If you haven’t caught onto the wildly popular trend of escape rooms yet, well, it’s about time you caught up! In a traditional escape room experience, you and your team will assemble in a themed room and will usually have one hour to complete your mission and “escape” the room. In order to escape, you guys will have to find hidden clues and solve challenging puzzles throughout the room.
Beating an escape room requires teamwork, speed, creativity, and patience. Not only are they the perfect activity for family vacations, corporate team-building, or just a fun night out with your friends, they are also a ton of fun. Who doesn’t enjoy being immersed in an entirely different world, ban together with friends, and think out of the box?
NOW INTRODUCING THE VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOM EXPERIENCE
A lot has changed and evolved since the pandemic, but what hasn’t changed is the fun of being able to enjoy the escape game experience. Much like going on a virtual Disneyland ride or a virtual museum tour, you can still experience the fun of solving puzzles and flexing your brain cells– right from your living room. Yes, you can now have the entire escape room experience with just a laptop and internet connection. The best part about remote escape experiences? You can even play with your friends/family even if they’re halfway across the country!
Sure, you won’t physically be locked into a tiny room, but honestly, being in the comfort of your own home sounds better than that. Despite the difference in setting, virtual escape rooms are still super close to the real thing. You’ll get an immersive storyline, a deadline to solve everything, and a set of puzzles that your team will have to solve in order to advance.
Some virtual escape rooms are free and can be accessed at any time, while others require you to pay to participate. Some of them have live guides/hosts and will limit you to 60 minutes of game time, while others are self-guided with no official time limit. Our favorite option? Escape room-style subscription boxes (we have our two favorite subscriptions on this list)!
Here are nine outstanding virtual escape room experiences that will shake up your usual stay-at-home, TV-watching routine. Get cozy, grab the chips and dip, and get ready for some quality time with your team!
Enchambered is an escape room company based in Sacramento, CA. Not in California? Not a problem. Head over to the website where you’ll find a “pay what you want” game, as well as various other free puzzles you can partake in. You will find all sorts of puzzles you can tackle from the comfort of your couch, including a free two-player escape room. Call up your one special friend and play from wherever you are in the world.
2. THE HOGWARTS DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM
Fans of Harry Potter’s magical world will rejoice to the fact that a Harry Potter-themed escape experience exists! The Hogwarts Digital Escape Room, created by the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania, puts you in the shoes of a first-year Hogwarts student who’s just learning how to use a wand and how to do spells. You have the option of completing the game as a group, as an individual, or even competing against friends. You can also play an unlimited amount of times!
3. MINECRAFT ESCAPE ROOM
The Minecraft Escape Room is another free digital escape room that comes courtesy of a youth services librarian (at the Regency Park Library in New Port Richey, Florida). This experience is a great option for kids who enjoy Minecraft and involves watching videos and solving math problems.
4. MYSTERY ESCAPE ROOM
Connect with family and friends anywhere in the world, then enter a virtual world together! Mystery Escape Room has created a few different virtual escape experiences that you can play with your friends or coworkers, all remotely. Simply go to their website and pick your theme of choice. Themes include Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew, as well as pirate or superhero-themed rooms. Be sure to book a time and pay the fee. Each virtual adventure comes with an escape room guide who will be accessible through the conference call. You have 60 minutes to complete the virtual escape room.
Cost: Ranges from $75-85 per group of 4-8 players.
5. FINDERS SEEKERS SUBSCRIPTION BOX
Finders Seekers is a monthly “escape room” style subscription box, ideal for anyone who loves puzzles, escape rooms, solving mysteries, or anything requiring a little brainpower. With Finders Seekers, you will experience a mystery puzzle box featuring a new destination theme each month. In addition to the puzzle/escape room experience, you’ll get a mini travel experience, too, learning about different regions of the world while you solve riddles and puzzles.
We love our Finders Seekers subscription and have had it for about four months now–always a challenging and exciting adventure around the world! Games range from 2-3 hours long. Read more about the Finders Seekers experience/review here.
Cost: $30 per month, additional savings when you prepay for 3, 6, or 12 months
Ships to: Free shipping, only ships within United States
Skip a month feature: Yes.
Click here to subscribe.
6. ESCAPE THE CRATE SUBSCRIPTION BOX
Find the clues, crack the codes, unravel the riddles, solve the mysteries, Escape the Crate! Escape The Crate brings the escape room experience into your own living room. Every other month, you’ll get a different time-traveling adventure delivered right to your doorstep. Each box contains a 2-3 hour-long game and includes items like ciphers, letters, sleuthing tools, puzzles, and more. The best part is the value; the cost of one Escape The Crate box is a fraction of the cost of one person’s entry to a regular escape room!
We love gifting these activity boxes because it’s like gifting them a few hours of unforgettable entertainment and memories.
Frequency: Every other month
Cost: $29.99 per box, but discounted if you prepay for a longer membership
Ships to: Ships free to US, additional costs for Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.
Click here to subscribe.
7. THE ESCAPE GAME’S VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOMS
Nashville-based The Escape Game has 19 locations nationwide, so you can be sure they know how to host escape rooms and entertain right. For those looking for a virtual experience (or if you want to play with friends and family who live far away), check out Remote Adventures, a live Zoom-based game that the company launched this year. The 60-minute challenge includes a live host as well as a guide who acts and your eyes and ears during the game. You’ll get a digital dashboard that keeps track of clues and allows you to do a 360-degree scan of the room. Browse their site for available dates and times, then sign up with your group! They have virtual adventures for small groups (2-8 players) or large groups (9+ players). Large groups will be split into teams of 8.
Cost: $30 per person, and the games usually accommodate 2 to 8 players.
8. “THE GRIMM ESCAPE” BY PUZZLE BREAK
“The Grimm Escape” has become one of the most popular virtual escape rooms to emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic. This online game, created by Puzzle Break, begins with a scary witch who has placed a curse on an enchanted forest. You’ll need to solve puzzles and break the witch’s curse before time runs out. There is a fee of $25 per person and you do have to book your room in advance. All participants will join a video conference remotely and you’ll get a live host during gameplay to help curate your adventure. The end-to-end experience is approximately 90 minutes.
Cost: $25 per person.
9. EXPEDITION ESCAPE’S VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOMS
Expedition Escape is a Pennsylvania-based company that has since reopened for in-person games. For those of us who are less fortunate or would rather play virtually anyhow, we’re in luck! There are a few virtual games for purchase on their site, including “Bank Heist” (20 minutes – 1 hour to complete), “Houdini’s Last Mystery” (1 hour – 2 hours to complete), and “T.R.A.P.T” (1 hour – 2 hours to complete). These games are much more affordable, ranging from $5-$14 per group. You don’t need to book or schedule your game, as they are played completely on your own at whatever time and date that works for you! Depending on the game you buy, once you make your purchase you’ll receive a password and link to the game, or further instructions on how to access your game.
Cost: $5-$14 per group.
Hope this list has helped you find your next virtual escape room adventure!