You list out the guests and start reviewing your options. Visions of busted budgets dance in your head. You even consider walking down to the dungeon to find spare gold pieces in the couch or a spell for great parties at a reasonable price.
Then you remember you don’t have a dungeon or even a
basement. On to plan B.
Snacks and drinks? $100+ (Buying 60 cupcakes, candy, and chips and dip adds up.)
Renting the latest and greatest bouncy castle (you want to win parent of the year, right?) - that's another $250-$400.
What about party favors? Easily $50-$100.
You could hire a real entertainer instead of dressing up dear old dad as a clown again. This would set you back another $200 and leave some kids less than enthused, if not downright scared.
Renting out a facility will save you the pain of setup and tear-down... but it'll hurt you elsewhere. Typically, you have to pay for food from the facility even if you know of cheaper options. When we rented out The High Castle last year for Junior’s 13th birthday party, the cost, not including catering, was $300. They charged another $250 for the food, even though Yvette’s Country Fried Toads and Newts quoted $100 for catering. Junior may need to settle for The Low Castle next year.
If you host the game in your home, you need the snacks and drinks usually served at these soirees. This could run you over $300 (adults like more expensive food than kids) before you begin considering entertainment options.
Maybe you want a night out with the gang. After paying for a restaurant and entertainment, the bill could exceed $300, even if everybody pays their own way. Paying those costs might send you back to the couch looking for gold coins, or to your computer looking for bitcoins.
Escape rooms make great nights out. So much so, that we'll help you find one! They provide unmatched camaraderie and showcase your critical thinking skills or lack thereof. But how much do escape rooms cost?
Escape room tickets tend to cost around $40 per person for a good experience. That means that for you and three mates, you're gonna have to part with around $160. A larger group of eight is looking at a daunting total of $320. And that's before factoring in food, drink, and transportati on.
You could try other entertainment options. Who doesn't love a good board game? The thing is, board games can get pretty pricey, typically starting at $40 and moving to over $100. Plus, you need to factor in the space they're gonna take up sitting on your shelf waiting for game night.
Cards are a cheap option, but do you really want to spend 2 hours trying to teach Uncle Gawain Bourré? Again? Cards and board games are fun, but they lack the excitement of escape rooms. You want a party with pizzazz, one that will cause the elves to brag to the dwarves for the rest of the year.
Need a fun activity for the team-building day next month, but stuck with a budget set before the invention of electric lights?
We feel your pain!
Team-building events businesses charge unbelievable prices for what is basically just a super-lame party. For real, quotes can climb into the thousands of dollars!
Luckily, there's a much cheaper option for you.
We've got a Plan B.
We told you Plan B existed, even though your house lacks a dungeon. And the diy escape room cost? Only $29 plus very cheap printing!
You only buy once, regardless of how many people are playing. The price for 4 people? $29 plus printing. The price for 8 people? $29 plus printing. The price for 272 excited escape goblins? $29 plus printing.
For that price, you can skip looking through the couch for gold coins.
It's simple - you can use these kits for any event. Home escape rooms make great kids’ party games. Adults also love the challenge of the escape room, whether as a low-key soirée or an all-out thematic experience.
Escape rooms also work well as team building events. Colleagues can work together or compete against each other, in a fun and light-hearted atmosphere designed to bring employees closer together. All within your employer’s 13th-century budget.
How many do you want? You can scale your escape room to any size you wish, no magic needed. Just divide your players into teams of 4-6, and print off one copy of the game for each team. Set it up anywhere - the living room, backyard, a park, even in a dungeon (if you ever build one).
You will need to perform additional printing for each team of players. Most do it yourself escape rooms cost about $8 per room to print. You can set up a game with 5 teams of 4 players each for less than the escape room event cost for two people.
You can set up your escape room in minutes without the assistance of the dark arts or IT support. Print out the game, set clues in easy to find places then let the players in. For added fun, dress up to match the game's theme.
Or go all out! Turn your living room into a winter wonderland, a zombie-filled landscape or an Egyptian tomb, with mood lighting, music, and decorations. Sand not recommended. Unless you have a vacuum cleaner sales rep coming the next day.
You determine the difficulty and cost of set up and takedown. Fit the design to your players, your budget, and your skills. Let your imagination run wild.
The best part? You can join in the adventure! Our setup guides are entirely spoiler free, so you can host the game and play alongside your friends at the same time.
You’re already here, which means you’re almost done. So why is downloading the game the hard part? Because you must choose which of the brilliant designs your players will love. Zombies or mummies? 1920s speakeasy or saving the world from annihilation? Consulting an oracle could help, but you have to make the final call.
Once downloaded, you receive instant access. While there, grab some advice from the escape room trolls to help make your party a blast. Got a question? Then get in touch. We don’t just send you out alone, we stay with you every step of the way. We have your back! And you don’t even need to give us snacks (although that would be greatly appreciated)!
You can print the game on your own printer. No special ink or paper required. This is the fastest setup possible - print the game on standard paper and you can move onto Step 3 in minutes.
Need to print somewhere else? Maybe your printer’s in the shop. Maybe you left it in the dungeon. Maybe the ink runs out faster than a witch at a pool party.
