What Are Escape Room Puzzles?

What should you expect when entering an escape room? Simple:

  • Puzzles
  • Clues
  • Mysteries
  • Puzzles
  • Riddles
  • And more puzzles

If there’s one thing you should expect when it comes to escape rooms anywhere in the world, it is that you’ll find a plethora of puzzles that you’ll have to solve, so you can, yes, you guessed it, escape the room.

But what type of puzzles should you expect to see during an escape room? It’s a long list, but after reading our guide below, you’ll know what to expect the next time you’re up for the challenge.

Eight Common Types of Escape Room Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles

This should come as no surprise. Jigsaw puzzles are a staple of escape rooms, and there are tons of variations available. It could be torn up missing pieces, directions to the next clue, magnet jigsaw puzzles – you name it. At some point during the escape room, you should expect to make a regular (yet, overly complicated) jigsaw puzzle.

Perceptual Illusions

Remember those classic photos/images that change when you squint and peer at them at the right angle and focus? Yeah, those classic perceptual illusion pictures can be placed all over the escape room. Most of them will have a hidden code or word that needs to be discovered to lead to the next clue.

Black-Light Clue

Shine a black light, and a clue will appear! Yes, it’s another classic escape room clue. If you ever notice a black light, chances are there is a mystery hidden somewhere on the walls or room that needs to be found. Just shine the black light and discover the mystery and break it!

Finding the Right Order

Do those books seem out of place for you? What about the flow of the images or map? The chances are that these items are out of order – and you’ll have to get back in their proper flow! Finding the right order is a common puzzle to expect at escape rooms, so keep an eye out for them.

Hidden Rooms or Secret Compartments

Is this considered cheating? Maybe, but there’s always a chance that the escape room you’re in might has a secret compartment or room. Finding it is the hardest part, but when you do, it will open up more opportunities to crack the mystery and the escape room.

Physical Puzzles

There might be objects around the room that have to be moved or shifted in order to find the next clue. Physical puzzles are a staple of escape rooms, so keep an eye out for any object that can/seems to shift or move. Some common things include pictures, paintings, cabinets, and doors. Knots are a clear sign something is up.

Numbers & Texts Codes

There are many different types of word and number puzzles that need to be cracked. It could be anything from basic math puzzles (such as adding together or Sudoku), equations (such as matching signs and symbols with codes and letters), and even crossword or fill-in-the-gap letter puzzles.

If you notice any mathematics or text codes around, zone in on them; chances are, they’ll be a clue. There might also be color-matching puzzles that you’ll have to solve too. In some extreme escape rooms, morse codes are also used and deciphered.

Beware of Puzzles in Plain Sight

You’ve heard the phrase “in plain sight”. Well, that applies to the clues that you could be staring right at you; you just don’t notice it. The trick is to look for obvious clues and details relating to your room (e.g. if it’s a zombie horde, look for medical cures or lockdown notes). Remember that nothing in the room is by chance – it’s there for a reason. It’s up to you to figure out the fake from the real.


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