The most challenging escape room puzzle a game designer can throw at you is a cipher. For this reason, you rarely see more than one cipher in a game.
Ciphers require you to crack a code to reveal a message. Sometimes you must use morse code or a substitution cipher, like A=1, B=2, etc. A clue will give you the right substitution, showing you that A=10. From there, you can decode the message to learn that the Big Mac’s special sauce is Thousand Island dressing.
Every cipher is nothing more than a set of rules. The challenge is determining the set of rules. Once you know the rules, the rest falls into place rather quickly. It's like figuring out that all of your teacher's tests come from the review at the end of each chapter. Once you learn that, the class is a breeze.
You don't need to be a CIA code breaker to crack these ciphers. Just pay attention to the clues leading you to the rules. It may help to have someone work on the cipher with you to confirm that your solution works. If it does not work, you have to start over. It's better to resolve any issues with the solution as you work.
Be warned, ciphers can take a while to crack! Remember — start with the simple solution!
Ciphers can be so tricky that we've written up a whole guide to help you out. Check out the ciphers guide
to learn more.