I'm up for a good challenge and the escape room provides a great challenge.

Now that I've competed in three different escape room challenges, I believe I have finally figured out the secret to making the great escape before the bomb or room blows up (in reality, it's just beating the timer!) On the third attempt, this past weekend, I escaped!

My first encounter with an escape room came with a group of co-workers a few years ago. We thought we were pretty smart but in reality we weren't. Our room dealt with some kind of art and painting heist and we had to recover the stolen art. It ended with us not being able to solve the mystery and we were eliminated.

My second encounter came with my wife, daughter and a few of her friends. We were locked in this really cool, but dark, pirate themed room that was supposed to be geared toward children and a bit easier to solve. It did have it's challenges and we were extremely close to getting out of this one before time ran out, but we couldn't solve the last two clues to get to the treasure chest.

My third encounter came with a different group of friends this past weekend at a biohazard themed escape room and this is where I figured out the secret to escaping the escape room! There were ten of us participating in this challenge and if we didn't escape within the hour we all would have been infected with the illness that was going around the state park. Ten minutes into the challenge we were still struggling to decode the first clue to unlock the lock for the next clue. At that point we called the front desk and asked for a clue and the young lady at the front came in and offered a little assistance.

We continued the challenge, unlocked a few more locks and then got stuck again. At that point I told the group, we were allowed three clues from the staff, we might as well use them to our advantage if we want to get out, so we did. We ended up using our last clue and became successful in escaping the escape room and not being infected with this 'illness'!

Yes, we did have some assistance on successfully completing the challenge of escaping this room, but we were told we had three hints available to us, so we used them. That's my secret to escaping the escape room - use all the information that is available to you not only within in the room but from the staff too!

Good luck on your escape room adventure and if you have available hints use them wisely and you could be on your way to conquering the escape room too.