Locks in all of their forms are a stable of escape room games around the world.
Even as Escape Rooms become more technologically advanced the tried and true lock will likely always have a place. Sure the old numeric/alpha combination may present itself in a more "futuristic" manner, but at the core an X digit lock is still an X digit lock.
How Escape Rooms present the code/solution/combination/what have you to such locks can go alone way in differentiating a good Escape Room from a great Escape Room.
Below I will go over a few ways to use props and puzzles to add an extra dimension to your Escape Room. This will make the experience of discovering a lock's combination/code much more enjoyable for your players.
First up we have coded Message Panels for escape rooms:
These give you the ability to hide the combination in plain site. Sure the panel staring players in the face says TRIAL, but what if they cannot translate Pig Pen?
This enables you to then add another layer to the fun by allowing players to make the translation themselves.
Through the use of key they can work through the process of identifying the symbols, learning what they mean, and applying that information to the encoded message.
Another option is through the use of escape room Puzzles:
My go to for this example is the Directional Lock Puzzle. Directional Locks (love them or hate them) and their variants find a fair bit of use in Escape Rooms.
One of the tricky parts about using this style of look (besides explaining how to reset it!) lies in relaying the required sequence of movements.
Sure you can use a piece of paper with Up, Down, Left, Right on it, but how engaging is that? Why not turn make the process of acquiring the combination an engaging and entertaining experience?
Or how about trapping the combination in an escape room Maze?
Everyone likes to participate and get "hands on" with the Escape Room experience, so why not let them? You can have the lock's combination trapped in a maze.
Once the players successful navigate the maze they are rewarded with a combination or code needed to proceed or unlock another part of the Escape Room.
Always try to think about new and exciting ways to enhance the experience for your players.
With more and more Escape Rooms popping up every day the ability to stand out becomes more and more difficult. Be creative and most of all have fun.
What do you think about using locks in escape rooms? If you have questions or would like to talk about using locks please feel free to contact me.