Conquering Escape Rooms

Conquering Escape Rooms with Quick Cooperation

By | Public Blog

The idea of using escape rooms as team building activities is no longer unheard of these days. However, that doesn’t make them any less challenging and surprising for employee teams. A lot of these rooms can have puzzles that seem so different from the challenges in the workplace. How does one group quickly adapt and coordinate to face such unexpected, unfamiliar tasks?

The truth is learning to cooperate quickly isn’t necessarily about the specific details of solving every puzzle. It is about having an instinct to work effectively as a group.

Have you ever watched a team you admire (whether it’s one in sports, big business or even in fiction) and are just amazed by their capacity to coordinate themselves towards finding solutions? It is almost as if their minds are somehow linked, isn’t it?

The truth though is that you don’t need everyone to be psychic in order to accomplish such a feat. Here are three habits that can get you started:

1. Learning cooperatively.

Gathering information, processing it and then translating it into effective actions is what learning is about. Therefore, it is just a matter of having everyone do this process as a group instead of an individual.

Groups that have grown to work well together often rely on each other to gather information in a pre-defined area of any challenge. In escape rooms, it involves each person automatically looking in areas where others aren’t searching in. All the while, the group leader takes center and is prepared to receive and consolidate any information about clues and does most of the work piecing it all together.

In a way, learning cooperatively also means learning to trust that your teammates can do the job of getting information in their respective area and staying focused on bringing in your piece of the puzzle.

2. Knowing each other’s thinking styles.

If you want your group to think in sync, then you need to understand how your teammates think individually. Knowing the roles that each member plays is just the beginning.

This is where the experience of working together can be very valuable for a team’s success. When you have worked together with certain people for a while, you familiarise yourself with the sort of ideas they can come up with. For example, you can expect one person in your group to think of just doing one thing at a time, while another has a habit of seeing a clue from different angles than most.

And on the flip side, you also start developing a sense of their limits. A visual thinker may be unable to come up with an answer to a riddle, but a verbal thinker might. A group that cooperates instinctively has members who always know how to optimally arrange themselves with that in mind.

3. Affirming common goals (and values).

Lastly, one must always remember the importance of the shared goal. After all, survival is often the most basic trigger of instinct. So, if you want cooperation to be an instinct, a group must always remember that they all have a stake in the challenge.

More often than not, the reason teamwork fails is simply because at least one member of the group is not as invested in a shared goal. This can be due to a number factors such as not seeing as much value in it, or having more conflicting priorities.

That is why it is important to lay this out and get everyone on the same page. Do not wait until the middle of any challenge to find out that certain members are mismatched in terms of goals!

All in all, it certainly helps to practice working together as a team in order for members to do it as second nature. But with the above three points in mind, you already have a foundation to stand on no matter unfamiliar a challenge can be!

Come and do Elude Escape rooms www.eludegames.com.au/book-now

Brain Health

Good Games for Good Thinking

By | Public Blog

While there is still a lot of research needed to really show how games improve your brain, there is certainly less doubt about their ability to do so.

Thus, there is an increasing number of programs, apps and games being designed based on this research. The challenge now is to simply pick out the ones that have really made an impact when it comes to creating games and puzzles that genuinely challenge your ability to think.

The following are four examples split into two types, official brain training programs and games known for challenging puzzles that still serve as excellent mental exercise.

1. CogniFit

CogniFit is recognised as arguably one of the few brain training programs in the world that was produced from large, high-quality research. It is not so much a series of games, but rather a massive, complex collection of them designed along the lines of advanced cognitive training tools and tests.

And whether you sign up or not, it is certainly a wonderful example of just how far games have impacted our capacity to hone our mental strengths. CogniFit uses games in all areas of its work with its clients, from its assessments to its personalised programs. In fact, it’s been cited that its numerous minigames have been known to test at least 20 cognitive skills, from response time to auditory perception.

