Ideas for puzzles comes from being creative and use your imagination for example going to a triftshop and looking around and coming up how to use a piece of pants for a puzzle? or making a stop at the toy-store to see how different toys can be used as a puzzle. Maybe the marbles? maybe the car with the moving wheels?
Here we have some ideas of puzzles that you can use and the list will grow as a puzzle tree over time so check in from time to time to get more ideas:)
#1: Players have to find batteries for a device that will reveal the next hint (e.g. cassette player or a remote controller for a screen).
#2: A 3D puzzle (e.g. some famous building in the theme of your Escape Room) form a combination or a password visible on the side of it after assembly.
#3: Players have to place some famous books on the shelf (e.g. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Little Prince) in the right order hinted by a series of not-that-obvious symbols (in case of mentioned books/series – e.g. a lightning bolt, a ring, and a rose respectively).
#4: Players have to finish a simple jigsaw puzzle with some random picture, but the password is on the other side. How they will read it? Leave it for them to figure out.
#5: Players must put some cogs of different sizes to complete the cycle on a wall and activate the mechanism.
#6: Players have to find missing keys to complete the keyboard and input the password.
#7: A door to the next room is missing a handle. Players need to find it to progress further.
#8: There is a light table in the room (the surface has a source of light underneath). Players have to cover it completely with a jigsaw puzzle that they have to finish first. When the whole bright surface is covered, the puzzle is solved.
#9: Players have to find fuses and put them in a fuse box to activate the next electronic puzzle.
#10: Players have to hang three different-sized closed umbrellas on a wall hanger. Below the hanger, there are many numbers written in seemingly random places. The tips of hanged umbrellas will indicate a 3-digit combination.
#11: Players have to assemble a Tangram puzzle. Some of the parts have RFIDs to match them with sensors and automatically solve the puzzle after they are put in the right places.
#12: There are three paper windmills on sticks of different lengths. Players have to put them in three holes of different depths in such a way so all the windmills are on the same height.
#13 (HARDCORE): There is a 3D puzzle of a cube. The parts are small and do not stick to each other. Players have to put and hold them together to read a message written on the side.
#14: Make a small hole with a curtain behind it to stop players from peeking. They have to blindly put their arm inside and try to pull out an object for another puzzle.
#15: Hide small objects in small containers in corners of the room. Such containers should look like unrelated decorations (e.g. a vase in a Greek-themed room) to be less obvious to players.
#16: Place a clothed mannequin on the floor with some objects hidden inside its pockets.
#17: Make a false bottom in the box containing another object. After opening the box, players will have to be careful not to leave out the second object under the false bottom.
#18: There is a place for a painting on the wall. Players see three paintings but hanging any of them does not do anything. After finding the fourth one and hanging in in the right spot, the puzzle is solved.
#19: Put a flashlight in the room that is not working. It will contain an important object in the place the batteries should go. Then, you can hide some batteries to let players turn on the flashlight and use it to solve another puzzle.
#20: Players have to find pieces of the map of the room to be able to find an object.
#21: The hidden object is behind a vent crate which needs to be opened with a screwdriver (which can also be hidden!).
#22: There is a book on the shelf with carved out space for a hidden object inside.
#23: There is a loose tile on the floor. You can subtly mark it. The hidden object is under this tile.
#24: Place a hint for the location of a hidden object on the ceiling.
#25: Make players think outside the box and stick the key to the back of the chest. Sometimes blindingly obvious solutions are the most tricky ones!
#26 (HARDCORE): There is a small secret room that is completely dark. Players cannot have any source of light like a flashlight or electric candle. They have to go in blind and try to find an object among many props glued to the shelves or tables.
Sometimes you just need to look at something from a different perspective. Puzzles that are not that obvious make players think outside the box and are exceptionally satisfying after solving them. Those are the most tricky Escape Room puzzle ideas (see what we did there?) and can be frustrating but players love them.
#27: A player has to stand in a specific spot to be able to make sense of some strange symbols painted on walls and pieces of furniture in the room. From that spot, the symbols merge into numbers, providing a combination.
#28: Players find a sheet of paper with random numbers and letters written on it. It looks like a text to decode but in fact, they have to look at it from the distance and the spaces between words (so called “rivers of white”) make a shape of an object that is needed for another puzzle.
#29: A player starts the game sitting on a folding chair. This starting point makes it difficult to treat the chair as part of the puzzle, but when the chair is folded, the symbols painted on it merge and show a picture or a combination needed for solving a puzzle.
#30: Players have to move an object through a maze but it is located in such a way that they can see the maze only in the mirror (which creates confusion and adds to the difficulty level!).
