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Question #9: How do we get help during the game if we need it?

Few people can complete an escape game without needing at least some help along the way, and that’s where our Games Masters come in!

Our Answer: Most escape rooms will have a way of delivering hints while players are in the game. An attentive and skilful Games Master will be able to recognise when players are not making progress and offer an appropriate hint that gives the players a nudge in the right direction – helping them make progress under their own steam rather than giving them the answer to a puzzle.

Why Ask? Well, some escape rooms limit the number of hints offered and when there are none left customers may well become frustrated if they can’t make progress and complete the game. Or, other escape rooms give you penalties for using hints, such as time deduction. Whilst this doesn’t get deducted off your overall time in the room, it gets taken off of your final escape time, which can be extremely anti-climatic upon your escape to find out you “technically” didn’t escape. Definitely worth checking!

The way that hints are delivered can vary a lot. At one end players might be handed a walkie talkie (or even worse a baby monitor) - Ok for a spy themed room but for a game set in the Wild West?

At The Escape Key, there are a variety of ways hints can be delivered. Whether it’s messages sent to old telephones, envelopes posted through a letterbox or notes sent to an 80s fax machine. We also like to get creative with how players can request help – for example a desk bell in Joseph Swan’s Study in Electric City and a cowbell for the gallows on the Town Moor in Witch.

Screens are common in escape rooms and hints can be typed up or visual hints shown by Games Masters. A better use of screens is to use specialist escape room software which shows the countdown timer and also allows picture and video hints to be sent which can be more helpful and less intrusive than the Games Masters voice. Where we do use screens they are well decorated and fit the era of the game. You won’t find any TVs on tables with exposed cables and plugs in our games.

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