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How to Prepare Escape Rooms for Large Groups

Nobody needs to miss out on the fun! This essential guide will show you how to make your own escape room party for any group size.
Let's get started then!
Shirley watson puzzle master
Ready to share the magic of escape rooms with all your friends at once? This will be a party they'll always remember!

"Fine... I'll Do It Myself..."

So, you've got a large group of friends who love escape rooms... or even an escape room club? Lucky you. (I want in!)

Of course, there's a big problem with big groups. Commercial escape rooms can't handle large groups efficiently. (Plus, it's super expensive!)

This means that if you want everyone in one place for a special event (e.g, maybe a Halloween or Christmas Escape Room party), you'll need to make your own escape room (or use one of these printable kits). 

Luckily, you won't need to figure this out by yourself. I'll show you how to plan a great escape room party for any group size.

(But hey - if you're looking for a detailed guide on how to craft an epic escape room game from scratch, you're better of reading this guide here)
Epic game night with a printable escape room game

Step 1 - Create A Plan To Make Your Own Escape Room

Playing Lost Mummy escape room game at home
A great philosopher once said, "I love it when a plan comes together" (ok, it was the A-Team, but Hannibal was pretty sharp). You can't have 30 people show up at your house and just wing it. You need a plan.

Pre-game prep can be a little heavier with a large number of people, but don't worry, it's all very doable. And it'll be worth it when you've managed to pull off a 30 player escape room experience in your living room!

So, here's all the groundwork you'll need to lay before gameday:

(Of course, creating the game itself is step 1. But we'll assume you have that under control. If not, read this guide to get started.)

Nail-down the guest list.

Your first step is simply knowing how many people to plan for. You only need a ballpark estimate at this point - you can refine your plans down the road once you have an exact headcount. (Still... make sure to leave room for last-minute cancellations and additions. It will happen. Every. Single. Time!)

The easiest option is to invite guests via email or text and ask them to RSVP with a simple "in" or "out." 

TIP:  Use email and bcc everyone. This will prevent 75 'reply-all's' talking about how they would 'love to attend, but they have to pick up Fluffy from the dog groomer, and she's always distressed when she comes home, so they'll have to…'(stopped reading here. They're clearly out).

Prepare a mighty feast.

Food and drink are essential. In fact, where I come from, if someone invites people over but does not prepare food, we're worried that they've been indoctrinated into some weird diet cult. This is a party! So when you make your own escape room, you need food!

If you hate catering, then just share the load. Turn the event into a potluck, or ask players to bring their favorite finger food. Boom! Snackage is sorted.
Totally winning Rebel Revolt
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Divide the teams.

The key to running a large escape room party is to run a number of smaller games simultaneously. (Don't worry, this is waaaaaay easier than it sounds!)

So you'll need to start by diving your group into a number of smaller teams. I recommend 3-5 players per team. This is the sweet spot where players are engaged but don't feel overwhelmed by the number of puzzles to solve.

If you're feeling particularly controlling, you can assign teams beforehand to make sure that they're perfectly balanced (as all things should be). Mix them up so that each team has a good combination of age, experience, and strengths. Try to put people together who may not know each other that well. Everyone will enjoy playing with new people.

Alternatively, you could just put all the names in a hat and draw them out... or let your players figure it out for themselves on the night. Somehow, that sounds much easier than all the other thinking I was describing!

Don't worry about forming too many teams. There's no maximum number of teams that can play. I've seen parties with over 200 players! (That's 40 teams!) Of course, once you get to that number, you'll need to rent out the local event hall or a conference room at the Ritz-Carlton. (And now that you know where to find me, I expect an invitation!)

Assemble a crack-team of gamemasters.

The number of gamemasters you need will depend on the size of your event, and how you're choosing to run it.

The gamemasters will provide hints when requested and try to help keep the game moving. Make sure that your gamemasters have the proper temperament for the job. No matter how awesome your escape room is, a gamemaster can ruin it for the players. They should be kind and helpful, not devious and mischievous.

We recommend one gamemaster for every 2-3 teams. Unless you've created a particularly elaborate escape room, the gamemasters don't need to be present for every second of the game. They can float between teams, answering questions and offering hints as needed. This will allow you to have more people playing the actual game.