So whether you’re a game designer or a health professional, this is one brand you definitely want to keep an eye on as far as brain exercises go.

2. Lumosity

Despite some controversy around its claims, Lumosity still remains as a highly popular app that shows people how brain training games are supposed to work. It does not merely give you games to play. It also gives reminders to do the exercises daily and keeps track of your results to measure your overall performance.

And while it doesn’t seem to have as many games as CogniFit, each of the games are colorfully designed and enjoyable. They’re still aimed at exercising five important cognitive skills and it’s more widely accessible compared to higher-end brain training programs.

The app even compares your results to the rest of the player population, giving you additional insight on how well you are at a certain skill! Overall, trying it out can be a nice starting point if you think your brain needs more exercise.

3. Myst

On the video game side of things, Myst is a classic treat that has a lot of history for puzzle lovers, gamers and even escape room enthusiasts.

In Myst, you are an unnamed protagonist who find themselves sucked inside the world of the same name after opening a magic book. To escape, you have to explore a whole island that is brimming with puzzles that tie along with the overarching mystery of why you ended up there.

It is one of the earliest incarnations of the otherworldly escape room room adventure, but still shows why it’s awesome to combine immersive role-playing with brain-challenging tasks. One can even argue that it is more holistic than pure exercise, because the game challenges you to tap into both your emotional and cognitive intelligence.

4. Tetris

Believe it or not, experts have done some actual tests on the effects of this arcade classic. The results show that there is a noticeable increase in the cortex’s thickness, which is a possible sign of increased efficiency.

And from a game design perspective, it also makes a lot of sense! Tetris has long been known as a game that challenges multiple cognitive skills at once. You have hand-eye coordination, flexible planning and decision-making just to name a few.

It is a small wonder that, even today, this retro brick game continues to be a favourite time-killer for both gamer and non-gamer alike.

All in all, there could still be a lot more characteristics to consider if a game can be used as a good way to exercise your brain. However, the above examples certainly embody a lot of the desired traits so consider trying them out if you want a nice, mental exercise during your downtime.

Brain Health

The Curious Case of Brain Health and Gaming

By | Public Blog

Without a doubt, there has been a long, ongoing conversation about how games affect our brain.

Whether it’s the controversy over video games and child development, or the impact of escape room activities on employee skills, much debate and discussion has been had on the connection itself.

However, why is this so? Why do games, in particular, seem to have a tremendous impact on the brain’s health? Furthermore, why has the focus been on games and not other activities like working or studying?

The answer generally touches on three core topics that often crop up in the conversation.

1. Learning and Reward Systems

If you are ever reading or talking about why game-based learning is being considered over textbooks, then you eventually start discussing the way the brain operates when it gets rewarded for tasks.

Unlike studying or working, games tend to give more immediate rewards and the dopamine effect it has on the brain creates the motivating rush and satisfaction players feel upon success.

Granted, many argue that this aspect of instant gratification creates addictive or obsessive behaviors. However, there are also equally negative effects when pressing the brain to perform tasks while delaying gratification. Stress, anxiety and demotivation occurs when the brain is left to work too long without any hope of reward in sight. Learning is better when that hope is at a fixed, visible point.

2.  Executive Function

You may not be familiar with this term, but Executive Function generally describes all the skills that mark a properly functioning brain. They are:

  • Working Memory
  • Self-Control/Concentration
  • Flexible Planning

All of these are exercised in games via one form or another. Working memory is used when, for instance, you are piecing together clues you have found during an escape room challenge. Concentration is tested when games challenge you to perform a set number of objectives without being sidetracked. Flexible planning is often the one most exercised when playing strategy games or in activities that require various degrees of multi-tasking.

Overall, when it comes to the brain health benefits of gaming, a lot is primarily focused on these core skills as they can apply to a wide range of jobs and disciplines.

3. Neuroplasticity

Finally, you have a topic that is the focus of constant research in neuroscience: Brain plasticity.

