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Beginners Guide to Edinburgh Escape Rooms

July 2021

Escape rooms have been around for a while now but at Escape The Past, we’re still surprised by how many people haven’t had the chance to try one. In fact, about half of visitors to our Edinburgh escape room ‘The Anatomist’ are escape room newbies – attracted by the Edinburgh theme and the great reviews, but otherwise new to the escape the room format.

If you're an escape room novice but keen to learn what all the fuss is about this article has you covered…

What is an escape room and why should I try one?

Good question. Escape rooms are essentially immersive experiences where a group of people complete a series of puzzles against the clock to either escape or achieve some other objective such as solving a mystery or finding a valuable object. They’re often highly themed and there’s usually a compelling story to draw you in. It’s a bit like a video game but in a world where everything is becoming increasingly digital, escape rooms offer a physical, tactile alternative that's accessible and highly immersive.

The main appeal is fun - the thrill of competing against the clock with a team of friends can be highly engaging, with a good dose of adrenaline and endorphins thrown in.

Escape rooms are also great for team building – with teamwork and communication unavoidable! The escape the room experience can also offer the perfect ice breaker for Stag or Hen-do’s or for groups of new colleagues. You’ll certainly leave knowing each other a lot better!

Another great thing about escape rooms is that they offer something that all the family can enjoy. They’re often suitable for multi-generational groups, from kids to grandparents, everyone is able to contribute and share in the fun. ‘The Anatomist’ is suitable for groups of 2-6 people from ages 12+. Perfect for keeping  kids busy over the school holidays. We’re  located indoors and operate rain or shine which with Edinburgh’s weather is a big plus!

An added benefit of ‘The Anatomist’ escape room is the chance to learn about Edinburgh’s dark past in a truly engaging way - fascinating, fun and perfect for locals and tourists alike.

What’s the best escape room in Edinburgh for beginners?

Most Edinburgh escape room operators give an indication of the level of difficulty of each of their rooms. We’d suggest starting out by trying one with an Easy or Moderate level of difficulty. That said, just because a room claims to be easy, it doesn’t mean it will give you the best introduction to the world of escape rooms. Check reviews for what other beginners thought. Did they have a good time? Was it logical and did it all work and make sense? Would they recommend it to other beginners? Did it inspire them to try more escape rooms?

Is ‘The Anatomist’ suitable for beginners?

Yes! While The Anatomist probably isn’t the easiest escape room in Edinburgh, it’s far from the most difficult and perfectly playable for beginners. It's very logical and requires no prior knowledge or specific skills.

In fact, about half of our visitors have never tried an escape room before and their reviews speak for themselves! Our Games Master is always on hand to induct you and provide helpful clues and hints if you get stuck. Even if you don’t manage to escape the room, your team are sure to have a fun, thrilling experience solving exploring Edinburgh’s mysterious history of grave robbery!

Our top tips for completing your first escape room

1. Arrive Early – Escape rooms tend to run like clockwork . To give yourself the best chance, you want to arrive 10 minutes before your room is scheduled to start (or as instructed by the venue). This will give time for a last-minute toilet trip and a thorough briefing without eating into your time in the room.

2. Bring the right team – With most escape rooms, larger groups generally have more success so rather than trying your first Edinburgh escape room as a group of 2, consider bringing a group of friends or family. The best teams have a good balance of skills and personality types. So, if you’re quite logical and analytical, consider bringing a friend who has a more creative or practical skillset. That said, the most important thing is to bring people you’ll have fun with, particularly under a little pressure!

3. Split up – Teamwork is important, but don’t try to do everything together, most escape rooms are non-linear in their design, meaning there are puzzles that can be completed in parallel. While not essential, you’ll find your team cover ground more efficiently by breaking off into smaller groups. Just be sure to follow our next tip…

4. Communicate – It’s important to speak to each other throughout. If you find something, announce it to the group. If you’ve already used a clue, let everyone know so they don’t waste time following in your footsteps. There will be some puzzles where you can’t solve it alone and communication is essential – clarity and patience can be key here.

5. Keep an eye on the clock – Most escape rooms give you one hour to complete the room. In all the excitement, this can pass extremely quickly so keep an eye on your time remaining. There’s usually a countdown clock or some other method of tracking time within the room. ‘The Anatomist’ uses an old grandfather clock. Also, never assume you’re almost finished - you never know how what challenges still await!

6. Ask for help – Last but definitely not least, if you get stuck don’t be afraid to ask for help! Most escape rooms have a system for requesting clues. ‘The Anatomist’ uses a bell which when rung, summons a helpful caretaker. Even the best teams ask for help – it’s not a sign of failure but rather it keeps the experience fun and your team progressing forward!

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to completing your first Edinburgh escape room. The Anatomist is a great escape room for beginners so when you’re ready - Book ‘The Anatomist’.

Once you’ve tried The Anatomist escape room, we’re confident you’ll be hooked and searching the city for your next Edinburgh escape room fix. Luckily Edinburgh has a number of really great escape rooms to choose from. Why not check our our list of what we consider the Best Escape Rooms Edinburgh.

Good luck and have fun!

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