How To Escape those “Escape the Room” Escape Games

Posted by - January 5, 2015 | Category: The Yard

Real Room Escape, Bucharest, Romania

male prisoner attempting to escape the room prison cell

I pride myself in being able to find my way out of situations. See that tagline up top — A Curious Gentleman’s Guide to ESCAPES & Escapism. I’ve even got a whole category dedicated to escapes. Granted, those are destinations, not how-to guides, but you get the idea — escapes are my bread and butter.

So when I signed up for Real Room Escape in Bucharest with my pals Erick and Dany to do my very own real-life room escape, I was certain I had it in the bag.

Real Room Escape, Escape the Room Game, Bucharest Romania (5)

If you’re not familiar with these escape the room escape games, here’s the gist: you’re locked in a room with one of more people, and you’ve got an hour to find the key to escape the room using clues scattered about. Use the clues to solve the puzzles. Solve the puzzles to find the key. Find the key to escape the room. Sounds pretty simple right?

Well it’s not.

You need to muster all your logic, problem-solving, communication, and critical thinking skills all at once. In the dark. While you’re being monitored via closed circuit TV.

Real Room Escape, Escape the Room Game, Bucharest Romania (2)

There are a few rules: no cell phones, no pens or paper, no cameras. And you’ve also got to sign a pretty lengthy waiver. Presumably so if you murder one of your fellow escapees (a very real possibility if they fall into the “dense” side of the divide), then the escape room company is not held liable. Kidding. Unlike escaping from one of the rooms in the Saw movies, there’s no real threat of death here. And no threat of boredom either. I never thought I’d have so much fun willingly looked in a room.

And I never thought I’d fail so miserably. Only about 13% of the teams at Real Room Escape complete the challenge within the allotted time limit. So to ensure you don’t do the same, I’ve compiled some tips on how to get the most out of the game, and ultimately, how to escape any escape the room game.

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Search Everywhere

Sounds pretty basic I know, but our group was pretty surprised by how often we overlooked obvious clues. Searching everywhere means EVERYWHERE. And that includes, but is not limited to:

  • In (and under) teapots
  • Inside books and book covers
  • Underneath tables and tablecloths
  • Behind (and sometimes in) paintings
  • Under carpets, rugs, lamps, doilies, chess pieces, candle holders, and any other bric-à-brac

Real Room Escape, Escape the Room Game, Bucharest Romania (3)

Basically, take everything in the room, turn it upside down, inside out and sideways. Then do it again just to be sure. If I had a clue for every time we heard ourselves say, “How did we miss that?” I’d have been out in 20 minutes.

Practice Beforehand

So how can you practice escaping a room? Lock yourself in your own room, and turn to the internet. There are plenty of online escape games, and while they don’t give you the full adrenaline rush of “being there,” they are an excellent way to get some practice in before the big day.

The granddaddy of all online escape games is probably The Crimson Room, but sites like Big Fish Games offer plenty of other escape the room type games to get you prepped, like my fave Escape the Museum 2.

If you have an iPhone, iPad, Android device, or even a gaming console like XBox or Playstation or even a gaming PC which then you could use some gaming keyboard reviews, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to Escape the Room games. Practicing in advance will definitely give you the upper hand since you’ll know what to expect. Here are some of the most popular escape the rooms games for each device.

Top 5 Escape Games for Xbox

The best "escape the room" type games for Xbox console users to prepare for real life escape rooms.
The Escapists (UK IMPORT)The Escapists XboxTeam 17 Digital Limited
Escape Dead IslandEscape Dead IslandDeep Silver
The Great EscapeThe Great Escape Xbox escape room games2K Games
Batman: Arkham Asylum [Game of the Year Edition]Batman Arkham Asylum game of the year edition xboxWarner Bros
Portal 2Portal 2 escape room games xboxElectronic Arts

Top 5 Escape Games for iPhone

The most popular "escape the room" games for iPhone users currently on the App Store.
High School EscapeHigh School Escape escape game iconGoblin
711 Prison Escape 4711 Prison Escape 4 iconInbarasu Govindaraj
Can You Escape 3Can You Escape 3Kaarel Kirsipuu
Can You Escape 2Can You Escape 2 escape game iconKaarel Kirsipuu
Can You EscapeCan You Escape escape the room game iconKaarel Kirsipuu

Top 5 Escape Games for iPad

The most popular "escape the room" games for iPad users currently on the App Store.
711 Prison escape 4711 Prison Escape 4 iconInbarasu Govindaraj
Can You Escape 2Can You Escape 2 escape game iconKaarel Kirsipuu
Can You EscapeCan You Escape escape the room game iconKaarel Kirsipuu
High School EscapeHigh School Escape escape game iconGoblin
Diamond Penthouse Escape 1 Diamond Penthouse escape game iconTeraLumina Games

