Creating Puzzles Is Not Easy But It Is a Lot of Fun

Have you ever thought that maybe those escape rooms are becoming a little too obvious nowadays? Sure, a great escape room puzzle must be solvable for an average guest. But what happened to the thrill of adventure, the raw emotional impact and that sinking feeling of getting a grasp on a new riddle?

While escape room puzzles can be a little repetitious, there is no reason for every one of them to be this way. We’ve collected some fresh, unique and simply underused puzzle ideas that can make your escape room truly shine.

Handpicked escape room puzzle ideas that create joy & terror

While adjusting any of these quest elements to your escape room, remember that best horror puzzles are not the ones extremely tough to crack. It’s all about creativity, so even an old school cipher riddle can become fun in a proper fancy layout.

Escape quest puzzles that everyone can reproduce

Lock’em up

Nothing reminds of a need to escape more than a locked door. Do not bind your guests with regular keys, chains and padlocks. Try something new to spice things up:

  • Portable outdoor lock box. The best thing about it is the style: it looks like a safe, but costs roughly 1/10 as much. Normally they’re used to keep keys, but you can hide in special messages, photos, important items and whatever your heart desires.
  • Paper escape puzzle. Make sure your guests will have a device for reading a QR-code on them if you’re going to use one. Paper puzzle can come in any form, but it’s not the paper that matters, but a web address written on it. Make a simple page that corresponds to typing in correct password, and you’ve got your escape room into the digital area!
  • Smartphone lock screen. Bonus points if you create a puzzle for finding out the movement sequence: it’s so much more interesting than regular numbers!

Remember that you can turn even a simple garage lock into something magnificent, if there’s imagination involved. Don’t just let puzzles hang in there, create a recurring theme for them. It helps the story come to life.

Mysterious riddles for escape rooms

There is no need for all of escape room puzzles to revolve around solving classical ciphers. With the right approach, you can turn even a simple children’s game into a fancy riddle. Check these ideas out:

  • Take something away. Whether it’s a numbered item, a fork near one of the plates or a person in a photo. Make the disappearance noticeable, so that the players wouldn’t miss it.
  • Break a sequence. It works best with thematic photos and art pieces. Hide various elements of the riddle in different locations, and make it worthy gathering ‘em all.
  • Create an audio puzzle. Repeating a piano melody, humming a tune or saying some “magic words” aloud? It’s up for you to decide, but if the reward toggles manually make sure that the staff won’t miss the right moment to press the buttons.

The most important rule is to make your riddles understandable, so don’t forget to test your brand new escape room on family and friends before charging entrance fees. If some ideas do not work right now, don’t throw them away. Ask people how do they think these puzzles could be improved, and then incorporate newfound knowledge into something better.