Metal sensor is hidden under the table. Then the goblet made of metal is put on it, it triggers the sensor and activated the pump output set. The sensor and the output set are attached to the Universal puzzle controller with sound support to play an MP3 file with a pouring water sound effect.
#31: There is a longer message written upside down on the wall with a weird font. It should be obscure and distorted enough to make players think.
#32: Players can look through a small hole to get a combination, but it is constantly spinning on a spin plate. They have to focus to get the combination right.
#33: There is a secret anaglyph message on a wall. Players need to find the decoder glasses to read it.
#34: There is a skeleton with his hand reached for a coin. The problem is, there are a lot of coins found in a chest. Players need to find a talisman that emits UV light to find the one that glows. This coin will trigger the skeleton’s hand and solve the puzzle.
#35: There are long scratched planks on a table. Only when looking from a certain angle, players can see the letters/numbers scratched on it.
#36: There is a hand on a table and a message – “greedy hand needs money”. The tricky part is that there is a coin on the floor but it is glued and cannot be moved. players have to put the hand itself on the coin to solve the puzzle.
#37: There is an empty shelf with painted shadows of objects that are not there. Players have to put the right objects in those spots so they could cast such shadows.
#38 (HARDCORE): There is a small mock-up of the Escape Room players are in. This model is almost identical to the full-sized room, but there are some changes – for example, a chair is in a different place, the wardrobe is opened, etc. There is also a doll sitting in the corner. After setting the room just like in the mock-up and sitting in the same corner, a player can see the password – written in parts on walls, the back of the chair and wardrobe doors.
Without a good idea for a story, Escape Rooms are just a series of random puzzles. Create good stories and focus on the immersion. Remember that the Escape Room puzzle ideas below are not limited to the themes from the examples.
#39: Players have to follow a tale of a king, queen, knights on horses, high towers and soldiers. The story has clues on how to place chess pieces on the board in order to solve the puzzle.
#40: Players have to find pages from an adventurer’s diary that describes a daring escapade. They have to follow the events from the diary, where each step has a corresponding puzzle in the room.
#41: There is a story with numbers, e.g.: “I visited France four times and then haven’t been there for eight years. It was fun, but I have three kids now so my traveling days are over”. The combination is 483.
#42: Players hear a Sphinx-like riddle and try to solve it, e.g.: “Some try to hide, some try to cheat; but time will show, we always will meet”. The answer is “death”.
#43: Players find a notebook with a strange meeting described. There is information on who was sitting where and what kind of glass they used to drink, e.g. “John had a tea in a red mug, and Jenny, who was sitting on his right, decided on a milkshake in a tall pink glass”. If every cup and glass are placed in the right spots on the table, the puzzle is solved.
#44: There is a story about a voyager who had traveled all around the world. On a wall, there is a big map with pins on many cities around the world. Players have to take a string and follow the voyager’s story by tying it around every mentioned city. After the story ends, the string that connects cities form a number or a letter needed for solving another puzzle.
#45: In a pyramid-themed room, there is an old papyrus with a tale of a couple of different pharaohs (e.g. “Pharaoh Sahure who loved jewels…”). Players need to read it and put the mummified parts on the right spots on a sarcophagus (e.g. a bandaged hand with a ring with a jewel on a finger).
#46: There are some symbols to choose from but only one can be used. The answer is hidden as a missing word at the end of a short rhymed poem, e.g.: “Far, far away, in a forest dense and thick, lived a big bird with red feathers and a sharp …”. Among the symbols, there are shapes of claws, feathers, fangs and a beak. The password is “beak”.
#47 (HARDCORE): Players have to find a letter from a mathematician who hid a message in it. They have to take every first letter of each line and change it to the order number from the alphabet. Then, every number should be added up and the total number makes a combination.
Mirrors seem like props for the easiest puzzles – but they can be implemented quite creatively. There is a lot you can do with mirrors!
#48: Players have to read a secret message written backward on the ceiling using a mirror hidden elsewhere.
#49: Players need to place some mirrors with stands (e.g. makeup mirrors) to guide a laser beam to a light sensor.
#50: There is a beam of light coming from one place in the room. With the help of a mirror, players have to guide it to a dark section of the room to find a missing prop for another puzzle.
#51: Players must set a mirror on a movable wall-mounted stand in such a position to connect fragments of numbers painted on the walls and pieces of furniture to get a combination.
#52: There is a small remote-controlled vehicle with a small mirror on top. It needs to be guided to the locked section of the room. When it gets there, players can see it on a live feed on a screen and they need to place them in a way so it can reflect the laser beam at a light sensor.
#53: An invisible message on a mirror (written with soap) becomes revealed when players breathe on it.
