We are ALL missing hanging out with our friends. The pandemic has made us feel farther apart from the people we love more than ever!
Although Zoom happy hours, regular FaceTime sessions, and socially distanced meet-ups in the park are great solutions, it’s nothing like getting a group together for some excitement and laughter. So how about an online escape room?
Virtual escape rooms help you and your friends maintain connections with each other in a time when we all are feeling a little disconnected and give everyone some much-needed fun.
What is a Virtual Escape Room?
Virtual escape rooms are remote adventures that you and your friends can go on at any time – just pick whenever it’s most convenient for the group. Your team will have 60-minutes to analyze clues, solve puzzles, and complete the Zoom escape room mission.
A virtual escape room (some people call it a Zoom escape room) is played exactly the same way as a real life escape room. The main difference, however, is that everyone participates from the comfort of their own home – or office, local coffee shop, library… All you need to participate is a computer and an internet connection!
Your team will have to exhibit excellent communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills to successfully make your way through the game. There are hidden clues and problems to solve around every corner – items that seem as though they have no importance to your mission could very well be the exact thing you need to crack the case wide open!
You’ll be successful if you’re able to trust one another throughout the process, listen, discuss the best course of action, and try different things until you find what works! It can only be done by working together!
Is anyone helping us?
Don’t worry – you and your friends won’t be completely on your own during your Zoom escape room! The Escape Game provides two people to help you along the way: an event Host and a Game Guide. Your Host is there to explain the mission, provide hints, and answer questions.
Your game guide is sort of like a live video game avatar, except you use your voice instead of a remote controller to give clear instructions that guide them around the room. Your game guide will help you and your friends collect items that you think are necessary to unlock more clues and ultimately solve the mystery.
How do Remote Adventures Work?
Understanding how Remote Adventures work with the Escape Game will help things run as smoothly as possible so you can show up on game day ready to WIN!
Let’s go through what a remote adventure looks like from booking to “Mission Complete.”
The Booking Process
It’s super easy to sign up for a virtual escape room with friends through The Escape Game. We want you to be able to focus on getting your friends together for an hour of exciting virtual fun. We’ll handle all of the nitty-gritty details.
Booking a small group: Each game holds up to 8 people and you can view our availability and book here.
Booking a larger group: If you have a larger group (typically 25+) are looking for virtual team building options, or have a special request, we recommend booking through our Events Team.
- Reach out – Get ahold of us by filling out a form, by email Hello@TheEscapeGame.com, or by phone at (615) 488-3163.
- Make a plan – Our team will talk with you about your unique needs and wants. This will allow us to come up with a Zoom escape game event that is perfect for you.
- Payment – We can accept payment either over the phone at the time of booking or send an invoice to the organizer’s email.
- Event confirmation – The organizer will receive a confirmation email that they’ll have to send out to each friend. It will detail when the Zoom escape room will take place and how they can join the event.
- Receive the event Zoom link – The person who organized the event will receive a unique link the day before the virtual escape room with family, friends, or co-workers is set to take place. The link will connect the team with The Escape Game, their host, and their Game Guide,
Once you and your friends are connected to the Escape Game, get ready for an hour of mystery, adventure, and FUN!
The Adventure Begins
Once everyone has connected through Zoom, they will be welcomed to the event by a host and Game Guide.
Your host acts as Mission Control. They’ll show the mission video at the beginning of the game and remain with your team throughout to provide hints when things come to a standstill and to answer any questions along the way.
Your Game Guide will be inside a physical escape room and is there to take action on behalf of your team. Team members will be able to ask their Game Guide to look left, right, up, and down to get closer to certain objects, collect items to “stash” in their inventory, perform tasks, and more.
Each team member will be looking at two screens: One of their team and one of the host, game guide, and game dashboard. You will be able to view both screens on any computer monitor, but players are more than welcome to use two monitors if they have them!
The dashboard will contain everything you need to navigate through the remote adventure. This is where your inventory will be stored for later use and where you can view 3-D scans of each room as you make your way through the game.
Once your remote team has a grasp on what they have to do in order to complete their mission, the countdown will begin! Each Zoom escape room has a digital timer that counts down from 60-minutes. Your team will have to practice excellent communication skills so the Game Guide can understand what is expected of them. If team members are unclear with the instructions or give conflicting instructions, the Game Guide will have to stop and ask for clarification.
The countdown doesn’t pause even if your team does, so make sure your Game Guide is able to understand exactly what you want them to do the first time you give them instructions. There’s no time to waste when you’re searching for buried treasure or trying to escape from prison!
The virtual escape game ends when your team has led their Game Guide to success or when the timer runs out. No matter the outcome of the remote adventure, your friends will likely find that they had an amazing time and learned a few new things about one another. Maybe you’ll realize that you have an expert riddle-solver on your hands!
