Escape room games have become immensely popular in recent years, captivating players with their intricate puzzles, immersive scenarios, and thrilling experiences. If you’re looking to create your own escape room game, whether for a party, team-building activity, or just for fun, DIY is the way to go.

In this article, we’ll explore some creative ideas and tips to help you design and set up an exciting escape room game that will keep your participants engaged and entertained.

Theme Selection

The first step in creating escape room games is to choose a captivating escape room theme. The theme sets the stage for the entire experience and can range from a mysterious haunted house to a high-stakes bank heist or a futuristic spaceship adventure. The key to a successful escape room game is to select a theme that resonates with your audience and offers ample opportunities for challenging puzzles and clues.

Storyline Development

Once you have a theme in mind, it’s time to develop a compelling storyline that will draw players into escape room games. The storyline should provide context for the puzzles and challenges they will encounter, creating a sense of urgency and immersion. Whether it’s unraveling a conspiracy or solving a murder mystery, a well-crafted storyline adds depth and excitement to the escape room experience.

Puzzle Creation

Escape room games are all about solving puzzles, so it’s essential to create a variety of challenging and engaging puzzles for your players. Consider incorporating a mix of logic puzzles, riddles, physical challenges, and hidden clues that align with your chosen theme. The key is to strike a balance between difficulty and solvability, ensuring that players feel challenged but not frustrated.

Set Design and Props

The visual aspect of escape room games is crucial in creating an immersive experience. Pay attention to set design and props to bring your theme to life. Use lighting, sound effects, and decorations to set the mood and create an atmosphere of suspense and excitement. Incorporate authentic-looking props and interactive elements to enhance the gameplay and make the experience more memorable.

Game Flow and Clue Progression

Well-designed escape room games have a logical flow that guides players from one puzzle to the next. Plan the layout of your game space to facilitate smooth progression and avoid confusion. Introduce clues and puzzles in a sequential manner, ensuring that each solution leads to the next challenge. Incorporate red herrings and decoy clues to add complexity and keep players on their toes.

Testing and Iteration

Before launching your escape room games, conduct thorough testing with a group of beta testers. Observe how they interact with the puzzles and gather feedback on the overall experience. Use this feedback to make necessary adjustments and improvements, ensuring that the game is challenging yet enjoyable for players of all skill levels.

Hosting and Facilitation

On the day of the escape room games, focus on creating a welcoming and immersive environment for your players. Provide clear instructions at the beginning, and be available to offer hints or guidance if players get stuck. Emphasize the collaborative aspect of the game, encouraging teamwork and communication among participants. A skilled facilitator can enhance the overall experience and ensure that everyone has a great time.

Post-Game Debrief

After the escape room games conclude, conduct a debriefing session to discuss the experience and allow players to share their thoughts and feedback. Acknowledge their achievements and highlight memorable moments from the game. Use this feedback to refine your escape room design for future iterations and consider hosting additional sessions to cater to demand.

DIY Escape Room Games Ideas

1. The Time Traveler’s Dilemma 


Players are time travelers who must navigate through different eras to fix a temporal anomaly before they are stuck in a time loop forever.

Puzzle Idea

  • Create a timeline puzzle where players must arrange historical events in the correct chronological order.
  • Use a combination lock with dates significant to historical events as the code.
  • Hide clues in artifacts or replicas from different time periods that players must examine closely.

2. The Lost Expedition


Players are explorers searching for a lost civilization deep in the jungle, facing challenges and puzzles along the way.

Puzzle Ideas

  • Design a map puzzle where players must decipher clues to find the location of the lost civilization.
  • Use a hidden compartment or container that players can unlock using clues found in the jungle setting.
  • Incorporate physical challenges like navigating a rope obstacle or decoding ancient symbols.

3. The Enchanted Library


Players are apprentices in a magical academy tasked with solving puzzles to uncover the secrets hidden within the library’s enchanted books.

Puzzle Ideas

  • Create a book cipher puzzle where players must decode messages using specific pages and passages from enchanted books.
  • Use optical illusions or hidden messages within book illustrations to reveal clues.
  • Incorporate spellcasting elements where players must solve riddles to cast spells and progress in the game.

4. The Heist


Players are master thieves planning a daring heist on a high-security museum, facing security systems and puzzles to steal a valuable artifact.

Puzzle Ideas

  • Set up a laser maze challenge where players must navigate through beams without triggering alarms.
  • Create a safe-cracking puzzle using clues hidden in the museum’s exhibits.
  • Incorporate a digital puzzle where players must hack into security systems to disable alarms and cameras.

5. Escape from the Mad Scientist’s Lab


Players are captured by a mad scientist and must escape his diabolical laboratory by solving science-themed puzzles and challenges.

Puzzle Ideas

  • Design chemistry puzzles where players must mix solutions or decode chemical formulas to unlock doors.
  • Create a circuitry puzzle where players must connect wires to power up devices and access hidden areas.
  • Use scientific instruments as props and clues, such as microscopes or spectroscopes with hidden messages.


What kind of games are in an escape room?

Escape room puzzles include word games, numbers, and “arranging things into patterns” such as substitution cyphers, riddles and crosswords.

What are some clues for escape rooms?

  • Numbers and Texts
  • Physical Puzzles
  • Light and Sound
  • Hidden Objects
  • Visual Design
  • Logic Puzzles

How to play an escape room?

You are given a mission and placed into a themed room where you must explore to find hints and clues.

What is a good escape room time?

30 minutes to 75 or even 90 minutes.


Creating DIY escape room games is a rewarding and creative endeavor that can provide hours of entertainment for you and your friends. By selecting a compelling theme, crafting an engaging storyline, designing challenging puzzles, and paying attention to detail in set design and facilitation, you can create an unforgettable escape room experience. Get ready to unlock the thrill of escape room games and embark on a journey of mystery and adventure!