#54: After triggering a sensor with both hands placed on a specific spot, LED lights activate behind a piece of Venetian mirror, showing a message or combination.
#55: A big mirror on the wall turns out to be a hidden door to another room. It can be connected to a riddle about “walking into the inverse world” or something vague like that.
#56: A message is written on the wall in the other room, which is closed behind bars. To read it, a player has to find a mirror, hold it in hand while stretching the arm through the bars and try to read the message in a mirror’s reflection. It is written on the wall where the barred door is, so it cannot be read without a mirror.
#57: A combination written normally on a mirror’s surface should open a padlock, but only when used backward (because mirrors show the inverse of everything).
#58 (HARDCORE): Build a maze using only mirrors as walls.
You should not assume the players know everything about the theme of your Room. Even if it is a Game of Thrones-themed Escape Room and players probably know the names of the Houses. However, you can always test their common knowledge – about geography, dates of holidays or deadly sins.
#59: One object clearly does not fit in a group of different things. E.g. there is a set of postcards with different combinations on the reverse – four of them are from cities in England and only one is from a French city. The last one has the right combination as it stands out.
#60: Players have to place figurines of animals on a map with RFID sensors underneath. When animals are placed properly, eg. a panda on Asia, a kangaroo on Australia and a bison in North America, the puzzle is solved.
#61: There is a list with some information on a couple of people – their dates of birth, age, height, etc. Players have to check the list, find zodiac signs figurines and put those signs in the right order, based on the order numbers and dates on the list. Remember to provide a cheat sheet with zodiac signs and dates assigned to them.
#62: There is a 7-digit combination for a keypad but players can see only 7 enigmatic pictures. They have to find a list of seven deadly sins, each with a number assigned to it. The pictures have to be paired with sins to make a combination for solving the puzzle.
#63: Players see a box with three holes on top. There is a riddle with different kinds of flowers in the text. Players have to select three right ones and put them into the holes. The flowers should be easily recognizable, e.g. a rose, poppy, tulip, daisy, and sunflower.
#64: There are a couple of vials glued to a table. Each of them has a number assigned to it and contains different scents – those can be fruit scents or other easily recognizable notes. There are some pictures of fruits (or other corresponding things that smell like the contents of the vials) near a keypad. Players have to recognize the scents and enter the correct code.
#65: The answer to an equation needs to be a 4-digit combination that players have to use to set the hour on the broken clock in the room.
#66: Players see a list of chemical elements. After finding the periodic table, they can check for shorter elements’ names to form a password.
#67: There is an abandoned operating theatre. A killer did vivisection on somebody and left the body on the table. Players have to put the organs back inside the body to get a voice hint from a dying man.
#68: There are some dates from a calendar connected to well-known holidays and some objects to pair them with (e.g. Valentine’s Day and a heart, Christmas Eve with a small Santa figurine, New Year’s Eve with a fake bottle of champagne, etc.). After placing objects near those dates, the puzzle is solved.
#69: Players are in an abandoned supermarket and they need to scan some products to know their value. The puzzle is solved when the products of a specified total value are put into the basket.
#70: There is a decoration with planets from our solar system. One of the puzzles will hint that some light should be shed on Mars or Uranus. The UV light provided for another puzzle will show the hidden message written on the right planet.
#71: On a wall, there is a mix of many letters and numbers in different colors. It seems unreadable for the moment but players have a flashlight and three semi-transparent colored glass tiles – red, blue and yellow. Sadly, when used with the flashlight, it does not reveal a hidden combination. To see the code, players have to use green glass tile which can be made with blue and yellow tiles.
#72 (HARDCORE): Players have to solve physics equations. The knowledge needed for those equations should require using formulas everybody was taught in school, like velocity or power formula.
Puzzle with electronics are extremely easy to design. You just need three elements and your puzzle is ready! You can click on specific puzzles and design the electronics for any puzzle you want.
Math-based puzzles often are too easy or too hard – but there is so much more to it than simple equations. Use math wisely, preferably at the beginning of a game, to get players into the puzzle-solving mood!
#73: Players see a simple equation on the wall and have to solve it to pick the correct domino piece. The number of each domino piece is the sum of dots on it.
#74: Players see an almost completed sudoku puzzle. The remaining missing numbers form a combination.
#75: There is an unfinished equation on the board. The numbers are missing math symbols (like “=”, “+”, “x”, etc.) which can be found on the tiles nearby. These tiles have to be placed in the right places to solve the puzzle.
#76: Players find an unfinished sequence of numbers and have to find the missing number (e.g. 0 1 3 7 X, 3 1 6 4 Y, 36 34 30 22 Z) to get a combination for a keypad.