Simply put, it is the idea that the brain’s structure can be altered by activities (hence it is ‘plastic’). While there is still a lot about it that has been fully proven, a select few programs have already shown very consistent results.

And naturally, all these programs make heavy use of game design.

Furthermore, even if they don’t result in significant performance all across the board, it is already safe to say that games certainly do have an impact on the way the brain structures itself to be better at certain tasks.

All in all, it may still be too early to tell if games can have such a drastic impact on the brain. On the other hand, it is becoming more and more evident that this connection can clearly create positive outcomes.

Board Games

Exciting Escape Room Games to Gift Your Holiday Introvert

By | Public Blog

Sometimes there are people in your life who really prefer staying indoors and use up too much energy going out (let alone join you for a fun, escape room escapade). Still, there’s no doubt that these friends of yours love games, love challenges and love adventure as long as they’re not forced to move around so much.

Board games are often the go-to holiday present for buddies like these. However, as we showed in one of our past blogs, there are also specific board games that perfectly capture the feel of an escape room adventure and make for fitting gifts that come from enthusiasts. Here are two of the most popular:

Unlock!

This was the one we directly mentioned in a past post. But for your convenience, here is a quick overview of how this board game series recreates the escape room feel and is great for indoor parties.

Rules and Components

The game is mainly a stack of cards, with one card representing the room and several more representing the objects you will be interacting with in search of clues. The cards all have a corresponding number on their backs and will interface with each other based on those numbers (which we’ll explain in just a bit).

The game also requires you to have a mobile app, which is readily available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store. It is through the app that you will be able to recreate other escape room mechanics such as timers, hints and mechanisms that involve typing in number combinations or passwords.

Of course the cards themselves also do an incredibly designed job of bringing to life every player’s interaction with the clues. For example, each card has a puzzle piece icon that can be matched with that of another card. And when you add up the numbers of the two cards together, that actually leads to a third card that may represent the result of what you did (for instance, combining one card with a key and another with a lock box leads to the card showing the lockbox now opened).

These mechanics are just the tip of the iceberg though! The Unlock! series will have players faced with all sorts of fun challenges unique to various genres (from a cartoon adventure to thwart a mad scientist to a perilous foray into an uncharted island). And unlike most escape room-style board games, these can be played over and over again. If you want to gift a friend the equivalent of a lifetime pass for escape rooms, then Unlock! Is that gift!

Exit: The Game

Of course, if there’s not a lot of room in your budget, then Exit is also a pretty good gift and is one of the most affordable escape room board games on the market.

Rules and Components

The beauty of Exit is in the cleverness and complexity of its puzzles. In fact, the mechanisms in the various games of the series are arguably even more dynamic than Unlock! Hence, it is difficult to describe in words.

What is notable about it is that every aspect of each game’s rules and components does an incredible job emulating the experience of taking your friends for an escape room adventure. You even start by signing up your names on the ruleset sheet that comes in the box!

Now, the other two core components of the game are a puzzle wheel (to simulate certain puzzles in the ruleset) and a deck of cards (which interact in the same manner as those in Unlock!). Some of the cards also serve as additional hints, clues and even represent the pathways your group will travel on as you try to escape.

There are also components in each Exit game that make them very unique to each other. The Secret Lab, for example, has a notebook of sorts that you will need to write on to further understand the clues you get from performing experiments.

Exit does have one setback, however. As implied by the notebook example, many of each game’s components will require cutting, taping and writing. That means each experience is really a one-time run.

Then again, it’s a good thing that these games still gives great value because they are so cheap. If you want to give a friend just a good yet light taste of what escape room challenges are like, then Exit is a great way to introduce them to the experience.

Overall, whichever of these you decide to get, they are definitely worth the money either way. Being unable to head out no longer has to serve as a constant obstacle to your escape room plans. Give these two escape room games a try at your next Christmas party and bring the experience to life on tabletop!

