Looking to go on your very first escape room adventure, and wondering if there are any strategies or hacks that you should know?

Thinking of going for an escape room, but not sure what it entails. How, for example, it’s different from a scavenger hunt?

Want some pointers on how to select the right escape room game so as to make your debut experience one for the ages?

Don’t worry – we got you!

Here’s everything you need to know about cracking your very first escape room like a pro, from Escape2Win escape rooms in Virginia Beach!

Sneak peek of what you can expect from this blog

Here’s what you’re all set to know, within the next few minutes…

  • What exactly happens inside an escape room.
  • Prepping like a boss for your first escape room.
  • Rules and regulations you can’t afford to ignore.
  • Proven strategies and problem-solving techniques.
  • How to keep calm under pressure.

Ready? Let’s get started!

What happens inside an escape room?

An escape room is a live, immersive, and interactive (remember that; we will revisit it later) experience that takes place inside a specially designed room/space.

  • First, you assemble a group of your loved ones to be on your escape room team.
    • Scroll down to the FAQ section for some tips on how to choose team members.
  • Next, select an adventure/mission whose theme and difficulty level you and your team are comfortable with.
  • Then the fun begins – you and your team are led into the game room, which is full of props, puzzles, and clues.
  • You must solve the puzzles and find the clues to proceed through the game.
    • Expect to be challenged; these aren’t your boilerplate jigsaw puzzles!
  • Can you reach the final clue and accomplish your mission before time runs out?

Preparing for your very first escape room outing

How Written in Design

From selecting the right theme and difficulty level to planning your route, here are the tips you must know about preparing your debut escape room outing!

Understanding the theme and difficulty level

Escape rooms can have various themes ranging from murder mysteries to spaceship/alien invasions.

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For example, among our five escape room games is a haunted house-themed game (Ghostly Encounter), an alien invasion-themed game (Lunar Lockdown), and so on.

And like every other challenge, escape rooms have various difficulty levels – easy (beginner-friendly), challenging (for casual players), and difficult (for seasoned escape artists).

For example, our murder mystery-themed Scene of the Crime escape game is difficult and not suitable for beginners.

As you’re a first-timer, you should go for easy or moderately challenging games (if you fancy a challenge).

Assembling your team

An escape room is a team event, so you’ll need to choose your team.

Remember, this isn’t a test, so choose folks that you really want to share the experience with.

That being said, try to choose people with different skill sets (like keen eyesight, problem-solving, good communication, and so on).

Tip for Escape2Win: This being your very first time, choose only those people with whom you’re very close and will be open to sharing puzzles ideas with; however absurd-sounding they may be.

Make sure you arrive ahead of time

Escape rooms can have slots booked back-to-back, so we’re very keen on punctuality. Once you’re finished, we need to reset the room and have the next team started on time.

As this is your first outing, make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early, so you have time to catch a breath, freshen up and ask questions before your game begins.

Plan your route and transportation ahead of time.

What to do when you panic in an escape room?

Rules and etiquette you must follow

Rules Written in Design

Each escape room may have its unique set of rules, but some common ones include:

  • Don’t use cell phones inside the game room.
  • Don’t use cameras inside the game room.
  • Don’t resort to brute force to force anything.
    • If you’re going for brute force, chances are you’re missing something.
  • Don’t touch anything marked with a “Do Not Touch” sign.
  • You can’t take anything out of the room.
  • Trust and respect the game master’s advice and directions.

Safety precautions

Safety First on Yellow Board

Escape rooms are designed to be challenging but not dangerous. If something feels unsafe, it’s probably not part of the game. 

And you’ve guessed this, but don’t fiddle with the room electronics!

Remember, you can always ask the game master for help or clarification.

Pro tip from Escape2Win: The escape room will supply all the tools you need to get through the game. Don’t use anything you’re carrying (say, a screwdriver) and manipulate stuff you’re not supposed to.

Hacks to kill it in your first escape adventure

Helpful Tips

Ah, the part you were looking for! Tips and tricks for beating your debut game. Here they are:

  • Appoint a timekeeper: One person who’ll keep track of the time. As a first-timer, you may lose track of time during the game.
  • Remain positive: It’s natural to feel panicky or frustrated if things don’t fall into place. But don’t give in – remain positive.
  • Divide and conquer: Assign tasks based on individual strengths and work on multiple puzzles simultaneously.
  • Remember the briefing: The pre-game briefing can have crucial clues. Remember what you’re told and recollect it when you’re stuck.
  • Don’t obsess over puzzles: If a puzzle or a challenge refuses to be solved, move on. Don’t obsess over it.
  • Share ideas with the team: Don’t feel shy about sharing ideas with everyone. Teamwork makes the dream work!
  • Be organized: Keep all the clues you find in one place that you can see easily. Also, group clues into used and unused.
  • Ask for hints: Hints from the game master are part and parcel of the game! Don’t desist from asking for help just to prove yourself.