#77: There is a scheme on the wall, e.g. 2 potatoes equal 5 cucumbers, and 2 cucumbers equal 3 carrots. If a carrot weighs 0.2 kg, how much a potato weighs?
#78: Players need a combination for a keypad but all they have is a word, e.g. “WIDOW”. There is another puzzle using scrabble tiles they should solve before. The solution is to go back, look at the scrabble tiles and get the numbers assigned to the letters from the word.
#79: There is a series of simple equations and the last one is quite complex and without an answer. The numbers are here but there are pictures of fruits instead of math symbols (like “-”, “+”, “x”, etc.). Players have to understand which fruit corresponds to which symbol on the easy equations to solve the hard one. Example: “3 [APPLE] 2 = 6″, “64 [BANANA] 8 = 8″ and “654 [APPLE] 2 [BANANA] 4 = ???”.
#80: There is a quite difficult math problem (with multiplying and dividing big numbers) and players need to use a calculator. The tricky part is that there is a calculator, but it is missing 1 or 2 numbers. What they need to do is to go around it, adding and subtracting numbers to get the missing ones (e.g. the equation is “2345 x 987” but there is no “5”. The answer is “2344 + 1″ first and then “x 987”).
#81: A combination for the lock is presented with a couple of geometric shapes. Each shape indicates a number of their sides (and the circle would be for “0”).
#82 (HARDCORE): Unleash your inner psychopath and make a really hard math problem that has to be solved without any help (not even a pen with a piece of paper). After solving the problem, players can open a chest with a key to another room and… a calculator. And there will be no more math problems.
Liquids in Escape Rooms are tricky as players often spill it somewhere and the puzzle cannot be solved. However, with careful planning, liquids can work wonders in your Escape Room.
#83: Players have to pour a liquid to a chalice with a drain, so somebody (e.g. a ghost) can “drink” it and reveal a secret message.
#84: Players have to measure exactly 6 liters of water, but they can use only 4-liters and 9-liters bowls.
#85: Players need to find a couple of bottles with water and pour it into a vase with a very narrow neck. Raising the water level brings up a small object (that floats on the water). The vase should be glued to the table to prevent players from turning it upside down.
#86: Players have to test three liquid samples with universal indicators – water, laundry detergent, and lemon juice. The colors on indicators are the solution to the puzzle. Works great in alchemy-themed rooms.
#87: After placing a chalice under a fancy water pump, a sensor triggers and the water start flowing. Then, the water can be used for another liquid-based puzzle. (Self-promotion! You can buy it from Escape Room Supplier here.)
#88: There is a water gun and players have to fill a chalice with water that is out of reach. To make it easier, players should be able to refill the gun. After the chalice is full, a sensor triggers and the puzzle is solved.
#89: Players have to pour water from vials hidden in the room into a vessel. In this vessel, there is a combination padlock in transparent water gel balls. The padlock becomes visible only after the water is poured. Players have to use the code set on a padlock in the vessel on the same looking padlock elsewhere.
#90: Players have to put an orange into a tall vessel full of water and make it reach the bottom to trigger a sensor and finish the puzzle. Oranges float on water but after players peel it, it sinks just fine.
#91: There is a big mug full of dark liquid on a table. Because of its color, it is not clearly visible that something is in the mug. Players have to take a hidden object out of the mug to use it in another puzzle.
#92: There is a key at the bottom of a transparent water tank. The tank is closed but there is a small hole on the top. Players have to assemble a small fishing rod and use the hole to fish out the key with a magnet on a fishing line.
#93 (HARDCORE): There is a jug with water, glued to the table. Players cannot move it but they have to move the water to the other side of the room using nothing but a straw. The solution is to dip the straw into the water, close the upper opening with a thumb and move the water that way. If you are afraid players will use their mouths to do that, use something that tastes bad instead of water.
Everybody knows how to use scale, and puzzles with weight sensors can be really fun.
#94: Players need to put a heavy object on a specific platform to trigger a sensor and open a chest.
#95: Players have to use a scale to weigh some objects and later place the correct one in the specified spot. To get the weight right, scale weights should be provided.
#96: Players have some cans of different weights and a kitchen scale. First, they have to choose the right can, and then the weight of that can is the combination to the padlock placed nearby.
#97: There are many different coins, a prop (e.g. a vial of blood) and a scale. The hint suggests that players should find a price for a life. The vial has to be put on one side of the scale and on the other side there should be coins – as much as it is needed to balance the scale. Then, their value should be added and the total number is a combination for a padlock. (Self-promotion! You can buy a version of this puzzle from Escape Room Supplier here.)
