In a world where entertainment options abound, escape rooms have emerged as a thrilling and immersive experience that captivates adventurers and puzzle enthusiasts alike. What makes these escape rooms truly enchanting is the plethora of themes that transport participants to different realms, challenging their wits and teamwork.

In this exploration, we unravel the diverse tapestry of “Escape Room Themes” that not only make these adventures exciting but also leave participants yearning for more.

20 Escape Room Themes to Choose From

A chart of escape room themes

Escape rooms are more than just a physical space filled with locks and puzzles; they are portals to fantastical worlds waiting to be discovered. The themes of these rooms range from historical mysteries to futuristic dystopias, each providing a unique backdrop for an unforgettable adventure.

1. Historical Mysteries

One of the most popular escape room themes involves stepping back in time to solve historical mysteries. Participants find themselves in eras such as ancient Egypt, medieval castles, or World War II bunkers. The challenge lies in unraveling historical enigmas, decoding ancient scripts, and navigating through the intricacies of a bygone era.

2. Sci-Fi Adventures

For those who dream of exploring escape room themes and encountering extraterrestrial life, sci-fi escape room themes offer an out-of-this-world experience. These rooms often feature futuristic technology, complex puzzles, and the looming threat of intergalactic disaster. Participants must work together to save the day and escape from the clutches of the unknown.

3. Crime and Mystery

Channel your inner detective as you delve into escape room themes inspired by crime and mystery genres. From solving murder mysteries in dimly lit detective offices to navigating the gritty underworld of a crime syndicate, these themes provide an adrenaline-pumping experience that requires keen observation and deductive reasoning.

A crime-focused escape room might allow you to simulate the experience of carrying out an elaborate heist, breaking into a bank vault, or destroying incriminating evidence that could put you away for life.

4. Prison Break

Execute a flawless prison escape before the clock ticks down. Experience the classic escape room model, navigating through your cell and breaking free from the cell block on your journey to freedom.

5. Seasonal Surprises

Immerse yourself in the seasonal escape room themes delights for holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. Watch as non-seasonal rooms transform with new storylines and festive puzzles, offering a limited-time, themed escape experience.

6. Military Maneuvers

Navigate the challenges of military escape room themes, whether escaping a POW camp, rescuing hostages, or evading capture in an active warzone. Decode morse messages, operate on military time, and engage in espionage to secure your victory.

7. Fantasy Realms

Unleash your imagination in escape rooms that transport you to fantastical realms filled with mythical creatures and magical artifacts. From enchanted forests to wizarding schools, these themes allow participants to embrace their inner adventurer as they work to break spells, find hidden treasures, and escape the clutches of magical beings.

8. Adventure Quests

Embark on epic adventures reminiscent of classic fantasy quests. Participants might find themselves on a quest for a lost artifact, navigating treacherous landscapes, and facing mythical challenges. These escape rooms often incorporate elements of storytelling, requiring participants to piece together a narrative as they progress through the puzzles.

9. Horror Escapes

For those seeking a spine-tingling experience, horror-themed escape rooms plunge participants into chilling scenarios. From haunted mansions to abandoned asylums, these rooms are designed to evoke fear and test participants’ courage as they navigate through dark corridors, solve sinister puzzles, and escape the clutches of supernatural entities.

10. Heist and Espionage

Live out your secret agent fantasies in escape rooms inspired by heists and espionage. Participants must outsmart security systems, crack safes, and navigate through high-stakes scenarios to pull off the perfect heist or thwart a nefarious plot.

11. Art Heist

Enter the sophisticated world of art and intrigue as participants become members of a high-stakes art heist crew. Crack the security systems of a prestigious museum, discern real from fake masterpieces, and escape before the authorities arrive. It’s a race against time, and every brushstroke counts.

12. Time Travel Adventure

Embark on a temporal journey where the past, present, and future collide. Solve puzzles that span different eras, interact with historical figures, and manipulate the course of time itself. The challenge lies not only in escaping the room but in doing so without disrupting the fabric of history.

13. Pirate’s Cove

Set sail on the high seas and navigate through a pirate-infested world. Solve maritime puzzles, decipher maps, and uncover hidden treasures to escape the pirate’s curse. Watch out for cunning traps and the haunting ghost ship that may stand in your way.

14. Superhero Training Facility

Unleash your inner superhero in a training facility filled with high-tech gadgets and formidable challenges. Participants must harness their newfound powers, solve puzzles, and ultimately thwart a supervillain’s plot. The fate of the city rests on the shoulders of these fledgling heroes.

15. Submarine Escape

Dive deep into the mysteries of the ocean as participants find themselves aboard a submerged submarine. Solve puzzles to repair critical systems, navigate through dark underwater passages, and resurface before the oxygen runs out. The pressure is on in this aquatic adventure. 

