In all the excitement that ensues during an escape room escapade, a few mishaps are sure to occur. We love our players because they make Exit Strategy Games the best place to work in Elk Grove. But between overzealous sleuths and embarrassing missteps, you’ve got to laugh at some of the escape room fails we’ve witnessed.
It’s a Dead End
One of the most common blunders we see is the classic rabbit chase. Our escape rooms are filled with many exciting details. Much of what you see is a clue that will help you in your escape, but other items are just there to give the room ambiance and add to the experience.
Sixty minutes is not a lot of time, especially when you get distracted by something that turns out to be a dead end. We have some set decor that is meant to create a foreboding feeling in our Torture Chamber Escape Room. On the walls, a previous victim tells you to abandon all hope and abandon all light. We’ve had countless people interpret this as a signal to turn out the lights. That’s not half bad. Except for search as they might, you’ll find no light switches in the Torture Chamber. Most people move on quickly. However, we’ve had a few stubborn patrons repeat these phrases for almost an entire hour.
Holding Onto Hints
We know that sometimes you can get stuck. No matter how much you wrack your brain, you can’t think of the next step. That’s why we provide unlimited hints to our guests if they need them — but sometimes, there is that stubbornness factor that makes people want to solve the puzzle without using hints.
Then, in the final few minutes, it’s hint city, desperately asking the game master for a hint every minute or so. And by that time it’s too late. Our players have sealed their own fate. Most of our players either escape or get to the last few puzzles of our escape rooms. However, our game masters have been floored on a few occasions when a stubborn group or two barely got past the first few puzzles and remained stuck the entire game because they refused to ask for a hint.
It’s Not Time for That
When you find something that you know is a clue, you feel like a million bucks. But sometimes guests will find an item and believe it must be used now and only now and they won’t rest until they use that item. We try to make our puzzles and clues easy to understand, but sometimes there’s that player that just won’t move forward until they solve that small piece of the puzzle, when in reality it goes to a larger part of a puzzle that everyone will eventually get to, just not right now. So keep an open mind on the timing of your recently unearthed puzzle pieces and you’ll move through the game smoothly.
Despite that, what we most often see happen is our players will return to a key, puzzle, or lock, thinking it will yield more information. All of our keys, puzzles and locks are a one-time deal — no need to beat a dead horse. We still get a chuckle though when we see a player hold onto a previously used key for dear life and then unsuccessfully try it in every lock they find.
If we had a nickel for every time a guest has guessed at a lock combination — we wouldn’t be rich, but we’d have enough spare change we could probably buy an item from a discount dollar store!
We have designed our rooms to provide all the answers you need. While it might be tempting to game the system and mess with that lock until you get it open, it will ruin your game. We’ve had a guest or two slip by undetected, and they were left running around in circles focusing on things that made no sense, because they got the clue or part of a puzzle at the wrong time. We try to watch you like a hawk and we do warn you not to pick locks, but sometimes a master lockpicker gets the better of us, but not the best of their game.
The escape room golden rule that you’ll find at any location is “don’t break stuff.” But as the clock ticks down and the blood starts pumping, some participants begin to feel something akin to panic. Doors are smashed, clues are torn apart and furniture is turned over.
We’ve even seen demure young ladies ravage a locked box with the ferocity of a tiger. We know there’s no malicious intent. It’s just surprising how some of our patrons turn from an unassuming Dr. Jekyll to a wild Mr. Hyde. While we admit we may have a puzzle that is slightly baffling when it comes to force, we do warn everyone time and time again that it’s not needed. Despite that, we have fixed not one, not two, but three holes that have been kicked through our walls. We promise you, no kicking required in our escape room (nor any escape room that we know of).
Have We Met?
Escape rooms are great for couples and those looking for a fun date idea. The rush, the adrenaline and the heart-racing excitement — it’s the perfect start to a stimulating night out. Plus, there’s nothing more impressive than a man or woman of intelligence. Imagine watching your date solve every clue with the acumen of a fox.
But buyer beware. If it looks too easy, it may just be a ploy. It could be they’ve been here before. While we’ve never actually seen this happen in our location, we’ve known escape room owners that have experienced this situation directly. Some guys and gals come ahead of time to get a sneak peek at the clues, preparing themselves to look uber cool on their date. We don’t mind — unless you’re here with a different date each week.
All In Good Fun
Even if you don’t end up solving the game before the time runs out, the thrill of the game makes it all worthwhile. And we love witnessing some of the funny mishaps that ensue during this raucous good time.