#98: There is a roulette wheel on a table. While it is spinning, on the other side of the room lights up an LED light with a specific number and color, e.g. “20 BLACK”. When the roulette wheel stops, the hint disappears. players have to place a ball on the hinted space.
#99: After a player steps on a specific tile in the room, rubber rats falling from the ceiling. One of them has a key inside. (Self-promotion! You can buy it from Escape Room Supplier here.)
Explorer Bundle is everything you need to make a variety of Escape Room puzzles. We chose ER owners’ favorite, most versatile electronics! All of this with a 6-month subscription of ERCC software!
Explorer Bundle contains:
– 🧲 Magnetic sensor
– 🃏 RFID sensor
– 🧩 Universal puzzle controller
– 🔓 Electro-lock output set
– 💻 Escape Room Command Center software
#100: Players should stand in the corners of the room and there should not be anyone in the center. Why? Maybe the building is fragile and this is the weakest spot of the room. Maybe players have to hide from some monster. After they do that, the door to another room opens.
#101: There is a tube opening placed high on the wall. Players need to find five small bags with sand and aim for the opening. When five bags go through the tube, their weigh triggers a sensor and activates a secret passage.
#102 (HARDCORE): Players have to measure the perfect weight in grains of sand using scale weights. The tricky part? One of them has the wrong weight number written on it. Players have to identify the wrong one and use only the other ones.
The majority of Escape Rooms are designed for more than one player. Use it and design puzzles that require a couple of players to work together.
#103: Players must split up to push a button in one room and hear the voice hint in another.
#104: Handcuff two players together (works better in big rooms) to slow them down and make them work together until they find the key.
#105: Separate the players and put them into two rooms next to each other. They have to communicate by a walkie-talkie (or shouting to each other) to open a passage by pressing two buttons on two sides of the wall at the same time.
#106: One player is locked in a small room with a flashlight and instructions on how to free him or her by actions that have to be done by the others outside. They have to communicate with that player to know what to do.
#107: There are two players in a separate part of the room. Each of them has one hand handcuffed to the opposing sides of a table. The puzzle on the table required two hands to be solved, e.g. connecting some cables. It seems easy but with just one hand from each player, it can cause some problems.
#108: There are two handles in the room, too far from each other to be held by just one player. Two players have to hold them and each other’s hands to complete the “human chain” to solve the puzzle. (Self-promotion! You can buy it from Escape Room Supplier here.)
#109: One player is blindfolded and the others watch him or her on a camera in another room, shouting what he or she should do.
#110: There is a mannequin under a guillotine. After players push two buttons on the opposite sides of the room, the guillotine drops a blade and the mannequin’s head drops on the floor. Inside the head, there is a brain for another puzzle.
#111: One player has to stand in one place to activate a message appearing on a wall, but the message is not visible from this spot. Other players have to help him.
#112: Players have to push multiple buttons at the same time to trigger the next element of the puzzle. To make it less confusing, make the buttons look the same.
#113 (HARDCORE): From the beginning of the game, all players (the group should have at least 3 players) are chained to each other. They have to find keys to free themselves but the chain does not let them move too much.
Board and card games
Using a deck of cards to complete an Escape Room puzzle? Or maybe chess pieces on a chessboard? Everybody knows those classic games so you can easily implement them to create clever puzzles.
#114: Players have to place a couple of chess pieces (with RFID) on the chessboard. The specific tiles should be vaguely specified in a hint.
#115: A chessboard hides a small key underneath. There is a hardly visible hole on the side of the board. Under one chess piece, there is a magnet and players have to use it to get the key out
#116: Similar idea to #115, but you can add an invisible maze under the board to make the key harder to get. Do not forget to leave directions matching the tiles on the board (e.g. A2, A5, E5, etc.).
#117: The chess pieces are glued to the board. The only piece that moves is a knight (with RFID). Players need to know how a knight moves and use this knowledge to reach the other side of the board.
#118: Players have to solve three checkmate-in-one-move chess riddles to get three positions (e.g. A2, F4, E7) that form a password. You can display those riddles on a piece of paper.
#119: Players have about a dozen different playing cards (with RFID) and need to put them on a board (with RFID scanner) in specific poker combinations hinted elsewhere.
#120: Players need to think outside the box to find a king and a queen missing on a chessboard. The trick is, there are no such pieces and they have to place cards with a knight and queen from a playing card deck placed nearby.
#121: There is a deck of playing cards on the table. There are only 49 cards so three of them are missing. The missing cards are numbered ones, e.g. 4 of hearts, 5 of spades and 7 of clubs. The combination for a padlock is 457 (the order is not important to indicate, players can try different combinations of those three numbers.
