For anyone reading this blog, it’s highly likely they’ve tried to solve a word puzzle or Rubix cube in their day. And though it feels great to solve a puzzle, it doesn’t always result in knowledge gained. Teachers nowadays are constantly looking for ways to encourage learning and motivate students while captivating their frayed attention spans. Well, this motivation problem leads to a very interesting study between escape rooms and learning.
Since the start of escape rooms in Japan in the early 2000s, they have been used as a tool for fun and team building. However, a group of researchers wanted to know if Escape Rooms could do even more. What if they also motivate learning? Researchers in Barcelona (C. Borrego, C. Fernández, I. Blanes, S. Robles) recently completed a study using Escape Room Games to motivate student learning. In the study, engineering students participated in an escape room scenario. A typical scenario in which members are “locked” in a room and must solve puzzles and riddles to “escape” the room. In this game, all the riddles and puzzles were related to their engineering courses. The clues and riddles featured vital information which the students needed to know from the course. In addition to merely knowing the information, players needed to manage resources like time to problem solve quickly as a group to “escape” from the room.
The results of the study were all very positive. Students described the games as, “challenging, demanding, interesting and, above all, very amusing”. Motivation increased significantly for the students. They were more motivated and learned more with this learning than with a typical lecture style. The researchers are looking at testing this with other types of students to expand the breadth of the study.
Solid. Liquid. Gas. Learning-Based Escape Room
Learning-Based Escape Rooms bring together information, puzzle-solving, team-work, and time limits to create an excellent motivational playground. Aviki Games also believes that the wonder of escape rooms is an exciting tool for learners young and old. Here at Aviki Games, our puzzles are more smart than scary, which makes our games more interesting and fun for all participants!
Psst….Aviki Games has recently launched it’s first Learning-Based Escape Room game. Contact us to learn more!
Here at Aviki Games, we see a lot of teams play our escape room games and have found that successful groups share some common traits. We’ve narrowed down the most important, so you’ll know the top 6 ways to build your team.
It’s been a while since we’ve posted, but that’s because it’s been a bustling time at Aviki Games. This spring, we’ve done cool things like build a custom game for local drag celebrity Apple Adams, brought our Mini Game, Escape the Dressing Room, to Capital Stage Company’s actual actors’ dressing room, and have been planning fun projects for the summer & fall! Outside of this, when we aren't working, Kevin & I like to take some time to connect with our inner gamers. Board games, video games, card games, and of course, escape games! Because we’re enamored with games we’ve been playing lately, we want to take a moment to share them with you in this new blog series called "What We’re Playing", enjoy!
Current favorite Games:
While visiting some friends in San Diego this winter, I was introduced to The Witness and fell immediately in love with the elegant mechanics of the game. Created in 2016 by lead designer, Jonathan Blow, The Witness is a first person 3D puzzle adventure video game. The player progresses by solving puzzles through interactions with 2D grids. The magical part is how a player finds the solutions hidden within the surrounding environment. By exploring, you discover that there’s more information than what initially appears. This game is all about seeing, discovering and tilting your perspective both literally and figuratively.
The game play is deceptively simple because you initially think it’s about solving a maze (and it is for the most part) but the game transforms the rules along the way, creating new layers which add on to the complexity of the rules you first learn. Remembering how to use the rules and how to look at the environment creates delightfully challenging puzzles, forcing you to utilize logic to progress.
I’m still playing the game and about halfway through the puzzles that I’m aware of (because there are tons of hidden puzzles yet to be discovered!) and I greatly appreciate the fact that I can go at my own pace and spend as much time on each puzzle as I need to. I’m floored by the design of this game and am eager to play Braid, another puzzle video game by this designer.
I recommend this game for anyone who loves logic puzzles and likes a game where the world is beautiful, non-violent, and open ended.
Dixit is an award winning card game, introduced in 2008, created by Jean-Louis Roubira, illustrated by Marie Cardouat, and published by Libellud. Using a deck of cards illustrated with surreal images, players choose cards that match a title suggested by the "storyteller", and attempt to guess which card the "storyteller" selected. The aim is to create a title that is specific yet vague enough for some players to choose your card, the inspiration for your title, while other players choose other cards. If your title and card match too obviously, causing everyone to choose your card, everyone else but you gets a point. Too obscure a title, causing no players choose your card, nobody gets a point. The most points come from being right in the middle in your title card description.
I love this card game because game play is easy to learn and the play style is open to exploration. I also love that this is a social game, making it fun to play with both people you know and new friends. The artwork is whimsical and perfect for all ages to participate.
I recommend this game to spark creative sessions because it focuses on describing concepts in an open ended format.
Dark Stories, published by Holger Bösch and published by Z-Man Games, is comprised of 50 Dark Story cards. It’s a cooperative or solo game of solving a puzzle mystery by asking questions and thinking creatively.
I recently played this at a bbq party and it was gleefully frustrating and fun. The content is a little dark so I wouldn’t recommend it for very young players. It was tricky to solve the twisted riddles with the information you’re given along each round, but it was exciting to discover the amazing detective skills of my friends!
This game forces players to intently listen to information and think completely outside the box, so I highly recommend this as a team building exercise. Just be sure to have someone go through the cards before to make sure everyone is okay with the subject matter, since most stories mention death and murder.
