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12+ Best Escape Room Board Games

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Oh, how I wish we had this list of best escape room board games two years ago. We only got into at-home escape rooms during the lockdowns and we wish we got started much sooner. There are so many great reasons to love these types of games, especially if you think your kids are starting to outgrow family game nights.

In our opinion, the best escape room in a box is the next one you are about to play, so if you haven’t tried any yet – we have great news for you: there is a whole, amazing puzzle-solving world you are about to enter. And this isn’t hyperbole – our family really does get lost in these 1-3 hour puzzle quests.

12 best escape room board games

There is so much to love about escape room board games:

  • Firstly – they take you out of the world you are in and transport you somewhere else.
    • Be it a missing person in Iceland, a jungle temple escape or a murder you have to solve, in order to unravel any of these escape room in a box games, you need to get into their worlds and focus on each task.
  • We found that our teens really loved doing them.
    • There are few games that all of us jump at playing now, but we found that escape room games fit that tall order.
  • They are cooperative.
    • While we still play Catan and other games with clear ‘winners’ & ‘losers’, we also appreciate games where everyone has to pull together to accomplish a goal. Escape Room board games get people working together.
  • Escape Room in a box games need everyone’s skills.
    • We have yet to play one that didn’t have some sort of puzzle that played to each of our strengths at some point or another.
    • Logic problems, jigsaw puzzling, reading upside down or backward, visual-spatial challenges, codexes, there is something in most that will complement everyone’s skills
  • They are usually non-digital.
    • Other than occasional online check-ins for clues/solutions, most of these live entirely in the analogue world. There is just something great about being able to touch, hold, and manipulate the various challenges that video games can’t provide.
  • Some are even replayable escape room board games.
    • While the solve/puzzles don’t change, if you play them carefully, you can pass them along to others to try after you are done.

What are escape room board games?

Escape Room Board Games are basically a story-puzzle. They usually set up a narrative that you and a group of family or friends follow along with and need to solve some key aspects of by the end. It may be to find a killer, escape a room, find a kidnap victim or some other high-stakes mission.

How do escape room board games work?

Escape Room board games work through a series of challenges that the player group must solve in order to progress in the story. These challenges range wildly – some might be figuring out the combination to a lock, others might be piecing together a map, while murder-mystery ones will have you sifting evidence to find clues to catch a killer.

As we mentioned above, they will make every member of your player group push themselves and their skills to get to the answer.

There may be suggested or imposed time limits and there are hints/solutions you can access if you get stumped.

Are escape room board games replayable?

Some escape room board games are replayable and some are not. We try to play each one with minimum cutting/writing/folding the game pieces so that we can trade them with other families we know who are also into escape rooms in a box.

But many are not replayable as the parts will be used up in your first solve/playthrough. And all of them have just one solution, so once you have solved it, you will have to wait a while to forget the answer or find a group of friends to share games around so you get new mysteries without spending more money.

We hope your family and friends enjoy these games as much as we do! If you haven’t tried one yet, or even if you have, may we introduce our list of best escape room board games…

best escape room board games

Best Escape Room Board Games

A. Best escape room board games for family

Ages: teens – adults

Escape Room The Game was the first type of at-home escape room board game we tried.

They feature multiple ‘escapes’ in each set and a cool decoder box you put sequences of keys into in order to affect your escape. The box has a countdown timer on it and it definitely adds to the adrenaline thrill as you get closer to the end.

This is the teens-adults version that features Prison Breaks, Viruses and Murders, so probably not for the younger set (see the one below for that).

We’ve found the Escape Room The Game to be replayable. If you carefully keep all the different elements separate and don’t write any solutions on game pieces, you can trade with friends and let them have a shot at it. We are fortunate enough to know other households who are into at-home Escape Rooms, so we played it with the idea that we would keep it close to mint condition for future swapping.

Ages: 10+

This Escape Room The Game focuses on time travel and makes a great entry point to their take on at-home escape rooms. If you have younger kids, this would be the place to start to see if they are into it.

We’ve also noticed that once you get the hang of how they set up the puzzles you can do more difficult ones at a faster pace and with fewer hints, so maybe your family loves this and graduates to more challenging versions.

Similar to above, if you are careful in playing each ‘room’ you will be able to trade this with other households as it will be replayable. Or maybe you’ll just forget the solutions and replay it yourself in the future, we’re not here to judge.

Find all the “Escape Room The Game” editions here.