#122: Players need a 3-digit code for a keypad. There are three weighted dice. Most rolls should show the same three numbers.
#123: There is a special spot for rolling dice and three dice. Players have to solve another puzzle to activate the magnet underneath the rolling spot and then roll the dice. Each die has one side made of metal that way they reveal a combination.
#124: There is a big colorful die. Each side with a number has a different color. Players do not have to roll the die, they only need the numbers and corresponding colors to get a combination for a color-coded lock.
#125 (HARDCORE): The floor in the room is a huge chessboard and players need to act as chess pieces.
Puzzle with electronics are extremely easy to design. You just need three elements and your puzzle is ready! You can click on specific puzzles and design the electronics for any puzzle you want.
Leaving hints for players is the art itself. There are multiple ways of hiding messages in plain sight and every Escape Room owner should use at least some of them.
#126: There is a dirty window in the room. Players can use a cloth to clean it up and reveal the message (written with something permanent that cannot be wiped off).
#127: Hide a message on a piece of paper using vinegar or lemon juice, let it dry and place it wherever you want. The message will be readable after heating it (e.g. by holding it near a light bulb or using a hairdryer on it.
#128: Write a message with coolant fluid or laundry detergent on a piece of paper and let it dry. It will glow in the UV light (blacklight).
#129: Take a notepad, write a message on the first sheet and tear it away. Leave the notepad with a pencil nearby. Players have to rub the top sheet on the notepad with the graphite from the pencil to see what was written previously.
#130: There is a message hidden on the ceiling, written with fluorescent paint. Near the end of the game, the lights are turned off and it is visible. Yet, players need to think of looking up.
#131: There is a small compartment behind a net. Players cannot take the net off but there is a message under small pieces of paper. They have to blow the pieces off the message.
#132: There is a message in the closed section of a room with a barred door. Players have to find a remote-controlled car, put it through the bars and guide them to a key on the floor. The car has a magnet underneath and the key is on the floor. After retrieving the key, players can open the door. (Self-promotion! You can buy a part of this puzzle from Escape Room Supplier here.)
#133: There is an unplugged plug near a prop covering a socket. When players plug the plug, LED lights turn on and show a secret message.
#134: Players have to use a special pair of red glasses to see the message written with a blue pen and scribbled on with a red pen. Without glasses, it should be not possible to read it but with glasses it is easy.
#135: Players have to fold simple origami animals (with instructions on a cheat sheet). Every sheet of paper has a different color. Origami animals’ bodies, if folded in the right way, uncover the color-coded numbers.
#136: Players start the game in a bright room but there is a switch to turn the lights off. At first, it does nothing helpful, but later, after solving one of the puzzles opens a closet, there is a message written with fluorescent paint inside. It glows only in the dark.
#137 (HARDCORE): The message is coded with the Morse code and hidden on the evacuation sign above the exit.
There are many ways to use touch sensors in an Escape Room. Touching something to trigger a solution is a great way to put some magic in your puzzles!
#138: Players have to put their hands on places with red symbols of a hand and hold them long enough to solve the puzzle.
#139: A secret agent’s room is open after a player uses an ID card, puts a hand on a palm scanner and uses a keypad to enter a code. (Self-promotion! You can buy it from Escape Room Supplier here.)
#140: There is a box with a small hole on the side. A player needs to put in his or her hand and feel the letters of the password carved inside.
#141: Players have to scratch a shoulder of a person from a painting. A touch sensor identifies the touch and the hidden passage is open. (Self-promotion! You can buy it from Escape Room Supplier here.)
#142: A player has to put a finger on a fingerprint scanner to trigger a sensor and solve the puzzle.
#143: There is a skeleton’s head with red eyes. Players need to find a red dot laser and point it at the eyes. The eyes start to glow and the voice file triggers – “scratch my head!”. After scratching the top of the skull, it says “thanks” and opens a pirate chest.
#144: A blindfolded player has to identify different objects using only hands.
#145: There are three holes in the ground and players have to put their hands to feel what is inside. After identifying objects (e.g. an apple, banana, and orange) they have to choose corresponding colors and press the right colored buttons near the hidden objects.
#146: Players have to follow a path on a board or painting with their hands. A sensor placed alongside the path trigger upon touch and open a drawer.
#147: There is a box in the room. It has a glass top and players can see a maze with a metal ball inside the lid. They have to pick up the box and try to guide the ball through the maze to trigger a sensor and open the box.
#148: There is a big thermometer-like device on the table. On its scale, there is marking, e.g. on 30°C. Players have to warm a heath sensor part of the device with their hands for it to reach the marked point to solve the puzzle.
