Themed Thursday – Get out clause

There’s surprisingly few pictures representing escape pods

Sticking to a regular timetable is hard! Let’s just ignore the fact that this post was due two weeks ago and carry on with Themed Thursday, okay? (Toronto Escape Rooms and ExitGames are much better at sticking to schedule).

The theme for this week is betrayal. A bit of an abstract concept for inclusion in an escape room but we like a challenge.

This room wouldn’t necessarily include betrayal, but it could seem that way depending on how it played out.

I’ve not given a lot of thought to the initial set up. Perhaps it could be a continuation of the rogue AI that I discussed previously. Maybe you’re being sucked towards a black hole. Whatever, you’re on a spaceship that’s heading towards a sticky end so you need to get out of there.

The twist will be that there isn’t a single exit from the ship/room. There are individual doors for each participant, representing escape pods. And once you’ve sealed the airlock to open your door you can’t get back to the group (this should be practically enforceable through magnetic locks).

pods

In further sneakiness, some of the pods will require items from the other pods in order to be unlocked. And maybe one of the pods will require two people to do something before sealing the airlock. So if someone rushes in to securing their own escape it might prevent someone else from escaping. If that’s the case then you may have to choose who gets out and who makes the sacrifice (at the risk of spoilers, the room should almost certainly be called Armageddon).

If the earlier rooms put a particular emphasis on working together, when it’s every man (or woman) for themselves at the end, it would add to the feeling of betrayal! Or they could all continue working together and everyone gets out. Both are good.

Ooh, after setting it up that everyone can get out individually, maybe the last pod doesn’t work due to a malfunction, and they’re stuck anyway. Betrayed by the room as well!

Sci-fi seems like such a good theme in general for escape rooms, yet I’m not aware of many examples. Do you know of any good examples? Would you like to see this room or do you think people would find it annoying? Let me know in the comments.

One Comment:

  1. If your local rooms are anything like mine, they are dressed by a combination of IKEA and flea market. I expect not a lot of sci-fi looks are doable at similar budgets.

    Far as betraying team members goes, I’m personally OK, and can see the dramatic potential. Also, the potential for drama. You risk the egotism/victimisation characterisations to leak into the real-world player relations; also, having a group just wait out the clock until their doom, as no one wants to be that guy. Neither sounds desirable. I figure providing an impressive death sequence that only they get to experience may help with the sour feelings.

    Sacrificial scenarios provide similar stakes but with more pleasantly aligned agency and costs. Horror seems the most likely beneficiary; in your case, maybe the automatic pod ejection malfunctions, neccessitating a left-behind operator. The way teams get extra clues during the final phase of Fort Boyard seems to be an inspired physical manifestation of the plot point.

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