Escape4Change - The phantom menace

Type of tool: 
60-90 min
Topics addressed: 

Escape4Change is a methodology in which the escape room is transformed and adapted into a powerful educational tool. The participants play in a cooperative context, to address socio-cultural and environmental issues connected to the UN Agenda2030.


To generate world improvement through immersive and cooperative gaming experiences.


Escape4Change mixes different methodologies:
• It is a problem-based learning as the group needs to find a way to get out of the room, by solving the main question (can you save the world? Discover a clean energy? Find the water?...) and many different puzzles
• It is a cooperative game, because, due to time constraints, different intelligences involved in puzzle solving and the design of the puzzles, it requires the simultaneous and coordinated action by the players
• It is a discovery-based learning, as the players must find and use elements inside the room, that are related to the real topic covered by the activity
• Finally, it is a peer learning experience, where the facilitator promotes the reflection during the debriefing phase and let the participants drive the discussion over the chosen topics, stimulating their contribution

Step by step process: 

The full experience requires four steps:
1. introduction – to introduce the game, the rules and the topic. It also has a part of storytelling, through a narrator or a video (10’)
2. play – this is the experiential phase, where participants cooperate to achieve their mission (35’)
3. debriefing – for analysing what happened during the game and connect the experience with the reality. The topic of the escape room, connected with the Agenda2030 is fully covered by the facilitator and the participants together (20’)
4. call to action – the whole activity is designed to bring the participants at this final stage: the main objective is to “push” them toward a sustainable change in their life/group/community/society. The facilitator has some examples ready to be presented, generic or specific, according to the time and space where the activity is run (10’)

The online version requires a stable internet connection and, possibly, one laptop per participant.

Materials and resources: 

The physical game requires different materials, according to the experience chosen, while the online version can be run with:
1. good and stable internet connection
2. one device per participant (preferably a laptop) Anyway, it can be played with less devices and with different ones (eg. smartphone, tablet…).
3. and of course the platform where the game is uploaded:


Escape4Change promotes small and big changes in the world, motivating people to act, individually and within their communities, for a sustainable future on this planet.

The tool provides knowledge and insights on the Agenda 2030, stimulating the participants to understand better their role and possibilities.

It also makes clear that the global issues are interconnected and the cooperation among different actors is fundamental to achieve sustainable results in the long run.

The Phantom menace is a valuable tool to promote edutainment through educational escape rooms that can be installed in youth centers, events, festivals, museums…


The phantom menace is a good tool, to be used when people cannot, for several reasons, meet in person, or to save resources (time, money and materials). It is easy to use and can be played under various circumstances and environments (but with a stable internet connection).

Anyway, the physical experience of an educational escape room is to be preferred when possible, because the interaction and the engagement are bigger and produce better outcome. Also, the proximity allows the conductor to involve the participants in further actions, while playing from a distance might reduce the chances of a successful networking.

Among the possibilities for development, we highlight a dedicated platform for playing, with personalized characters and an integrated communication tool.

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