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Landon Miller
Landon Miller

How to Design Your Own Escape Room: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Escape Room: A Fun and Challenging Experience

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be trapped in a room with a ticking clock and a series of puzzles to solve? If you are looking for a thrilling and immersive adventure, then you should try an escape room. Escape rooms are interactive games where you and your team have to work together to find clues, crack codes, and escape before time runs out. Escape rooms are not only fun, but also beneficial for your brain, creativity, and teamwork skills. In this article, we will explain what an escape room is, how to play it, and how to create your own.

escape room

What is an escape room?

An escape room is a physical or virtual game where you and your team are locked in a themed room and have to use your logic, observation, communication, and problem-solving skills to find a way out. You usually have 60 minutes or less to complete the mission, which can vary from escaping a prison, defusing a bomb, solving a murder mystery, or finding a treasure. Escape rooms are designed to challenge your mind and test your nerves, but also to provide you with a fun and memorable experience.

The history of escape rooms

The concept of escape rooms originated from video games, where players had to explore and interact with their surroundings to find clues and solve puzzles. The first real-life escape room was created in 2007 by Takao Kato, a Japanese game designer who was inspired by the online game Crimson Room. He founded SCRAP Entertainment, a company that organizes live-action games in Japan and other countries. Since then, escape rooms have become popular all over the world, with thousands of venues offering different themes, stories, and levels of difficulty.

The types of escape rooms

There are many types of escape rooms that cater to different tastes, preferences, and interests. Some of the most common types are:

  • Horror: These escape rooms are designed to scare you with dark atmospheres, creepy sounds, jump scares, and sometimes actors who play as zombies, ghosts, or killers. Examples of horror themes are haunted houses, asylums, or dungeons.

  • Adventure: These escape rooms are designed to thrill you with exciting scenarios, exotic locations, and action-packed challenges. Examples of adventure themes are pirates, jungles, or temples.

  • Mystery: These escape rooms are designed to intrigue you with complex plots, hidden secrets, and clever twists. Examples of mystery themes are detective stories, spy missions, or heists.

  • Sci-fi: These escape rooms are designed to amaze you with futuristic technology, alien worlds, and imaginative concepts. Examples of sci-fi themes are space stations, time travel, or artificial intelligence.

  • Comedy: These escape rooms are designed to entertain you with humorous situations, funny characters, and witty dialogue. Examples of comedy themes are sitcoms, cartoons, or parodies.

The benefits of escape rooms

Escape rooms are not only fun games but also educational activities that can help you improve various skills and abilities. Some of the benefits of escape rooms are:

  • Cognitive skills: Escape rooms can enhance your memory, attention span, concentration, logical thinking, and mental flexibility by stimulating your brain with different kinds of puzzles and tasks.

  • Creative skills: Escape rooms can boost your imagination, innovation, and originality by encouraging you to think outside the box and come up with new ideas and solutions.

  • Social skills: Escape rooms can foster your communication, collaboration , and leadership skills by requiring you to work as a team and coordinate your actions and strategies.

  • Emotional skills: Escape rooms can improve your mood, confidence, and resilience by providing you with a positive and rewarding experience that challenges your fears and limitations.

How to play an escape room?

Playing an escape room is easy and fun, but it also requires some preparation and planning. Here are some steps to follow before, during, and after the game:

The rules of escape rooms

Before you enter the escape room, you should familiarize yourself with the basic rules and instructions of the game. Some of the common rules are:

  • Time limit: You usually have 60 minutes or less to complete the game, depending on the difficulty level and the theme. A timer will show you how much time you have left.

  • Team size: You can play with 2 to 10 people, depending on the capacity of the room. It is recommended to play with at least 3 or 4 people, as it will make the game more fun and easier.

  • Hints: You can ask for hints from the game master, who is a person who monitors and guides you through the game. The game master can communicate with you through a screen, a speaker, or a walkie-talkie. You can use hints whenever you are stuck or need help, but be careful not to use them too often, as they may reduce your score or limit your chances of winning.

