There you are, lost in the dark with nothing but your wits with you, trapped in some unknown room at an unknown time. The only thing you know is this: you’re racing against the clock, against the most devious and challenging of puzzles to test your mettle and push your wits to their extremities.
Your heart races, the clock ticks on approaching zero, and your mind is in overdrive. The exhilaration you feel from an escape room is truly incomparable, after all who doesn’t love a good escape room experience?
Unfortunately, as you might be aware of, finding a good escape room and actually being there in the flesh can be tricky, especially when you don’t live near one or because of current global trends (we’re looking at you Covid-19!).
Your best alternative in this case would be to find a decent escape room themed board game which you can enjoy anywhere and anytime from the comforts of your home.
So, for you puzzle-aficionados out there looking to use your wits in an escape room board game either going solo or with your friends and family, check out our list below for some of the best products out there right now.
- 1 Best Escape Room Board Game
- 1.1 Mattel Games Escape Room in A Box: Flashback Game
- 1.2 Spin Master Games – The Game with 3 Thrilling Escape Rooms
- 1.3 Exit: The House of Riddles | Exit: The Game – A Kosmos Game from Thames & Kosmos
- 1.4 Jumanji Escape Room Game
- 1.5 Scooby-Doo: Escape from The Haunted Mansion
- 1.6 Deckscape – Test Time
- 1.7 Doctor Esker’s Notebook, a Puzzle Card Game
- 1.8 Board & Dice Escape Tales: The Awakening Board Game
- 1.9 Unlock! Timeless Adventures
- 1.10 Talking Tables Escape Room Party Game for Adults
- 2 Guide to Buying Escape Room Board Games
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Best Escape Room Board Game
Mattel Games Escape Room in A Box: Flashback Game
Race against the clock with you and your companions to escape the grasp of the evil scientist Doctor Gnaw! Ideal for at least two up to eight players, you will need to use every inch of your brain to solve its 19 unique puzzles that actually includes real, physical combination locks to avoid eminent destruction.
Better yet, the replay value on this is massive. Not only does it have 3 unique game pathways, but you can also purchase additional variants and content such as ‘Flashback’, ‘Werewolf’,’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ to add variety and diversity to your sessions.
And if you have access to Amazon Alexa, you can even use her to enhance your experience by making her keep track of time, provide crucial hints, and even to play fitting, scary music throughout your session.
Spin Master Games – The Game with 3 Thrilling Escape Rooms
Working on a less generous timescale, Spin Master’s take on Escape Room forces players to escape within a mere 60 minutes across its 3 frightening escape rooms, each with its own challenges and difficulty levels.
Players will have the option to pick between The Dentist, The Space Station, and The Secret Agent rooms, offering variation to this more than common theme.
The goal is simple: input the correct code on the Chrono Decoder (an included device that looks like a futuristic clock and lock) and you win but, in the meantime, it will be keeping track of your time while making all sorts of noises.
Do note however that the Chrono Decoder is an essential piece that runs on not included batteries, so you’ll have to make a separate purchase well in advance to avoid disappointment!
Exit: The House of Riddles | Exit: The Game – A Kosmos Game from Thames & Kosmos
Players will find themselves thrown into a strange house, The House of Riddles, where they encounter a case that remains unsolved.
Cooperation and teamwork here are imperative to solve the house’s many challenging puzzles and to finally escape. With its unique storyline and lack of powered devices, this option is great for those looking to truly immerse themselves in a plain old-fashioned escape room.
Additionally, it isn’t too difficult, so we’d especially recommend this option for younger audiences and novices. If this sounds appealing to you, we’d also suggest you consider its sibling variant: Haunted Roller Coaster, that offers an equally unique escape experience!
Do note one catch: this game can only be played once as you are required to tear and mark the puzzle’s various materials in order to progress.
Jumanji Escape Room Game
A more than familiar name thanks to its blockbuster movie, Jumanji is the seminal escape room experience that has defined a whole generation of similar board games.
Don’t worry though, this isn’t exactly the Jumanji in the film! You won’t be exposed to any real danger in this Jumanji-themed escape room.
Instead, you along with your friends will work together to find the correct code for the Chrono Decoder within its 60-minute time limit which will force you to use all of your logical problem-solving skills across strange landscapes while encountering weird creatures.
It also comes with three different adventures which ensures you receive sufficient replay value from this game but remember, batteries aren’t included!
Scooby-Doo: Escape from The Haunted Mansion
Play as your favorite characters from the Scooby-Doo universe as either Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, or Scooby himself as you work through a haunted mansion in order to solve the mystery of Lady Fairmont’s Ghost.
Coming with multiple narrative books, 60 clue cards, secret envelopes, a manual, and map tiles, this game will require you to spend at least 100 minutes in its 2-part experience if you want to truly get to the bottom of things.