Elude Escape Room in Galston sell both of these in their foyer or online at www.eludegames.com.au

Relive the Team Building Excitement

Simple and Sweet Ways to Relive Escape Room Excitement at Work

By | Public Blog

Imagine you and your team just had a nice team building even at your local escape room. You all enjoyed the thrills, loved exploring the awesomely designed puzzles and also a bit wiser about teamwork.

Yet as the days go by, everyone goes back to the routine and some of your colleagues feel like they could still use some of the mental exercise they experienced during the event. Is there a way to do that without doing the crazy route of having an escape room in your own office?

The good news is there are plenty of far simpler ideas that will do well enough!

1. Colour and Counting Puzzles

Think back on some of the puzzles you encountered in an escape room. Did any of them involve colour identification and counting?

If they did, try to imagine the objects they use in simpler forms (like coloured blocks). The result is essentially the same puzzle but on a smaller scale but still exercises the same set of skills!

A good place to start would be trying some activity books aimed at adults. There you can find just as many challenges that engage the mind in a way that lets you relive those you’ve experienced in an escape room.

2. Escape Room Simulation Games

Take note, the history of escape rooms share a lot of common elements (and some say even ancestry) with the video game genre of hidden object mystery adventures. You have rooms and each room has interactive elements that provide clues.

Video games aren’t the only way this thrilling search can be simulated though. There are also tabletop games like Unlock! and Exit Games, which markets itself as an escape room simulator that you can enjoy with friends during breaks!

Likewise, there is no stopping you from coming up with your own miniaturised version of an escape room simulation yourself. All it takes is the concept of having several rooms, the ways players can interact to get clues towards escape and your own imagination.

3. Organise Regular Mini Teamwork Activities

Naturally, you may already be aware of the many small-yet-fun team building activities that can be done in less than half an hour. However, instead of just trying a few them every now and then, why not just organise it as part of the routine?

A lot of these activities certainly place a strong emphasis on helping employees work together as opposed to solo challenges. For example, consider a simple blindfold game where one partner verbally guides the other on a relatively simple journey from Point A to Point B.

An activity doesn’t have to be particularly mind-boggling if your goal is regularly exercise everyone’s ability to work in sync and improve trust between teammates.

Remember, while the fullness of an escape room is definitely something to experience, there are ways to recreate the awesome challenges that exercise the mental skills and teamwork capabilities of your workmates. In fact, breaking down and identifying the key components to create a simplified version of it can be a great exercise in of itself!

You can purchase these table top games from Elude Escape Rooms pop in and pick one up. Complete list available on our website even great for Christmas Gift Ideas.

Puzzles, Challenging and Fun

Visual Design Tricks

By | Public Blog

Everyone knows at least one puzzle that was actually harder than it looked. However, that sort of trick is used to characterise a wide range of problem-solving challenges that appear simple at first glance but are actually very hard to solve. The Rubik’s cube is one of the most well-known examples. Surprisingly though, this trope sees heavy use in other mediums from escape rooms to video games.

Have you ever wondered about how first-timers get easily fooled?

The answer is that a lot of it has to do with certain design elements of the puzzle. Many of these deceptively easy-looking challenges have a lot of these in common.

1. Minimalist on the outside, complex clockwork on the inside.

When you hear the term ‘minimalist design,’ it generally refers to an art style that focuses on simplicity. This can be a puzzle sphere that is of a single colour, or a room that doesn’t seem to have anything but a single book on an innocuous, white table.

In reality though, the minimalist design often serves as the perfect disguise for a complex setup of puzzle pieces that you actually manipulate to solve. For example, that single sphere may in fact be a transforming key. The simple room may actually have hidden switches or pressure plates virtually unseen to the naked eye.

It is actually one of the oldest tricks in the book as far puzzles go but it is certainly no less effective in confounding challengers.

2. Bright colours and not-so-serious themes.

This one is something of an opposite to #1. Instead of coming across as simple, the puzzle’s aesthetic is painted in silly, cartoonish colours that makes it hard to take seriously.

