If you love a good challenge, then you must be a fan of escape rooms. They pack all things fun in them! There’s mystery, puzzles, excitement, thrill, and even the joy of finally escaping. As great as they are, you cannot always drag along your friends for a session at your local escape room though. It’s just not that practical. Do you know the next best thing you can do? You can get some of the best escape room board games! The best escape room board games have all the elements of a proper escape room experience. This means you’ll still get to solve puzzles and answer riddles using the clues you are provided.
Sometimes, the game pieces can be reset to play the game again. If you think that’s not challenging enough, then don’t worry. Some escape room board games require you to permanently alter the game pieces so you can escape. These types of games can only be played once, this way you can have a new challenge to solve every time you play the escape room board game!
In this article, we have talked about the best escape room games, and if you want to know more about them, then continue reading below.
Escape Room: The Game
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment
Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse
1. Escape Room: The Game
Game Time: 60 minutes
Release Year: 2016
Escape Room: The Game, is one of the best escape room board games available in the market today. It can be played by 3 to 5 players at a time, all of whom are of age 16 or above. The game can be played once, and takes roughly an hour to complete.
The board game is different from all the other escape room board games in two major ways. Firstly, and most excitingly, Escape Room: The Game doesn’t have only one escape room game. Instead, it has four different escape room adventures, all belonging to different and interesting themes. So, every escape room game has a different level of difficulty, play, feel, energy, and look to it.
Secondly, the board game has a unique electronic “Chrono Decoder.” This decoder helps engage the players further into the game, as the entire game unfolds around it. This decoder also helps in pulling the players into the ‘escape room’ they are trying to exit, instead of them realizing they’re only sitting in their house.
The Escape Room: The Game pack comes with the following items:
· 4 adventure packs; Prison Break, Virus, Nuclear Countdown, and Temple of the Aztecs.
· 16 keys
· Electric Chrono Decoder (without the 3 AA batteries)
· Hint Card Decoder
· Board game rules
The first thing you need to understand about this game is that the electronic Chrono Decoder is the most important component. So, before starting playing, make sure you have working batteries for the decoder. The Chrono Decoder is used throughout the game for the several reasons given below:
· It is the game timer: the decoder starts the clock at 60 minutes, and doesn’t stop until the team is able to figure out the final combination needed to escape, or the time runs out.
· It verifies the codes: the team needs to figure out the proper code and feed it into the Chrono Decoder using 4 of the 16 given keys, in order to move onto the next part of the adventure. If the code is incorrect, then an error sound is made, and a minute will be deducted from the total playing time.
· It contains several ciphers: the Chrono Decoder has some ciphers molded into its sides. These ciphers are needed to convert some of the content in the Adventure.
There are a total of 16 game keys that have been divided into four sets, each containing four keys. For each set, the key has a unique combination containing the following elements; Letter, Arrow, Shape Bottom, Dot, Zigzag Edge, Digit, and Roman Number.
The keys in two of the sets have the same Shape Bottom. This means they can be inserted in the decoder in any direction. On the other hand, the 8 remaining keys have Shape Bottoms, that register differently in the Chrono Decoder, depending upon the direction in which they are inserted in it. This attribute is important because it increases the number of combinations that can be possible.
If you can’t complete the game in time, there will be a losing sound. The timer will start to count up, and you can continue till you solve the code.
While the game sounds very fun and intriguing, it can be quite tricky to understand and get the hang of. This is especially true because of the different types of keys that come in the pack, and the number of combinations that can be made using them.
Other than this, the Escape Room: The Game also has a companion website and application that you can take advantage of. The application contains thematic music accompanying each adventure present in the board game, that you can play to enhance your gameplaying experience.
2. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Game Time: 60 minutes
Release Year: 2004
Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of the best escape room board games, and one of its best features is that it can be replayed! It is a board game belonging to the horror genre, so beware that it’s not for the weak of heart. While the recommended age for the players is 12 years or older, it may get a little scary for some kids, and adults as well.
The game has an impressive 50 haunts that players can navigate. Each haunt takes around an hour to complete. The suggested number of players per game ranges from 3 to 6. How the players escape the scenario varies from haunt to haunt.
Betrayal at House on the Hill pack comes with the components given below:
· Rule book
· 2 haunt books (Secrets of Survival and Traitor’s Tome)
· 1 entrance hall tile (3 rooms)
· 44 room tiles
· 6 two-sided character cards
· 6 plastic character figures
· 1 Turn/Damage card
· 45 event cards
· 22 item cards
· 13 omen cards
· 8 dice
· 30 plastic clips
· 291 tokens that include:
o 2014 circular monster tokens
o 43 pentagonal item tokens
o 18 triangular trait roll tokens
o 14 square event and room tokens
o 12 large circular monster tokens (includes art)
Now that you have all the necessary items, you can begin playing the game!
