An escape room, also known as an escape game, is a game in which a team of players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms, in order to progress and accomplish a specific goal in a limited amount of time. The goal is often to escape from the site of the game. Players are trapped inside a mysterious room and have to uncover strange objects and hidden messages that might contain the clues to help them escape—but will they make it out in time? This format is appropriate for a wide range of ages. Contestants can bring their 80-year-old grandmother or their 8-year-old nephew, and they will all have a blast.
As part of the escape room, there are in-room (or close by) game masters, who are able to provide hints if asked and to ensure that everyone is having fun and understands what’s going on. The game begins with a brief introduction to the rules of the game and how to win. This can be delivered in the form of video, audio, or a gamemaster. After this, the clock is started, and players have 45 to 60 minutes to complete the game. During this time, players explore, find clues, and solve puzzles that allow them to progress further in the game.
Challenges in an escape room lean more to mental than physical, and it is not necessary to be physically fit or dexterous.
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- Adult citizens
- Children 7-12
You can do it with all those groups, but we did it with professionals from different fields like public engagement or the cultural and creative sector.
Besides being a fun time, these games also serve as an excellent team-building activity for the next corporate, off-site, private event, or team gathering. Teams of adventurers will join forces to find hidden clues, solve puzzles, and unravel a mystery before the 60 minutes run out.
The participants in an escape room usually play as a cooperative team, ranging anywhere between two and ten players. Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons, and space stations. The player’s goals and challenges they encounter usually follow the theme of the room. With some careful consideration, the challenges found within an escape room can be used to inform participants about a particular topic or issue.
For your escape room you need:
- A purpose: some type of mystery to solve or goal to reach
- Clues: a series of puzzles or questions to solve, one puzzle at a time, eventually leading to the goal
- Something to unlock: a combination lock or access code – The answers are provided by the clues that players solve along the way.
- A time limit (optional, but helpful): players must complete the puzzles, open the locks, and reach the goal in a set amount of time. The choice to use a timer depends on your group of participants. A time limit can drive motivation and focus, or it can add too much stress
- You need to find a suitable venue for your escape room, and trained volunteers who are aware of how the game works, and the narrative behind it.