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30 Escape Room Tips That Might Help You Get Out but Won’t Heal the Rift in Your Family

15. Know What To Ignore

There’s a lot of information around you that’s just superfluous. If a piece of furniture has a long serial number etched onto it, that’s probably all it is, and it has nothing to do with a game. And if your spouse mentions how funny their coworker is, they probably just find them funny. Probably.

16. Attempt Every Potential Combo You Come Across

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so instead of saying “It could be this, or…” just try it! Worst case scenario you’re wrong, and your family ridicules you, and everyone gangs up and points out all of your shortcomings and extrapolates this escape room puzzle into what’s wrong with you as a person and… uh… whatever just try it.

17. Follow Safety Guides

The safety rules are there for a reason, and if you don’t follow them you could endanger your family or worse, damage the game to the point that it’s unsolvable. You know that shouldn’t be your main concern, but it is. God, what’s wrong with you?

18. Don’t Be Drunk

You know how anytime you or a member of your family thought doing this would be helpful, and it made everything way worse? Why would that be different with puzzle solving?

19. Keep An Eye On The Clock, But Don’t Get Obsessed

Yes, you want to be mindful and practice time management, but not to the point where it adds too much pressure and anxiety. You don’t want another “Jesus I’m 50 and I never wrote page one of that novel, let me take it out on those closest to me” situation on your hands.

20. Take A Step Back And Look At The Whole Picture

Hyperfocusing on one puzzle can make you blind. Take a deep breath and step back and you might see an overarching theme that could help you approach that puzzle the right way. Take another step back and you might see the horrifying machinations of inherited trauma playing out.

21. Don’t Get Too Hung Up On The “Story”

The “plot” to an escape room is generally more conceit than story, so don’t overthink things like character motive. It’s sort of like how Mom and Dad maintain the narrative that they still love each other. If you look too much into it you’ll find it’s nothing but a backdrop.

22. Learn The Locks

Even if you’re already familiar with basic locks, there’s bound to be one or two in the room you’ve never seen before. Typically your room will have a lock guide that tells you how to operate them so always read it when available! You don’t want a repeat of that time you didn’t read any books on parenting or basic coping skills.

23. Make Sure You Understand What You Need

You need to understand a puzzle before you can solve it. Take a close look at the locks. Do they want numbers, or do they want letters? Maybe it’s an image lock. Are you satisfied as a housewife?

24. There’s No “I” In “Team”

Nothing can derail a team more like too many people vying for “alpha” status. You all have the same goal, so let that leadership batton pass freely amongst your team. Then, when the game is over, you can go right back to that “My house my rules” mentality that will inevitably drive your children away.

25. Remember Someone Is Watching And Listening To You

The game master is there to help when you need it. They are also there to witness your passive aggression slow boil into a full-on family fight over the course of the hour.

26. Pattern Recognition

Look for the pattern! Are there a bunch of numbered objects in rainbow order? Maybe there’s a reason! Do a bunch of seemingly unrelated objects have the same symbol on them? Maybe there’s a reason! Does Dad say “This time I’m quitting drinking for good” every three months? Maybe there’s a reason.

27. Ask For Help!

Remember, the game operator is there to help, so don’t be too proud to ask for a hint that could nudge you in the right direction! And hey, why not apply that concept to other things? Maybe your family could use a mediator, maybe an unbiased professional? No? Okay…

28. Avoid Overthinking: Try Simple Solutions First

It’s common to spiral and overcomplicate simple puzzles. Maybe you’re trying to determine the square footage of a room when the combo you need is just hiding under a chair? Or, maybe you’re cycling your teenage son through a battery of medications when you could try being less of a dick?

29. Tell Your Host If Something Breaks

Not only could failure to do this be a hassle for the venue, it can disrupt the flow of your game and make it unsolvable. Remember when no one copped to downloading that virus to the computer, and that seed of mistrust blossomed into a tree of full-on communication breakdown within your family over the years? Don’t let that happen to your escape game!

30. Let The Dumbest Member Of Your Family Do What They Do

One person in your group is bound to spend the whole hour holding a prop that is very clearly just a decorative prop and saying “This has to mean something” over and over. Do the same thing you do with all of that person’s endeavors. Say “That’s great” and focus on reality.

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