Friday, May 5, 2017

Books That Would Make Good Escape Rooms

I've heard of escape rooms in the past, but only recently has the idea become something more personal. Recently a company opened an outlet near to my home with several choices for an escape room experience and it got me to thinking about what kind of books I'd read that would make interesting escape room experiences.

In case you don't know, an escape room is an adventure in which the players are given a set of clues and puzzles to solve in order to get to the next room and solve the overall puzzle to escape the story within a set amount of time. You might have seen one played out on The Big Bang Theory, when Leonard, Amy, Raj, and Emily visit a zombie themed room; or the television show Race to Escape made for the Science Channel, in which teams compete in escape rooms.

Now, which of these look the most entertaining to you? You'll have to let us know in the comment section below.

Quite a lot of Stephen King novels would probably make good escape rooms, but I think that Under the Dome would be an especially good one. You're not just escaping the room, you're escaping the Dome, a creepy, invisible wall that descended on the town one day and kills anything that touches it. Maybe the clues could have two ways to play them, whether you decide to play with your friends or against them. After all, there is a limited amount of resources within the Dome. Who is going to make it out alive?

This is the first book in a series about a group of kids who've escaped from a lab where they were experimented on. Ranging in ages from Angel, the youngest at 5 or 6, to Max, a teenager and leader of the flock, they all have the bodies of humans with one exception: wings. 

While they may have escaped from the people that turned them into science experiments, they are always being hunted, both by the scientists and by further creations of these horrible people. 

The people participating in the escape room could take on the roles of members of the flock and have a story setup where they have to escape with as few causalities in the flock as possible. There time limit could be especially short for certain puzzles to mimic the short time the kids have to fly away from whomever is chasing them, or longer for the time when they're running but not actively fleeing. With the puzzles on the one hand, there could also be monsters modeled after the Erasers, one of the most deadly of the enemies the kids face in the first book.

While a lot of this book took place in the middle of nowhere and had the Golden Trio traipsing about looking for the horcruxes, I think that an escape room would be able to condense all of that and use the action parts to make a really cool experience. You and your friends would have to solve puzzles based on events of the book (escaping from Privet Drive, running from Death Eaters at the wedding, fighting Nagini in Godric's Hollow, etc.) and have one supreme puzzle to solve at the end based on the Battle of Hogwarts, though maybe that would be best left to it's own experience? If you played the Battle of Hogwarts as any student other than the main characters, I bet there are a lot of monsters you'd have to avoid, plans you'd have to execute to protect the school, that kind of thing.

While any of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon novels would make excellent escape room plots, Angels & Demons has been my personal favorite so far and would be one of the best. With Italy as the backdrop, there are puzzles galore in the book to use, but there's also the whole history of Italy and Italian art to pull from, not to mention the science background of Langdon's companion, Vittoria Vetra, a scientist from CERN.

Personally, I'd like to take a crack at the Harry Potter themed escape room, but that might be a tad obvious as a lifelong Potter fan. *lol* It really is time to get to a real one and experience it for myself. Maybe someday I can create one myself and share it with all of you. Until then, I ask you again: which would you like best to go through? Are there stories you think that would make awesome escape room experiences?

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