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What is an Escape Room? A Quest of Wits and Wisdom!

Thinking of joining the escape game hype-train, but don't know how an escape room works? No worries! Let me guide you on your way to your greatest adventure yet!

Or, Get Started With a Printable Kit Right Now

When Was Your Last Real Adventure?

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And I'm not talking about that time the office printer jammed right before your deadline.

No, I'm talking about the times when you find yourself transported outside of your humdrum everyday, surviving solely on adrenaline and camaraderie!

Been a while, huh?

But good news! You don't need to search far for an epic quest worthy enough to challenge your skills - that's what an escape room is for. So gather your party, summon your courage, and read on to embark on your own escape room adventure...

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The High Wizards are here for you adventurer. 

Read on to discover exactly what an escape room is, how to start your own escape room adventure, and some handy escape room tips and tricks to help you out in your darkest hour!

Then, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can try making your own with this free escape room Builder's Kit. It's got all the quick-start templates and helpful guides you need to get started.

The Basics

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We all want to be the 'clever hero'. Some of our most exciting adventures involve the heroes being able to accomplish a task using not their brute strength, but their wits. Cunning heroes who can outsmart totalitarian governments and figure out ancient Elven passwords have always been admired - and those are the types of people who players of escape rooms are allowed to emulate.

Sounds exciting, right? But what is an escape room, you may ask - well, at a basic level, an escape room asks a party of adventurers a simple question - "are you clever enough to escape using just your wits, and the resources in this room?" In short, escape rooms create situations that make you feel a lot like MacGyver.

Escape games were originally fairly straightforward - the game was structured as an attempt to escape from a locked room. Today's games have moved a bit beyond that, but the goal is still to complete a very specific set of tasks within a certain amount of time. You might be tasked with solving a murder-mystery, disarming a bomb, or beating all the challenges at the Winter Faire before time runs out - and this will always involve solving multiple puzzles and completing multiple tasks.

So, How Does This All Work?

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You don't need to be as prepared as Batman's utility belt, but it sure will help to know what kind of adventure you're getting into here.

The way you beat an escape room is by solving a number of lesser puzzles that will eventually give you an answer to the final puzzle. (Like these puzzles, for example)

  • Linear games give players a series of puzzles to solve that must be accomplished in a certain order.
  • Non-linear games have a variety of puzzles that can be solved in any order the players like. In almost all cases, though, these puzzles must be solved within an hour in order to win.

That's right, escape rooms work around time limits, and how long an escape room game takes will vary greatly (our games all fall between the 45-60min range). If you are playing a self-guided game, you might be able to play as long as you like. Likewise, some people choose to set even shorter time limits in order to win prizes or set records. The time limit is almost always set by the person or entity who runs the game, so make sure to check with them before you get started.

A New Journey: The Rise of the At-Home Escape Room

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More of a stay-at-home Hobbit than a daring wizard? We feel you!

One of the biggest changes in the world of escape games is the rise of the at-home or DIY escape room. These rooms take the same basic skills and concepts that are involved in a more traditional escape game and package them in such a way that they can be played right in your living room. What's really unique about these games, though, is that they can even be played by the person who sets up the game - the puzzles tend to have their solutions obscured or outright hidden so that those who want to host can still get a chance to play.

One of the great things about this type of escape game is that it allows those who don't live in areas with multiple available escape games to play without having to worry about travel time or the costs associated with traditional rooms. (Plus, you can play anywhere - even on the beach!) While these games might lack some of the atmosphere that comes with a professionally-assembled room, they still include great stories and thrilling puzzles.


But don't sit here and take my word on it! See for yourself:

HEAR WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT US

Get your quest underway by choosing a fun theme:

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The Perfect Quest: How to Have an Amazing Escape Room Adventure

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So, now we know what an escape room is and how an escape room works. What next?
Here's what - you get started on the greatest adventure you've ever had!

1. Unite the Fellowship

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Every quest begins with the formation of a fellowship.

While some escape rooms may let you play them on your own, most games at escape room venues are built for a group of 2-6 people. It's not just a matter of brainpower, either - some games physically require at least two players to complete. If you intend on undertaking one of these fantastic journeys, it's generally a good idea to make sure that you have at least a few loyal companions to bring along with you on your quest.

Fortunately, virtually anyone can be part of an escape game's adventuring party. Adventurers of all ages can find something to enjoy here, ranging from physical challenges to word games to devilishly complex puzzles. No one is too old or too young - these kids certainly loved it!

The best party members, though, are those who have inquisitive minds and who love thinking outside of the box. Some puzzles can certainly be brute-forced and solved using outside knowledge, but many of the most impressive escape games include puzzles that require a bit more lateral thinking and excellent observational skills.

Putting together a team with a wide range of talents is usually the best way to ensure that your quest will end in triumph.

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2. Decide Upon Your Quest

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Once you have your fellowship assembled, it's time to decide upon your quest.

Traditionally, going on an escape room quest meant tracking down an outside establishment and choosing from among the games that are available. Unfortunately, this tends to be pricey - you have to pay per head in most establishments, and the games tend to be geared towards the widest possible selection of customers. While this can absolutely be a fantastic way to get out of the house and to try out something new, this isn't always your best option.

More and more adventurers are turning towards DIY escape rooms that they can play at home (see for yourself). These kits have everything that you need to create an excellent game, with puzzles and sometimes even props that help to bring the adventure to life. These games tend to be much less costly for a full group to run, and the possible selections can often feel endless. If you are looking for something that's perfect for your fellowship and that will give you the ability to play from the safety of your own home, you'll definitely want to look into how to play DIY escape room games.

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3. Secure Provisions

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Never forget second-breakfast!

Most escape room venues won't let you wheel a table of snacks in with you. And that's sad! But if you're playing a printable escape room kit from home, then you can set out a veritable buffet in order to keep your party's hitpoints up. And you should! A nice little selection of snackage and drinks always brings your game to the next level!

At a minimal level, you always want to make sure that you go into an escape game well-hydrated and sated. People tend to get a little less adventurous when their stomachs are rumbling, and many tend to turn back and go home if they'd rather have a good meal. If you can't bring some quality vittles into the game with you, then make sure you stop for a snack beforehand, and a celebratory drink after. Solving puzzles is hard work, so make sure you've prepared what you need to party on!

 4. Celebrate Your Successes

Winning Envy murder mystery at home

Finally, make sure that you allow your party the chance to enjoy their successes and deal with their failures at the end of your journey. For a friendly house party like the one we ran, this is an absolute must!

Make sure to keep a solid supply of good food and drink available for those adventurers who completed the quest as well as those who might have fallen by the wayside while you're all learning how to play an escape room game.

In short, a great escape room quest ends with all the 'warm fuzzies' you get from doing something fun. Even if you didn't solve the puzzle in the way that you might've liked, you've still managed to prove your worth against at least a handful of tough puzzles. You deserve to top up your mana and hitpoints with the finest cuisine and rarest vintages of the land - or at least, with a few good beverages and a hot pizza.

Enjoy the glowing feeling of glory, knowing that you've finally broken out on your own adventure... and maybe start planning the next one (you could even try your hand at making an escape room adventure yourself)...

To glory! Which challenge are you ready to conquer?

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Or why not make your own escape room adventure?

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Crafting your own escape room game together is the perfect way to engage your kids and captivate the whole family.

Our Master Class activity pack is fully loaded with all the printable content you'll need to get started - templates, puzzles, and even props!

It's perfect for immersive classroom lessons and quality family adventure.

CHECK OUT THE ESCAPE ROOM MASTERCLASS

Escape Room Tips and Tricks for New Adventurers

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Every new adventurer needs some sage advice.

So let us pass on the wisdom of the High Wizards. Follow these escape room tips and tricks and discover how to beat an escape room. With style!

OR, READ OUR ULTIMATE ESCAPE ROOM GUIDE AND WIN EVERY TIME

Look for Goals

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Find the big red button!

Ok, there may not actually be a literal big red button, but the first thing to do on any quest is to figure out your goal. When you first begin learning how escape rooms work, take a moment to figure out if there are any obvious goals. If you know that you need to enter a code and then press a big red button, you know that your final goal is going to be assembling that code. This gives you something to work towards, even if you know that there will be many steps between you and that goal.

After you've identified the major goal, start to look at other, smaller goals. If you notice a lock, for example, you know that at some point you will have to find a key. If you find a puzzle that will require inserting some kind of part, be on the lookout for something in that shape. A huge part of learning how to play an escape room game is learning how to observe the area in which you find yourself so that you can figure out where the parts of the various puzzles are located.

Work Together

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Teamwork is the name of the game when it comes to any escape room.

While there are many strategies that can be used to conquer the various puzzles, the most tried-and-true is simply choosing a partner to cover your back. Partnering up allows you to bounce ideas off of each other, puts a second set of eyes on those confusing puzzles, and keeps everyone involved and having fun. Knowing how to beat an escape room is knowing how to band together!

Learning how to play an escape room game also means making sure that you communicate as efficiently as possible. Many partners get in trouble in these games because they assume that the other party knows what they are thinking. Given that your partner probably isn't a mind reader, try to announce what you're doing to the rest of your team so that they can all get on the same page as you. It can be very embarrassing to be stuck on a puzzle only to find out that another person had the key you needed and wasn't aware of this fact because he or she did not know what you were doing.

Don't Get Stuck

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It's the final countdown!

Time matters, even if your particular journey doesn't have a time limit attached to it. Frustration can mount when you are trying to beat an escape room, so make sure that you take a few basic steps to ensure that you don't get stuck.

Try to limit the number of times that you try the same solution for each puzzle. If you have tried inputting a code twice or using a key more than once, put it down and try something new. If your game is not linear, move on to another puzzle. If it is, hand the puzzle over to another one of your teammates and let them attempt to solve the puzzle while you work on something else.

The biggest enemy you'll ever find when learning how to beat an escape room is your own frustration. If your game allows you to get hints, call out for help before you start to lose your cool. Not only will this stop you from wasting time, but it will also help you to keep the morale in your group from dipping too low.

Have Fun

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Why so serious?

If you're trying to beat an escape room, try to remember to have fun. It can be frustrating not to know where to go next and it certainly can be disheartening to feel like you cannot beat a specific puzzle, but remember, you only lose an escape room game when you stop having fun!

If you find yourself getting too worked up in a game, call a brief timeout. Count to ten, do some deep breathing, or just tell a joke. Remind yourself that this isn't a life or death quest (it isn't... right?!) - it's an hour or so that allows you to escape from the rest of the world.

It's also important that you remember that your teammates can just get as frustrated. Don't get mad if someone can't solve a particular puzzle or continually comes up with wrong answers. Instead, try to encourage them to try new strategies and to find new ways to contribute. The last thing you want to do during your game is to break up your fellowship. So, as you're figuring out how to beat your escape room game, don't forget to emphasize the fun!

AND MAKE SURE TO READ THE REST OF OUR WINNING TIPS HERE

It's time to quest forth! What adventure will you choose?

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Woah.

Save massive $$ by grabbing a whole box of escape kits:
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    HALLOWEEN BOX $49
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    $99

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

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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 kits (7x)
Envy, Lost Mummy,
Escape Room Z, Rebel Revolt, Escape Quest, Frost & Wasteland
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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