Top 5 Escape Games for Android

The most popular "escape the room" games for Android users currently on the Amazon App Store.
Haunted House Escape - Can You Escape In One Hour?Haunted House Escpape game iconGD Studio
Escape The TitanicEscape the Titanic escape room gameApp Business Ventures LLC
Can You Escape 2Can You Escape 2 escape game iconMobiGrow
Adventure Escape: Murder Manor (Mystery Room, Doors, and Floors Detective Story!)Adventure Escape- Murder Manor Mystery Room, Doors, and Floors Detective StoryHaiku Games
Can You Escape Apartment - Adventure Challenge Room EscapeCan You Escape Apartment -- Adventure escape challenge gameJC

Communication is Key

You are not in the room alone. Those folks you brought with you (or the ones you were thrown in with if you went by yourself), are your best chance of escaping the room within the time limit. I’m a mess at puzzles, but have pretty keen observation skills (usually), so know what your strengths are before you head in, and let the others in your group know too. If you’re stuck on any one clue, remember you are part of a team and ask your group members for help. Remember, you are not in this alone.

Real Room Escape, Escape the Room Game, Bucharest Romania (4)

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

With Real Room Escape, participants are allowed to ask for up to 5 clues to help the game along. Use them. If you find yourself going for more than 10 minutes and not getting anywhere, remember that the clock is ticking, and it’s better to get out with the help of the game master (I think that’s what one should call him) then to not get out at all.

Go Behind the Scenes

If you want to get an extra edge in conquering escape rooms, consider picking up a copy of Escape the Game: How to make puzzle and escape rooms. It’s filled with tips and tricks used by escape room game designers when creating their puzzles.

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Real Room Escape, Escape the Room Game, Bucharest Romania (1)

The truth is, each of those “Escape the Room” escape games is different. As long as you go in equipped the right skills — problem-solving, deductive reasoning, logic, communication, resourcefulness — and the right mindset (it helps to go without a hangover too), then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to make your own escape happen.

There are no shortcuts here or easy way outs. It’s a riddle, and all riddles unravel in their own due course.

And there’s no escaping that.

finger pointing rightIf you’re addicted to Escape the Room games, you might want to sign up for the Escape Game Card — it’s only 20 bucks and gives you discounts of up to 50% off at over 160 games in 25 countries. Since the discount applies to your entire team and not just you, it can pay for itself with its first use.

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How To Escape Those - Escape the Room - Escape Games

Have you ever tried one of those “Escape the Room” games?



Need some nifty Escape Room Game Invitations for your next Escape Room Party?

Click here to customize and buy. 

Note: I was a guest (or was that “prisoner”) of Real Room Escape in Bucharest during my visit there. Image of prisoner escaping cell courtesy of Shutterstock.

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25 comments - add one
  1. Great story Raymond .. I’ve yet to go to one of these in Toronto, but a few people at work have been and it sounds like fun! If you’re a fan of the ‘escape’ theme, check out these award winning apps .. “The Room” and “The Room 2”. Both excellent and highly recommended. Jane

  2. I have always wanted to try one of these Escape scenarios as I am fascinated by them. A new one has recently opened up in London so I think as soon as I get the opportunity I will have to try it out. If I am ever in Bucharest this sounds like somewhere I would need to visit.

  3. LOVE this post! We just had one open in Ottawa and I will be going in the next few weeks. Secretly afraid of ‘losing’ but I will keep these handy tips in mind *and probably share with all my friends*

  4. I’ve never even heard of “escape the room” games! It sounds like so much fun! Even though I’m not sure I’d be very good at it. 🙂

    1. They are SOOOO much fun! I thought I would be pretty good at it, but failed miserably, so maybe going into it thinking you won’t do well will actually work in your favour. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment Bailey — much appreciated!

  5. I had no clue this even was something reall. I can’t imagine doing it, but it would probably be kind of fun with the right people. The room is dark? Like no light? That would be a challenge.

  6. We’re heading out to one tonight after work! Should be fun….we’re the only two signed up for it so unless other people sign up between now and 6, we’re on our own!

  7. I totally agree that communication is pretty vital when completing these games, and that includes communication with the employees! I went on a date a little while ago to one of these escape rooms, and since it was just the two of us, we needed a lot of help and guidance to figure it out. We made sure to ask good questions and think out loud the entire time so that we could complete it quickly. We cut it pretty close, but we got done before the time was out!

  8. Thanks for the tip that for escape rooms, you’ll need all of your logic and problem-solving skills. You also talked about communication and how that that it’s key to success. I think it’s a good idea to look at the escape room’s website and look at their difficulty levels.


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