But you can play without a gamemaster:

Not to toot our own horn... but we've cracked the escape room party code. All these printable escape room kits don't require gamemasters, so you can play alongside your guests.

Instead, players obtain hints and solutions using their tablet or smartphone. This means that nobody is stuck as gamemaster while everyone else has fun playing. On the flipside, it also means that nobody will be left to the whims of a hangry gamemaster 30 minutes overdue for their next Snickers. It's a win-win. (But maybe bring a Snickers along anyway.... just in case...)

If you decide not to use gamemasters, you might still need a few people to be "tech support." They will need to be reasonably tech-savvy, and will handle issues like teams not being able to properly access hints through their mobile devices. Don't worry though, your tech-gurus can still play, they (hopefully) won't need to spend their whole time solving tech issues.
Winning at Escape Room Z

Step 2 - Create the Space

Tripwire game comes with the Lost Mummy
Time to go all out and bring your game to life! (If you haven't made your game yet, don't worry. Just head over here to get started)

First, do you have enough room?

Space limitations can be a huge factor when you're making your own escape room.

If you're setting up an escape room for each team, then you'll need to designate a small space (at least 3mx3m) for every team. This will give you enough space to scatter clues and fun props around the space, like a real escape room!

This probably won't work for extremely large groups (unless your house is massive!). As an alternative, you can just hand each group their puzzle sheets for them to solve. In this case, you'll only need a space the size of a card table for each team (floorspace is totally fine).

If your house is not big enough to host all the attendees, you need to move to a much bigger house. More realistically, you could consider moving to outside spaces. You can use your backyard, a park, or a community center. Most towns have excellent rooms for events of this size.

Theme it up!

Decorate the room to enhance the escape room you made. You can go all out with period decorations and DIY props. You could also simply throw up a few posters to set the mood. (All Lock Paper Scissors escape room kits come with posters. Print them out, tape them up, and you're ready to go!)

Having cool decorations helps the players immerse themselves in the game, even if the decorations are not part of the game. While you don't need to turn your living room into an archeological dig (although your teenager's room may qualify) adding a few themed touches goes a long way.

Make sure that you have a great playlist in the background that matches the mood of your game. Epic music = epic vibes. (And yes, our printable kits come with Spotify playlists too...)

As a fun touch, you can make your escape room party a costume party! Specify the theme in the invitation and encourage players to create their own costumes. Make sure to vote on 'best costume' at the end of the night.
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Step 3 - Complete The Game Day Checklist!

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You made your own escape room! Congrats! Work through this checklist before your friends arrive to ensure the success of all of your hard work.
Make sure the game area is prepared and decorated. Add any finishing touches.
Print a copy of the game for each team. Ensure each game area has instructions on using their smartphone or tablet to access hints and solutions.
Print a few extra copies of the game, just in case additional guests arrive or some are ruined by spills.
If you decide to have a room for each team, make sure that you hide the clues well. Here are some tips to help you out.
Have countdown timers ready and visible from each team's area.
Test the music to make sure it works.
If you decided on a costume party, have a few extras available for those who forgot and for the truly lame.
Have the snacks out and ready to go.
Prepare the food and drinks for the celebratory feast and/or drowning the sorrows of those who didn't make it.

Step 4 - Play Your Game

So, it's the big night! The players have arrived. You've split them up and told them where to go. Now, just follow this process to get the game started smoothly:

Give players a 10min warning.

First, make a last call for bathroom breaks. Just like on road trips with dad, it's now or never.

This also gives guests the opportunity to settle kids in, finish off conversations, and grab an extra handful of chips.
Taking a drink while playing Envy
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Explain the game mechanics.

Then, explain to the players how the game will work. Make sure they understand how to ask for hints, input solutions, and move to the next puzzle. Unlike a commercial escape room, locks will not be opening here. They have to know how to tell whether their solution is correct. In other words, give them the operator's manual to the escape room you made.

You also need to decide whether this will be a competition among teams. If so, explain that they will be racing against each other in addition to racing against the clock. First team to finish eats first! You must also tell them what to do if they finish while others are still playing. I recommend telling them they must put their heads down on their desk, but you may devise a better solution.

Narrator time! Introduce the game.

