Real-life escapes rooms have become immensely popular but there’s no reason that you can’t have that thrill in your own home. There are many great board games out there that incorporate escape room elements for a thrilling and action-packed game.
They are all a little different and choosing the best escape room board game can be tough. We’re here to help with your in-depth reviews and a buying guide to give you all the info you need. By the end, you’ll know what escape room board game is right for you. Let’s get started!
Best Escape Room Board Games of 2020
Spin Master Games - Escape Room
Exit: The Abandoned Cabin
Best for the Money
Unlock! Timeless Adventures
Best on a Budget
Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment
Exciting cooperation game—everyone in the game is after the same goal: to escape!
There are a few ‘Escape Room in a Box’ games but we think this is the best. The premise is that you have to solve puzzles to escape from a mad scientist. If you don’t, then you’re all going to be turned into werewolves!
It has a wide player range from 2-8 players and you have 60 minutes to complete it. Inside the box, you get two locked boxes, a locked jar, and different types of puzzles. The game can’t be replayed by the same group but you can reprint the materials and give it to someone else to enjoy.
While the puzzles may not be simple, the rules are fairly straight-forward. The material, clues and components help to make this a brilliant game and good value for money, even without the replayability.
Escape Room: The Game
It will count down remaining time, and emit intense sounds to let you know you’re almost out of time. Can you escape?
A wonderful feature here is that this is three games in one. It’s for 3-5 players, has a playing time of 60 minutes and is suitable for ages of 16+. It’s a great option for adults and there are plenty of entertaining features.
The three games are Space Station, The Dentist, and Secret Agent with them all having their own storylines. A feature of all of them is the ‘chrono-decoder’ device which you get inside the box. It’s a fantastic component and allows for plenty of interaction.
It all works very well as a real escape room replacement. The puzzles have a good level of difficulty and will allow everyone to get involved. It will also allow you to have a great sense of accomplishment if you do manage to escape.
Deckscape: Behind the Curtain
Involve your group of friends in a spectacular and adventurous plot, full of... magic!
Deckscape has been able to make a simple and elegant escape room game that simply uses a deck of cards. You’ll get a puzzle on one side of the card and the solution on the other. Instead of being stuck on a puzzle, you’ll get a time penalty for a wrong answer.
It’s a fast-paced game that is highly entertaining due to the twists in the story and multiple possible endings. It’s not for those who want an authentic escape room experience but is a fun alternative.
The puzzles are challenging and everyone will enjoy the ride of trying to work them out. It’s suitable for between 1-6 and for players and the game will flow very quickly. It’s very well designed and great for the likes of a vacation with it being pocket-sized.
Exit: The Sunken Treasure
Perfect for game nights and parties
There are a few Exit games on this list and they are all brilliant. This one takes place in a sunken ship. You’re trapped deep underwater and you’ll need to solve the puzzles to escape and find the legendary treasure.
It’s a well-designed game that has a range of quality components. You’ll have to solve riddles and various puzzles to crack the codes you need. It will be done in groups of up to four as you all work together.
The game isn’t too complex and is ideal for first-time players of escape room games. It can only be played once and will last anywhere from 60-120 minutes. It’s one of many great games in the Exit range.
UNLOCK! Squeek & Sausage
Experience a cartoon escape room through a sixty-card deck
UNLOCK! is another fantastic series of escape games. Squeek & Sausage is one that has a cartoon theme which is a big change from many other types of escape games. It’s suitable for 1-6 players with a playing time of 45-75 minutes.
The game requires you to download the Unlock! app which shouldn’t be an issue and there is also a rule book and tutorial included. The app is a great addition and includes a countdown timer for that sense of jeopardy.
Along with this, you’ll have a series of cards that are very well thought out. The card and app combination make it very easy to play. There is no replay value but the game is quite cheap and you can pass it on once you’ve finished it.
Exit: Dead Man on The Orient Express
Card based; no apps required
Here we see another Exit game but one that is a lot more challenging. Exit gives their games a skill level rating, and this is for expert players. It requires a lot of brainpower which will make escaping a hugely rewarding achievement.
The Orient Express theme is cool and takes a different spin on the escape idea. Instead of you escaping, you’ll be working together to make sure that the murderer can’t get free. Can you solve it before the train reaches its destination?
You’ll use the cards to get the answers you need and can complete the game in a group of four. It’s a brilliant mix of escape and murder mystery but will be very hard for anyone not familiar with escape games.
Escape the Room
With over 50 million sold, ThinkFun is the world's leader in brain and logic games.
Escape the Room is a beautifully laid out game. It’s perfect for between 3-8 players and will take around 90 minutes. It a more traditional board game with no fancy components but you can still only play it once.
