Why leave the escape room trend in the past when you can transition to digital rooms? Check out my collection of themed rooms (which you are welcome to use, share, or just play) and some of my tips for making your own!
DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM COLLECTION
Marvel's Avengers: Escape From Hydra Base
Welcome to The Avengers Initiative! Your first assignment as a new superhero is to work with your team to figure out which city is currently home to a world-ending doomsday device which is controlled by undercover Hydra agents. When you get to the Hydra base that has the information, your team gets trapped though! Can you escape and complete your mission before Hydra destroys the world?
Pokemon Panic Digital Escape Room
All the Pokemon villain teams from Team Rocket to Team Plasma have gotten together to take your team down. Your group unfortunately become trapped in a panic room at the villain headquarters. Can you use the Pokemon in the room to escape and defeat the villains from taking over?
Escape from Star Killer Base! Star Wars Digital Escape Room
The Rebel Alliance needs your help!
The mission is tricky though as you will need to infiltrate a First Order Star Destroyer ship that is stationed above Star Killer Base. You are required to steal information relating to the First Order's starship manufacturing center. If you can figure out where the ships are put together, the Rebellion can destroy the factory--causing the First Order to finally admit defeat.
Jurassic World: Dino Disaster Digital Escape Room
The Jurassic World theme park is a once in a lifetime trip!
You and your team are one of the lucky few who get to visit the park for a VIP experience -- no other guests and minimal staff. You can enjoy all attractions, rides, and amazing dinosaurs without any crowds.
There is a threat of a large scale tropical storm, but nothing to worry about.
Or is there?
Magical Disney Lock-In
You have been invited to the greatest Happily Ever After Celebration of all time!
Every Disney hero and heroine will be gathering at this huge party with dancing, feasting, and fun.
The Disney villains cannot resist the temptation to ruin your good time.
Every villain from Scar to Mother Gothel has teamed up to destroy the Happily Ever Afters. The good guys have the abilities to stop the evil plan but they need to be warned of the attack!
This room is aimed at a younger audience (6+) to complete with their parents.
Extreme X-Men Breakout! Digital Escape Room
You and your friends are part of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. It is time to prove if you have the stuff to become an official part of the X-Men team. Your first mission is to sneak onto the Brotherhood of Mutants secret compound to steal a virus that is very dangerous to humans which was created by Magneto. Will you be successful in saving the human race or will Magneto take you down?
Percy Jackson: Demigod Quest Digital Escape Room
The Titans are trying to take over the world and defeat the Greek gods and goddesses once and for all. You and your other demigod friends manage to overhear their plan, but you are caught eavesdropping! You race into a hidden room into one of the ancient Greek temples. The door seals behind you, keeping you safe from the Titans for now. Yet, can your group escape from the temple to warn the gods and goddesses in time?
Middle Earth Mission: Lord of the Rings Digital Escape Room
There are whispers -- whispers of evil rising in Middle Earth once again.
The shadow of evil is rumoured to be situated around the realm of Angmar located in the north part of the Misty Mountains. A fellowship is put together (like the one used to escort the One Ring to Mordor) and sent on a journey to investigate.
Will your fellowship team get rid of the source of evil before it turns Middle Earth into a realm of darkness?
Canada Day Caper Digital Escape Room
You and your family have rented a mansion to enjoy the holiday while in quarantine. However, it seems like you might get the chance of a lifetime -- to win the house and the fortune that goes with it. The original owner's legal will was very specific though. The mansion and money can only be awarded to a group that knows and loves Canada as much as she did. There is a room filled with history, collectibles, books, and more from Canada's past and present -- from the time when the First Nations were the only inhabitants to modern times. In order to obtain the prize, your team has to use the clues to gather specific items in the room before the sun comes up!
DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM TIPS
1.) Sharpen those pencils! (metaphorically)
The best digital escape rooms are ones that tell a story -- pulling players into an adventure. When in an actual escape room, you can rely on the physical room (decorations, props, etc.) to carry the story. Digital escape rooms rely more on the storytelling and the writing. This fact means you need to spend a decent amount of time coming up with an actual story (a setting, characters, and a mission to accomplish). The best way to do this is to sit down and make an outline before you even start working on your room.
If you aren't much of a writer, don't be afraid to team up with a coworker or volunteer who can.
Without a story, a digital escape room is basically just a quiz. Also, including a written story means you are slipping some literacy in there. Sneaky librarians!
2.) Key in the Theme!
The theme will help draw players to your room and keep them playing. Obviously, the most popular themes are based on fandoms (Pokemon, Marvel, etc.). As library-sponsored digital escape rooms (whether public or school) do not make any money from these games, they do not harm the copyright holder -- thereby not violating copyright law. These fandom-based rooms qualify as remixing since you are not copying directly a specific movie/story. To be extra safe, it is always best to include a legal disclaimer that notes it is a nonprofit fan creation and that all the copyright holders are still the owners of their products.
See the above listed escape rooms for a legal disclaimer example.
3.) Encourage Engagement!
One of the best aspects of physical escape rooms or even video games is how they put the players into a role that allows them to fully engage. Digital escape rooms can still have this attribute though. When the theme allows, I encourage players to accept a specific job/role/superpower/etc. for the game. The best example is the Marvel Superhero room where participants accept a superhero name/power for the game. Then, there are select challenges in the game that are only to be completed by a certain superhero.
This arrangement is great for school librarians and teachers who want their students to play in groups. Instead off one student doing all the work, the students are encouraged to defer to the other players when specific challenges are presented.
4.) Challenges That Carry the Story/Theme!
Don't forget to keep your theme in mind when creating challenges too. For example, Jurassic World themed challenges might focus on identifying dinosaurs or Disney challenges might involve piecing together iconic items from classic films.
This allows fans who select your room based on their enjoyment to really live in their fandom.
While it isn't really plausible to have completely themed challenges for a whole game (sometimes a simple math question works best for a code), it is best to include as many themed puzzles as possible. It allows the players to stay "in" the game and concentrated on the world you have created for them.
Originally wanting to be the love-child of Kathy Reichs and Indiana Jones, Brooke was pulled into the magical world of library service over 12 years ago. Finding that her ultimate passion was in teen services, she did what she normally does in a heart-fueled endeavor -- ran in head-first and never looked back! Cosplayer, movie fanatic, binge watcher, Disney Worlder. Proud cat mom of Evelyn (named after the librarian character in The Mummy ).