The party was for my daughter's 12th birthday party. There were seven 12-year-old girls total, including my daughter.
Because it was a larger group, we divided the girls into two smaller groups (of 3 and 4) and then timed it to see who finished the fastest!
This meant we printed the game kit out twice.
Editors note: if you're after the escape game kit that Beth used you can download it here.
It was great seeing the happiness and excitement on everyone's faces! You could see they left the party with their adrenaline still going.
We kept all our preparations a secret from my daughter, so other than knowing she was doing an escape room called The Lost Mummy, she knew nothing. When she walked into that room, she was just as surprised as everyone else. She turned to me and said:
"Wow! You guys did a LOT!"
It was also fun to spy on the game and see the different personalities of each girl - we used two iPads, with one of them propped up near the ceiling with a clear view of the room and work area, and then had Facetime running so we could watch from another room and give hints if necessary.
I also love that we made everything reusable. We now have the whole game neatly stored in a tub and can pull everything out at a moment's notice.
This was a combination of things we had around the house, the Dollar Store, Amazon, and the thrift store.
It was so funny to see where their minds would go when trying to figure things out!
For example, we had a chest sitting in there with a directional lock for the very last challenge. Both teams read in the diaries about "N.E.W.S" and tried that on the lock very first thing - before even attempting the very first challenge.
We purposefully set up some distractions (extra obelisks, lids on the wrong jars, etc.) and that definitely threw them off track.
I was also surprised at how they reacted to the clue on the tablet that they deciphered - both teams started collecting the fake snakes in the room instead of looking at the snake path puzzle!
I would say about 15 hours between my husband and me, over the course of a couple of weeks.
We've played professional escape rooms before, so we knew what can make them awesome. The first thing we did was print off the game and just sat at the table and played through it. That instantly showed us what some of the pitfalls might be. Then we talked about what we could do to make it more tactile, like a professional escape room, and made a plan. After that it was just crafting and shopping.
We loved that the kit was editable!
It really made customizing it and exploring some of the various mods possible.
Being able to alter the obelisks, for example, to work with the lock. Also being able to tweak some of the equations and other bits is great!
Either way, you're encouraging folks to set aside their mobile devices and live in the moment for a while. A truly worthwhile quest, if ever there was one ?