#149 (HARDCORE): There is a bleeding mannequin on the floor. Players have to stop the bleeding by applying pressure in the right places. After a couple of seconds, the bleeding stops and the mannequin plays a voice message with a hint for the next puzzle.
Perception and logical thinking are not everything you can base your puzzles on. Surprise your players with some physical puzzles. Just remember that not everyone is agile enough to e.g. cross the monkey bars.
#150: Players have to go through a corridor with visible lasers. Touching one of them closes the passage on the other side. Players need to be agile to complete the task.
#151: Players have to shoot a target with an arrow, using a toy bow or nerf gun to solve the puzzle. It works great in medieval-themed rooms.
#152: On a signal, players have a couple of seconds to hide – under the tables, behind the closet, etc. If they fail, a friendly ghost will be scared off. If they succeed, the ghost will come and leave a message.
#153: There is a small minigolf lane, but half of it is behind a glass wall. Players have to find a golf club with a ball and try to score the hole. The closed-off part of the lane is a little higher than the rest and after a missed shot, the ball should roll back to the players.
#154: Players have to jump in one spot (e.g. to wake up a monster/neighbor downstairs). They have to do this simultaneously to solve the puzzle.
Place wooden tokens with animals (and RFID stickers underneath) in the correct spots. To do so, you'll need to place your hand under the spots (Hands and body sensor) and listen to the corresponding sounds. Then, match the animals to the sounds and the puzzle is solved.
#155: Players have to finish a room by only walking on objects above the ground (like in the “floor is lava” game).
#156: There is an electronic dartboard on the wall. Players have to find darts and score the bullseye. They cannot reach the board, but the darts should be on strings for players to easily retrieve them.
#157: There is a red button. After pressing it, the MP3 file activates with commands what players have to do (like the “Simon says” game) – “put two hands on the table”, “cover the eyes of the woman on the painting”, etc.
#158: A player is chained to the table and alone in a separated part of the room. He or she can see the key needed to free themselves but it is too far. They have to reach for a broom or a closed umbrella behind them and use it to get the key.
#159 (HARDCORE): There is a vast gap to jump over. If players fail to do it, the trapdoor is activated and they fall underneath the room, being removed from the rest of the game.
Players usually rely on their sight – but what about their hearing? Upgrade your Escape Room with some good sound-based puzzles.
#160: Using the Morse code, prepare a message which will be played after pushing a button. Provide a cheat sheet for the code and remember to let players play it again on demand!
#161: When players step on specific spots, there is a part of a melody playing. There are three such spots and the solution is to play them in order, so they can merge and become one coherent melody.
#162: Players have to tune a radio set using knobs to hear a message. To make the puzzle easier to prepare, instead of actual radio waves you can use a simple “Rotate-to-Unlock” sensor and connect it to the knobs.
#163: Players have to repeat a short melody on a xylophone, keyboard or piano. You probably do not want to make it longer than 10-12 notes as it can be too difficult for most players.
#164: A player has to walk through a checkerboard-like floor, where each segment, when stepped on, plays a fragment of a voice message. The solution for such a “maze”, in a form of directional arrows, is hidden elsewhere.
#165: Players have to be as loud as possible in order to fill a visible gauge. You can use a voice sensor for this.
#166: Players have to play some kind of hide and seek game that requires them to hide (stand on specified spots) and be silent for 20-30 seconds to complete the puzzle.
#167: When players step on the right tile in the room, there is a loud noise coming from a speaker. At first, players may think that it has something to do with props placed near that spot but the tile is loose and the answer is written underneath.
#168: Record clues on CDs or tapes. Players have to find them and use them in a cassette/CD player to know what to do next.
#169: Players must pair objects (e.g. plastic birds or prop guns of different kinds) with sounds (activated upon touch or using a button) and place them on the right spots.
In Magical Songs puzzle idea, there are 5 different LED Button sensors that has to be pressed in the right sequence. One of the outcomes is turning on LED lights, and another activates the pump.
#170: When players are completely silent, there is a frail whisper coming from one place, constantly repeating a message with a hint.
#171: There is a fireplace with some logs and red diodes underneath imitating embers. After players blow at it with their mouth to start a fire, a password becomes visible on one of the logs.
#172: Players have a metal scanner (with sound indicator) and need to scan the body of a mannequin for the place where a secret message in a small metal container is hidden.
#173: There is a knocking sound coming from the other side of a locked door. If players repeat it, the door opens.
#174: There is a guitar or a harp with strings in different colors. Players have to play a short melody according to the notes from the stave, written on a piece of paper. The notes should be color-coded to make it easier.
#175: Place a speaker behind a painting of a person. Players have to put some objects under the painting to activate a voice recording with a hint.
