Planning your first escape room experience? Not sure what to expect? Read on for tips to preparing you for the less-complex-than-you-think world of escape rooms.

Step 1: Know what you’re getting into

You may have heard Nephew Nicholas give you a vague and frantic explanation: “so you’re in a room, and there’s stuff, and you have to get out!” I mean, he’s not wrong, but that’s still not quite all there is to it.

At Exodus, we offer you 60 minutes during which you must attempt to reach a final objective. There are clues throughout the room that lead you to complete puzzles, tasks and challenges, until you accomplish an end goal.

No two puzzles are the same. Sometimes you will have to solve a puzzle using logic, sometimes you will have to decode a message, and other times you will have to recognize patterns. You never know until you’re in there.

Step 2: Learn about the room

If it’s your first escape, you should probably know the rules specific to your room. At Exodus, we offer 60 minute experiences, with the exception of our virtual reality escape rooms which are 30 minutes long.

You should also know the difficulty level of the room. Is it advertised as a room for beginners or is it a room for experts? Difficult rooms can still be escaped by novices, but knowing the room’s difficulty level will help your approach. If the room is easier than you think, you might overthink a puzzle and waste time. If the room is harder than you think, you might get frustrated by the slower pace.

Hopefully you chose a room with a fun theme and story too! Of course, all Exodus rooms have great themes, (we can plug shamelessly, this is our blog after all) so you can’t go wrong here. The story will help you understand the logic of the game and why you are searching for the final objective.

Apartment 2250 is a great example; the final goal is to collect a passport, cell phone and toothbrush. Why? Because you’re roommate has taken a weird turn, become a bit creepy and hid them on you so you can’t leave! Knowing this, you can approach this room knowing that you are solving puzzles set by a sneaky and malicious roommate.

Step 3: Pick a good team

Remember in fifth grade when your model volcano failed because Billy was put in charge of the baking soda explosion? Well, now is your chance to pick a better group than you did in elementary school. Also, someone should teach Billy the difference between vinegar and water.

Anyone and everyone can successfully accomplish an escape room given the right circumstances. However, it is still very helpful to pick team members that will help each other do their best, especially if this is your first escape. Having a team with a variety of personalities, skills, ages and mindsets will certainly help you succeed and solve the variety of things to do.

Does Aunt Bessie get frustrated easily? Then pick a beginner-level room. Do your grandparents get too competitive with each other? Then put them on separate teams so that they can compete in our identical Gemini Rooms without getting up in each other’s business. Let our staff know if you have questions about what will best suit your group.

Final Tips

  • When trying to solve a puzzle, start with the simple, obvious answer and then add in layers of complication- sometimes the straightforward way is the best way!
  • Make sure you’re in the right head space to think clearly. Maybe have that glass of wine after the escape rather than before? Plus, you’ll have lots more to talk about after playing.
  • Arrive about 15 minutes before your start time so that you are on schedule and don’t lose any of your precious 60 minutes. We’ll take care of registration, waivers, washrooms, safety and your game briefing during this time.
  • Keep in mind that this is your first escape. It might be the hardest escape room you do, but that’s because it’s new. You’ll only get better at escape rooms from here.
  • Remember why you’re doing this: to have fun! Sure, winning is great, but it’s not everything. Just enjoy the adventure!