Over the past years, online escape rooms have become an increasingly popular pastime for many people. This entertaining game has a group of people gather in a locked room designed with all sorts of puzzles that need to be solved so the team can escape and emerge victorious before the timer runs out. With remote working becoming more common and managers needing to ensure their team is developing relationships with each other, these online escape rooms are a great choice.
If you are interested in testing out your remote team's collaboration capabilities and puzzle-solving skills, Online escape rooms are the best solution. If you have ever played the physical version of escape rooms, then you will notice the online version is mostly the same. The difference for these experiences is that players are hosted over a video conference tool, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
While every online escape room game has a theme and setting, they generally play the same. Hosting an online escape room session will allow you to get the team together and have them work as a single unit to escape the room. If the crew is incapable of working together, they will struggle with figuring out how to leave the room and win the play session. Here are several things you should keep in mind when playing an online escape room with your remote team.
Communication is key
Online escape rooms are best with people who are capable of working together and communicating effectively. The team should hear everyone's ideas out, even if they seem a bit too out there. Leaders need to encourage everyone to speak up and brainstorm possible solutions to figure out the puzzle. The more open communication happens among team members, the quicker they will be able to escape from the hostile room.
The better everyone knows each other, the more likely they are to figure out a strategy to escape from the room. While having a team of bright people in the group might help, it takes more than that to solve the puzzles. Playing with a group of people that you're comfortable with is needed. So the more your team communicates with each other, the more likely they are to become comfortable and work seamlessly together. Think about it, If the timer only has three minutes left and you need to quickly find the last hint to solve the problem, who would you preferably work with for this situation? Team members, who know you or strangers?
Be aware of the rules.
This is a vital tip to keep in mind. Online escape rooms tend to provide specific items that shouldn’t be casually picked up by the players in the room. Disrupting these can lead to messing up a puzzle, causing confusion to erupt over the device not working, and losing time. Sometimes the game master may attempt to fix the problem, but it still wastes too much time and leads to frustration building up. Other things to consider are the number of clues and the timer. Players need to understand how clues are provided to them. Different games have different methods for providing the players with hints.
Watch the timer
One of the most important things you need to do is keep a close eye on the timer. The purpose of this game is to escape the room before the timer runs out. If it reaches zero before you solve the puzzles, the game ends, and you ultimately lose. Have at least one person on the team keep a close eye on it and remind the team how much time they have left. It is also a great way to gauge how long it takes for the team to figure out the various riddles.
Have paper and pen in hand
During your play-through of an escape room, you may need to decipher or rearrange some letters, words, numbers, and such. Consider having a piece of paper and pen near you so you can write these clues down and make it easier to solve these puzzles. It’s also handy for writing down any ideas you have, reminders of the storyline, things you have spotted in the room, the type of locks that are in the room, and so forth. These games can be mentally taxing, so writing these down can help you remain organized.
Ask for clues!
As mentioned before, escape rooms are filled with puzzles that need solving, and as fun, as they can be to solve, you should not let the team get stuck on a single problem for too long. That will lead to frustration and wasting time. Most of these game sessions tend to last one hour, and every minute counts. Since these rooms place the player in tricky situations, the rules generally allow the players to ask for a clue from the game master. Sometimes if the game master feels like the team has been on a single puzzle for too long, they might inquire if the players would like a clue.
Instead of turning them down, hearing them out, and ask for a clue. There is no shame in asking for clues to solve a puzzle. Ignoring these clues will waste everyone's time and make you look like a fool instead of turning down help. A general rule of thumb is to request a hint if you are stuck on a puzzle for longer than five to ten minutes. Plus, if the game master is suggesting you use a clue, then maybe you should consider taking them up on that offer.
Escape Room Games
There are plenty of online escape room games that can be found online. Some of them will cost you, while others are available for free. It’s up to you to decide on which type of escape game you want to play with the rest of your remote team. Here are several escape room games you can look into:
- Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
- OPERATION: X-13
- Asteroid Collision
- See Me Escape Rooms here
- Escape: The Midnight Express by Escape the Crate
- Confundrum Escape Rooms
- The Escape Game
- Sherlock Escape Room
Online Escape rooms are excellent for getting your team together and watching them combine their brains to solve their way out of these gruesome situations. The brainstorming session they undergo to solve these puzzles will positively reflect throughout their working hours when they need to come up with ideas for the next big project. However, keep in mind that these escape room games can take a while to accomplish, so make sure to set them up during a day where everyone has at least one hour to spare.