Here at Lokey’s, we are passionate about escape rooms. (Translation: we are nerds.) We’ve played a lot of rooms over the years. Nearly 150 as of this writing. If you want to train your brain, if you want to get even better at escape rooms, here are some tips we’ve learned along the way that will make you a pro in no time.

Communicate: Talk things out. Vocalize everything you see. “There’s a lock… I see a key…. Has anyone looked at these things yet… I just found this… This says…” Using your voice will help you remember things. Something you say on one side of the room may be what your teammate needs on the other. Also, what you say out loud is different than what your team hears.

Listen: Your teammates are doing #1. Try your best to hear and acknowledge their input. This gets tricky with groups of 5+ as everyone talks…. OVER each other. You need to talk TO each other.

Explore: Touch things, move things, feel things, look at things. Everything. You should have investigated every area of the room in the first couple minutes. Observe up, down, left, right. Try to move as many things as you can. If it moves with two fingers, it’s meant too. Uncross your arms. Take your hands out of your pockets. It’s time to interact with the environment.

Follow through: Don’t give up so easy. If there are four things to look at, don’t stop at the 3rd. If you’re looking at something from top to bottom, left to right – don’t give up halfway through. If you’re turning something? Turn it all the way. Going further with your actions will surprise you.

Momentum: You need to have energy for the entire 60 minutes. Don’t shuffle your feet. Don’t fold your arms or keep hands in pockets. Have fun. Power walk. Break a sweat maybe. The point is: you need to start and finish with energy! Gentle energy. But still: energy.

Team: Escape Rooms can be played with 2 people. We’ve played nearly 150 as of this writing. Almost all just the two of us. But two people have to move with the speed and skill of 4-6 Players. A sweet spot for a Team is 4. And 5-6 is manageable, but it does change certain aspects of the game.

Play more: This is the cardinal room on how to improve. There are over 7000 playable rooms in America. Don’t play 1 room a year. Your brain is like a muscle. And the more you work it, the more it gets stronger. Try, at bare minimum, to play a room every few months. More if possible because it will take at least 4-5 rooms played over a shorter time before you even start to learn the language of rooms. The sooner you get to 5 rooms, the better.