16. Culinary Conundrum

Step into a whimsical world of gastronomy where participants become chefs trapped in a culinary conundrum. Solve food-themed puzzles, unravel recipe mysteries, and navigate through a kitchen filled with delightful and devious surprises. The perfect recipe for a unique escape room experience.

17. Futuristic Cyberpunk City

Immerse yourself in the neon-lit streets of a dystopian cyberpunk city. Navigate through futuristic technology, hack into virtual systems, and uncover corporate conspiracies. The challenge is not just to escape the room but to break free from the digital shackles of a technologically dominated world.

18. Wild West Saloon Showdown

Transport participants to the rugged landscapes of the Wild West, complete with dusty saloons and lawless towns. Solve cowboy-themed puzzles, navigate through shootouts, and escape before the sheriff catches up. Will you be the fastest gunslinger in this high-noon showdown?

19. Space Station Disaster

Experience the thrill of space exploration as participants find themselves aboard a malfunctioning space station. Solve gravity-defying puzzles, navigate through zero-gravity environments, and repair critical systems before oxygen levels deplete. It’s a cosmic challenge of astronomical proportions.

20. Alice in Wonderland

Fall down the rabbit hole into a Wonderland filled with peculiar puzzles and eccentric characters. Navigate through oversized rooms, decipher the Queen of Hearts’ riddles, and escape the fantastical realm before time runs out. A journey through Wonderland like you’ve never experienced before.

The Escape Room Objectives

Escape room objectives represent the specific roles, tasks, or goals participants aim to accomplish. These objectives are distinct from the overall theme, as different escape room themes can incorporate similar objectives. For example, the objective of finding a missing person can be featured in mystery, horror, or military-themed escape rooms.

Identifying your preferred type of objective can streamline the process of selecting an escape room that suits your interests. The following list outlines the most prevalent objectives found in local escape room establishments:

Discover or Craft Something

Participants may be tasked with finding an ancient artifact, a hidden treasure, or creating items like a magic potion in various escape room themes.

Escape Captivity

Escape room themes may involve escaping from scenarios such as prisons, asylums, haunted houses, or bunkers, with clues confined to one room or spanning multiple rooms.

Embark on an Adventure

This objective often intertwines with others, such as locating items, allowing participants to experience adventures reminiscent of Indiana Jones.

Execute a Heist

Heist escape room themes may involve stealing art, breaking into vaults, or navigating intricate security measures to access hidden fortunes.

Solve a Murder

Participants assume the classic whodunnit role, examining clues and suspects to uncover the perpetrator of a crime.

Defuse an Explosive Device

Common in military escape room themes, participants must decipher clues to deactivate a bomb, creating tension with visual countdowns and ticking sounds. 

Locate a Missing Person

This objective is versatile across themes, requiring participants to rescue someone or uncover the mystery behind their disappearance.

Gather Intelligence or Espionage

Escape rooms centered on espionage demand meticulous attention to detail, requiring participants to uncover specific information.

Just Survive

In horror escape room themes, the objective may be to elude pursuers and survive for a set time, providing an adrenaline rush for those up to the challenge.

Solve a Theft

Participants may play as the thief or the investigator, tasked with finding stolen goods and identifying the culprit.

Other popular objectives include engaging with the supernatural, executing military operations, or carrying out an assassination.

Choosing an Escape Room Theme for Your Team

An infographic on how to be good at escape rooms

  1.   Consider the interests of everyone in your group.
  2.   Take into account preferred objectives, not just themes that appeal to you.
  3.   Explore new themes; if you’ve tried a mystery room, consider a horror or adventure setting.
  4.   Factor in age appropriateness, as some rooms may have recommended minimum ages.
  5.   Assess the level of difficulty, with some escape rooms providing a rating for each theme. Certain themes, like science and espionage, may be inherently more challenging. Regardless of your choice, ensure you assemble a strong team, plan strategically, and most importantly, have fun!


Do escape rooms change their themes?

Certain companies may change out their themes from time to time or they may keep the same themes entirely. 

What is the concept of escape room?

A themed challenge event where players collaborate to find clues, complete tasks and solve a variety of puzzles.

What are common characteristics of an escape room?

Interactive Puzzles, Immersive Environment, Engaging Storytelling, Challenging Time Limit.

What makes escape rooms so fun?

Escape Rooms are more than puzzles in a room; they are a story where the players can play a critical role.


Escape room themes are the key to unlocking a world of excitement, mystery, and adventure. Whether you find yourself in a historical setting, a futuristic dystopia, or a haunted mansion, these immersive experiences challenge participants to think critically, collaborate with others, and embrace their inner adventurer.

So, the next time you step into an escape room, be prepared to be transported to a world where the ordinary fades away, and the extraordinary awaits your discovery. The only question remains: Which escape room themes will you choose to escape into next?