#176 (HARDCORE): Use voice recognition software to trigger an effect after saying the specified phrase. It is particularly challenging because this technology is still not that precise and sometimes cannot identify what people are saying. However, when it works, players are always impressed!
Pigpen cipher, Caesar cipher, Morse code and many, many more – there are many ways to code a message and convey the secret meaning. Below, you’ll find quite obvious cipher-based Escape Room puzzle ideas, but you can easily make them more difficult. Just remember to provide some kind of cheat sheet with more complicated ciphers!
#177: There is a longer message with some misspelled words. The wrong letters make a password-anagram that players have to rearrange.
#178: Players see short messages in a foreign language, seemingly a part of the decoration of the room. Later, those messages can be translated with a pocket dictionary found in the room.
#179: Use an old keyboard or a typing machine and modify some keys in such a way for players to be able to make a password out of them. Those keys can be missing or marked in some way.
#180: Players see some books on a shelf behind closed glass doors. Some letters from the titles on the books’ spines are underlined. Those letters form a password.
#181: Players have to find some books and put them on a shelf, from the tallest to the shortest. The first letters from the titles form a password.
#182: Players see a series of flags. The first letters of those countries make a password.
#183: On a piece of paper with a longer text, the first letters of every line or sentence create a secret message.
#184: A decoder ring hidden in the room helps players solve an enigmatic message.
#185: Use the pigpen cipher where each letter is substituted by a symbol.
#186: Players have to decipher a message using a cipher wheel where each letter corresponds to another (Caesar cipher).
#187: Use letter tiles with corresponding numbers (Scrabble tiles). Prepare a spot with numbers written on them to place the tiles on. Some numbers will occur on multiple different tiles so players have to think and decide which letter should be used.
#188: There are a big rectangle shape on the floor and random letters around it. Players can see the code only when they put a carpet with letters written on the sides. Then, each letter around the carpet corresponds to letters on the carpet (Caesar cipher).
#189 (HARDCORE): Use the binary code to hide a message. Provide a cheat sheet, but do not separate each letter in the code. One long sequence of 0s and 1s will be extremely challenging!
Memorizing a sequence or a code may seem trivial but under the pressure of time it can turn out to be quite difficult.
#190: After solving a puzzle in a bunker-themed room, there is a voice message with a short story about the Third World War. The message is about cities destroyed in a couple of different battles. Players have to memorize them and then press the right buttons on the map with those cities (among other cities that were not mentioned in the voice message).
#191: There is a map with LED buttons near some important places, e.g. big cities on the map of the US. There is a long sequence (8-10 blinks) of lights turn on for a second, one after another. After the sequence ends, players have to repeat the sequence.
#192: There is a repeated vague message coming from a small speaker at the beginning of the game. At first, players do not know what it means but later on, the information is the key to solving a puzzle.
#193: There are at least two sections of the room. After pushing a button in one of them, in the second one, there is a sequence of lights in different colors. Players have to memorize them and repeat the sequence on colored buttons back in the first section of the room.
#194: There is a dead person (mannequin) in the room. Next to him, there is a digital voice recorder. He recorded a message about his organs failing one after another. At the end of the recording, he mentions a miraculous medicine in a syringe. Players need to find the syringe (without a needle, but with RFID at the end) in his bag and put it to the specific organs on the mannequin in the order from the recording.
#195: In a horror room, there is a demonic doll that activates at some point and plays the voice file about eating different fruits and body organs. Players have to memorize them, find those things and place them near the doll in a specific order.
#196: After solving a puzzle, there is a short video played on a screen in the room. It’s a strange recording with many distortions. Some of the frames show parts of a combination needed for a lock. Players have to watch it closely and remember each number to get the whole combination.
#197: There is an old TV set in a room. At some point. it turns on and shows a couple of channels one after another. In those 5-seconds bits there are some numbers, e.g. a weatherman says “it will be 25 degrees!”, and then some chef gives an instruction to “boil eggs for 5 minutes”, and the last part is a piece of news about a serial killer that “killed 18 people in just 4 days”. The whole password would be “25-5-184”.
#198: Every 5 minutes players hear a short melody consisting of 6-8 notes. At some point, they open a section of the room with a keyboard or a piano. They have to repeat the melody. If they do not remember it, they have to wait for another time the melody is played.
#199: There is a mastermind-like puzzle, where players have to input a 4-color code
#200 (HARDCORE): Players are traveling back in time. After pushing a start button, a big clock on the wall activates and its hands start to turn fast. They stop for a couple of seconds three times and then they keep on turning. Players have to memorize those three positions and enter them into a keypad stylized for a part of a time machine.