It’s set at an astronomer’s manor in 1869 and investigates some strange happenings. You’ll have to solve the mystery before the time runs out. The story has plenty of depth and you’ll love the journey it will take you on.
It works in a similar way to a real escape room where you’ll have to look through items to find puzzles and solve clues. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some games, and some may prefer that. It’s a great game for the whole family.
Exit: The Abandoned Cabin
This game can be played only once, because you markup, fold, and tear the game materials
Another game in the Exit franchise is The Abandoned Cabin. It has an intermediate skill level and can take up to 2 hours to play. As with a lot of these games, it’s relatively cheap as there is no replay value to it.
The premise of this game is that you find an abandoned cabin after your car breaks down. In the morning, you find that it’s locked and you have to get out. The deranged cabin owner has left you clues that you have to solve.
It’s an atmospheric game that has a brilliant storyline. You’ll use the cards which have riddles on them and you use the solution wheel and clue cards to work through the game. It’s another excellent option in the Exit series.
Unlock! Exotic Adventures
Players must use quick thinking and deductive reasoning to progress through each Adventure.
Exotic Adventures is another great game in the Unlock! series. This one is ideal for 1-6 players and can take up to 90 minutes. The game is also driven by the free app which supports you throughout the game and even includes interactive challenges and music.
There are three different challenges here which are The Night of the Boogeymen, Scheherazade’s Last Tale, and Expedition: Challenger. All three have their different challenges but all have engaging gameplay and a great storyline.
The 3-in-1 aspect makes this brilliant value for money. With these Unlock! games, you can’t go wrong as they all play very well and are impressively designed.
Unlock! Timeless Adventures
Inspired by Escape Rooms - UNLOCK! brings the thrills of escape rooms without setting foot outside.
Our last game featured is another exceptional Unlock! game and another which offers you 3-in-1 games. ‘The Noside Show’ is about stopping Professor Noside from sabotaging the circus. ‘Arsene Lupin and the Great White Diamond,’ takes on the premise of a jewel race, and players ‘Lost in the Time Warp’ is where you have to try and fix a malfunctioning time machine.
As with the other Unlock! games, it is app-driven while also still having a nice array of cards to play along with. It gives you that thrill of playing against the clock from your living room. It’s very highly rated and it’s easy to see why. All three games will challenge your brain and ultimately end up being highly rewarding.
Best Escape Room Board Games – Buying Guide
Do you want an out-and-out escape room game or something with a more elaborate premise? Games like Escape Room in a Box are brilliant at giving you the premise of a room to escape from before something terrible happens. In contrast, Exit: Dead Man on The Orient Express is a game where you have to stop someone else from escaping.
In all these games you have to solve puzzles and battle against the clock, but some are very creative in how they do that. Others such as Unlock! Timeless Adventures can even give you three games in one, which is even more fun.
Number of players
Every game will be set up for a specific number of people. Sometimes this can be quite narrow, such as the 3-5 players that can play Escape Room: The Game. If you wanted something with a wider range than that then most of the Unlock! games can be played between 1-6 people.
Escape rooms games can be quite tricky, with some being harder than others. If you’ve never played an escape room game before or aren’t used to board games then it’s a better idea to choose something a little easier. If you wanted to challenge yourself then Exit: Dead Man on The Orient Express has a high level of difficulty.
Do you prefer a short and sharp game or perhaps something a little longer? The games that we’ve looked at here range from about 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Most of these games are played against the clock so you’ll need to find a time when you’re all dedicated to it with no distractions. If members of your group have a short attention span then consider getting something on the short side.
Quite simply, can you play the game again? Something like Monopoly has endless replay value but for games that follow a storyline, it can be a different issue. Most of the games here have no replay value as you’ll simply be solving the exact same puzzles. Due to this, it’s a good idea to bear the cost of the game in mind before you choose the best one.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best escape room board games?
We’ve looked at many brilliant games here. The ‘best’ game is fairly subject so it’s important to know what you’re looking for. If you’re unsure about which one to get then you shouldn’t worry, all these games are enjoyable and you’ll love them all.
Can you play Escape The Room board game more than once?
You generally can’t play escape room games more than once and that includes Escape The Room. Thankfully most of these games are relatively cheap. Once you’ve played them then you can pass them on to the next group of friends to enjoy.
How do escape room board games work?
They work in the same way as real-life escape rooms but without the physical setting. You’re given a premise, clues to solve and then a time in which to do it. It offers you plenty of jeopardy and gives the game the fast-paced excitement that many love.
How long do escape room board games last?
Most of these games will have a set time limit on how long you get to solve the game. It’s another appealing aspect of these games, as there is no chance of them dragging on. While all of these games are different, many will stick to a one hour limit but there are some out there which are a little longer or a little shorter.