There are countless puzzles and nasty surprises waiting for you in its haunted mention along with a unique code revealing mechanic if you’re willing to step foot into this thrilling experience.
Not only is it suitable for all ages no matter how old or young, what sets this board game apart is its detailed storyline that is guaranteed to keep anyone immersed in this little world.
Deckscape – Test Time
Deckscape is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a simple yet entertaining alternative. Suitable for a solo player to up to 6 escapees, Deckscape offers an intuitive take on the escape room theme.
With only cards and no fancy gizmos and toys, players will be provided with puzzles through each card and asked to make key decisions which can be deliberated upon with other players.
Once a decision is made, cards are flipped and whether you are right or wrong is recorded then you simply move on.
This means that if you find yourself stuck on a certain puzzle, you only get a lower score and can instead move on instead of being hindered all the way by that one pesky puzzle and unlike some options above, Deckscape is not just cheap but is easily portable considering it’s just a deck of cards after all.
Doctor Esker’s Notebook, a Puzzle Card Game
If the concept of Deckscape appeals to you, an equally fantastic board game is Esker which manages to pack the entire escape room experience into a compact pack of cards.
Armed with nothing but puzzles and codes inscribed into these sets of cards, players will be following the footsteps of Doctor Esker through 73 cards each containing 9 complex puzzles to work throughout.
Each puzzle uses a range of devious schemes ranging from number play to pictures to words and logic which will keep anyone on their mental toes throughout.
Esker is known for being a game that is often played in the fashion of an escape room so grab your phone and start the clock, Doctor Esker is waiting for you!
Board & Dice Escape Tales: The Awakening Board Game
Ideal for any fan of escape rooms, you and four players here will find yourselves thrown into a world of exploration and mystery where not only must you solve puzzles, but you will also be forced to make decisions that will affect the course of the story.
You aim to solve the mystery of Sam’s condition – a young girl who is comatose for months on end for no logical reason – and ultimately, save the day. Now do note that this game again isn’t timed by any mechanism, but fans often play it as though it were.
Just grab a watch and let the clock tick away! This may sound weird but trust us. You shouldn’t have any problems as it is specifically themed as an escape room-esque experience by its creators.
Unlock! Timeless Adventures
Directly inspired by escape rooms and feeling very much like one, UNLOCK! makes players do all sorts of similar tasks from solving puzzles to combining objects and searching through entire rooms.
It does come with a free UNLOCK! app that supports gameplay by integrating itself with the physical board game as you will need to input codes, receive clues, and fiddle with machines through this app.
Best yet, the replay value is huge thanks to its various scenarios that each come with its own set of puzzles and mysteries.
Talking Tables Escape Room Party Game for Adults
Looking for something plain and fun for a party? Something that isn’t drenched in some dense story or spooky theme? Talking Tables in that case should be high on your list.
Coming with a range of puzzles and riddles, you along with friends must escape from a little cinema in Tokyo by using specifically, your lateral thinking skills.
The timer is set for an hour and awaits you and your friends to begin the game at your earliest convenience.
Guide to Buying Escape Room Board Games
Some board games will require more in the way of the player. For instance, games like Talking Tables will require at least two players whereas UNLOCK! will require constant access to a phone with its already downloaded app.
These requirements aren’t often set in stone but to ensure you receive the full escape room experience from your game of choice, it is absolutely ideal for you to know what they are and to plan in advance.
Some escape rooms are scarier than others and can deal with more sensitive topics (e.g. violence). Accordingly, we suggest you know your audience before making any purchases.
Have a young kid who wants to join in? Perhaps Scooby-Doo will work. Have a group of mature adults who don’t mind any of these issues? The world is your oyster.
The worse thing can happen when playing through an escape room is getting stuck on a puzzle that just runs down the clock until your defeat.
Escape room games can be tough so make an honest assessment of your puzzle-solving skill levels to avoid disappointment or at least be prepared for hours of mind-bending and stress-inducing gameplay!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are escape room board games the same as the actual escape room?
Not quite. In essence, they attempt to emulate the escape room experience (e.g. time constraints and puzzle solving) but at the end of the day, they’re just board games.
This means you won’t physically have to move around and interact that much with your surroundings. Instead, you’ll find yourself sitting comfortably in your chair and pushing your logical mind to its limits in the comfort of your home!
Also don’t forget escape rooms in reality can cost up to $45 for just a single round regardless of whether you win but when it comes to board games, you’re free to play it again and again to your hearts content.
Can I play these alone or must I have friends with me?
It depends. Some experiences can be played solo while others require at least two players.
That being said, it’s always fun to go through an escape room with multiple people (as all these board games are first and foremost designed for) so why not invite a friend or two over? One is lonely and two is a party after all!