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.
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)
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:
Put on your wizard cap and get ready to transport your family and friends into a magical escape room adventure!
You don't need a wizard! All you need is some creativity and an at-home printable escape room game kit. Feeling overwhelmed? Don't fret. We are here to help you turn your home into an escape room. Just choose a theme from our wide selection of escape room games and when it arrives, open it carefully. Our high wizards often love to cast a few scary spells to throw you off the scent. Okay! That's not really true, but still, proceed with caution.
If you feel like taking it up a notch, you can always create your own custom escape room where you can make the puzzles, decorate and set the scene yourself. Whether you are a beginner or a professional escape room master, we have everything you need.
For those of you who are new to the world of escape rooms, here is a basic guide on how to set up your at-home escape room adventure.
Alright, first things first. Like any successful quest, a successful game setup will require your organizing skills to make sure everything is in the right place. This could be a little overwhelming, especially if it's your first time, but that's why you are here!
You don't need weeks or months of preparation - just a few hours will do. And by the end of it, you will have an amazing game setup ready to amaze your friends and family.
Usually, an escape room has a time limit of one to two hours. But since you've never done this before, we recommend setting the time limit to 30 minutes. This will make it easier for you to set up and manage the game.
Unless you've got Dr Strange's Eye of Agomotto handy, you'll need to find time to design and plan your escape room. So, plan how much time you are going to give to the design process. This will help you set realistic goals for yourself - escape rooms take time to make!
If you don't have time to design, don't worry. Get in touch with our high wizards, and they'll have you covered with their magical escape room kits, which you can print out and set up in no time.
DIYing an escape room isn't that easy! It requires time, concentration, creativity, and research. You need to create a storyline and construct puzzles that will fit the theme of your game.
This may be the easiest and craziest part. Cherish it! Think about your favorite movie or book, and pick a theme that you would like your players to experience. Don't hesitate to go wild with your ideas; the sky's the limit.
And if you need any inspiration, here are some ideas:
Once you've decided on the theme and characters, imagine a triggering event and an ending to your Escape Room. This is the most important step in setting up the game, as it determines the direction and length of the game.
You can be as imaginative as you like, but don't fret about trying to create something unique. The cliche's exist because people enjoy them - so long as you put your heart into the design, it'll turn out great!
Since you are the director of the escape room, you need to lay out all the events in a sequence. Make sure that each event triggers something and has a significant event that it leads to.
Writing down all the events and planning them out will help you stay organized at this important stage of your game's creation. You can use these cards to help you remember the details and sequence of events in your escape room.
Once you have the story flow planned out, you can attach a puzzle to each of these events.
Now, this is the fun part! Each of these events will then become a challenge or a puzzle to progress in the game. Remember, puzzles don't have to be complicated. You can combine physical, mental, and creative tasks to make sure that your players have an enjoyable time.
Getting the right combination of puzzles is a process, so don't be afraid to experiment and adjust. You can always replace a puzzle with something that fits the theme better!
Feeling lazy? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Check out our list of fun pre-made puzzles that are designed to test your players' intelligence and skill.
You don't want your players to have a hard time solving the puzzles in your escape room. So, it is important that you test the scenario and make sure that it is working correctly.
Ask your family and friends to try out the game so you can get feedback from them and fix any issues that they point out. This way, you can make sure that your escape room is perfectly tuned and ready to go!
And there it is. Your escape room is set and ready to go! Now all that's left is for you to find brave adventurers willing to test their skills.
What sets an average room apart from an awesome escape room? The decoration!
The best way to make sure that your players get the immersion they deserve is to add decorative elements to your escape room. You can use a variety of accessories like wallpapers, furniture, props, and lights to bring the atmosphere to life.
You can look up our blogs or the internet to find out how to add the right amount of accessories to make your escape room look awesome.
If you feel busy like most of us, don't worry; you can always look up our pre-made escape rooms and get creative ideas from them. Plus, if you don't have the time or resources to make your own escape room, we offer a selection of ready-made escape rooms that you can access with just a click.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your mission today and make your escape room an adventure to remember!
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.
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.
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!
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)...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!