Zombies are everywhere!
And they’re hungry …
hungry for …
Trapped in an apartment on the 28th floor, can you rescue the pizza, get the gun, unlock the door, and defeat the zombies?
What will such a feat of bravery and heroism take? Solving lots and lots of interesting, fun puzzles, of course!
Welcome to Escape Room Z, an hour-long puzzling adventure for you and your crew.
As the host of this event, you will prepare everything so that your crew is ready to defeat the zombies and win the day. Keep scrolling down this page for all the setup instructions. Once the game is ready, join your friends and play!
Note: If you won’t be playing the game yourself, follow the same setup instructions but also use the bonus process map (contains spoilers!).
If you plan to play the base game without customization, continue to Print the DIY Escape Kit.
However, if you enjoy creating custom puzzles, you can easily edit the game using the Builder’s Kit included in the download. It contains the editable PowerPoint file and all creative assets:
Here's her story
I wanted to encode two messages using the letters.
One would be easy and obvious. I just taped the letters to the wall in backward order. I spaced them so that they were in a continuous loop – for a tiny extra bit of challenge.
My players quickly spotted the pattern and read the message backward.
I also wanted to hide a 5-letter combination that would open a padlock. By doing this, players would gain access to a kit bag that contained the rest of the escape game materials.
But how to do this?
I hit upon the idea of turning the 5 letters upside down.
Problem: if the letters were trimmed only a few of them would look upside down.
I wanted this to be a quick and easy puzzle, and I didn't want players using a lot of time, trying to figure out which letters were involved.
Then I realized that if I left the pictures intact, and did NOT trim the scissors diagram, there would be an obvious but still relatively straightforward hint that some letters were not like the others: the little scissors.
My clue was the word HURRY.
During the game, the players, to my surprise, spotted some of the letters but didn't grasp that only 5 were upside down and they spelled a word.
Ultimately, they did get it, after I hinted that there was something in there.
Next time, I'm going to provide a hint by way of a written clue somewhere in the room, so that they solve it quickly, as intended.
Because it was only 5 letters, once they wrote them down,
the players immediately got the answer, and there was a ta-dah moment.
- Susan's from Triangle Squares and a total escape room nut!
In the game download, choose your print option:
Escape Room Z also includes optional props to make the experience even more immersive. Print any props you’d like from the Props folder. None of these are required to play the game, but if you want to go the extra mile, it’s totally worth it!
Although you can play Escape Room Z on a table, like a board game, it’s much more fun to hide the puzzles around the room like a real escape game. For a truly immersive experience set it up in an apartment building living room, since this is where the storyline happens.
Feel free to be creative and customize to suit your needs - there's no wrong way to do this!
Just follow the steps below to set up the experience.
Place these 5 clue cards anywhere in the room. They’re great for hiding if that’s something your group enjoys.
Substitute: The colored QR code takes players to a website where they’ll enter a passcode. If you’d prefer to replace this with a combination lock or a real safe, click to expand the spoiler below.
Stick these 4 cards to the walls around your escape room.
Note: The props folder contains some bonus posters. If you print the zombie poster, ensure you include the zombie photo card as well since it’s required for a puzzle.
These 3 cards form a triptych when placed side by side. They simulate a hoard of zombies waiting for players on the balcony. Stick them to the glass on an external door.
Bonus: The props folder has a larger version of the message that you can cut out and place for extra style points.
There's a QR code puzzle that takes players to this website on their phone where they'll enter a 4 digit passcode.
You can optionally replace this with a 4 digit combination lock, or a home safe, by removing the colored QR code card. Then set the combination to:
Obviously, any child safety lock your oven has isn't an escape room puzzle. So instead, we're going to rely on suspension of disbelief and attach a sign saying 'It's locked.'
Cut out the 2 hook signs and hang them on the oven door. Stick the child lock dials next to them. Make sure there are scissors nearby for players to cut out the dials. The oven is now locked and can’t be opened until players solve the puzzle!
Place the pizza card inside the oven.
Substitute: A real pizza in the oven or some of these pizza keyrings so everyone goes home with a souvenir...
If you don’t have an oven, use:
Tape this card to a NERF gun or one of the options below, then place it somewhere visible. Players will be informed when they have earned access to the gun. (Check the spoilers at the bottom if you’d like to know how, but you can trust me).
One of the other readers, Susan C, designed an easy trick to enhance this puzzle:
Prepare a zombie shooting mini game! This final challenge occurs after players have rescued the pizza, retrieved the gun, and unlocked the door.
Build all the zombie targets and line them up outside like a firing range. You can place them anywhere you like. (We did ours indoors because it was too windy that day).
Gather your friends and let’s get this party started!
The Escape Room Z kit will take 30-60 minutes to set up and can be printed multiple times to scale to any group size (I've had a group of 130 people at a conference run one of the party kits).When running the game:
Escape Room Z comes bundled with optional props to make the experience super authentic. These are located in the Props folder when you downloaded the kit.
None of these are required to play the game but if you want to go the extra mile it's totally worth it!