Human beings have always needed their minds to be stimulated by all kinds of different recreational hobbies and games. In order to get away from the real world or to simulated real-life experiences from past instances, we like to play different kinds of sports and activities. Life isn’t all about working, paying bills, surviving, and sleeping, of course, so we need to ensure that we excite ourselves in all kinds of ways.
A lot of people really enjoy being thrust into different positions. We like to test ourselves in order to challenge ourselves and see what we can and cannot do. We’ll try something meek and mild, but we’ll also try something dangerous that gets the adrenaline rushing in anyone who takes part. Regardless of what happens and whether or not we succeed, we all get a feeling of satisfaction because we know we’ve given something a try and put ourselves in positions that show our true colours, nature, and decision making.
A game (and almost a sport in this day and age) that has taken the world by storm over the past few years is that of escape rooms. Being put into a small area with only your minds and a bunch of items can make you feel very awkward. The idea of using only a few riddles and some problem-solving skills in order to remove yourself from a cursed, claustrophobic position might not be for everyone, but it sure is great fun for the majority. The idea of ever being forced into such a position can make anyone feel perilous and in danger – so simulating it can give us all kinds of buzzes and rushes. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and an evening if ever you’re hoping to get out of the house for a while. It may not be great for a first date as you may be put into extremely awkward and compromising positions, but it’s certainly something to laugh about once everything is over and done with.
If ever you wanted to create an at-home version of an escape room board game for a party or for the family to enjoy some time, then you’re in luck as there are now dozens of different kinds of puzzle games, board games, and simulations around that can keep you occupied for, well, as long as it takes – and then some. Some will test your brain some and make you stretch your thinking – you’ll need to have applicable skills as well as some lateral thinking. Some can really boggle the mind and keep you guessing for a while.
In this article, we’re going to talk about nine of the best escape room board games. If you’re interested in getting something for Christmas, for New Years’, or you just fancy something to keep yourself (or yourselves) occupied, then we’ll tell you all about the kinds of games on offer. We’ll break down some of the features and what you can expect from each experience. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll learn a few things and potentially find something that could provide you with hours of fun material. The nine we’re going to discuss will be:
- Epic Escapes: Escape Room In A Box (3 in 1)
- Escape Room: The Game
- Paladone Escape Room
- The Walking Dead
- The Werewolf Experiment
- Talking Table: Host Your Own Escape Room
So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into the fun and see what each has to offer!
Table of Contents
Epic Escapes: Escape Room In A Box (3 in 1)
With Escape Room In A Box (3 in 1) from Epic Escapes, you’re getting what it says on the tin. It’s likely to be the most popular in this group due to the versatility and the uniqueness of it all. It’s not like your traditional board game or card game and, thus, is not limited or repetitive.
Inside the packaging, you’ll receive a box of goodies that helps you to solve all kinds of different mysteries. The main selling points are that there are three escape rooms in one box, meaning it’ll be £33 per room. Each room consists of easy, intermediate, and hard difficulties – they’re under the names ‘Crime’, ‘Piracy’, and ‘Hijack’, respectively. Those who have played will, as you’d expect start with the easiest mode and crack everything that needs to be deciphered. They often become hooked on the premise and want to immediately play the remaining two. It’s one of those games that has an epic feeling of accomplishment as you never know what’s around the corner.
It’s suitable for the whole family (a maximum of six participants, typically), so you won’t have any problems getting everyone involved. The component or reusable, so the idea of things going stale won’t be on the cards and you’ll be able to play with different groups of friends. What’s marvellous about this game is that, when played in groups, it promotes teamwork, creativity and logic – if you want to get out of this thing in one piece, you’ll need to be clued-in and switched on.
It must be stressed that it’s not a typical board game, like plenty of others on this list – it is, instead, a selection of puzzles that one or a group must solve in order to beat the game. Different clues become apparent for as long as you progress. It can be used to create a fully-immersive escape room at home and if you’re looking for an alternative to a murder-mystery night, then this would be perfect for you.