But just like a minimalist puzzle, this type of clownish or gimmicky design is just as clever a disguise. The classic video game Tetris is one very good example. For despite the game’s status as an icon and its retro-arcade looks, it remains one of the most challenging digital puzzles to date.

Likewise, there are escape rooms that can classify themselves as very family-friendly and feature characters or stories suitable for all ages. That doesn’t necessarily mean the puzzles won’t demand surprisingly difficult solutions (like designating a very challenging puzzle for adults while the kids can be assigned to do the simpler tasks).

3. Illusion of the almost complete solution.

Another trick is to present the problem in a way that it almost appears solved. For example, you can have a lock with a key already set to open it, or an arrangement of books that look like they just need that big red one lying at the foot of the shelf. When you attempt the seemingly obvious solution however, either nothing happens or the room’s real challenge is revealed.

Sharper minds might think there’s some trick but even those minds can be fooled with you put some form of pressure on them (like a time limit).

It certainly makes for a very nice twist if you find it placed right near the end of the challenge where the excitement is high, success seems so close but the clock is still ticking. On the other hand, it can also be placed at the very start and give puzzle challengers a nice appetizer on what other unexpected tricks await them ahead.

Overall, if there is one thing that these visual tricks can teach you is that it never fails to think twice and take another look at the problem. (Incidentally, this makes for not just good puzzle solving technique but can go a long way to helping you in life as well!)

Why not try some puzzles out in one of our rooms. Book now

Challenging Escape Rooms

Is Decor Distracting You from Solving Difficult Escape Room Challenges?

By | Public Blog

Many famous escape rooms take pride in the artistic handicraft poured into their rooms. They could be life-like recreations of antiques, impeccably designed furniture or clever special effects that all combine to create an immersive atmosphere that bring the rooms to life.

However, it is still an escape room. There is a challenge to beat and at times, even flawless decoration only serves to distract you from the coming out victorious!

Of course, this sort of thing happens in real life too. Sometimes you just can’t help but give your attention to the little details, or get distracted by making observations that don’t actually matter as opposed to getting things done.

So, what is a challenger to do when it feels like the decor is proving too well-made that you can’t seem to identify any of the clues around you?

Tip #1. Review a room’s primary objective.

Some people get caught up in the room’s premise (like escape the haunted prison cells or find the holy grail) and don’t realise that an individual room has an objective of its own.

It is like saying that a company needs profit to keep itself growing and staying afloat. Everyone in the organisation knows that already, so what is the more immediate objective you have to make? Likewise, you and your teammates need to first establish what you have to do in a particular room in order to proceed.

This not only lets you find something to work towards but it can also help you guys stay grounded in case you run into puzzles, or tricks that don’t seem to get you anywhere.

Tip #2. Keep track of progress.

All right, so you found a few peculiar objects and spaces and you’re all scrambling around or talking about different ways they may interact that lead to a solution.

But in the midst of that din, there is a risk of losing track in all the excitement. Make sure to have a space in the room where you lay out all the clues and then another spot for all the clues that have either been used or didn’t seem to go anywhere.

In other words, have at least one person keep track of what you have already accomplished in the room. That way, along with having an objective in mind, you can quickly review what you have already done and what else you have to search for. It also helps your minds maintain focus on tasks rather than getting lost in the environment.

Tip #3. Spread out, but still work together.

Another bad tendency people have in escape rooms is to bunch up around a single puzzle. You might think that having more than one person may help solve it, but you’re also forgetting that the room is left unexplored! It can also make it difficult for the main puzzle solver to concentrate as everyone’s eyes are on them.

Consider dividing roles among your group, such as assigning people to look around specified areas. You can also have another person be the one in charge of looking at the big picture while everyone stays focused on their own separate task.

Remember, escape rooms are generally team endeavors and not many encourage one-man shows.