A brief introduction to escape room puzzles

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Escape room puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share one common goal: challenging various skills ranging from quick thinking to observation.

You’ll need to decipher codes, undo locks, find hidden objects, identify patterns, and a whole lot more to unravel the room’s mysteries.

The most common escape room puzzles

In the wonderful world of escape rooms, you may face:

  • Logic puzzles
  • Riddles
  • Word and number games
  • Hidden objects
  • Physical challenges

Keeping your cool

Take It Easy

Feeling the heat? Here’s how to manage stress and remain calm under pressure.

  • Step back from whatever you’re doing and relax.
  • Take a deep breath, and remember that it’s just a game.
  • Call out to your teammates for help.
  • Ask for a hint from the game master if necessary.
  • Practice deep breathing and controlling your body language.

Frequently asked questions about how to kill it at your first escape room adventure

FAQ magnifying Glass

From whether you have to be a master problem-solver to tips on what to do when you first enter the game room, here are the most common questions for first-timers.

What happens in an escape room?

You and your team are placed in a themed room filled with puzzles, riddles, and hidden clues.

Your mission? To work together to solve these challenges and “escape” the room or complete a specific objective within a set time limit (usually 60 minutes).

Think of it like being in the middle of your favorite action movie or video game!

Is an escape room like a scavenger hunt?


Escape room beginners think they’re the same as both involve following clues to achieve certain objectives within a time limit.

However, there are two big escape room features that a scavenger hunt lacks: immersive and interactive.

  • Immersive: Through room design and special effects, the escape room aims to make you feel like you’re in the actual game environment. If you’re playing a spaceship-themed game, you’ll feel like you’re in an actual spaceship!
  • Interactive: Many of the escape room elements will interact with you – for example, flashing warning signs if you key in an incorrect code.

Don’t get us wrong – we like scavenger hunts, and you should do those as well.

However, if you’re looking for an immersive and interactive group experience, go for an escape room game!

Do I have to have a huge IQ or be a master puzzle solver to play?

Absolutely not! 

First, escape rooms are designed for people of all skill levels – not just for expert puzzle-solvers or Mensa members.

Second, a high IQ isn’t the only asset you need in an escape room – keeping calm under pressure, sharp observation and good communication skills are just some of the other skills you need!

Third, it’s the collective capability of your team which counts, not your personal ability.

And fourth – an escape room is not an SAT test. It’s an opportunity to share a thrilling experience with your loved ones.

So, rather than obsess over your personal IQ, focus on assembling a well-rounded team of your family, friends, coworkers, and loved ones whose members have diverse skill sets!

What should I know before my first escape room?

Before diving into your first escape room, keep these tips in mind:

  • Assemble your loved ones, but try to see that the group has people with different skill sets.
  • Choose a theme and difficulty level that suits your group’s interests and abilities.
  • Plan your route ahead of time and ensure you arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of your time slot.
  • Be prepared to follow the rules and prioritize safety.

How do I prepare for an escape room?

To gear up for your escape room adventure:

  • Get a good night’s sleep and eat a light meal beforehand.
  • Make sure you arrive ahead of time.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Check our escape room outfits blog for more clothing tips.
  • Visit the washroom before your game begins.
  • Keep an open mind and be ready to think outside the box.
  • Brush up on your communication and teamwork skills.

What should I do first in an escape room?

Here’s what you should do for an amazing experience (and to beef up your chances of a successful breakout!):

  • Follow the game master’s pre-game briefing closely.
  • Scan the room for visible clues and hidden objects.
    • Remember, many clues will be “hidden in plain sight”.
  • Appoint a timekeeper.
  • Divvy up tasks or different parts of the room to different team members.
  • If you find anything, tell everyone else immediately.
  • Stay calm, stay focused, and have fun!

Time to put all of this to the test!

Now that you’re armed with all the tips and tricks of a seasoned escape room pro, it’s time to put your skills to the test. 

Are you ready to rise to the challenge? 

Book your first escape room adventure at Escape2Win Escape Rooms Virginia Beach today and go through your game like a boss! 

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