Included are high-quality lockboxes, padlocks, puzzles, clues, and all kinds of kit that helps to create the perfect escape room simulations one would need for a home exercise. On average, each room will take around sixty minutes to complete. Obviously, the difficulties add variables to those times. If you don’t feel that this kind of thing is for you (although it’s unlikely), then you are treated with a one-hundred-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. It’s literally a zero-risk purchase if you decide to ever commit.
Escape Room: The Game
Escape Room: The Game is more of a board game and comes with what’s known as the ‘Chrono Decoder’. A device that helps the player(s) uncover all kinds of answers as they work their way through the game. Batteries aren’t included with this thing, so you’ll need to power it up yourself, but once it gets going, it’s one of the niftiest things you’ll find in the board game or puzzle game world. While it’s an important part of the game, it’s also pretty awesome to be able to possess something like that – it’s not your typical object or decorative piece. Each side of the decoder is guides written on them to let you know how to proceed – it also has an LCD countdown timer that gives a kind of tense, all-or-nothing, cinematic style feel to it all.
The way the game works is pretty simple: you have to crack three codes in one hour. You do this by inputting plastic keys into the decoder. There are three keys in total and they’re marked with all kinds of numbers, letters, shapes, and directions for you to follow. It takes a while to get these keys and crack the codes – it’s by no means as simple as you might initially think by looking at it all. You have to combine logic, lateral thinking, deciphering methods, and all kinds of mental gymnastics!
Paladone Escape Room Board Game
Another fun, family-oriented, or friend-oriented game that puts to the test your ability to solve all kinds of puzzles and problems. In terms of the puzzles and problems you need to solve, they come in all kinds of different ways. You could have to deal with maths questions that use your ability to piece numbers together. You might also have to deal with all kinds of optical tasks.
While it’s pretty simple and has a basic card game-like premise, there are a bunch of different combinations within the games. They come with a plastic padlock and 16 different puzzles, so if you love solving all kinds of issues and getting to the bottom of nagging problems, this is for you.
Exit: The Game is another on the list of escape room board games that is considered to be a decent time-passer. Again, it has a basic premise and is a case of following along with cards, but it has a lot going for it and can keep a group occupied for a while. Your brain will be tested with all kinds of riddles, puzzles, and games. One of the cool things about Exit is that there are a wide variety of different variations out there. Each will have a room to deal with – each has different levels of difficulty and different overall themes.
If you want to explore a creepy cabin or figure out who the murderer is aboard the Orient Express, then you’ll be able to enter the world set up for you and let your imagination run wild as you piece together all of the missing parts. The puzzles and riddles really are the main talking point, though. From the likes of physical tasks such as building pieces together to figuring out optical illusions, you’ll have a lot to get through in order to complete these kinds of escape room games.
An important drawback is that the pieces are non-reusable. If you like the idea of a one-off, then this can be utilized happily by you and your group, but that will be about it until you buy another product. A lot of work goes into figuring out these tasks, so you’ll want to make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze when all is said and done.
The Walking Dead
If you’ve seen The Walking Dead on TV over the past ten years or so, then you’ll know all about the intense and freaky nature of the ‘walkers’ and how they make you feel. The perilous position they put the characters (and the viewer) under sends shivers down spines. Well, this time, you’re taken into the game and you get to (sort of) experience what they had to go through.
In The Walking Dead Escape Room board game, you have to complete tasks that help you to break into a room instead of breaking out. Sounds a little strange, right? Well, there are walkers all around you, so you need to seek a place of refuge before they get to you. It’s a great concept and something that slightly deters from the typical model – we all like a little variety in our lives, so it won’t be a bad idea. It works perfectly when played by 4-8 players, so there’s, again, a lot for every single participant to do. While sixty minutes tends to be the benchmark for most escape rooms, this one will give you ninety minutes.
In order to complete the game, each player must work together – there should be no individuals if you’re to survive. Like the others, you’ll be subjected to math, logic, team-oriented stuff, and all kinds of different tasks in order to crack the elusive door. The good thing about this game is that you don’t need to possess prior knowledge. If you like basic and simple tasks that won’t take up too much brain power or stress out those taking part, then this will be a good addition.
