Happy Birthday Puzzle [Reader Stories]

In writing this blog we’ve met a lot of people who love puzzles and go to great lengths to play them and create them.

Reader Melissa recently emailed us her sweet escape room-inspired birthday story. We let her husband Darren add his perspective.

Melissa: Darren surprised me by putting together a 10 puzzle “escape” game to find my birthday presents.

Two large locked boxes. One has a birthday card resting on it that reads, "To my beautiful wife... happy birthday."

Darren: Seeing how much Melissa was enjoying escape rooms, I wanted to make one especially for her as a birthday surprise. So, I spent some time brainstorming ideas and used a lot of personal touches in making the puzzles.

Melissa: To make it even more authentic, he used a program he had created with a 60-minute countdown timer and background music that he displayed on our TV. He offered clues for kisses, which I thought was super cute :). He even used an idea that we hadn’t come across in any other escape rooms before: a secret message that you need polarized sunglasses to read.

Darren: I found a MakeZine had a cool technique for making a message that can only be seen through polarized sunglasses. Since Melissa is much better than I am about identifying celebrities, I figured I could use these ideas together to make a unique puzzle for her.

Melissa: I was able to find my presents with 19 minutes to spare. It was also fitting that one of the presents he gave me was an escape room game in a box.

Darren: The hard part was keeping the whole thing a surprise until her birthday. I couldn’t talk about puzzle ideas with her in the meantime!

Melissa: It means so much to me that he spent so many hours putting such a thoughtful gift together for me. Of course, I’ll now be expecting more custom puzzle games on special occasions :).

Escape room companies are proliferating because creative individuals play these games and are inspired to create their own. Many of us aren’t about to enter the escape room business, but we are still inspired by the genre of entertainment and energized to put our own spin on it.

I certainly know how special it is to have a loved one create a custom puzzle experience just for me.

Do you have an escape room inspired personal puzzle story? We’d love to hear from you.


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