If you’re the type who spends weekends tucked away in shoddy escape rooms built on padlocks and plastic, then chances are you’ll already have breezed through Escape Academy and its plethora of tough-as-nails puzzles. And if you’ve yet to shovel through it and pick its countless locks, then you’re in for a real treat — as it touts one of the most convincing video game representations of a real-life escape room ever created. Without a few tips to nudge you along your way, though, such an experience can easily dwindle into quite the frustrating set of chores.
So, exactly how does one become a fledgling escapee in a world that’s so indescribably complex? Well, here are a few pointers for budding newcomers and returning escape artists alike. In need of some quick-fire tips for the opening sections of Escape Academy? Here’s everything you should take into account before enrolling in the rather niche university.
5. Get Your Pen Out
Let’s be honest — nobody can take mental notes for prolonged periods of time, especially when said periods of time are littered with perplexing puzzles, codes, and multi-step solutions. And so, to tackle the slew of brain farts that you’re guaranteed to encounter, it’s always best to take matters into your own hands by jotting down actual notes whenever you get the chance. And that brings us to our next point: pausing, although technically classed as cheating in any real-world scenario, is perfectly acceptable in a game like Escape Academy. If you can use this time to reflect on your notes and conjure the best possible picture of the task and, more importantly, the solution for escaping the room, then you’ll effectively remove a sliver of pressure from your subconscious as a result.
Of course, working alone can be twice as hard as working with another like-minded escapee, so it’s always best to use handwritten notes as your first port of call in most, if not all situations that involve an ongoing puzzle of some sort. And if you do fail one of the rooms that you’re working on, then don’t sweat it — those notes will still be there the next time you feel the urge to reattempt it.
4. Buddy Up!
The good news is, Escape Academy has a two-player co-op mode, so you needn’t worry about working your way through the trickier rooms on your own and without the support of another player. And while the puzzles are identical to the ones featured in the single-player campaign, it goes without saying that, having an extra pair of hands will definitely boost your chances of making it through to the other side of the locked door. That is, if you don’t mind spending thirty or more minutes running around barking orders at one another over who gets to pull the levers, and who gets to hammer in the codes.
At present, you can play through Escape Academy in its entirety either alone or with one other player in the game’s split-screen or online co-op mode. So, if you’re finding one or two of the puzzles a bit too tricky, and don’t mind partnering up with a friend for the short haul, then don’t discard the option of playing through the whole campaign as a two-piece.
3. Take Full Advantage of the Hints
Much like real-life escape rooms, Escape Academy offers you the occasional hint, which can be located at the top portion of the screen whenever a new milestone has been reached. Don’t be afraid to take full advantage of this feature — especially when faced with tougher rooms with higher difficulty ratings. It isn’t cheating, nor will it make a huge difference to your final grade — so always be sure to check them out once you’ve exhausted all of your options and have reached the point of guessing over progressing.
Before you do reveal the odd hint, always be sure to carry out one final sweep of each room in case you’ve missed an object or note. Chances are, there’ll be an item that you can suddenly inspect after successfully managing to complete one of the previous steps. If you’ve swept every crag and crevice and have yet to knuckle down on a solution, then take the opportunity to exploit the system and ask for hint.
2. Don’t Be Ashamed to Guess
Escape Academy has its fair share of multi-digit padlocks and passwords, most of which include three, maybe four sections to decipher. To put it simply, if you’ve already cracked the first three digits in the code, then you really shouldn’t worry about plucking out the fourth, given the fact that you can, in all fairness, guess what it is by sliding through the numbers until you eventually hear the subtle snap. Sure it’s a little cheeky, and not what its developers would want you to do — but it is an option.
It is worth pointing out that, while guessing the combination of a padlock or password is perfectly acceptable, mindlessly examining other items in the room will not only impede your progress, but also punish you and, as it turns out, effect your final grade. Therefore, if you’re looking to get the best possible result, aim to avoid cutting one too many corners.
1. Study the Faculty
Escape Academy’s levels are overseen by the faculty members, and therefore are built upon their personal interests and hobbies. Knowing this, and what makes each respective member tick between rooms, will give you an idea of how to complete the puzzles and, of course, the objects that are most likely to play a part in the overall challenge.
The good news is, you can actually speak with the faculty members between stages, so if you can help it, aim to learn their pasts before signing up to their rooms. You can roam the campus whenever you feel like it, so don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and befriend one or two professors along the way. Trust us, it’s definitely worth sifting through a few additional text boxes for.
So, what’s your take? Do you have any useful advice for fledging escape artists? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.