The Bat’s Five Favorite Puzzle Types
Written by: The Bat
You get ready to enter a new escape room. You’re excited, almost bouncing on your toes as you listen to the host, then the entry video. Then the lights go up, the room is revealed and you recognize your favorite puzzle types! You are ready to go! Triumph is assured!
I don’t know about you, my readers, but I love seeing how every escape room changes and twists my favorite puzzle types. It is like seeing a best friend, but on a different day with a new adventure in store. It makes me feel comfortable and excited all at the same time.
I do admit, my favorite types of puzzles are somewhat related to my aptitude at solving them. But I believe that applies to all of us. We like doing things we are good at, right?
So here are my top favorite types of puzzles:
- Realistic puzzles
- Math Puzzles
- Information gathering puzzles
- Find and combine puzzles
- Creative object puzzles
These puzzles are my favorite because, while they can be as simple or challenging as you wish, they are realistically relevant to the room. Is there a piano in the abandoned house? I want a puzzle where I play it. One of the most simplistic puzzles I have done was an office setting, with a cup that had to be placed under the spigot of a water cooler. A more complicated one involved returning dolls to their proper places in a dollhouse.
These puzzles are fun because you have to think of what you would do in that setting, what the people in the story may have done in that setting. To me, that is part of the fun of an escape room: losing yourself in the room and in someone else’s thoughts.
I will admit, this is one of the puzzle types that I enjoy because I am good at it. I used to be able to brag that I did the hardest math puzzle at my old venue alone, in my head.
Bragging aside though, I think a puzzle that makes you dust off the old math skills from school, find some numbers, and put them together is a good challenge for anyone, mathletes and math haters alike.
As long as the puzzle is simple enough and the necessary space is provided to work it out. It is also interesting when you have to find the numbers to put in the puzzle. The numbers may be amounts of something in the room or numbers related to words hidden elsewhere. Even the number of letters in a word can mean something.
Dragon: On that note… I wish ER game/room developers would make those puzzles more obvious… Rather, which page or book is part of the damn puzzle because I doubt anyone has had that satisfying aha moment when they realized it was Book 5 out of 20 and the rest were red herring books. I love staring at a wall of books I’ve failed to read… when I’m at home!
Information Gathering Puzzles
This type of puzzle asks you to go in-depth into your exploration of the room. Read the plaques and the letters on the desk. Look at the guidebook or the journal or the map on the wall. Any bit of the story or the props might hold a clue. Dates are the combination on a lock. Map coordinates may spell out a code on the map. The name of the security guard’s dog may open a lock. Again, this type of puzzle asks you to fully immerse yourself in the storyline and the room itself in order to find the puzzles. And isn’t that part of why you are there?
Find and Combine Puzzles
This type of puzzle asks you to find lots of pieces around the room and then figure out how to make them into a code. To me, it is like a scavenger hunt with a logic puzzle at the end. Some of the time, it even brings the entire room together.
Imagine that you have been finding small blocks all along the way. Every puzzle you open has the next puzzle and an extra block. The entire time, your curiosity builds. What are they? As you go along, you realize they make a design, well, part of one. But each block adds to it. What will it make? What is it for? Then suddenly, the last chest opens, you have only the blocks and the locked door! Now is the time! I love that moment, don’t you?
These types of puzzles are the most fun when done creatively. You open a box, find a strange object. Or even an ordinary one. It’s a lamp, a magnet, or an anchor bolted to the box. But what do you do with it? Figuring that out can be the most fun of all, especially when the answer is really creative. Does the lamp get hung on a hook to reveal a shadow code? Does the magnet retrieve a hidden key from a bottle? Does the anchor weigh something down, or hold an electric charge?
Every object you encounter in an escape room can be used for more than one thing. They all have hidden potential. Sometimes a book is just a book….but sometimes it is a box! That moment of surprise is what makes object puzzles a joy for me.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite puzzles. And even more, I hope the more you play, the more you will figure out what your own favorites are!