Aloha, connoisseur of all things puzzle and escape room!
We all know there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of racing against the clock to untangle codes and crack mind-boggling puzzles to accomplish a secret mission.
Would you happen to be searching for the most frequently encountered escape adventure puzzle variants?
And also for a little insight on how to solve them efficiently, so you can move forward in your mission?
Well then, read on, as that’s the exact topic of this blog post!
Sneak peek of what you should expect
We’ll dive into the fascinating world of escape room puzzles, listing out some of the most common variants, and checking out what they involve.
Then, as always, we’ll move to tips and tricks for solving puzzles in a mystery room.
And it doesn’t end there, as we’ll follow up on that with the related topic of escape room clues and how to find them, followed by “the importance of logic in escape room puzzles”.
Does that last one – the importance of logic in escape room puzzles – sound like it belongs more in a college assignment than an escape adventure?
Well then, hold your breath, as this is as different from college assignments as it gets!
The different types of escape room puzzles
Escape rooms are packed with a wide variety of puzzles that cater to different interests and skill levels.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types.
These puzzles require the player to unscramble a message using a secret code.
There are different kinds of ciphers. One of the most common is a Caesar cipher, which shifts each letter in the alphabet by a certain number of positions.
Look for patterns in the text and use logic to figure out what the code is.
Pro tip from Lost Reality: The escape room could simply make up their own cipher, so trying to mug up all the different kinds of ciphers would not help you out in any way. Just keep your quick thinking hat on during your game!
These puzzles require the player to use reasoning and deduction to solve.
For example, Sudoku requires the player to fill in a grid with numbers so that no row, column or 3×3 square contains the same number twice.
Use logical elimination to narrow down the possible solutions.
Surel, anyone from age 9 to age 99 (that’s also the recommended age for escape rooms) knows what a jigsaw puzzle is?
However, if you’ve been living under a rock, a jigsaw puzzle requires the player to assemble a picture from scattered pieces.
Tip: Start from the edges and try to group similar colours or patterns together.
If you already know what a “tangram” is, great! You clearly know your way around puzzles and may have a leg up in an escape room adventure.
For everyone else, tangrams require the player to arrange simply-shaped pieces into a complex shape or design.
For example, a classic tangram puzzle consists of seven pieces that can be rearranged to form a square.
Try to visualize the final shape and experiment with different arrangements.
Tip: If visualization doesn’t work, keep sliding the pieces till you start to see a pattern.
These puzzles require the player to manipulate physical objects in the game.
For example, a lock and key puzzle may require the player to find and use a hidden key to open a locked container.
Think creatively and try different ways of interacting with the objects.
In an escape room, a maze may be a little more complicated than just finding your way within a network of paths.
For example, a 2D maze may require the player to find the exit while avoiding dead ends and traps. If you fall into a trap, you may need to start over, eating into your time.
Use logic to map out possible paths and try different routes.
These puzzles require the player to find specific items hidden in the game. For example, a spot-the-difference puzzle may require the player to compare two similar images and identify the differences.
Pay close attention to details and bring out your A-game observation skills to find whatever it is you’re supposed to find.
Think crosswords, word association games and so on.
For example, a crossword puzzle may have clues for different words that intersect each other to form a grid.
Use vocabulary and word association skills to fill in the blanks.
Think how many times you’ve heard, “we need to ID the pattern in these crimes” on police TV shows and movies.
This is your chance to prove yourself smarter than those TV detectives.
For example, a rebus puzzle may use pictures or symbols to represent words or phrases.
Use logic and context to decipher the meaning of the symbols.
Oh and if you’re into detective stories and programmes, you should check out our Sherlock Holmes escape room.
These puzzles require the player to use a combination of numbers or symbols to get a certain result, which typically involves unlocking something.
For example, a dial lock may require the player to input a specific combination of numbers to open a lock.
Use trial and error to test different combinations.
These puzzles require the player to use sound clues to solve a puzzle.
For example, a reverse audio puzzle may require the player to play a sound clip backwards to reveal a hidden message.
Use sound recognition and analysis skills to decipher the clues.
Don’t worry if you hated math in school – escape rooms are not school.
Any math puzzles you face inside an escape room will involve only basic number skills – nothing more than you’d use counting change at the store. The rest is just logic.
And if you loved math in school – God bless you!
These puzzles require the player to open a lock. And no, it won’t be as simple as inserting and turning the key.
For example, an electronic lock may require the player to enter a sequence of numbers to unlock a door.
Use observation, trial and error and logic to figure out the correct combination.
These puzzles require the player to solve a riddle or brain teaser.
For example, a visual riddle may have a picture that contains a hidden meaning or message.
Use critical thinking and lateral thinking skills to solve the puzzle.
These puzzles require the player to solve a puzzle based on visual images.
For example, an optical illusion may require the player to identify a hidden image or pattern within a picture.
Use observation skills and visual perception to uncover hidden clues or messages.
Tips for tackling escape room puzzles
Did you really think we’d leave you hanging?
That we’d only tell you about puzzle types and not the tips for tackling them?
Let’s look into what you can do to tackle puzzles like a pro.
Observe the room
- Note the game space’s layout and details.
- Look for hidden compartments or objects.
Work as a team
- Divide and conquer.
- Pool your strengths.
- Support each other.
- Share findings.
- Listen actively.
- Clarify information.
Think outside the box
- Be creative.
- Challenge assumptions.
- Jot down clues.
- Organize information.
- Record patterns.
Don’t get too fixated on one puzzle
- Move on if stuck.
- Circle back later.
