Locks: The Key to Challenging Escape Rooms

Hello fellow adventurers! Welcome back to the Arcadian: the premier blog about all things for Calgary escape rooms! Today we are focusing on one of the KEY components of adventure rooms. Without them, puzzles wouldn’t be the same and the experience wouldn’t be much of a challenge… An escape room just isn’t an escape room without locks! There are a few different locks that are the most prevalent in locked rooms, but not all of them are your boring everyday key locks. In this article, you’ll get to know four special types of locks and how you can unlock your full escape room potential.

escape rooms Calgary - locks the key to challenging escape rooms

Combination Locks

Combination locks might seem common enough, but they go beyond your typical locker-room dial. Combination locks always have some kind of spinning component that requires you to line up the pieces in the correct order. These locks are the most versatile, and can be customized by your escape room designers to show all sorts of symbols and messages! Numbers, letters, drawn symbols, dots – it’s all on the table for combination locks, and up to you to figure out the right combo. The biggest piece of advice for solving this sort of lock is to look for a puzzle that contains the same number of components as there are pieces on the lock. For example, if you have a 5 letter lock, scour the room for a puzzle that contains 5 riddles or 5 words. Remember to give the lock a good tug when you think you have the winning answer, and rock the rest of the trapped room!

escape rooms Calgary - locks the key to challenging escape rooms - directional lock

Directional Locks

Directional locks are another common lock, guaranteed to be found in nearly every Calgary escape room. These locks often give players the most trouble, as they can be finicky at best and easily jammed at worst. These types of locks move in the four cardinal directions and can have up to a whopping 20 different moves in the final combination! The most common combination lock headscratchers are usually solved with maps, mazes, travel directions, and lines. Given how frustrating directional locks can be, it’s key to make sure your lock operator is keeping a calm and focused head (and hands) to make sure the lock is properly reset and the central button is slid all the way over each time. And – as any locked room gamerunner will tell you – remember to double click to reset!

escape rooms Calgary - locks the key to challenging escape rooms - magnet lock

Magnetic locks

Magnetic locks are like the cooler older brother to common key locks – all they require, like a key in the lock, is a magnet to be placed on another magnet or piece of metal. Usually it’s not just that simple though – both magnetic sides of the puzzles might be embedded into any object, furniture, or part of the wall, sometimes making these puzzles closer to scavenger hunts. Magnetic locks can’t always be instantly identified like other kinds of locks, so don’t be surprised if a puzzle asks you to touch two objects together or place something against a particular spot in the wall – that’s a hallmark of a magnet lock! These types of locks can be finicky as well, so be sure to be patient in adjusting your placement of magnetic objects to make sure things click the right way.

escape rooms Calgary - locks the key to challenging escape rooms - punch lock


Finally, this type of lock can be pretty rare in some Calgary escape rooms, but is a lock that can quickly become a favorite if you’re the type of person who hates having to put info into locks in a precise order. With punchlocks, pressing down the buttons in any order is fine! Punchlocks can have between 6-10 different buttons on the face of the lock, and once the correct ones are pressed down, you flip a switch on the bottom and presto! These types of locks lend themselves naturally to interesting visual and grid based puzzles, so get your creative thinking teammate on the punchlock tasks looking for a connection.


Are you a lock aficionado yet? The way you and your team tackle locks can make or break your escape room experience, as your progression of the adventure room can really depend on you cracking locks. Don’t be afraid to call for your trapped room gamemaster if you suspect a lock might be jammed – it can happen to anyone in any escape room! Now, it’s time for you to find an awesome escape room in Calgary to show off your new tips and tricks for even the trickiest and jammiest of locks. Best of luck!

Arcadia Adventures Escape Room is Calgary’s premier escape room experience. Our real-life Calgary escape room is an excellent way to have fun, solve puzzles, and improve your team-building skills. Our rooms can host parties, small groups, families, couples, and is great as a team-building activity for Calgary businesses. Book your spot at our one of our Calgary escape rooms online or by contacting us on 587-356-0440.

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