Trapped in the crowd

escape game
general public

Play this serious game for free


The multiplayer escape game of the Crowds’ exhibition at Universcience

Abstract of Trapped in the crowd

Take up the new challenge of Universcience in the framework of its exhibition “Crowds”!

You are trapped in the crowd! To be more specific, your avatar and those of your teammates have been trapped by Professor Solo in the crowd simulator in his laboratory. Watch out, your time is running out! You’ll have to complete challenges as a team to escape before the crowd gets too big. Play together from a distance, with family or friends! You will discover and experience different crowd mechanisms. You will have to collaborate and show your collective intelligence to succeed in these challenges: decipher secret messages, evacuate marbles, discipline shoals of fish or build towers!


  • a multiplayer escape game from 2 to 6 players
  • 45 minutes of challenges through collaborative mini-games with different levels of difficulty
  • integrated voice chat to facilitate communication between players
  • a real-time crowd simulator to discover and understand its mechanisms
  • accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing in French, via subtitles
  • an online serious game, accessible on computers, tablets and smartphones from a browser

Learning objectives

Universcience, which includes the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and the Palais de la découverte, is organising an exhibition on crowds until August 2023.

In order to illustrate and enrich the visitors’ experience of this exhibition, Universcience has chosen to launch a multiplayer escape game. Available online, the serious game allows groups to understand and experiment together complex systems related to crowds.

Between an escape game and multiplayer gamification, Trapped in the crowd addresses the physical and behavioural sciences; this playful experience stimulates the group’s collective intelligence through challenges that allow players to discover and test specific mechanisms of crowd movements and behaviour.

Communication and collaboration between team members, through a built-in voice chat, plays a key role in the success of the challenges.

The serious game offers 4 fun tests to take up, enabling virtual crowds to be modelled and simulated.

The decryption test consists of decoding a secret message using matching strings (symbols).

The marble board challenge models crowd movement. The objective is to get all the marbles off the board through a funnel. Players can place obstacles on the course to make the flow more fluid. This is an opportunity to test different scenarios.

The fish test simulates collective movements. Also known as “boids” (contraction of “bird-oid objects”), this technique was developed by computer scientist Craig W. Reynolds to simulate the behaviour of a flock of birds in flight. Each fish coordinates with those around it and each shoal of fish interacts with those of the other players. There are 4 parameters that can be influenced here: alignment, separation, cohesion and perception. It allows to understand a complex system where each individual coordinates his movements according to those around him, without having a global vision of the group.

The co-building contest is an architectural challenge, where the players have to build a tower together.

Professor Solo, who holds the players’ avatars hostage in his crowd simulator, intervenes throughout the game to guide the players through the challenges. In addition to explaining the rules of the games by introducing the concepts on which they are based, he reviews the lessons that can be learned at the end of each challenge. Between each challenge, Professor Solo reviews his crowd simulator. As the game progresses, the crowd becomes more and more dense and stimulates the players to succeed in the tests.

  • Screenshot Serious Game Piégés dans la foule d'Universcience

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