you should prefer people with whom you’re very close on your team, for encouragement.
Select an appropriate escape room
Remember we discussed the game theme? That’s one thing to consider when selecting an “appropriate” escape room. You should go for an escape room with a theme and storyline that interests everyone on your team, not just you.
Another thing to consider is how difficult the adventure is. As a beginner, you should go for easier missions, otherwise you can end up frustrated when things don’t seem to click.
To understand escape room difficulty in a little more detail, check out “What are the different difficulty levels in escape rooms?” in the FAQ section of this blog post.
And don’t hesitate to ask the escape room for recommendations if you’re not sure which room to choose.
Set realistic expectations
Remember, an escape room is, first and foremost, a fun experience – which makes a Lost Reality one of the top affordable things to do in Perth with friends.
So, enjoy your adventure, and have a great time solving codes and looking for hidden treasures with your close friends.
The mission itself is meant to challenge you. You may not succeed in escaping on time on your very first adventure.
Don’t let that hold you back.
Comfort is key when it comes to dressing for an escape room.
Opt for clothing that allows for easy movement and in which you feel comfortable and at ease – so you can focus on solving puzzles.
Avoid high heels or restrictive clothing that may hinder your gameplay.
Check out our blog post on escape room outfits for further fashion inspiration for your escape room adventure!
Prepare yourself mentally
We know. It sounds like generic and lame advice.
All the same, preparing yourself mentally can greatly impact your success in the game. Especially as you’re a newbie.
It’s important to stay calm, keep an open mind, and be prepared to think creatively.
Work with your teammates, and don’t hesitate to share ideas with or ask for help from them.
If you’re still struggling, ask for help from the game master. Remember we told you we’d revisit his role?
Some etiquette/rules and regulations you must follow
In order to have a fun and safe escape room experience, it’s important to follow the rules and regulations set by the game master.
This section will cover some key points to keep in mind, including safety guidelines and dos and don’ts.
Escape rooms can be exciting and intense, but it’s important to prioritize safety above all else.
Make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the game master and avoid doing anything that could cause harm to yourself or others.
If you have any concerns or questions about safety, don’t hesitate to ask your game master for clarification.
Do’s and Don’ts
- The Dos:
- Respect the room and props.
- Listen to your teammates.
- Keep an open mind.
- The Don’t’s:
- Force objects open.
- Use personal tools or devices.
- Share spoilers with others (we will revisit this point towards the end of the post).
Each escape room will have its own rules and guidelines. However, you can get a general idea of crucial escape room etiquette from our blog post on popular escape room queries.
Common escape room puzzle types and how to crack them
By now, you’re obviously clear on one thing – escape rooms are full of different types of puzzles, each with its own unique challenge.
Let’s cover some of the most common escape game puzzle types, including combination locks, jigsaw puzzles, hidden objects, word games, pattern recognition, and riddles & cryptography.
Combination locks are a staple of many escape rooms, but they can be tricky to crack.
Look for hidden codes or patterns in the room that may correspond to the lock.
Try different combinations, and don’t be afraid to use trial and error to figure out the correct sequence.
Jigsaw puzzles can be time-consuming, but with a little strategy, you can piece them together faster.
Start by finding the edge pieces and work your way inwards.
A clear, flat surface can also help to make the puzzle easier to solve.
When it comes to hidden objects, the key is to leave no stone unturned.
Check every nook, cranny, and hidden compartment for objects that can help you progress.
Pay attention to details, and look for anything that may be hidden in plain sight.
Word puzzles can be challenging, but collaboration is key.
Think of synonyms, anagrams, or related terms, and work with your team to decipher the puzzle.
Don’t be afraid to bounce ideas off each other and think outside the box.
Patterns are often used in escape room puzzles to lead you to the next clue.
Keep an eye out for repeating symbols, sequences, or colours.
Look for patterns in the room and in the puzzles themselves.
Riddles and cryptography
Riddles and cryptography puzzles can be tricky, but breaking them down into smaller parts can help.
