What do my two favorite TV shows, MacGyver and The Big Bang Theory, have in common? Apart from the weirdly entertaining scientific anecdotes and a nerdy sense of humor, the 2 shows have had awesome episodes showcasing what escape the room games should be like.

In The Big Bang Theory’s Episode 16 of Season 8, Emily Sweeney suggests they (Emily, Raj, Leonard, and Amy) try out an escape room. Dr. David Saltzberg’s zombie-infested lab takes them only 6 minutes to solve the clues. 8th Episode of the first season of MacGyver, Mac is on a date at Professor Intrigue’s escape room and uses his ingenuity to break the rules, break the code, and get the girl.

Conan O’Brien and his producer Jordan Schlansky (CBS) try out an escape the room game

As you probably can already tell, I’m big on TV shows and I’m an escape room fanatic. Part of being an escape room fanatic means any TV show that airs an escape room episode has to be watched keenly. And fanatics share a lot more than that. There are 10 things a casual escapist might be puzzled by, but a fanatic will totally understand.

1. The Higher Your Chances Of Losing, The More Fun It Is

Believe me, it’s true. Escape rooms are meant to be challenging. This is one of the few games where the more challenging it is, the more fun it can get. While some people may initially find this frustrating, more often than not they end up having more fun as they immerse themselves into cracking each code.

2. Skill Diversity Increase Your Success Rates

If you were to ask a total newbie to pick the team, they would probably opt to leave out the slow guy, the dumb blonde, the loudmouth, and the shy dude. This may sound crazy, but fanatics know that having people with strange, and even annoying, character traits in your team might actually increase your chances of success.

3. You Can’t Win More Than Your Team

There’s always that one guy or gal who’s always so competitive and always feels the need to be the star of every show. Escape adventure games teams are no different. Someone will find clues and hide them in their pocket in an attempt to surprise everyone and crack all codes all at once. As impressive as that may sound, it rarely ever works. When you hide codes, clues, and answers, you are depriving your whole team of the chance to break out early. And the immersive fun that comes with breaking the codes together.

4. Try The Obvious First

Escape rooms look like they are meant for the smart guys. The nerds. Wrong! When you think like that, you tend to expect every quiz and clue to have many different hidden meanings. While some quizzes and clues may be complex, most are designed to be cracked by regular folk. Don’t over think it. Try the obvious first.

5. 4th Grade Math May Be All You Need

It’s true you might need some mathematical abilities. And it’s also true that some escape rooms can get extra challenging, requiring complex equations and calculus. But these are usually advertised for advanced players. Most escape rooms will only have simple equations that can be solved by most teens and adults. I am yet to visit any escape room that required more than 4th grade math.

6. Avoid “Emergencies”

If you know you’ll be going into an escape room, avoid anything that will create emergencies in the next hour. For instance, avoid alcohol or overeating as it may make you want to visit the bathroom often. Remember to use the bathroom before going into the room. If you have to check up on your kids back home, make the call before going in so you can truly enjoy the fun once inside.

7. You Can Cheat For Love

Do you want to impress your next date? Why not visit the escape room of your choice in advance first before bringing her over? Yes, escape room fanatics understand that all is fair in love and war. Sampling the game ahead of your date ensures you pick a room you think she’ll like. It also gives you the opportunity to shine and impress. I’m not judging. And any fanatic will understand how difficult it is to impress when under immense pressure.

8. Sometimes The Escape Goal Gets Forgotten, And That’s Okay

Sometimes it becomes obvious that the escape game goal might not be achieved. Rather than simply give up, it’s okay to find another fun activity to indulge in and bring the group closer together. As one Reddit user, frizzykid, described in one of their games. The team realized they were failing. There was a piano in the room and one of the members was a really good pianist. The whole group ended up having a good time singing along to the piano tunes.

9. Clues May Be Wrong, Don’t Sweat It

We’re all human and we tend to be wrong on occasion. That goes for escape room organizers too. Sometimes they give wrong answers to quizzes or give a totally wrong clue. But as it has been said, life is about how you react to bad situations. You can choose to show everyone your frustration and demand for refunds, or you can have fun with it.
Sometimes the quiz can be solved by trial and error, other times, team members with alternative skill sets may identify the error and conclude what the right clue was supposed to be and save the day.

10. Last Minute Escape Can Be Emotionally Charged

On Christmas eve 2016, former President Obama took his gals out to Breakout KC’s Waikiki location. They picked the Mission Manoa escape room which only has an 24% success rate. With this level of difficulty, everyone was fidgeting as the clock ticked. When Malia broke the last code and the family escaped with only 12 seconds to spare, there was cheering and hugs all round. Even the secret service personnel could hardly contain their usually stone-cold demeanors.

While you and I are not part of the first family, the exhilaration of the last minute breakout is just as intense. Expect hugs from strangers and even organizers/management and any onlookers who may happen to be around.

Samantha is a content specialist for Titanium Success. Using the Titanium Success principles, she is driven to teach people how to achieve success in business and live an exceptional quality of life. You can follow Titanium Success on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.