The main objective of the card game is to explore the house and make your character stronger until the actual haunt scenario begins. Once the scenario starts, your goal will shift to completing your side’s victory condition, be it as a hero or a traitor.
The first thing you need to do before starting the game is setting up the scene, and choosing a character. Each player has to choose a character card, and each card has a different explorer on each side, so the players have to pick one. The explorer cards also have the characters’ birthdays on them. The player who has the next birthday gets to go first, and the other players follow in a clockwise order.
Once it is your turn, you can do as many of the following actions as you want, and in any order:
· You can attempt a die roll
· You can move
· You can use items or omen cards
· You can discover a new room
· You can attack
All these actions have a set of more specific rules accompanying them. Before the actual haunt starts, you need to make a haunt roll at the end of your turn if you end up drawing an omen card. Once it is your explorer’s turn, you can move up to the number of spaces that equal to the current speed of your character. However, you must stop moving for the remainder of your turn if the game effect requires you to draw a card.
While the game is very immersive and intriguing, it definitely isn’t without faults. The Betrayal at House on the Hill offers a great gameplay for a game night; however, you can only enjoy it once you have a handle on the rules. This can be a difficult task for some because of the confusing nature of the rules. It can also be very difficult to remember the extensive list of rules while engaged in the game, and having to keep referring back to the rulebook can sour the playing experience and fun.
Fortunately, the company is always coming out with new editions of the game, and each one is more improved than the last. So, players can purchase the latest versions to escape from the shortcomings of the previous versions, and fully enjoy the new and enhanced haunt scenarios.
3. Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment
Players: 2 to 8
Game Time: 30-90 minutes
Release Year: 2016
Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment is a challenging board game, the plot of which revolves around finding an antidote before everyone turns into a werewolf. The game isn’t that scarry though, and can be played by anyone aged 13 or more. The game takes around an hour to complete, and can be played by 2 to 8 players. However, keep in mind that this game can only be played once.
The pack contains the following items:
· 19 puzzles
· 3 locks
· 3 small plastic containers
· 1 hint booklet
· 1 answer booklet
The game doesn’t really have a setup. It comes with a sealed paper that you need to open once you’re ready to start playing. It will also give you some more insight into the game’s story, and tell you to start the timer. You will start timing yourself on one of your own devices, because the game doesn’t come with a timepiece.
The game contains different kinds of puzzles, such as physical puzzles, number-based puzzles, word-based puzzles, and some puzzles that require you to carefully observe them.
The game comes to end when you’re able to solve all puzzles and escape, or the timer runs out and you all turn into werewolves!
Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment is a fun game for when you plan on staying indoors. One thing that sets this game apart from other escape room board games is that it doesn’t have as many paper or cardboard components. It’s also one of the best escape room board games when it comes to providing players with the tactile aspect of gameplaying.
The puzzles are challenging enough that you can even take more than the recommended number of players on board to help you win the game. The different kinds of puzzles are of different difficulty levels and require different tactics to be solved. This also makes it a good option for beginners!
Overall, the game is challenging, engaging and makes for a great, at home, escape room experience. If your partner is a board game enthusiast, why not try this on your next date night?
4. Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse
Game Time: 120 minutes
Release Year: 2020
Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse is one of the best escape room board games that are high up on the difficulty level.
The recommended age group for the game is people who are 13 years old, or older. This is because of the horror theme of the game, and the difficulty level of the puzzles involved in the series. The board game can be played by 1 to 4 players, though you can take more people than that if you’re good at teamwork. The game takes around 2.5 hours to complete.
The Escape the Room: The Cursed Dollhouse game box comes with the following items:
· Dollhouse box
· Instructions and story manual
· Solution wheel
· Envelope of puzzle components
· Punchboard with furniture and components
The gameplay revolves around wanting to escape a creepy dollhouse after you magically end up in it, and a porcelain doll starts talking to you and asking you to help her.
This family game offers a variety of different puzzles, some that you can figure out right away, others that are a bit trickier, and a third type that you don’t need to solve right away but remember for later. You’ll also need to carefully scan the rooms for clues and figure out the symbols.
You need to solve puzzles so you can move from one room to another. You can confirm your solutions from the solution wheel, and if you’re correct, then the book will tell you what room to go to next.
The game is cleverly designed and planned and makes for a very immersive experience. However, it’s made so it can only be played once. The game is very creative and has a great variety of high-quality components.
The only possible drawback of the game can be its theme, which may appear to be too scary for children, or even adults, depending upon their nature.
Escape room board games are must have for anyone who loves to experience thrill and adrenaline rushes. These games are immersive, highly engaging, very challenging, and thrilling. They provide you with the escape room experience in the comfort of your own home. Escape room board games are also a great way of polishing your thinking and problem-solving skills. Not to mention, they’re a great past-time and bonding activity with family and friends. Now, you can pick out one of the best escape room board games from the list we’ve given above, and enjoy a fun night in.