Work together as a team to crack the code or solve the riddle.
Use logic and creativity, and don’t be afraid to ask for hints or clues if you get stuck
How to beat an escape room: tips and strategies
Ah – the bit you’ve been looking forward to ever since you started reading this post, isn’t it? Hacks for winning a beginner escape game.
Let’s get right into it, starting with…
Work as a team
If you didn’t know, escape rooms are some of the best options for team building, including for corporate groups.
Now you can understand how crucial it is to work with your team instead of trying to prove your own mettle.
The more brains there are working on the puzzles, the better your chances of solving them and being able to exit the room in time.
Make sure to communicate openly and collaborate effectively to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Divide and conquer is not just something programming nerds do to make their work easy. It’s also a top escape room hack.
Assigning roles based on individual strengths can also be helpful in dividing tasks and working more efficiently.
You can assign different puzzles to different members of your team so that they can work simultaneously, saving time.
Lost Reality Adds: Now you also know why lots of office teams like to sharpen their productivity skills through escape room outings as well.
Communication is key
Maintaining clear and open communication with your team is essential in an escape room.
Share your findings and listen to others’ ideas.
Stuck on a puzzle? Ask your teammates for help. Conversely, encourage the others to seek out help when they get stuck.
But clear communication is key to getting all this done – without effective communication, you’ll end up wasting time simply figuring out what someone is saying.
Pay attention to detail
In an escape room, small details can make a big difference.
Keep an eye out for subtle clues and hints that could lead to a solution.
Inspect everything carefully, including walls, furniture, and props.
You’ll be amazed how many times something you would have dismissed as nothing turns out to be the key to unlocking a puzzle.
Keeping track of found items and clues is essential in an escape room.
Organize your findings and keep them somewhere centrally within the room where everyone can access them.
Keeping the clues organized will ensure that the team can quickly refer back to them and avoid confusion.
Staying organized will save you time and increase your chances of success.
Pro tip: Keeping track of which clues or objects you’ve already used is equally crucial.
Use your time wisely
Time is of the essence in an escape room, so use it wisely.
Remember we mentioned one of our escape games – The Witch’s Potion – is 75 minutes long? That doesn’t mean you get 75 minutes extra.
All that means is that the adventure itself is longer, as in it has more puzzles than the others or is more difficult in some way.
So, use your time efficiently.
Monitor your progress and prioritize tasks based on their difficulty level. If you’re stuck on a puzzle, don’t waste time on it. Move on and return to the challenging one later.
In fact, being able to move on from a puzzle is one reason why Emotional Quotient (EQ) is as crucial as IQ in escape rooms – something we discuss in our blog post on whether escape rooms need a high IQ.
Proper time management will ensure that you accomplish your mission on time.
Use clues and hints
This is where the game master will prove invaluable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel stuck.
They’re there to guide you and provide clues and hints to help you proceed.
Do give it your best shot, but if that doesn’t work, ask for hints.
Think outside the box
Sometimes, the solution to a puzzle might be unconventional. Be open to creative ideas and unique approaches.
Think beyond the obvious and consider every possibility.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new.
The more creative and imaginative you are, the better your chances of success.
After the adventure – what’s next?
Congratulations! You have successfully beaten the escape room game.
But what’s next?
Here are some things you can do after the game to make the most of your experience.
Debrief with your team
Take some time to debrief with your team. Discuss what worked well, what didn’t, and what you could have done differently.
Reflecting on your experience will help you improve your skills for future escape rooms.
Share your experience
Recommend the escape room to your friends and family. Write a review online.
Many escape rooms include a photo session post-game, in which you all pose for a group photo. Share it on your social media.
Sharing your experience will help others learn about the game and create a buzz around the escape room.
Lost Reality Adds: However, do NOT share spoilers – such as what puzzles there are, how to crack them, or where there’s a twist. That’ll destroy the experience for everyone. We’d touched upon this in escape room etiquette.
Take advantage of feedback
Listen to the game master’s feedback.