  • Safety: You should follow the safety rules and regulations of the venue, such as not using force, not breaking anything, not taking pictures or videos, and not revealing any spoilers. You should also respect the theme and the atmosphere of the room, and not do anything that may offend or disturb other players or staff.

The tips and tricks for escape rooms

During the game, you should use your skills and abilities to solve the puzzles and escape the room. Some of the tips and tricks that can help you are:

  • Search: You should search every corner of the room for clues and items that may be useful for your mission. Look under, behind, inside, and above everything. Sometimes, clues may be hidden in plain sight or disguised as something else.

  • Analyze: You should analyze every clue and item that you find and try to figure out how they relate to each other and to the theme of the room. Sometimes, clues may be coded, encrypted, or symbolic. You may need to use logic, math, language, or general knowledge to decipher them.

  • Communicate: You should communicate with your team members and share your findings and ideas with them. You should also listen to their suggestions and feedback. Communication is key to teamwork and problem-solving.

  • Organize: You should organize your clues and items in a way that makes sense to you and your team. You can use a table, a board, or a wall to arrange them according to their categories, functions, or sequences. You should also keep track of what you have used and what you have not used.

  • Think creatively: You should think creatively and try different approaches and perspectives when solving the puzzles. Sometimes, you may need to think outside the box or use lateral thinking to find a solution.

The best escape rooms in the world

After the game, you can celebrate your victory or learn from your mistakes. You can also share your experience with other players or write a review online. If you enjoyed playing an escape room, you may want to try other escape rooms in different locations and themes. Here are some of the best escape rooms in the world that you can check out:

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The Basement

Los Angeles, USA


You are kidnapped by a cannibalistic serial killer who locks you in his basement. You have 45 minutes to escape before he returns for his next meal.


Amsterdam, Netherlands


You are hired by Sherlock Holmes to break into his archenemy's vault and steal a mysterious device. You have 90 minutes to complete the heist before the alarm goes off.

The Lost Treasure of Alexander von Humboldt

B erlin, Germany


You are explorers who discover a hidden chamber in the Berlin Natural History Museum. You have 66 minutes to find the lost treasure of Alexander von Humboldt, a famous German scientist and adventurer.

Paradox Project

Athens, Greece


You are time travelers who enter a paradoxical house that changes its shape and size every time you visit. You have 180 minutes to unravel the secrets of the house and escape.

Escape from the Time Travel Lab

Tokyo, Japan


You are researchers who accidentally activate a time machine and get trapped in different eras. You have 60 minutes to find your way back to the present.

How to create your own escape room?

If you are feeling creative and adventurous, you can also create your own escape room at home or at any location you want. Creating your own escape room can be a fun and rewarding project that allows you to express your personality and style. Here are some steps to follow when creating your own escape room:

The steps to design an escape room

The first step to create your own escape room is to design it. You need to decide on the following aspects of your escape room:

  • Theme: You need to choose a theme that suits your interests, preferences, and budget. You can use any genre, topic, or story that you like, such as horror, adventure, mystery, sci-fi, or comedy. You can also use existing themes from movies, books, games, or shows that you enjoy.

  • Story: You need to create a story that supports your theme and sets the mood for your escape room. You need to have a clear beginning, middle, and end for your story. You also need to have a main objective or goal for your players, such as escaping, finding something, or solving something.

  • Puzzles: You need to design puzzles that match your theme and story and challenge your players. You need to have a variety of puzzles that test different skills and abilities, such as logic, math, language, observation, or creativity. You also need to have a logical flow and connection between your puzzles.

  • Clues: You need to provide clues that help your players solve the puzzles and progress through the game. You need to have enough clues that guide your players without giving away the answers. You also need to hide or disguise your clues in clever and creative ways.

  • Props: You need to collect props that enhance your theme and story and make your escape room more immersive and realistic. You can use any objects or items that fit your theme, such as furniture, decorations, costumes, or accessories. You can also use technology, such as lights, sounds, or screens, to add more effects and features to your escape room.

