Escape rooms are all the rage, they combine high-octane time-pressured action, the intellectual challenge of solving various puzzles and adaptive creative thinking to make a unique experience for either individuals or teams. With many highly immersive themes and interactive scenarios, escape rooms have become more and more engrossing.
Escape rooms have been around for a while but they’ve only fairly recently become more popular. Not only are they fun and exciting but they also yield many awesome benefits for our cognition and problem thinking skills, which is great!
But what about enjoying the escape room experience and its benefits from the comfort of your own home?! Well, if you didn’t think it was possible then think again! You’re in the right place and here, we’re going to discuss DIY escape rooms that you can create in your own home!
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DIY Escape Rooms
Creating your own DIY escape room allows you to customise your own tasks, puzzles and narratives, all within the comfort of your own home! It might sound like you have a mountain to climb to make all the bits and pieces you’ll need yourself but Epic Escapes have you covered for that.
Also, having your own DIY escape room is awesome for hosting your own escape room events. Birthday parties, family games sessions, games nights with friends, neighbours, the list goes on! Since you’re in your own home, you won’t be time-constrained or limited in your session times either so you can keep going if you have some frustrating near-misses from annoyed friends and family members.
Escape rooms can also really help you mix it up from the usual boardgames we’re all used to playing and they involve both teamwork, activity and competition which is unique compared to many types of conventional boardgames. How about running a leaderboard with your family and friends? Can your guests beat your best time?
So what is the anatomy of homemade DIY escape rooms?
A Story Line
The storyline is one of the most important parts of any escape room experience! Epic Escapes provides 3 engrossing and engaging storylines to get you started but there’s nothing to say you can’t invent your own. The beauty of being in your own home means you’re not really limited to one storyline or escape room narrative. You can go all-out with extra characters, side plots involving family members and even dress up or role play.
It might require some thought but with some pointers and inspiration, you can formulate your own escape room experiences that are highly personalised to you and your environment.
Puzzles are the mainstay of the escape room. They can take many forms ranging from hidden clues to cryptic codes incorporated into props or the environment. Participants might have to crack sequences to progress to the next stage of the puzzle, or suss out information from the escape room’s narrative in order to move to the next stage. And then, of course, there’s the main event: actually escaping from the room itself!
Epic Escapes have crafted some awesome puzzles that you can use in your own home. They involve both physical puzzles and clues that are hidden by a gamemaster in your own home. You could add your own props and decor, or create a prize for the winning times, or play your own mysterious music to create a tenser atmosphere – the ways you can twist and customise your own DIY escape room experiences are near limitless!
Escape rooms and home puzzle games follow a logical flow and you’ll need to draft everything out and come up with a flow diagram of sorts. The idea is to point players to certain milestones or clues, where they’ll complete a task and then move onto the next clue. Sometimes, clues can be hidden randomly amongst the environment, prompting a mad scramble from players as they rush to find the first clue.
This might be as simple as a brightly coloured envelope, or a post-it note. You could include a directional arrow, or the initials of a room, or even the initials of a person. Players will then head to that room or ask that person who will have a scripted line: “I float but you can’t push me underwater, bigger than your head but lighter than a feather.” This points players towards the next clue: balloons. See why in the section below!
Some DIY Puzzle Ideas:
- Lock and scissors: By padlocking scissors shut, you can create an escape room puzzle where the competitors need to unlock the padlock to release the cutting device required to say, cut out a shape of a key, or cut round through an envelope that contains the next clue.
- Balloon Clues: You can insert clues into balloons and then inflate them. You can then read out a riddle that indicates people need to burst balloons to find a clue, like “I float but you can’t push me underwater, bigger than your head but lighter than a feather.”
- Missing Items: Have players examine two photos of an alleged crime scene in your front room. You can guide them to clues with missing items, or other differences between the two photos that draw them to certain areas of the room.
- Mirror code: You can easily write something on a mirror and it’ll be revealed when someone blows steam onto it. Simply dip your finger in soap and then write your message, then leave a clue: “breathe deep into the mirror and all will be revealed.”
- Hide a USB: If you want to go digital, then hide a USB and place a clue on it. You could even hide the clue in your emails, or an audio file. A related clue may be the password to the email account,
- Batteries: Want to prompt players to interact with an electronic device? Hide batteries in a relatively conspicuous place and leave the batteries out of say, a TV remote. Then, players will put two and two together by placing the batteries in the empty TV remote. When they switch the TV on, have a clue ready written into a word document.
Atmosphere makes all the difference! This is true for any DIY escape rooms you build as well as other at home escape rooms.
Kent Escape Room Reviews said about our escape room Piracy: “We played the game in a different room in the house, the lights were turned off, and I had soft white led lighting as well as a very loud countdown clock (found on Youtube!) to add tension and compliment the story.”
It doesn’t take much to really add to your home escape room experience and you can really go all-out if you want to. Whether you want to dress up your mum as a crime boss or pretend your grandad is a professional hijacker, having fun with the storyline is a great way to augment your escape room experience.
An Escape Room In A Box
Of course, the easiest way is to let someone else do the work and provide you with exciting high-grade puzzles. That’s why we’re here!
Epic Escapes have developed the escape room in a box, an awesome way of setting up and enjoying escape rooms without even escaping the house! Our Starter Pack contains not one, not two but three complete escape rooms all with their own distinct themes and flavours.
They span 3 difficulty levels and are designed to for everyone ranging from beginners to escape room enthusiasts. Don’t underestimate our escape rooms just because they’re set up at home! They’re tough and will certainly challenge you. If you think you have what it takes then what are you waiting for?!
The three escapes rooms are as follows:
Crime – Crime places you as the unfortunate friend of someone on the run from infamous criminals. You find yourself locked in your friend’s safe room, away from the criminals hunting you down via a case of mistaken identity. The air will not last forever. Can you escape the room before it is too late?!
Piracy – Deep in the ocean en route to the Suez Canal, the captain of your ship carrying a secret payload invites you to the bridge for a meeting. Before you can react, you are locked inside and the ship re-routed. You must escape and discover the truth behind your mysterious payload!
Hijack – You’re part of a crack team following a trace on a criminal hijacking plan. You wind up inside the hijack ring’s house, the plans are in here somewhere, but where? You find yourself inside the secure stash room and you’re faced with deeply coded plans for the next hijack target. Can you decode them in time?!
Each escape room comes with all the high-quality puzzles and consumables you’ll need as well as clue cards that the gamemaster can dish out if you’re racking your mind but can’t solve the puzzle!
Kent Escape Room Reviews recently reviewed Crime and Piracy and gave them ⅘ and 4 ½ / 5 respectively.
“The quality of the product is strong, particularly in terms of design and hardware. The story is very different to others so gives this experience a very different feel to Epic Escapes first puzzle we played. All in all, a really good experience” – Kent Escape Room Reviews
We’ll be releasing expansion packs that can really broaden your escape-room-at-home experiences.
Don’t forget, you can also go ahead and embellish our escape rooms however you like. Try adding eerie soundtracks, countdown timers and other props.