What are escape room rules to expect, and do they really need to be followed?
Absolutely! Escape rooms are fun puzzle-solving adventures – but only if you follow their set of rules carefully.
While rules don’t always have a reputation for being fun, when playing in an escape room, they can actually enhance your experience.
Read on to learn about common escape room rules and why you should follow them!
Escape rooms are like playing a real-life video game. These games take you and your group of friends or family on a puzzle-solving adventure!
Escape rooms are designed around a story and/or theme.
This theme could be a fantasy setting, such as a wizard’s castle; a science-fiction setting, such as a mad scientist’s laboratory; or a horror theme, such as a haunted house.
Whatever the room’s theme, it’s full of clues, puzzles, and sometimes hidden compartments!
The goal of an escape room is to find all of the clues and solve all of the puzzles - before you run out of time. Depending on the theme, your goal may be described to you as “breaking into a vault” or “escaping the haunted house.”
No matter the escape room rules, theme, or puzzles, they all have one motivating factor: the time limit. Most games have a 60-minute deadline to keep you busy!
Escape rooms are always designed to be played as a group, rather than alone. You will have to work together with your friends to solve the puzzles.
Escape rooms are very popular, and reservations can book-up very quickly. There may also be paperwork that needs to be signed at the escape room location before you can begin the game.
An escape room might not be able to accommodate a late arrival. Even if they can accommodate you, starting late means having less time to solve the puzzles. For maximum fun and success, you want to start on time.
Before the escape room game starts, the host (or game-master) may tell you a lot of “don’t” rules. These may include:
Nobody likes being told not to do something. However, these “don’t” rules are there to keep you and your teammates safe. Here are a few examples:
Injuries are the opposite of a good time.
If you follow the rules, you will keep yourself and your friends safe.
It’s easy to get hyped about an escape room with a thrilling story or theme. Despite your excitement, try to listen carefully to any rules that the game host tells you.
The rules may include valuable tips to help you win the game. For example, if the host tells you not to move any of the furniture, then it means there isn’t a secret door hidden behind the bookshelf. This saves you time otherwise spent trying to sneak behind bookshelves!
The rules may also include putting any clues you find on a desk or a table, instead of the floor. This not only helps the game host set up the next game, but also allows you to more easily keep track of the clues you’ve found. If you know all the clues you’ve found are on a table, you can better solve the puzzles!
Rule: If the escape room rules say to show up fifteen minutes early, then do so. Also, be sure that everyone in your group knows to show up on time!
Tip: When selecting your team, choose people that will not only enjoy solving puzzles but who also care about working together.
When you arrive at the escape room, take a moment before the game begins to discuss your strategy. If you know your teammates well, you can better delegate each member’s unique skills! This will help you form a great battle plan for success.
Rule: Before you go, check the escape room’s website to see what items are not allowed inside the game room. Commonly forbidden items include bags, keys, cameras, cell phones, lighters, and even paper or pens.
Tip: You may be reluctant to leave your phone or pen behind. How will you take notes on your clues or communicate with your team otherwise? In this way, escape rooms are great for developing communications skills.
As your team spreads around the room, speak loudly, and clearly about the things that you see and find.
If your sister at the far side of the room says, “I found a combination lock that needs four numbers to unlock,” and your cousin next to you says, “I found a picture frame with a number in each corner,” then you may have found the answer to the puzzle!
Communication is what brings clues and puzzles together for solutions. You don’t need a cell phone for that!
Rule: A common escape room rule is “don’t damage anything.”
If you’re having trouble opening a lockbox in the room, it can be tempting to try to break it open. Generally, if it's not opening easily, then it's not meant to be opened. However, if you want to be sure, you can always ask the game-master "is this supposed to open" during the game (instead of breaking it).
Breaking things can make it harder (or even impossible) for future players to enjoy the room.
It also will keep you from being able to solve the puzzle, and it may result in your game being brought to an early end!
Tip: The key here is to stay calm and focus on discovering the clues. There are no impossible to escape rooms, and they are designed to be solved by people from all walks of life.
Keep an eye out for patterns, numbers, or letters in your surroundings. Also, make a note of anything in the room that seems out of place, like a modern calculator in a Victorian haunted house setting.
Even the music can be a clue; a series of beeps might be a Morse code message! Find the clues, and you will beat the game!
Maximize your success and fun by following the escape room rules for any style of the escape room you play!
60OUT has more than twenty themed, immersive escape rooms, and more adventures are always being designed. Each game varies in difficulty level and genre.
Whether you’re new to escape rooms or have solved hundreds to date, you and your team are sure to find a game that’s right for you!
Each escape room contains engaging puzzles and challenging clues that will ensure you and your group has fun the whole way through.
Best of all, 60OUT escape rooms are always privately booked. You can choose exactly who you want to play with!
Ready to play?