They may have insights to help you improve your skills and tactics for future games.
Use this feedback to enhance your escape room experience and tackle the more challenging rooms in future.
Frequently asked questions about beginner escape rooms
From what to do first to what are the different difficulty levels – find all the commonly made queries answered here!
How hard are escape rooms?
Generally speaking, escape rooms are meant to be enjoyably challenging but not frustratingly impossible.
You may find certain aspects challenging don’t worry – your team is there to back you up!
And remember – you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help if stuck.
Lost Reality Adds: That being said, many escape rooms do assign a difficulty rating to their adventures. For example, one of our games, The Frozen King, has a score of 3/6 (beginner-friendly), while another, The Mafia, is rated 6/6 (the most difficult game).
Are beginner escape rooms easy?
Beginner escape rooms are designed to be more accessible and easier to solve than advanced rooms.
However, “easy” is a relative term – these rooms can still present a challenge, especially for first-timers.
The key is to embrace the experience, work together, and have fun!
Lost Reality Adds: As escape room fans, we want you to have fun on your first escape game and grow a love for escape rooms. That’s why we have games ranging from easy to difficult. We recommend you play through all of our rooms, starting at the beginner-friendly The Frozen King and proceeding all the way up to The Mafia. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.
What should I do first in an escape room?
Once you enter an escape room, follow these initial steps:
- Survey the room and familiarize yourself with the layout.
- Discuss what you see with your teammates.
- Begin searching for clues and puzzles.
Remember, things could be hidden in plain sight!
What are the best strategies for solving an escape room?
To maximize your chances of escaping:
- Work as a team and maintain open communication.
- Divide tasks based on individual strengths and skills.
- Pay attention to details and stay organized.
- Keep an eye on the time and prioritize tasks.
- Use clues and hints provided by the game master.
- Think outside the box.
That looks like a lot, but you’ll get used to it once you’ve done a few escape rooms.
How can I prepare for my first escape room experience?
To prepare for your first escape room:
- Assemble a diverse team with varying strengths and skills.
- Choose an escape room with an appealing theme and a suitable difficulty level.
- Set realistic expectations – focus on having fun and learning.
- Dress comfortably and be ready to think on your feet.
- Read up on common escape room puzzles and strategies.
Pro tip from Lost Reality: Here’s the one that most people forget – Reach 15 minutes before your booking time. And keep an open mind as you venture into your new exciting experience.
What are the different difficulty levels in escape rooms?
Escape rooms typically offer a range of difficulty levels. Let’s check out our own rooms as examples:
- Beginner: Suitable for first-timers and those looking for a more relaxed experience. Example – The Frozen King (difficulty score 3/6).
- Intermediate: A step up in complexity, offering a moderate challenge. Best for occasional, casual players.
- Advanced: Designed for experienced players seeking a more demanding test of their skills.
Example – The Mafia (difficulty score 6/6).
How can I train my brain to solve escape rooms?
To sharpen your puzzle-solving skills for escape rooms:
- Practice solving brainteasers, riddles, and logic puzzles.
- Play online escape room games or puzzle-based video games.
- Exercise your critical thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving abilities.
- Participate in team-building activities to improve communication and collaboration skills.
Do escape rooms require a high IQ to complete?
Escape rooms don’t necessarily require a high IQ to complete. Success in an escape room is more about teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.
A diverse team with varied strengths can often overcome challenges more effectively than a group of high-IQ individuals who struggle to work together.
How beginners can beat escape rooms – recap of key points
So, to beat an escape room as a beginner, you need to remember to:
- Assemble a team with different strengths (preferably people who’re close to you).
- Choose an adventure that’s beginner-friendly AND whose theme everyone on your team likes.
- Collaborate and communicate with your team effectively.
- Ask for hints and help if necessary.
Time to try these tips and strategies for yourself!
Departing from Northbridge? Our escape rooms are the perfect destination for a spectacular time! Are you ready?
Good luck with your very first escape game!