No worries. Economical printing services exist in many places. Office Depot charges 49 cents a page for color printing, and Amazon charges 12 cents per photo printing. These are merely examples of national vendors.
You may find vendors with better prices. Local print shops sometimes advertise lower prices or pledge to match or beat national chains. If your event benefits a local organization or otherwise allows advertising, they may print the game in exchange for the advertising.
Better yet, use the excellent printer of the kindly tech-wizard next door. (Make sure to bring tasty snacks as a thank-you.)
Thick, glossy card stock produces the best looking game. If you wish to go all out, do not skimp here. The pieces could make the game.
Certain game pieces can also be laminated and recycled to use in your next event and cut-down on printing costs. Just make sure you don't laminate the sheets that players have to tear up during the game!
The big night arrives. Everyone shows up and checks swords, shields, and cell phones at the door.
You roll out the snacks and the games and let them get to work. As gamemaster you're in control, and we're not gonna tell you how to run your show. However, we do recommend taking into account these tips from the High Wizards to really max-out your excitement:
Need inspiration for your big event? Check out these awesome parties
Decide how much space you need. Each team will need their own space, be it an entire room, or just a hidden nook behind the couch.
Remember, you decide how intricate to decorate. Want a real escape room feel? Buy some cheap props to place around the room (just like this mom did for her daughter's birthday party). Program combination locks the players have to solve to find the next clue. Hide clues in a sock drawer. Darken the windows if your game requires it. Have period dress ready for the players, or, better still, weird wigs. Green and purple work great!
If you could download snacks like you download our games, you could save tons of money on your party. Without a replicator, this isn't gonna happen. And you don’t even have a dungeon, much less a replicator.
Snacks and drinks keep the game moving. Hungry players make for distracted, ornery players. Imagine a group of trolls trying to solve a puzzle. Not an inviting sight.
Snacks give the players the energy they need to complete their adventure. You can even hide snacks in a locked drawer or box, forcing the players to solve the puzzle to find the candy bar. Have fun!
If you're short on ideas, our puzzles guide has a whole bunch of ways you could sneakily lock away snacks.
Some players may have lived in caves for the past several years. They do not understand escape rooms, solving puzzles, and opening locks. You need to provide these novices a basic understanding of the challenge they now face.
If you invited a group of veterans, explain to them that this challenge will be slightly different to traditional escape rooms... but just as deadly!
Split the players evenly into teams. You can nominate team captains and allow them to draft players, but this could take time and hurt feelings.
Besides, as gamemaster, you own the room. You are the Master of this Universe, all-powerful and all-knowing. Choose the teams before the guests arrive and simply tell them where to go.
Set the scene. Read the background-text of the game aloud, or show them the opening video, and let your players immerse themselves in their epic quest.
Keep this part short. They only need enough information to start the game. 1-2 minutes should suffice. If you go longer than that, players will wander back to the chips and guacamole.
Remember, if you decided to play spoiler-free, you should tell the players now that you do not know how to solve the clues. If playing in a larger group, other teams need reassurance that you will not “lead” your team to victory due to your advance scouting of the game. Disclose your brilliant lack of knowledge now!
But don't worry! You don't need to invent a grand speech. You can simply read out the intro on our player guides.
The game is on.
First, you should place an easily seen official timer in each room. Phones, tablets, and laptops work well for this purpose. This allows players to know at a glance how close they are to serving as zombie fodder.
Now you find out! If you do not, your team will remain trapped in the tomb forever. The chips and salsa will run out. All will be lost, and your spirit will wander the walls of the tomb until the next party, when a more successful group may let it out.
Work together and cooperate to win the day.
This is your moment - it's time to really lean into the playful banter!
You can bet that your friends will let you know whenever your ideas seem more Gilligan than the Professor. Repeatedly. So have fun with it - laugh it off and tease them back!
Don't spare you adversaries from your sharp wit either - make sure to taunt them as you go. They may win this one... so get your digs in while you can!
Just remember, you're in this together. So make sure that everyone is having fun.
Have a prize for the first-place team.
You could print t-shirts, hats, or have a special bowl of premium candy only for the winners!
Make the prize known before the game. Display it for all to see. The victors can then grab the award as they recount the ease with which they carried the day.
Oh, the glory!
Don’t forget to eat and drink.
Eat before the game. Eat during the game. Eat after the game. The last thing you want is leftover snacks.
Besides, if you fail to escape from the zombies, you want an excellent last meal.
Now's the time to kick back, and take a long rest around the campfire with your fellow adventurers.
Restore your mana and HP, swap stories, brag about your conquests and bemoan your unlucky defeats. Next time will be different!
Sit with your friends and listen to what they loved about the game. The puzzles that were too easy, the clues that seemed unsolvable, and what they thought of how you set the mood in the room. After all, you will design another game. Even a gamemaster needs feedback.
Then, when the guests are gone, clean up and consult your notes... the next one is gonna be EPIC! (Maybe you could even make your own...)
If you're finding this is taking too long why not download one of these printable escape room kits. They're ready-to-play games that you can customize before printing. That way, you get the experience of being the designer without all the grunt work.
Which one looks the most fun to you?