Keep track of time
- Set a pace.
- Prioritize tasks.
How to find clues in an escape room
Closely related to the puzzles are the clues that reveal the way forward on your escape mission. How do you spot those?
Well, you’ll find many of them waiting for you at the end of puzzles and riddles but for the ones that aren’t, here’s what you do (it’s largely the same tactics as puzzle-solving)…
Look for patterns
- Colour schemes.
- Number sequences.
- Repeated symbols.
Search the room thoroughly
- Examine objects closely.
- Check behind and under furniture.
- Don’t dismiss “ordinary” items.
Pay attention to details
- Read all texts carefully.
- Notice subtle differences.
- Observe your surroundings.
Use technology (if available)
- UV lights.
- Magnifying glasses.
- Infrared devices.
Ask the game master for hints
- Don’t be shy.
- Use hints strategically.
- Learn from hints to improve your skills.
Insight from Lost Reality: Two commonly used hiding places are hollow objects and compartments that are hidden or disguised.
The importance of logic in escape rooms
Here are some logical ways of getting the upper hand in an escape room so that you can solve the puzzles and spot the clues in time to escape before your clock ticks down to 0!
Breaking down the problem
- Identify the goal.
- Analyze individual components.
- Develop a plan.
Using deductive reasoning
- Draw conclusions from the given information.
- Identify patterns.
- Apply previous knowledge.
- Rule out unlikely options.
- Prioritize plausible solutions.
- Focus on the most promising leads.
Thinking through cause and effect
- Anticipate outcomes.
- Consider potential consequences.
- Adapt your strategy accordingly.
Frequently asked questions about escape room puzzles and how to beat them
From the various kinds of puzzles you can expect to encounter in an adventure room to how to find clues and even what questions to ask – find all the commonly made queries answered!
What are the common types of puzzles in escape rooms?
There are 7 kinds of puzzles and challenges that are found the most in escape rooms, and they are:
- Cipher puzzles (could be standard ones like a Caesar cipher, or a special one made up by the escape room).
- Logic puzzles (riddles are a good example).
- Jigsaw puzzles (and you’ll be glad to know these are completely safe to do, unlike the puzzles in the Saw movies).
- Tangram puzzles (arranging 7 simple-shaped pieces into more complex patterns within a square set.
- Physical puzzles (this includes everything from opening special locks to finding hidden objects).
- Maze puzzles (can be 2D or 3D).
- Word puzzles (like anagrams and crosswords).
Lost Reality Adds: As far as our adventure rooms are concerned, expect logic puzzles, riddles, pattern recognition, physical puzzles, ciphers, and more.
How do you solve puzzles in an escape room?
This is a key question, as solving puzzles is at the heart of beating a mystery room. Here’s how to go about it…
- Work as a team and divide tasks.
- Communicate effectively by sharing your findings and listening to others.
- Think outside the box and challenge assumptions.
- Take notes and organize information.
- Don’t fixate on one puzzle; move on and circle back later. Note – this is one reason Emotional Quotient (EQ) is just as crucial as IQ in an escape room.
- Keep track of time and prioritize tasks.
Insight from Lost Reality: If you’re stuck, take a step back. There is logic behind each puzzle, so looking around if you’re lost is a good start.
How do you find clues in an escape room?
Doing the following 5 things will cover most of the usual suspects as far as clues as concerned…
- Look for patterns (like colour schemes and number sequences).
- Search the room thoroughly (examine objects, check hidden spots and so on).
- Pay attention to details (such as reading texts carefully and noticing subtle differences).
- Use technology (if available), like UV lights or magnifying glasses.
- “If available” being the key point. Don’t use random stuff you happen to be carrying. If something is needed to find clues and solve puzzles, it’ll be available within the game space.
- Ask the game master for hints when needed.
Lost Reality Adds: Clues may be lurking in plain sight, or they may be hidden and have to be found. Looking around the room and noticing details is a crucial hack to finding clues.
Are escape rooms logic puzzles?
Let us put it this way…
While there will always be a logical solution to escape room puzzles, not all puzzles will be logic puzzles!
Here at our Perth escape room, for example, there is a mix of different styles of puzzles to always keep you engaged and wanting more!
How many puzzles are typically in an escape room?
On average, escape rooms in Perth contain 179 puzzles…nah, just kidding 🙂
How many puzzles there are in an escape room depends entirely on that particular escape room itself – mostly on its theme and complexity.
We should also mention that some puzzles take longer than others.
What questions should you ask in an escape room?
Some of the aspects you should clarify and questions you should ask in a mystery room experience are…
- Clarify the rules and time limits with the game master.
- Ask teammates for input and ideas.
- Ask the game master for hints if you’re stuck or need guidance – and ask for help before it’s too late and there’s too little time for you to finish the adventure even after getting help.
How do you escape the room within 60 seconds?
Very simply – by playing a video game and that too with a walkthrough.
If you prefer a physical escape room and fully challenged – no walkthroughs – though, you should aim at an escape time of within 60-75 minutes.
Here are a few things you can do to accomplish your missions and escape the room before you’re out of time…
- Assign team roles and work efficiently.
- Maintain open and clear communication with your team.
- Use problem-solving techniques like breaking down problems, deductive reasoning, and eliminating possibilities.
- Keep a watchful eye on the clock and prioritize tasks.
Ready to put yourself to the test?
Time to see how useful this blog post has been.
Should you travel from Fremantle, don’t miss out Lost Reality for a thrilling adventure!
And then see if you have what it takes to untangle the puzzles and find all the clues before you’re out of time!