The Werewolf Experiment
This is a slightly different take on an escape room board game. It always works best when you’re thrust into the world you’re trying to imagine. Becoming entrenched in the world allows you to live it as though you’re not sitting in your living room and, instead, genuinely fearing for what’s to come if you don’t succeed. With The Werewolf Experiment, the idea is that a mad scientist is around and is hoping to turn all participants into werewolves for his own personal project. It’s an odd thought, but one that allows your mind to wander and to get into the game a little deeper. Like the others, teamwork is necessary, so getting into scuffles with your friends and family members over something like this will not help out at all. You won’t complete the game if you’re not going to get along with one another!
Logic, math, illusions, and all kinds of different tests on the brain. Much like many of the products on this list, you’re given a few little objects and items to play around with in order to solve some of the puzzles. Unlike the previous game, this one’s back down to 60 minutes once again, so you don’t get anywhere near as much leeway. Once again, it’s suitable for those 13 years or older.
Unlock gives you a very simple card game that doesn’t make you overthink one thing while playing. You’ll place your game of Unlock on your dining table (or top you have prepared) and get to work with simple rectangles of card. Each set will have a single deck assigned to it that contains numbers on the back and images on the front for you to use in your journey. You could also utilize the companion iOS and android app if you so choose.
You begin by choosing a ‘room’ card that tells you the theme and what you’re going to be playing for. You can pick up anything from cartoon circuses to old, dusty temples. Other cards contain all kinds of numbers and letters that act as clues on your pursuit of victory. They may represent a locked door, a mechanism, or a puzzle that the companion app can help with. These cards and clues are the heartbeat of the game and are involved in the steps you’ll take.
Unlock is for those looking for a straightforward escape room card game. Those at Space Cowboy offer print-and-play demo rooms so you can sample a few games before you commit to a purchase. It may not be as specific and convoluted as the others, but it’ll still keep you more than occupied. It’s likely to not be the first choice of games when deciding which on this list is the best, but it can keep people doing something when bored.
Talking Tables: Host Your Own Escape Room
Talking Tables: Host Your Own Escape Room is another on the list that people seem to enjoy. The story is about being trapped inside a movie theatre in Japan, and you have to use your brain to work your way through everything and eventually escape the perilous position. Again, codes, riddles, clues, and lateral thinking questions need to be dealt with in order to beat the game. It’s suitable for a minimum of two players, so you don’t have to gather around a huge group in order to get started.
It’s played using a host and a group of players. The host opens the box, reads the rules and hides items inside a room in the house. Once everyone is in and the stage is set, the host will set the scene with a few words and start the game. It’s another relatively simple idea and one that will always change based on who the host is and the creativity of the setting. If the team requires help, then the host can help out, of course, provided that they don’t give too much away! The puzzles and riddles are all fun and solvable, so not frustrations will be had while taking part during a family evening or house party. Though one might argue the puzzle types are similar, they’re still enjoyable.
For a good price, this game is okay and can be replayed a few times before it eventually gets a little tedious and overdone. The items and materials aren’t tacky or rushed, so you don’t have to worry about making do with what you have. Work has gone into it and you can tell.
Finally, we arrive at Trapped. Once again, you’ll all work together as a team as you steal a beautiful and covet painting before fleeing the room you’re stuck in. It works perfectly as a family game for an evening. As long as you’re above the age of 8 and you’re ready to play, then you can go ahead and knock yourself out. It involves a few different pieces of card and some added extras to get you into the game. You’ll need to write down a few things, so if that’s not for you, then you may have to rethink purchasing this one.
Specifically, the premise and story is a cool one to sink your teeth into. You’re invited to an art exhibition hosted by a very wealthy family. The youngest son of the family, however, takes a particular disliking to the work and the wealth they have accumulated over the years. He wants you to take a certain painting away and never return it! He’s afraid he’ll be caught, though, so he leaves clues behind for you to follow. He has also convinced a staff member to help you out, too, so you’ll also receive clues in that regard.
You have 60 minutes to get everything done and to get out of there. You and your group have lots of time to complete the heist, but those 60 minutes do feel as though they speed up as they get closer to the end!