And incidentally, a lot of these have powerful applications in real life as well. So no matter how much you can be enamoured by your surroundings in an escape room (or by things in life), it always pays to have a few things to keep your feet on the ground and return your focus to what’s in front of you.

Puzzles for Gift Ideas

Why Puzzle Gifts Are Great Holiday Presents for Productive Employees

By | Public Blog

All right, so you’ve had a good year and a lot of it has to do with some of the most productive employees just blazing through every hurdle and tackling every problem that gets in the way of company objectives.

Normally, most business owners would think to reward them with a bonus, an extra day off. But while these are all well and good, there’s no harm topping it all off with something that can enhance their work experience.

This might surprise you but the gift of a puzzle might just be it.

Now, you might be wondering if this refers to a jigsaw puzzle or a puzzle game but it can be other things beyond that. What matters though, is that you want this gift to impart something valuable to your employees that help them in their work.

Here are just a couple examples to illustrate:

1. Puzzle Toys and Arcade Recreation Rooms

Recreation rooms are becoming quite a staple in the office but what exactly distinguishes the best? A lot of them include wide open spaces, relaxing games like mini-golf, pool or even a refurbished arcade box. Some also have a nice stack of puzzle toys or board games that employees can enjoy together.

Notice how all the activities are directly related to engaging the mind, followed by the simple pleasure of winning or beating the puzzle. That is the inherent nature of all games, regardless of genre, form or medium. It is like the compact version of what makes work satisfying, where they go in to do something and are rewarded for their efforts.

2. Escape Room Team Building

As previously discussed, escape room establishments have seen increasing use as team building sites for a very good reason. They are not only entertaining, but also provide avenues to test your employees capacity for teamwork and leadership. Every puzzle is designed to be solved through the combined efforts of different members, not just one!

Furthermore, much like other effective team building activities, they make employees more aware of their role and reinforce a culture of cooperation. It is not enough to work hard at what you do in today’s workplace. It is about how well you see your work as part of a larger solution to a company’s challenges. The themes and design concepts can even be used to further illustrate the means to tackle obstacles that employees encounter on the job.

In either of these examples, employees are given something that does more than just de-stress them or provide opportunities to not think about work. You are not just giving them some branded token that they then just set aside, put on display at their desk and then eventually ignore for the rest of the year..

Making gifts out of puzzles, games and activities is about giving them entertaining exercises of the mind. They show to employees that it is not entirely impossible to both have fun and to use the faculties that make high productivity possible.

And as such, they make for great gifts for the holidays!

We have some great board games for sale on our website or in our foyer. www.eludegames.com.au/

Escape Room Experiences Energise Teams

How Escape Room Experiences Energise Employees

By | Public Blog

When it comes to relaxation and re-energising, there are people who think that involves just sitting around doing nothing at all. And sure, there can be a case for saying that such types of relaxation can really restore energy and make you more productive in the long run.

It’s similar to the importance of sleeping. Why do something even more exhausting like playing a stressful game, heading to the amusement park or booking an escape room challenge when stuff like sleep just seems more relaxing?

The problem is that prolonged mental inactivity can eventually be signs of actual health issues (and yes, this includes excess sleep). Among these issues include depression, anxiety and lethargy just to name a few.

One way to explain this is that you may be experiencing certain degrees of dopamine deficiency. Dopamine is essentially one of the hormones responsible for the rushing feeling you get when you are playing games as well as that satisfying feeling when you do well in them.

Unfortunately, dopamine has been getting a bad rep as of late. You see a lot of articles conflate it with issues like video game addiction and hyperactivity. This eventually results in people having negative connotations with stuff like games and how the infamous ‘dopamine rush’ is seen as an escapism problem. Stuff like escape room challenges are then further stigmatised as just another corporate gimmick to exhaust employees.

The truth though is that the dopamine rush is not only natural, it can be very healthy for both mind and body! (In fact, here’s one game designer’s own take as to why being more mentally active during breaks boosts productivity, instead of the other way around.) The rush is a boost to your determination and willpower. It is directly tied with feelings of accomplishment. Without it, you are more likely to never get up in the morning, or feel any satisfaction from doing things.

