First time players and escape room veterans alike have a tendency to ask one question before starting a room at Palace Games: “Do you have any advice?” The Palace Games crew, it turns out, does indeed have advice, for we’ve seen it all. Thrilling and swift escapes, tense down to the wire victories, and costly communication errors are all part of a day’s work for San Francisco’s escape room company located in the historic Palace of Fine Arts. With the demand for insight so high, we are happy to present our collected escape room tips and tricks.
1. Read, read, read.
And read carefully! This tip is essential. There is nothing more facepalm inducing than realizing the answer was right in front of you, if you only you had heeded the clues.
2. Collaborate with everyone. And we mean EVERYONE.
Any escape room host can tell you about a common and unfortunate circumstance. A leading team member guides the group in the wrong direction while a quiet participant mutters the correct solution to the scenery. If you’ve got an idea, be confident! If you find yourself grasping, try giving it up to the room.
3. Don’t be afraid of experimentation.
This tip is for the skeptics. Sometimes the answer may seem improbable. Sometimes a member of the team will voice that opinion, with a quick, “That will never work!” An escape room can be a magical thing, but you have to say yes to it first. Give that crazy idea a try! (Just don’t break anything, and keep your clothes on.)
4. Organize yourself.
Some puzzle pieces are hard won. Why scour the room for them a second time? A good trick for organization is to designate areas of used and unused items. At the very least, let teammates know what you have and where you’re going with it. And NEVER pocket ANYTHING.
5. If you see something, say something.
Hot take: communication is key. Everybody’s synapses fire differently. Observed something you can’t make sense of? It might be all your teammate needs to solve a tricky puzzle.
6. Trust your host.
Some teams don’t want any help. It’s a perfectly valid, if somewhat bold, choice. But every team is given an introduction and a set of rules from their game master. Your host will not lie to you. If they say there’s nothing out of reach, they mean it. They want you to escape just as much as you want to escape.
7. Arrive on time and with a clear head.
We all know how troublesome Bay Area transportation can be, so make sure you budget your time conservatively. Ensuring you arrive on time and with a clear head (drinks before the game are not a good idea) will remove the unnecessary external tensions.
If you take these Palace Games collected tips and tricks to heart, you’ll be set up for success. The rest is up to you. Learn them well and tell your friends. Then have fun! We’ll see you at the Palace of Fine Arts!