Searching for some insight into the intriguing world of escape room clues and where to find them?

Want to know which kinds of puzzles and challenges you’re likely to encounter in an escape adventure, so you can be better prepared for your next outing?

Looking for tips and tricks on how to untangle puzzles and clues in an escape room, and what to do when you’re stumped?

Don’t worry – we got you!

Get an insider’s look at the clues, riddles, ciphers and other kinds of challenges you’re likely to be faced with inside the mystery room, courtesy of Escape2Win Escape Room!

The basic idea of an escape room challenge (so we’re on the same page)

In a nutshell, an escape room is like stepping into the world of your favorite mystery novel or adventure film

Having chosen your game, you and your team will find yourselves inside a specially themed and decorated room, where you’ll have to accomplish your mission (“escape” the room) before you run out of time.

Now, of course, you don’t just get to walk through the room to the exit – where’s the fun in that?

You’ll have to solve puzzles and spot clues revealing the way forward…which brings us to the main point of this blog post.

Types of clues in an escape room

Magnifying Glass Detective

Constant innovation in game design means there’s no end to the types of clues that you may be faced with on your adventure.

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That being said, here are some of the most commonly found escape room clue types:

Physical clues

Physical clues are tangible objects that you can interact with, and that often serve as the means to unlock doors, drawers, or other hidden compartments.

Examples: Keys, hidden compartments, props, and so on.

Visual clues

Visual clues are images, patterns, or symbols that help you solve a puzzle or find the next step in the sequence. 

They require keen observation and attention to detail to find.

Sometimes, if you’re trying a game like our haunted house escape room, you may find it difficult to focus on visual clues – stay alert!

Examples: Patterns, colors, symbols, artwork, and so on.

Audio clues

Audio clues are auditory hints that can provide valuable information to solve a puzzle or clue. Sometimes they are hidden in background noise or require specific triggers to be revealed.

Examples: Recordings, sound effects, music, and so on.

Textual clues

Textual clues are written information that can guide you toward the solution to a puzzle or clue. 

These can be found in notes, letters, books, or even scribbled on the walls.

Examples: Notes, letters, books, messages, and so on.

Interactive clues

Interactive clues are puzzles or challenges that require you to physically interact with an object or a set of objects to solve them.

Examples: Switches, buttons, dials, levers, and so on.

The 7 most common escape room puzzle types

Last Part Solving Puzzle

From logical challenges to ciphers and skill-based puzzles, here are the 7 kinds of puzzles that are very common in escape room games.

Lock-based puzzles

Lock-based puzzles involve opening a lock or similar mechanism by inputting the correct code or combination. Or by using a key – which you’ll have to locate.

It depends on the game theme. An old-fashioned padlock would look wildly out of place in a space station-themed adventure, for example.

Examples: Combination locks, padlocks, safes, and so on.

Object-based puzzles

Object-based puzzles require you to manipulate, assemble, or rearrange objects to reveal a clue or solve a challenge.

If you turn up at Escape2Win do watch out – apparently, objects have a habit of moving around by themselves in our mystery room The Attic!

Examples: Jigsaw puzzles, maze puzzles, sliders, and so on.


Cipher-based puzzles involve decoding secret messages or codes by cracking a cryptogram or deciphering a hidden language.

Examples: Code-breaking puzzles, cryptograms, substitution ciphers, and so on.

Logic-based puzzles

Logic-based puzzles require you to apply logical thinking and deduction to solve a challenge, such as a Sudoku or crossword puzzle.

Examples: Sudoku, crossword puzzles, riddles, and so on.

Skill-based puzzles

Skill-based puzzles challenge your dexterity, memory, or other abilities to complete a task or solve a problem.

Examples: Dexterity challenges, memory games, balance challenges, and so on.

Visual puzzles

Visual puzzles involve solving challenges by recognizing patterns, shapes, or images.

Examples: Spot-the-difference, optical illusions, hidden pictures, and so on.

Verbal puzzles

A type of puzzle that involves words, language, or verbal communication to solve.

Examples: Word searches, anagrams, word associations, and classic riddles.

Tips and tricks for tackling puzzles and clues

Tips Tricks for Tackling Puzzle

Here are a few ways you can spot and solve puzzles and clues in an escape room like a pro! Finding yourself stuck at a particularly difficult one? Fall back on these hacks to crack it!

Volunteer your ideas

Don’t be shy! 

If you have an idea or a hunch, share it with your team. 

Sometimes the craziest ideas can lead to the correct solution.

Recollect the pre-game briefing

Before the game begins, you’ll be briefed by the game master. 

This can contain crucial information about the theme, storyline, or specific rules. 

Keep that in mind, as it could be the key to cracking a puzzle. In fact, this is a cool escape room hack.

Pay attention to detail

The devil is in the details, as they say. 

Keep a sharp eye on everything around you—wall decorations, props, or even the tiniest objects

You never know what could be a vital clue.

Divide and conquer

Split up tasks among your team members to cover more ground in less time. 

