To your surprise, you have awoken in a strange room with seemingly no way out. There is an old piano, a couple of bar stools, and a cryptic handwritten note on the countertop. Let’s get trapped in some of the best escape room board games, shall we?

Imagine this strange room was clearly laid out for you by the same crazed mastermind who locked you in here to begin with. What will you do? Do you have ideas about how you and your family will escape?

Would you enjoy a game that can take you into cursed catacombs, or a mysterious jungle, or into outer space, or has you playing as a special agent? If you’re new to the genre, here are the first choices of many players and even pros who run their own rooms.

Who will enjoy escape room board games?

If you are a fan of puzzles, riddles, and real-life escape rooms, here are the best escape room board games that you can play at home. These games use similar types of puzzles as you would find in an escape room, and playing them will definitely help with the right type of thinking that it takes to get out of real life rooms.

Here Are The Must-Play Escape Room Board Games:

You’ll notice a lot of these escape room games came out very recently. This is a growing area of gaming, as escape rooms themselves continue to pop up all over the world. Hopefully these escape room game reviews help you choose something great to play, because it’s a cost-effective way to have a very fun night with a group of friends or solo.

7. Escape the Room (2016)

  • Players: 3-8
  • Time: 90 Minutes
  • Designer: Rebecca Bleau, Nicholas Cravotta
  • Publisher: ThinkFun
  • Setting: 1869 Haunted Manor
  • Difficulty: Beginner

Escape the Room involves solving puzzles to unlock envelopes to progress the story as you work your way through, like similar locked room games. When you believe you have solved the puzzle, you can use the included solution wheel to check if it is correct and if so, you can open the envelope and use the components inside to continue on until you have reached the end of the story. Will you be able to escape the room?

This series of games are the easiest to solve out of all the ones on the list and there for they are recommended for beginners or for families that are maybe less familiar with board games and escape room games, and lock room games, in general.

6. Deckscape (2017)

  • Players: 1-6
  • Time: 30-90 Minutes
  • Designer: Martino Chiacchiera, Silvano Sorrentino
  • Publisher: dV Giochi
  • Setting: Trapped in a Laboratory
  • Difficulty: Easy

Deckscape involves only a deck of 60 cards that you open up and flip through one by one, making it more compact and portable than other escape room board games. The cards give you a puzzle and ask you to make a choice. The choices can be discussed with your group of players and when you are finished deciding which to choose, you flip the card over to check if you were correct.

If you get anything wrong you will mark an X on a score sheet and then move on. You get a score based on your time to complete and number of mistakes you have made.

This series are also among the easiest and because getting something wrong only affects your score, you can avoid getting stuck without finishing like in some of the others. They are also the cheapest of all the escape room games and have the smallest footprint in terms of size.

5. Escape Room: The Game (2016)

Escape Room The Game review
  • Players: 3-5
  • Time: 60 Minutes
  • Publisher: ADC Blackfire Entertainment
  • Setting: 4 Unique Locations
  • Difficulty: Medium

This series of locked room games comes with 4 different escape rooms, which are all very typically “escape room” themed. There is the Prison Break, the Virus, the Nuclear Meltdown, and a room set in the Temple of the Aztec. If you’ve been to any rooms in person, you’ve probably seen at least one of these themes featured, if not all of them.

It also comes with a battery-operated Chrono Decoder which has a count down from 60 minutes and has key slots that need a specific order and combination of unique keys to solve the puzzle.

This game does a good job capturing the essence of escape rooms from the theme of the rooms, to the decoder. The game has varying levels of difficulty depending on which room you play, so you can start with an easier one and work your way up to slightly harder ones once you get a feel for Escape Room games at home.

4. Escape Room in a Box (2016)

  • Players: 2-8
  • Time: 30-90 Minutes
  • Designer: Juliana Moreno Patel, Ariel Rubin
  • Publisher: Mattel
  • Setting: Werewolf Mystery
  • Difficulty: Medium

Escape Room in a Box is the only game that uses actual physically locked components instead of decoders, solution wheels or mobile apps. It also emphasizes things like hidden objects more than some of the other games on this list.

