We have played a lot of at home escape room games in our house. The kids and adults love the challenge of trying to find clues and solve the puzzles to “escape the room”. Escape room games come in varying degrees of difficultly to suit children, families and adult players. We have been playing a new child/family-friendly print at home escape room game from Paper Adventures called Great Wizard Escape.
Paper Adventures have a range of adventurous story-driven print at home escape room games on their website (including a new one for Halloween). They are suitable for children aged 4-12 years old. Once you purchase your favourite game through their website, the games are instantly downloadable and ready to print and play. Each download contains a full colour print version of the game as well as a low ink version of the game. The game we were going to play was the new Great Wizard Escape, aimed at children aged 8-12 years old.
These print at home escape rooms games are perfect for rainy days, school holidays, family game nights and even birthday parties (they even come with posters to display, invitations and certificates to print).
The Great Wizard Escape Print at Home Escape Room is an immersive adventure puzzle game for 2 or more players, aged 8+. Once you have printed out the files, you transform rooms in your home into a giant escape room. With 6 varied puzzles combined with a fun story it makes an excellent puzzling adventure story. Its wizard theme is perfect for fans of children’s most favourite wizard – Harry Potter! Players must learn spells and potions, defeat ghosts and dragons all with the aim of joining a Wizard school. It requires a set up time of approximately 30 minutes and has a playing time of 60 minutes.
In The Great Wizard Escape, you and your friends want to join the famous Wizard school. But you only have 60 minutes to pass the wickedly hard test to be admitted to the school. Can you outsmart ghosts and dragons or learn spells and potions in time?
The digital download contains 5 PDF files:
- Best Escape Game Pack (for best experience, print in colour).
- Eco Escape Game Pack (ink saving option).
- Gamemaster Book (tips on set-up and full solutions to run the game).
- QR code extras: set-up video, digital lock and immersive game timer video.
- Download pack extras: invitations, posters and end of game messages, team certificates and fun props.
Before purchasing the game, you will need access to a printer to print the files to play the game (23 A4 pages, plus any posters and invites if you want to print them). Once you have purchased the game you receive an email with the download link. When you download the game and print the files you want, you will also need a pair of scissors, pencils, glue and access to a phone or tablet (if you want to use the digital timer). An adult gamemaster is also required to set up the game, give tips to players when they are stuck, hand out clues and read out the story when indicated and make sure everybody is having fun.
Before play can begin, the gamemaster (generally the adult participant) needs to read the Read Me First document which gives instructions on what needs to be completed before play can commence. They will also print out any posters and invites they require. The gamemaster then needs to read the Gamemaster book which explains how to set up the game (things will need to be cut out, glued together, some pieces hidden etc.) and then decide what room(s) are going to be used to play in. Set up takes around 30 minutes to complete by the adult gamemaster. You can also scan a handy QR code that takes you to YouTube so that you watch a handy video of easy set up.
With everything printed, assembled and placed in the room(s) as per the instructions, the wizarding fun can commence. The Gamemaster plays an important role in the game apart from just setting up the game. They start the game by reading out the introductory ‘Dear Friends’ letter and then hand out a copy of the ‘local newspaper’. A 60 minute timer is started – a QR code is provided, it takes you to a YouTube video of a timer countdown or you can use any other timer of your choice (phone, smart speaker or go old school and use your watch).
Great Wizard Escape is an immersive clue-solving adventure puzzle story. The story is set out over 6 chapters and the players must interpret and solve the hidden clues using basic maths skills, paper folding activities, rolling paper wands, decoding skills and more.
For up to the next 60 minutes (depends on how fast players solve the puzzles), players are trying to solve easy to moderate puzzles, guided by the Gamemaster as they go along. The Gamemaster can offer hints and clues when the going gets tough or the kids just get stuck. It is linear in structure and clues must be solved in order before the story continues and moves on to the next chapter.
Overall, Great Wizard Escape from Paper Adventures is an excellent at home escape room puzzle for children. It has an excellent story that children will love and engage with. The children must solve reasonably challenging clues before the story advances, and they can have help and guidance along the way. A simple story that is fun and immersive (especially if the kids / Gamemaster dress up to fully immerse themselves in the game and story).
The puzzles have been well-designed and are very creative. They are just the right level for 8-12 year olds, they can have a challenge but without getting frustrated and giving up. The puzzles and clues are integrated into the story and involve logic, maths, observation and wordplay to vary the puzzles and make them interesting. Players will meet characters such a friendly ghost and a grumpy dragon along the way.
Whilst this is an escape room puzzle game, it isn’t just a game of solving puzzles to reach a conclusion, it is also an immersive adventure story. An experience that is fun and witty, humorous and charming. The Gamemaster helps to bring the story along, reading it out and handing out clues and hints (and they can make it better by using different voices for characters).
In the downloadable files is the ‘Game on a Page’ for the Gamemaster – this is excellent. The Game on a Page is a short summary breakdown of the game to work from and help to guide the children. It makes managing the game by the Gamemaster much more manageable without having to flick through various pages. This ensures that the flow of the game doesn’t get interrupted.
The Harry Potter inspired artwork is very child friendly and engaging and helps to capture a child’s imagination, especially for kids who love magic and fantasy.
We had lots of fun playing Great Wizard Escape. It is very interesting and fun for all involved (including the Gamemaster who doesn’t participate in the puzzle solving as they already have access to all the answers). Taking about 30 minutes to set up for play, cutting and gluing, placing and hiding clues, it is worth it for the hour of fun it creates for the children and their friends. It would make a fun activity for birthday parties with children playing in groups.
It comes with clear printed instructions as well as YouTube videos to watch. The printable game materials and clues are easy to cut out and assemble. And as it is a print at home game, if pages or puzzles get damaged or you require more than one copy of certain pages you can print off as many as required (you might need more than one copy of things for birthday parties or group play). With successful completion and passing the BEAST (Brutal Exams for Admission at School Term), you can print off a certification for each child to award their achievement.
The Great Wizard Escape from Paper Adventures is a fun, engaging and immersive experience. A great way to spend some quality family time with the kids, whilst giving them a story and brain workout. I think that it is a well-designed game. Easy to purchase, print and play straightaway (a printed version for delivery is also available to buy if you don’t have a printer, although this does cost £5 more – UK only).
A very enjoyable child and family-friendly escape room game to be played at home. It has no complicated preparation and is a very reasonable cost at £12. I can highly recommend it to anyone who likes escape room type games, puzzles or even Harry Potter. And if Harry Potter isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Paper Adventures also have a space adventure, a who-dunnit, a treasure hunting adventure and a jungle escape.
And Paper Adventures have some good eco-friendly credentials. With every purchase, Paper Adventures have teamed up with Tree Nation offering a donation to help support planting trees in key areas affected by deforestation. So not only is it a very good screen-free game (except for the timer if you use it) but it also helps the environment.
An excellent immersive and challenging fun game for kids.
RRP: £12 (Digital Download Print at Home)
For more information or to buy, visit paperadventures.co.uk.