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What Are 7 Types of Common Escape Room Puzzles to Look for?

02 Jan 2019

How many common escape room puzzles do you know?

Preparing for your first escape room can be exciting and a little daunting. You know there will be puzzles to solve and clues to find,

but do you know what puzzles will turn up and how you can solve them?

With this guide, you’ll understand the seven common escape room puzzles that you’ll come across and what to look for.

What Common Escape Room Puzzles Will I Find?

There are seven categories of common escape room puzzles.

1. Numbers and Texts

You don’t need to have a degree in mathematics or English in order to solve common escape room puzzles, but you’ll definitely be using numbers and words in your solutions.

  • Basic math puzzles for hints or puzzle solutions. These puzzles usually don’t require a lot of mathematical skills, but do require you to cleverly put together numbers. That Sudoku puzzle on the wall will probably require solving in order to unlock the next room.
  • Equations. Equation puzzles are excellent places to hide clues and solutions. If you see mathematical signs or symbols in the room, chances are you’ll have to put them together. Make a note of any signs that seem like they’re missing; you’ll probably have to provide that last addition!
  • Crosswords and missing-letter puzzles. When you have to find the right word for a clue, it adds an extra layer of difficulty. If a word seems to be missing from a poem, or you’re met with a jumble of letters that don’t seem to spell anything, look a little deeper.

2. Physical Puzzles

Physical puzzles are common in escape rooms.

  • Undoing knots. Perhaps you need a key that’s tied to the wall with a confusing knot. If you’re able to untangle that knot, you’ll be able to move on to the next room in a snap.
  • Moving large objects. It’s important to remember the directions in the introduction before trying to move a dresser — your specific room might not need you to move anything. However, if you’ve been given the green light and you see a suspiciously out-of-place cabinet, get the family together and move it!
  • Easily moved objects. Forcing a puzzle can often lead to you to break something important. Instead, remember that physical puzzles rely more on dexterity than on brute-force strength.

3. Light and Sound

You may be surprised at how many common escape room puzzles will subtly incorporate the environment by introducing light and sound cues.

  • Listen closely to background sound. The ambient noise around you could be giving you important clues! Listen for Morse code through beeps or taps, whispered words, and the direction noises are coming from.
  • Pay attention to where lights aren’t shining. When light is shining somewhere, it’s usually to draw your attention there. However, common escape room puzzles function as much on being hidden as they do on being visible. If something’s suspiciously unlit, find a flashlight and look into it.
  • Listen to any lyrics that you can catch. If you start the record player in the corner and someone starts singing, note the lyrics very carefully. It’s an extremely easy way to hide clues, and that’s why so many common escape room puzzles use it.

4. Hidden Objects

It’s rare that you’ll find a clue laid out for you as soon as you walk into a room. The most common escape room puzzles have to be found before you even start solving them.

  • Look through books. A book safe, which is created by hollowing out the inside of a large book, is one of the most popular ways an escape room will hide clues. Is there a bookshelf in the corner? Assign a family member to open each one, just in case.
  • Leave no drawer unopened. In an escape room, looking through drawers and cabinets shouldn’t just mean giving it a quick once-over. Look all the way in the back, feel for false sides, and leave things opened just a bit, so you can remember what you’ve already looked through.
  • Don’t just stop at one discovery. With the bookshelf, for example, you may find a book safe in one of the first books you’ve opened, and neglect to check the rest. Don’t stop until you’ve looked through everything! It’s very likely that you’ll find more than one hidden object.

5. Visual Design

The room’s design isn’t just for atmospheric effect; common escape room puzzles will almost always be incorporated into the design of the room.

  • Take a close look at baseboards and edges. Is there a suspicious pattern of dashes and dots against the bottom of one of the walls? You could have to translate Morse code that just looks like decorative filler.
  • Search for clues in pictures that are hung on the wall. Sure, it might just look like a family photo. But there could be something out of place that will give you information, whether it’s an explicit key or just a clue toward finding it.
  • Point out anything that seems out of place for the theme. If your escape room is set in a family home, for example, it would be a bit odd for there to be a Victorian-themed painting. By taking note of these anachronisms, you may be able to put together a clue.

6. Logic Puzzles

Most of the time, you’ll need more logic than knowledge to solve common escape room puzzles.

  • Pay attention to repeated themes. Does the bookshelf have six copies of one book, while the rest of the books are unique? When something is being repeated, it probably holds some sort of importance.
  • Don’t settle for the obvious answer. When you’re trying to solve a riddle, the answer probably isn’t extremely obvious. Ask your kids for a perspective you may not have thought about. Take the theme into consideration. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re thinking outside the box.
  • Take note of mysterious symbols. Codes don’t have to be previously-established to be utilized with common escape room puzzles. Instead, utilize only the clues you’re given. Try to match this symbol to another symbol you find in the room or think about what a symbol could mean based only on the way it looks.

7. Combination Puzzles

Common escape room puzzles don’t rely on just one puzzle type. You’ll usually have to combine them!

  • Keep these different puzzle types at the forefront of your mind. When you know the types of puzzles to look for, it’s easier to put them all together once you’re presented with a combination puzzle.
  • Don’t be afraid to try multiple options. Maybe the picture you’re looking at has a secret code hidden in it, or the puzzle that you think is an equation is actually a logic puzzle. Staying flexible is an important part of solving common escape room puzzles.
  • You may have to combine more than one puzzle type. If one clue has already utilized visual design and hidden objects, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve reached the solution. Keep trying different strategies.

How Do I Find Common Escape Room Puzzles?

By being alert and constantly trying different things, you’ll be able to find and solve common escape room puzzles.

If you’re stuck, remember that different family members often have different perspectives. Sometimes that’s literal — a shorter family member may be able to see something that a taller one can’t!

The beauty of having your whole family in an escape room is that you can each bring your knowledge and ideas to the table. By having everyone scour the room for common escape room puzzles and clues, you may be able to solve the room faster.

Why 60OUT?

If you’re looking for a suitably challenging place to solve common escape room puzzles, look no further than 60OUT.

60OUT has 23 different themed rooms across seven locations, which means that there are plenty of options for you and your family to choose from. Whether you’re going with a small group of escape room pros or you’re a big family trying escape rooms for the first time, there’s an option for you.

At 60OUT, we’re excited to help you experience and solve these common escape room puzzles. Book a room today!