The materials and tools for an escape room

The second step to create your own escape room is to gather the materials and tools that you need for your escape room. Some of the materials and tools that you may need are:

  • Paper: You can use paper for writing clues, puzzles, instructions, or notes. You can also use paper for making maps, diagrams, or drawings.

  • Pens: You can use pens for writing on paper or other surfaces. You can also use pens for drawing or coloring.

  • Tape: You can use tape for sticking paper or other materials together or on walls or floors. You can also use tape for hiding or securing wires or cables.

  • Scissors: You can use scissors for cutting paper or other materials into shapes or sizes.

  • Glue: You can use glue for attaching paper or other materials together or on walls or floors.

  • Cards: You can use cards for making puzzles, clues, or messages. You can also use cards for playing games or activities.

  • L ocks: You can use locks for securing doors, boxes, or drawers. You can also use locks for making puzzles or challenges that require keys, codes, or combinations.

  • Keys: You can use keys for opening locks, doors, boxes, or drawers. You can also use keys for making puzzles or clues that require matching, finding, or hiding.

  • Timer: You can use a timer for setting the time limit for your escape room. You can also use a timer for making puzzles or challenges that require speed, accuracy, or timing.

  • Computer: You can use a computer for creating and printing puzzles, clues, or instructions. You can also use a computer for playing sounds, videos, or images that relate to your theme or story.

  • Speaker: You can use a speaker for playing sounds, music, or voice messages that enhance your theme or story. You can also use a speaker for communicating with your players or giving them hints.

  • Camera: You can use a camera for taking pictures or videos of your escape room. You can also use a camera for monitoring your players or recording their reactions.

The examples of DIY escape rooms

The third step to create your own escape room is to test it and enjoy it. You can invite your friends or family to play your escape room and see how they like it. You can also play other DIY escape rooms that other people have created and get inspired by them. Here are some examples of DIY escape rooms that you can check out:

  • The Mystery of the Stolen Painting: This is an escape room that you can create at home using everyday items. The theme is a mystery where you have to find out who stole a painting from an art gallery and where they hid it. The puzzles involve finding clues in books, paintings, clocks, and maps.

  • The Zombie Apocalypse: This is an escape room that you can create at home using cardboard boxes and paper. The theme is a horror where you have to escape from a zombie-infested house and find a safe place. The puzzles involve finding weapons, food, and keys in different rooms.

  • The Escape from Hogwarts: This is an escape room that you can create at home using Harry Potter-themed items and props. The theme is an adventure where you have to escape from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and avoid the dark forces. The puzzles involve finding spells, potions, and magical objects in different locations.


Escape rooms are fun and challenging games that can provide you with a unique and unforgettable experience. They can also help you improve your cognitive, creative, social, and emotional skills. Whether you play an escape room at a venue or create your own at home, you are sure to have a blast and learn something new. So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends and try an escape room today!


Here are some frequently asked questions about escape rooms:

  • Q: How much does it cost to play an escape room?

  • A: The cost of playing an escape room varies depending on the location, theme, and quality of the venue. The average price ranges from $20 to $40 per person.

  • Q: How long does it take to play an escape room?

  • A: The duration of playing an escape room depends on the time limit and the difficulty level of the game. The average time is 60 minutes, but some games may be shorter or longer.

  • Q: How many people can play an escape room?

  • A: The number of people who can play an escape room depends on the capacity and the design of the room. The average number is 4 to 6 people, but some rooms may accommodate more or less.

  • Q: What should I wear to play an escape room?

  • A: You should wear comfortable and casual clothes and shoes that allow you to move freely and safely in the room. You should also avoid wearing anything that may get damaged or lost in the game.

  • Q: What should I bring to play an escape room?

  • A: You should bring your ID, your booking confirmation, and your sense of adventure to play an escape room. You should also bring your friends or family who want to join you in the game. You should not bring any personal belongings that may interfere with the game, such as phones, cameras, bags, or wallets.


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