What is it?
Escape Team is a print-and-play, interactive pen-and-paper escape game: players collaboratively solve puzzles through logical and creative thinking, as well as by cutting, folding and drawing on real paper. Entering their solutions in the Escape Team app, players unfold a thrilling audio narrative while racing against a merciless, ticking countdown.
Collaborative digital-physical adventure / puzzle
- A printer to print out the mission’s PDF documents before playing
- 2-4 players
- Scissors, tape, and pens
- An iOS or Android phone or tablet, running the Escape Team App (one single device for the whole team)
- The Escape Team App can be downloaded from the App Store and from Google Play
About the Game
- The game’s Training Mission and Mission 1: ‘Central Station’ can be played for free.
- Later missions are available as in-app purchases ($1.99 each).
- Missions vary in their level of difficulty and their duration, most are ca. 30 minutes.
- Nine missions (‘Central Station’, ‘Terminal’, ‘Elevator’, ‘Rollercoaster’, ‘Subway’, ‘Cruise Ship’, ‘Prison’, ‘Bus’, ‘Bank’) can be purchased in the app.
Escape Team is a digital-physical puzzle adventure. While it does require a mobile device running the Escape Team app, that’s not where the action is.
Before playing, players print out a PDF document (a free download from www.escape-team.com) for their mission. It contains the missions’ puzzles, which require logical and creative thinking, as well as folding, cutting, drawing and gluing.
The Escape Team app provides the game’s thrilling audio narrative, its gripping soundtrack and a merciless countdown. Also, it serves as the ‘game master’ (checking the puzzles’ solutions through a PIN pad). Nonetheless, the real action happens between the players, who cut, fold and draw, together and on real paper, to finish their mission in time.
Many of Escape Team’s puzzles require close cooperation between players: Escape Team is a collaborative game in which the whole team joins forces to solve the maniac’s puzzles before the bomb goes off.
Too often, mobile gaming means playing alone together. Escape Team seeks to go another path: using technology to make us interact more with each other.
Bridging the digital and the physical world appeared to be a promising approach — but not in the sense of Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, which tend to isolate one single player. Rather, we sought to enrich a deeply haptic, physical experience with a bit of digital spice.
The first versions of Escape Team were utterly boring, and, according to first user feedback, felt like ‘a math test’ (which not everybody enjoys, surprise). We kept working on it, it took us some time — but we were able to develop puzzles that make use of paper’s full potential: cutting, drawing and folding as a collaborative puzzle adventure experience.
Design and Development
Escape Team is a game by Hemmert UG (haftungsbeschränkt), which is run by Sarah-Carina and her husband, Fabian Hemmert. Fun for the whole family!
Sarah’s background is in education. She is a passionate storyteller, voice actress, puzzle architect and an expert for fine-tuning a learning curve that maintains the balance of challenge and fun, ensuring an experience of ‘flow’.
Fabian is a professor for Interface Design at the University of Wuppertal. He wrote his PhD thesis about devices that bridge the digital and the physical (which he also presented at TED). After writing his first computer games in high school, Fabian worked for Nintendo and Marvel Comics.
Hemmert UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Fabian Hemmert
Auf dem Kämpchen 17