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 counter top. It was clearly laid out for you by the same crazed mastermind who locked you in here. What will you do? How will you escape?

If you are a fan of puzzles, riddles, and real-life escape rooms, here are some escape room game recommendations 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 type of thinking that it takes to get out of real life rooms.

You’ll notice a lot of these 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
  • Playing time: 90 Minutes
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

The Escape the Room involve solving puzzles to unlock envelopes to progress the story. 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.

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.

6. Deckscape (2017)

  • Players: 1-6
  • Time: 30-90 Minutes
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Deckscape involves only a deck of 60 cards that you open up and flip through one by one. 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
  • Difficulty Level: Medium

This game comes with 4 different escape rooms all very typically “escape room” themed, there is the Prison Break, the Virus, the Nuclear Meltdown, and Temple of the Aztec. It also comes with a battery operated Chrono Decoder which counts 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.

4. Escape Room in a Box (2016)

  • Players: 2-8
  • Time: 30-90 Minutes
  • Difficulty Level: 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 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.

3. Escape Tales (2018)

Escape Tales the Awakening Game
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 180-300 Minutes
  • Difficulty Level: Medium

This game is the most different from all the other games on this list. Firstly, this game is more grandiose and requires 2 or 3 sessions to complete. Also this is much more story driven then 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
  • Difficulty Level: 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
  • Difficulty Level: 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 audio/visual clues and an input code for unlocking doors or solving puzzles.

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.

In the mood for something different? Here are some other recommendations: