30 Mar, 2020

Perplexing Escape Room Puzzles: Part 1

The sheer variety of escape room puzzles never ceases to amaze us. In fact, the diversity is so expansive that we’re going to split this blog into TWO parts for your reading pleasure! So be sure to also check out part 2 of our list of ‘Perplexing Escape Room Puzzles’!

Let’s get things started with our first set of five…

1. Magnet Puzzles

The wonderful thing about magnet puzzles is their flexibility. ALL types of magnet objects can be easily incorporated into a fun and thematic puzzle that fits in seamlessly with the narrative.  They usually work by using a magnet to attract a magnetic object that’s just out of reach to advance through the room. Whether it’s a lock, key, wedding ring or simply a metallic chunk with a clue inscribed on it; the variations of this puzzle type are endless!

2. Illusions

Perceptual illusions are those that force you to view items and furnishings around the room from different angles to get the clue. These are particularly amusing from a game master’s perspective; as groups consisting of multiple players suddenly stop what they’re doing to tilt their heads, squint their eyes and change levels in their attempts to uncover what the illusion is hiding!

3. Puzzles in Plain Sight

Always remember this important bit of advice: ANYTHING contained in the room can be part of the narrative! Escape room designers are clever in the way they deliberately place seemingly trivial items in plain sight, making you think it’s just part of the décor when in fact it’s something that plays a crucial role in the game! Never disregard something purely on the basis that it seems too obvious…​

4. Research-Based Puzzles

Puzzles that require players to look up and research the answer using material found in the room is the main reason why mobile phones aren’t permitted inside! Otherwise, you’d be able to simply Google the answer and complete the puzzle in record time… Instead, the answer will be embedded in something such as a newspaper clipping, news bulletin, research notes or map etc. WARNING: Smaller or poorly organised groups may find this task tedious and time-consuming!

5. UV Light Clues

UV light puzzles are an escape room staple and often recognised as a standard inclusion in the classic concept. The idea is simple: on the walls, or somewhere around the room, will be a clue written in invisible ink that will only be revealed once a hand-held UV light is shone over it. This means you’ll need to shine that light EVERYWHERE to make sure you aren’t missing an important piece of the game