Gorogoa is a beautiful point and click puzzle game which more or less defies description. The core of the game centers around a novel mechanic. The player is presented with four images in a grid similar to a comic book or graphic novel. The player can explore and interact with objects within the panels, while also stacking and layering the panels themselves. This creates scenarios where you aren’t only manipulating objects to solve puzzles, but also time, space, and perspective.
Loosely, the story revolves around a young man and his quest to commune with an other-worldly creature glimpsed in his youth. The ever changing landscape has the player observing the man throughout many phases of his life and back, as his obsession with meeting the monster grows.
The imaginative puzzle and exploration elements are paired with a stunning hand-painted aesthetic. Each panel is visually lush and the kaleidoscopic colors that burst onto the early 19th century setting are breath taking. The game is a nonstop feast for the eyes, as each puzzle changes the world in new and inventive ways.
Local Escape Games
Kevin & I love playing escape games, almost as much as creating them ;) And we aim to play local games whenever we can. A couple companies that we’ve played with strike us as exceptional and we want to share those with you so you can check them out whenever you want a traditional escape the room experience.
Quandary Escape Games
We’ve played Runaway Train & Dynaline Incident here so far and are always so impressed with their unique puzzles. The games included at least one or two puzzles which absolutely couldn’t be done without teamwork. You don’t realize that’s the case until you’re doing them all together, a brilliant design feat since teamwork happens organically. The production value of the games themselves may be simple and understated, but it enhances the world of the game instead of detracting. The use of tech is very well done and user friendly. The story lines are written within the same universe, which is a unique aspect we haven’t seen anywhere. The owners/operators are always very friendly and truly passionate about what they do. Kevin and I really appreciate the games they’ve created.
Break Through Sac
Kevin & I recently played Skull & Scepter at Break Through Sac and had a blast! I was impressed with the scenic elements, since you truly felt like you were inside a deep underground mechanical room. There were a couple puzzles where the tech was brilliantly executed. The game featured a wide range of fun and surprising puzzle types,. The need for teamwork was elegantly designed, especially toward the latter half of the game. Llaurel, the owner and general manager, was friendly and excited for us to play. I truly look forward to playing more games by this group.
Quandary & Break Through Sac are perfect for small teams of 4-6 players who are looking for challenging puzzles within a well-designed game.
Now that we’ve shared some of our favorite recent games, we hope you are inspired to gather with friends and start playing!
Today marks the our 1 year anniversary of Aviki Games! As Sacramento, CA's first and only mobile, pop up escape room company, we are thrilled to reach this milestone and are so thankful to our fans for the support and encouragement along the way. We can't wait to experience new adventures in our second year!
Well friends, it’s that time again; the New Year, a new adventure, a fresh start, and a clean slate. With all this emphasis on the new, it inversely shifts our gaze to the past and the impact it has made on our journey. 2017 may have been a lot of different things to many people, but to us at Aviki Games, we'll count this year as the first in many of successful experimentation.
Of course, one of the most striking memories of this past year was debuting our first mini game, Escape the Dressing Room, in June at an Artists Collective event generously hosted by Intrepid Theatre Lab. I (Liz) was nervous, excited, and super curious to see how players would respond to this new kind of game, a pop up escape room. While setting up before the event, triple checking the padlocks, thoughts raced through my head, “Will they have fun? Will the puzzles be too hard, or too easy? Will players be into the concept of a portable puzzle game?” My fears melted away once the first players stepped into the "dressing room". The group consisted of a mix of experienced escape artists and newbies whose first escape game would be with us, Aviki Games (no pressure right?). Once they solved their initial puzzles, everything fell beautifully into place. Players had so much fun! The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and they especially loved the idea of us hosting games on site. It was so gratifying to try out this idea and see it come to life!
This process of experimentation is wild because you don’t know how good a game will be until players try it out. Much like an elaborate theatre production, it boils down to setting the stage for creating that magical spark fueled by equal parts careful orchestration and spontaneous interaction. You just don’t know what’s going to happen, and it’s a little scary but really exciting.
Kevin & I repeated this process of experimentation as we built our first full hour game, The Newsroom, in August. We were anxious but trusted the countless hours we spent designing and building it for maximum delight. Players have given us such a positive response and we couldn’t be happier!
We feel so lucky to have the opportunity to experiment while we dream up and build these awesome games. They have grown and evolved from the feedback and it has been a thrill ride to see where this process us takes us.
We hope that you’ve created just as many delightful experiences this past year and wish you even more in the next. Cheers to trying stuff out, to learning and growing, and having an adventure!
- Liz & Kevin
This Thanksgiving Thursday, we hope you get to spend it surrounded by people you love, playing fun games and eating really yummy food! Before festivities begin, Aviki Games wants to take a moment to express some gratitude this holiday.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to inspire people with our games. It is truly exciting to see folks collaborate & problem solve together while playing. We are thankful for our community of thinkers, artists, writers, and do-ers. Our loved ones care so deeply about making the Sacramento Area a more thoughtful, kind, and exuberant place and we feel so lucky to be a part of the creative movement!
Because we are so thankful for our community, we want to offer 10% off when you book from Nov.24th until Dec. 31st. No code needed, discount will automatically apply when you book your game!
We are excited to announce that we've reached our 6 month mark as a new company! This summer and early fall have been a whirlwind of activity, filled with building games, beta testing, and bringing them to events like Intrepid Theatre Lab's first Artist Collective or Pacific Charter Institute's state wide Teacher's Conference.
Aviki News & Upcoming Events
Aviki News & Upcoming Events