Watch A quick video explaining how remote adventures work with the Escape Game!
What are some available games?
The Escape Game has many different remote adventures to choose from:
- Gold Rush – Find the hidden gold before greedy town members do it first!
- The Heist – Recover a missing piece of art from a prestigious museum.
- Prison Break – It’s 1955 and you have been wrongly accused of a crime. Can you break out of the prison cell that you now have to call home?
- Ruins: Forbidden Treasure – You are stranded among ancient temple ruins that are rumored to hide buried treasure. Your team has to find the treasure before time runs out!
- The Depths – Make your way to an undersea lab and discover the secrets an eccentric scientist left behind.
Tips for Working as a Team in a Virtual Escape Room
Before we send you off to schedule your very own remote adventure, we’re going to leave you with some tips for working as a team. There’s a good chance that you and your friends have never participated in a group activity like this before – unless you all met while playing a sport together!
Here are some tips for working together as a successful team (both in and outside of a remote adventure)
Communication is KEY
There is a lot going on in a virtual escape room and one person might notice something that another does not. If you see something that you think is worth trying out, speak up! If you find that many people are talking over each other (easy to do in a virtual conference) pay close attention to who has and has not been heard by the group. Try to get everyone to circle back to each person so everyone’s voice is heard.
Ask your Game Guide to do a complete scan of the room before you start solving puzzles
Your field of vision is limited to what your Game Guide’s camera is pointed at. It’s a great idea to get a complete scan of the room your team is stuck in before you start diving into details. This will help every team member create a complete picture of the room in their mind and get them thinking about the different items and how they can be used.
Utilize the 3-D room scans
The 3-D room scans are there to supplement the view that your Game Guide provides. They help to give you a better picture of the room you’re stuck in and might help recall clues.
Getting your team, clues, and actions organized is very important during a virtual escape game. There is typically a lot of disorder during a remote adventure and it can be hard to keep track of the different clues, items, and types of doors that you need to open in order to escape. Keep a close eye on your game dashboard, take lots of notes, and think strategically.
How to Use Zoom for a Virtual Escape Game with Friends
Zoom is a free video conferencing app that has an estimated 300 million daily users. It can support up to 100 people in any session, and up to 1,000 with the Large Meeting add-on. More people than ever are using Zoom right now for work, school, or just to communicate with their loved ones.
Just in case there’s anyone on your team who is unfamiliar with Zoom, we’re going to give a quick rundown of how the app works. We really want remote adventures to be accessible to everyone, even those who have never logged into a single Zoom session.
1. Make an account
Head to zoom.us/signup to create your free account. You can get your profile all set up with your personal or work email, a display name, and a profile image.
If you ever choose to turn your camera off during a meeting, your display name and profile picture will appear in place of your face.
2. Schedule a meeting
When you use Zoom to host your own video conferences, the host will schedule the call and Zoom will provide them with a unique link. That link can then be distributed to everyone the host wants to participate in the call.
Using Zoom for a virtual escape game with friends is essentially the same way! However, when you participate in a remote adventure with the Escape Game, the event coordinator will schedule the meeting, obtain a unique meeting link, and then send that link to the host. From there, it will be the host’s responsibility to send the link out to the entire team, or everyone that will be participating.
3. Join a meeting
It’s very easy for anyone to join a meeting once it has been scheduled. Even if a user doesn’t have Zoom, they can still click on the link that has been sent out and create an account when prompted.
Once a user obtains an event link, they can share the link with even more people. However, this doesn’t mean that just anyone can join a meeting. Some meetings are password protected or have “waiting rooms” in which a user will be stuck until the host approves their attendance. This feature enables users to have meetings that are secure even when strangers get ahold of the link.
Equipment Needed to Zoom
All a user needs to participate in a Zoom call is a computer with a microphone and a camera. If your computer does not have a camera, you can join a Zoom call with audio-only. In this case, other users will only be able to see your display name and profile picture, if you uploaded one.
Cameras are absolutely necessary for virtual escape rooms with friends! Although video conferencing is no real substitution for hanging out with your friends in person, it’s the best solution that 2021 has to offer and we are taking advantage of that.
Other than that, the only thing needed for a successful Zoom call is a group of participants! And the only thing needed for a successful remote adventure is a group of friends that are excited to get together for some virtual fun.
Ready to play?
When was the last time you and your friends did something memorable together? This pandemic has had a way of making everyday kind of feel like the last. A virtual escape game with friends can give you something to look forward to and shake up your routine. It’s sure to be an hour that you and your friends won’t forget!
Are you ready to go on your very own remote adventure with the Escape Game? Book your event today and see just how much fun your team can have with this Zoom escape room!