Like Escape Room: The Game, this game does an excellent job capturing the essence and the identity of escape rooms. The inclusion of actual physical locks really makes you feel like you are there. This one is intermediate in difficulty but there is a wide variety of puzzles and there are some that can keep beginners engaged and contributing.

Pictured above is the Warewolf Experiment, but make sure you also take a look at the Flashback Edition for some retro fun (Just follow the same link above to see both.)

3. Escape Tales (2018)

Escape Tales the Awakening Game
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 180-300 Minutes
  • Designer: Jakub Caban, Matt Dembek, Bartosz Idzikowski
  • Publisher: Board&Dice
  • Setting: Hospital
  • Difficulty: Medium

This game is the most unique from all the other games on this list. Firstly, this game is more grandiose and requires 2 or 3 sessions to complete, so it’s great for someone who wants to really sink their teeth into a game with some story and world building elements. It does have some more mature subject matter that may be difficult for some people. If you’re able to host several game nights to complete this escape, it’s one of the top choices. Also, this is much more story-driven than the others on this list.

In Escape Tales: The Awakening, you take on the role of a father trying to wake up your daughter from a 2-month coma. During your journey, there will be many difficult decisions you have to make that will all play a role on which of the many endings you will get.

The game is middle of the road in terms of the puzzle difficulty, but because of the adult theme and content that you might come across throughout the story, it can only be recommended for mature audiences.

2. Exit: The Game (2017)

  • Players: 1-6
  • Time: 45-150 Minutes
  • Designer: Inka Brand, Markus Brand
  • Publisher: KOSMOS
  • Setting: Laboratory
  • Difficulty: Hard

Exit: The Game includes a puzzle wheel similar to that in the Escape the Room series mentioned above. You will have to input a code into the solution wheel in order to solve and move forward in the story, however, the Exit series tends to front load you with a lot of information and gives you less direction on how to solve compared to many of the other games here.

These games can be some of the toughest in the genre, so you may want to stay away from the harder ones unless you are very experienced. Also, unlike most of the games on this list, the components in this game are destructible meaning you will rip, cut, and draw on the components making it unable to be passed on to a friend or donated.

1. Unlock! (2017)

  • Players: 1-6
  • Time: 60 Minutes
  • Designer: Sébastien Pauchon, Vincent Goyat
  • Publisher: Space Cowboys
  • Setting: Prison Escape, Hidden Treasure
  • Difficulty: Hard

The Unlock! games are similar to Deckscape in that they only use a deck of cards, but in Unlock! there is phone application support that aids with keeping time, score, and giving time-based or exciting audio/visual clues and an input code for unlocking doors or solving puzzles. So, you have a deck instead of a whole crate of accessories and physical puzzles, but that’s just fine – the experience with this deck and the accompanying app is a great one.

This series offers some truly challenging and unique adventures but they have some easier ones to tackle to help you learn the system and the type of puzzles you’ll be dealing with. Best of all, they are cheap, compact, and non-destructible.

Now, Start Playing Escape Room Games Today!

There you have it, our list of escape room board games that’ll keep you busy. If you have a group of friends and everyone chips in, you can run through several of them in an evening, at your house, and spend less money than visiting a real escape room.

These games also make a fun co-operative activity to enjoy on a date night, where you can play as a team and read the clues together. If you know someone who enjoys puzzles and lock rooms, any of these options would make a great gift. Find a theme that your playing-partner will enjoy, either it’s horror, historic, space, etc.

Most of the games on this list are also part of larger collections, so if you like one you can always continue your adventures and try the next installments of the series.

It’s a perfect way to pass the time in your bubble, and most of these can also be played as solo board games for single players if you don’t have a group of people to play with. Whether you’re with friends or on your own, these escape room board games are part of a growing genre, and we’re always looking forward to trying the newest releases.