Themed Thursday: Two Tribes

No, not that Two Tribes

The focus for today’s Themed Thursday is war. When I initially suggested it I just wanted to see if someone could craft a decent story in a war-based setting. I still am interested in this, but that’s not the way I’m going.

I want my war fought between two teams in a race room.

As I say, the story line is not my biggest concern. Maybe an air strike has been called for the area and you’ve got 60 minutes to get out of there (though that wouldn’t really explain why all the doors are locked, unless you’d barricaded yourself in with puzzles, but never mind). Maybe you’re pinned down by the enemy and need to find an alternative escape route. Whatever. The special feature of the game is that you can solve ‘side-quests’ that affect the room you’re playing against, i.e. the solving of a puzzle causes the other team’s room to fill with smoke or lose power temporarily.

This presents the escapers with a choice; just to put their head down and go for the escape, or to spend a little time inconveniencing the others thus buying yourself a bit more time. And if one team does open fire you can bet that the next thing done will be to return it (with interest!). Maybe the complexity or time required to complete a puzzle could be linked to the size of the weapon and the amount of disruption caused. Maybe when something’s broken/switched off it doesn’t just come back on by itself, you have to complete some task to fix it. So you have the choice of persevering in the dark with a torch or spending some time restoring the power. Maybe it could be fun?

The main drawback to this is I’m not sure how it would pan out as a room without the race/fight element. Any ideas?


  1. I think the idea is great, but there’s a potential concern that a team could snowball the other side with disruptions!

  2. When playing alone, the side puzzles could just be a points score. You then have two entirely separate ways of playing the game – one on one, or for a ranking (based on time plus points scored). Generally I think the idea of escape games not being binary win/lose, but having a score would be great, so I think it would work well.

    Also – it doesn’t have to be purely conflict – you could also have a way of the teams helping each other. Perhaps each room has a variety of tools, and they have to trade the ones they need? Or each room has a light switch that connects to the other room.

    Finally, you could, in theory, have a pseudo-AI opponent that has a simple definition of the game (maybe a concept of time to complete each stage, delay caused by each intervention from the opposition, and a retaliation/meanness factor to decide what it does to the opposition). That could then simulate opponents – and the participants could choose from a variety of opponents to play (possibly even based on some of the people who’ve previously played)

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