Furthermore, you can’t always be sure that all employees share the mindset of sitting around doing nothing as the ultimate pastime. In fact, it is just as likely (maybe even more) that employees crave a sense of accomplishment and this is one of the things employers need to combat turnover.

When you recognise the achievers and gamers of your own team, then you will certainly benefit from an escape room activity designed to give them the challenge they always seek out. It meets all the criteria for the things they need to re-energise the way they like it:

It keeps their problem solving skills sharp, even outside work.

Sometimes, it’s much easier to just have a mind sharp at all times rather than waste a few extra hours getting into the same problem-solving mindset. That can prove critical during times when the team faces unexpected obstacles at work!

It lets them show their best, even outside the office.

Many of the problem solving skills needed at work are also very applicable in other areas of their life. And if your employees take pride in these skills, giving them more avenues to showcase them is always a plus!

It makes it easier to enjoy work.

When employees enjoy using the same set of skills they use at work as much as play, then obviously job satisfaction is high. That means less chances of them looking for other companies to give them that enjoyment.

To sum it up, re-energising activities don’t have to involve excessive lounging. One can actually recharge via intense, challenging activities because achievement is just as invigorating as raw relaxation.

For more information about team building visit my blog page

Or call us on 8005 0077

Escape Rooms and problem solving

How Game Symbolism and Simplicity Teach Problem Solving

By | Public Blog

There is really no doubt that escape room challenges can teach business teams how to solve problems together. However, it also helps to understand exactly how these rooms do that by taking a look at their design.

Take their use of symbolism, for example. Many rooms with various themes often incorporate a clever use of symbols that point to a solution. On the other hand, many of them also do so in a way that is surprisingly simple (it is almost counterintuitive).

Here’s one form of it:

Imagine your group is in an escape room that has a fantasy theme. You explore it and find several small statuettes labelled with cool sounding names of who they supposedly represent. On one wall of the room though, you see a table with spots indicating where the statues should be but nothing happens when put them on.

You all wonder if it has to do with the names and you struggle when nothing still happens. After a bit more fiddling around though, you realize that there is a clue under it that cryptically says A – Z.

It turns out, the names are really just a distraction and the real solution was to arrange the statues in alphabetical order.

Puzzle designs like that are common in escape rooms and many other games as well. One shouldn’t underestimate the vital skills they can train you to do. The following are some examples of these skills in action:

 Being able to filter out possibilities

You can see this in the previous example of the fantasy statuettes. Some puzzles can trick you to consider far too many possibilities that you experience analysis paralysis.

The exercise is in breaking all those possibilities down to a very small few. This can be done in several ways, such as getting more clues or acquiring more assets that allow you to push forward with fewer outcomes to concern yourself with.

Creating goal-centric solutions

Suppose you have another room where the goal seems to be to avoid a complex barrage of projectiles and it looks like you need lightning fast reflexes to avoid.

However, sometimes you can be too preoccupied with an obvious solution that an even simpler yet less obvious one is actually less exhausting. It can be that the room actually has one blind spot where you just need to stand still to avoid everything. After all, the goal was to avoid getting hit!

Seeing the answer in plain sight

Sometimes the biggest challenge to finding answers is the very mindset that has you looking for them. This is usually what happens in puzzles that place a solution in plain sight. A riddle that says the next clue is ‘inside a flower’ could literally be talking about the big flower painting on the wall.

Sometimes, being a skilled problem solver is not just about thinking outside the box. It can also mean being open to the possibility of answers being right there with having to assume hidden shortcuts or more missing clues.

Of course, these are but a few ways that trick symbols and deceptively simple game design can be great problem solving exercises. Consider checking out an escape room attraction or tackle some puzzle games to find even more examples!

Book now for your next adventure

 

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