This is where you give players the back story of your escape room, and immerse them in your world. This doesn't have to last a long time. 2-3 minutes will do. For extra fun, record a video explaining the game and play it for your guests.

Cheesy intros are great! Nobody wants to take this too seriously anyway. Check out this video intro for Rebel Revolt for inspiration.

Start playing!

Lastly, hand each team their game sheets and show them to their spots. When everyone is in place, countdown to the start of the game. Get an old video of Dick Clark counting down to the New Year in Times Square and start the game timer at zero!

Now all that's left is to join your team, escape, and enjoy the post-game revelry! 

Psst... make sure you take some photos.

You'll want to remember this night. So designate one person on each team as the photographer and tell them to snap random photos every few minutes. The more casual the shots, the better! Have all the photos shared to a party folder and put them up on a screen after the game.
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Step 5 - Enjoy The Post-Party Glow

Laughing playing a printable escape room game
There you go. If you've made it this far, you've done it! Congrats!

You made your own escape room. Your friends loved it! Your house is cleaned, and it's time to relax. 

How does it feel to be the undisputed party king?! Just bask in the glow of your successful large-scale escape room party for a few minutes. Then... maybe you should start planning your next one... because your friends will already be looking forward to next time!

Get Started Instantly. These Escape Party Kits Scale To Any Group Size:

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Adults
Kids
Rebel revolt spy kit half
Rebel Revolt (Spy Mission)
Teen parties (14+) & youth camps
Treasonous spy mission to take down a government facility.
4+ Players
Show me
FAVORITE
Envy escape room box half logo
Envy (Murder Mystery)
Adult parties & teambuilding
1920's Gatsby-style murder mystery of debaucherous luxury.
4+ Players
Show me
Escape room z half
Escape Room Z (Zombies!)
Adult parties & teambuilding
Comical zombie thriller with a deadly splash of infectious z-virus.
4+ Players
Show me
Frost escape box half
Frost (Magical Quest)
Kids parties & holiday events
Can your kids help the magical forest Wisp in time?
Ages 8-12
Show me
FAVORITE
Lost mummy kit half bkg
Lost Mummy (Adventure!)
Kids parties & school events
Unearth Egypt's ancient secrets in the Lost Mummy.
Ages 10+
Show me
Frost kit half
Escape Quest (Time Travel)
Younger kids parties
Fix the time machine using relics from across the ages.
Ages 6-9
Show me

Woah.

Save massive $$ by grabbing a whole box of escape kits:
  • Kids escape room box
    KIDS BOX $49
    4x Escape Room Kits
    Lost Mummy
    Rebel Revolt
    Escape Quest
    Frost
    Bonus: Treasure Map Pack
    Show Me

    $49

  • spooktacular-halloween-box-600x300
    HALLOWEEN BOX $49
    4x Escape Room Kits
    Envy
    Escape Room Z
    Lost Mummy
    Rebel Revolt
    Bonus: Halloween posters
    Bonus: Xtra Games + Puzzles
    Bonus: Treasure Map pack
    Show Me

    $49

  • VIP escape kits tmb
    VIP BOX $99
    All our Escape Room Kits (6x)
    5x kids edu-venture games
    VIP early access to games
    Envy, Lost Mummy,
    Escape Room Z, Rebel Revolt, Escape Quest,  & Frost
    Treasure Map pack
    Skulls Card Game
    Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas packs
    Lifetime FREE copies of all future games. Boom!
    Show Me

    $99

Kids escape room box
KIDS BOX $49
4x Escape Room Kits for
Lost Mummy
Rebel Revolt
Escape Quest
Frost
Bonus: Treasure Map Pack
Show Me

$49

The big escape room box
BIG BOX $49
4x Escape Room Kits
Envy
Escape Room Z
Lost Mummy
Rebel Revolt
Bonus: 'Skulls' card game
Show Me

$49

vip-escape-kit-tmb-save184-600x300
VIP BOX $99
All our escape kits (6x)
Envy, Lost Mummy,
Escape Room Z, Rebel Revolt, Escape Quest & Frost
VIP early access to games
5x kids edu-venture games
Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas packs
Bonus: Treasure Map pack
Bonus: Skulls Card Game
Lifetime FREE copies of all future games. Boom!
Show Me

$99

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