But make sure to communicate your findings with each other—teamwork is the name of the game!

Wondering how many players to have on your team? Refer to our blog post on escape game team sizes for insight.

Work backward from the end goal

If you know where you need to end up, try working your way backward to figure out the steps you need to take. 

This can help you see connections and patterns that you might have missed otherwise.

Look for patterns 

Our brains are wired to recognize patterns, so use that to your advantage.

Look for recurring themes, colors, or symbols that could lead you to the next clue.

Use logic and deduction

Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and apply logical reasoning to solve puzzles. 

Eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth!

Think outside the box

Escape rooms are designed to challenge your creativity and problem-solving skills. 

Don’t be afraid to try unconventional solutions—sometimes, the most unexpected ideas can be the key to success.

Ask for hints

If you’re really stuck, there’s no shame in asking for a hint from the game master. 

They’re there to help you have a great experience, and a nudge in the right direction might be all you need.

In fact, asking for help is a crucial life hack that you can pick up from escape rooms!

What NOT to do – try every possible combination

Yeah, we’ve seen that a few times. We wouldn’t recommend it.

If you’ve narrowed down your options to a manageable number – say, 4 or 5 choices, then you can go ahead and try them one by one. That’s actually a smart move.

But going 0000, 0001, 0002…(you get the idea) won’t help you at all – it’ll end up frustrating you every time it doesn’t work, and eat up your time.

Ask for a hint instead!

Tips and tricks to horror escape rooms.

Frequently asked questions about escape room clues and puzzles

FAQ Escape Room Clues and Puzzle

The most common questions we get about finding and solving puzzles and clues in escape rooms – answered!

What types of clues can be found in escape rooms?

Some of the most common types of clues found in escape rooms are:

  • Physical clues: Keys, hidden compartments, and props.
  • Visual clues: Patterns, colours, symbols, and artwork.
  • Audio clues: Recordings, sound effects, and music.
  • Textual clues: Notes, letters, books, and messages.
  • Interactive clues: Switches, buttons, dials, and levers.

What are the most common escape room puzzles?

Some of the puzzle types you can expect to encounter on your next escape room adventure are:

  • Lock-based puzzles: Combination locks, padlocks, safes and so on.
  • Object-based puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles, maze puzzles, dissection puzzles (where you slide small pieces to create a larger shape) and so on.
  • Cipher-based puzzles: Code-breaking puzzles, cryptograms, substitution ciphers and so on.
  • Logic-based puzzles: Sudoku, crossword puzzles, riddles and so on.
  • Skill-based puzzles: Dexterity challenges, memory games, balance challenges and so on.
  • Visual puzzles: Spot-the-difference, optical illusions, hidden pictures and so on.

How do you find and solve escape room clues?

Feeling stumped by all this talk of interactive clues and ciphers? Don’t worry; we have your back! 

Here are some tried-and-true strategies to find and solve escape room clues:

  • Volunteer your ideas and share your hunches with your team.
  • Recollect the pre-game briefing for crucial information.
  • Pay attention to detail and keep a sharp eye on your surroundings.
  • Divide and conquer by splitting up tasks among your team members.
  • Look for patterns and connections, and use logic and deduction to solve puzzles.
  • Think outside the box and try unconventional solutions.
  • And when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for hints or clues from the game master.

What are common codes and ciphers used in escape rooms?

Escape rooms love to keep you guessing with codes and ciphers. Some popular ones include:

  • Caesar cipher: A simple substitution cipher that shifts letters by a fixed number.
  • Vigenère cipher: A more complex substitution cipher using a keyword to shift letters.
  • Pigpen cipher: A geometric cipher that uses grids and symbols to represent letters.
  • Morse code: A series of dots and dashes that represent letters and numbers.

How are objects and clues hidden in escape rooms?

Oh, the sneaky ways escape rooms hide their secrets! Objects and clues can be concealed in:

  • Plain sight: Disguised as part of the room’s décor or theme.
  • Hidden compartments: Inside furniture, walls, or props.
  • Puzzles: Only revealed once a puzzle or challenge is solved.
  • Codes or ciphers: Requiring decoding to reveal the clue.

Escape2Win Adds: Budding escape artists at our Virginia Beach escape room have an especially tough time with clues hidden in plain sight.

Do escape rooms feature riddles and word-based puzzles?

You bet! Riddles and word-based puzzles are a staple in escape rooms. Here are some of the most common word-based puzzles you can find in escape rooms:

  • Classic riddles: They require clever thinking and lateral reasoning.
  • Crossword puzzles: You know what a crossword is, right?
  • Word searches: A good example would be finding a specific word from a grid of letters.
  • Anagrams: Again, you know what they are – rearranging the letters of a word/phrase to create another word/phrase.
  • Word associations: One example would require you to link words or phrases based on a common theme or concept.

Ready to put your newfound knowledge to the test?

We think you are!

Choose an adventure, assemble your team, and book your escape room here at Escape2Win Virginia Beach!

We look forward to seeing you here!

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