1. “No hints, thanks!”
This mistake can lead to a dead end and quench the enthusiasm of the whole game. When players enter a room, they have no knowledge of the tasks and characteristics of this particular game – that’s what the excitement is all about! Even if they’ve played a lot of escape rooms, each room is always new and has its own way of thinking. We often see how “no hints, thank you” – players find out too late that they might still need clues, and by then there is not enough time to complete the game.
Our game masters have watched thousands of games and have a good grasp of how the game should ideally proceed. They are able to bring your attention back on the right track, which maintains a positive flow in your game. Because the giving of hints happens differently in each game, hints are part of the game’s fiction and often bring more immersion to the game.
So: To avoid annoying dead ends, we recommend that you give the game master permission to provide hints if needed.
2. Underestimating your team mates
The core of playing escape games is good teamwork, especially when it comes to communication. During the game, each player usually makes important observations or conclusions – but often enough we see that the group listens to some, and not to others. Taking notice of each team member has proven to be especially important in family games, where the game master sometimes hears that the child is coming up with the right solution over and over again and the parents are not taking it seriously. Kids are basically great players. They know how to observe the environment without prejudice and are very good at searching, experimenting and changing the direction of their thinking. In escape rooms, the children are on the same level as the parents. None of them has been to this escape room before!
Unfortunately, similar underestimation also occurs among adults.
So: We recommend that everyone’s suggestions be listened to and tried.
Oh the pain of the game master when, watching the game, she/he sees for example that:
- one of the players is trying to enter the correct code into a lock, but does so carelessly so that the lock does not open and the code is judged “wrong”.
- players spinning around aimlessly for long periods of time, instead of opening an unlocked locker, looking for a lock that would fit a previously found key, recounting the photos of the murderers, or noticing a stick / key / church bell hanging visibly in a corner.
- players finding the correct code but rejecting it because “this can’t be it”. Either it is judged too easy or too difficult, without even giving it a try.
So: We recommend that the room be examined carefully. If a lock doesn’t open immediately, another player can try – sometimes it’s just a matter of having the right touch. And you should also try the strangest solutions!