3. Finders Seekers Mysteries Subscription Boxes

Finders Seekers Subscription Boxes

Ages: 13+

Robin got me this Finders Seekers Escape Room subscription box for my birthday last year. It is full of fun and creative puzzles and gets delivered to your door monthly.

Our family LOVES them.

We loved exploring a new city and culture while solving puzzles and deciphering codes. The designs are beautiful and the stories are engaging.

We often found that we wanted to travel to the various places featured in each puzzle by the time we were done and we always learned cool new facts too.

Each puzzle ends with an online check-in to verify your solution, which is a cool feature, but means you need a wifi or data connection for the final solution – just a heads up if you’re planning an off-the-grid family digital reboot.

Some of the elements in these could be replayable, but typically you need to be more vigilant in not writing on them and keeping all the various puzzles separate.

Ages: 10+

EXIT escape rooms in a box are among the most popular and best-reviewed out there. Last week we did this Lord of the Rings one and it did not disappoint.

Like super-nerds, we played the soundtrack to the Fellowship of the Ring in the background while we did the challenges. Amazingly, most of the puzzles lined up with various film sequences in the soundtrack and it really added to the overall experience.

EXIT escape rooms do not seem to support replayability (we had to write on and cut up several game elements), but they are 100% recyclable, so at least there’s that. If you were smart/careful, you could copy on your digital scanner or erase any lightly drawn lines and potentially trade with other like-minded folks.

Ages: 12+

This EXIT game is the next one we’ll play. It has near-perfect reviews!

We love the potential to combine jigsaw puzzling (another family favourite pastime) with escape rooms. Jigsaw puzzles do show up in many of the above escape room games, but typically as a small mini-puzzle that is quickly solved. We like the potential that this one offers of putting the jigsaw element front and centre as the main quest.

One more EXIT The Game – this one’s set in the Old West. And is on our to-be-played next pile. Another game with near-perfect reviews.

The time estimate to play these games is pretty accurate (in our opinion at least). The Lord of the Rings EXIT puzzle took us nearly an hour and a half and we used ALL the clue cards. It was rated a 2/5 in terms of challenge. While I’m sure the more EXIT games we played, the more we would start to learn their style of escape room puzzle, I still can’t imagine what a 5/5 challenge level would look like. So, I guess if you’ve found other at-home escape rooms too easy, these might be the ones for you!

Find all the “Exit The Game” editions here

And sort by difficulty level to find your perfect match

Ages: 10+

Unlock Escape Room games are card based. This makes them more portable for travel and given that they have multiple games in each, you might find that these are the perfect travel companion escape rooms.

They do require a companion app to use while you play, so you will need wifi or data to complete the puzzles, so keep that in mind. This one is a near-5/5 reviewed product, as most Unlock card games seem to be, so they clearly know what they are doing.

8. Star Wars UNLOCK! The Escape Game

Star Wars UNLOCK! The Escape Game

Ages: 10+

After how much we enjoyed the EXIT, Lord of the Rings game tie-in, an Unlock Star Wars-themed escape room game probably feels like the next logical thing we should try. And yes, we will be cueing up a soundtrack to listen to while we play.

Again, this Unlock gets near-perfect reviews and they also seem to support replayability so keep the parts organized and separate and trade them with friends who share this great hobby.

9. The Goonies: Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff – A Coded Chronicles Game

The Goonies: Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff – A Coded Chronicles Game

Ages: 12+

One final movie tie-in game: The Goonies: Escape with One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff. If your household can’t get enough 80’s nostalgia, this game might be for you.

Reviewers love the nostalgia and character tie-ins with the movie. I do like that you can either play this game as a single quest (2+ hours!) or break it down into mini-quests to extend the playability. Might be one to try if you see it go on sale and you’re a super Goonies fan (Robin…).

B. Best escape room board games for adults

10. Escape Room in a Box: The Walking Dead Board Game

Escape Room in a Box: The Walking Dead Board Game

Ages: 13+

The remainder of the games in our list take on a more teen/adult vibe and there is no better way to start than with the Walking Dead escape room in a box.

Designed for up to 8 players, this one features many puzzles that can be solved parallel to one another, allowing all players to get in on the action at the same time. With a large group, you can also trade off puzzles if someone gets stumped and use everyone’s skill sets. There are a bunch of really cool hands-on pieces to this one, so the steeper price seems justified.

Play some zombie moans in the background while you solve to really amp up the adrenaline/fear.

Ages: 14+

The Unsolved Case Files games tend to all be murder/abduction focused and this one features both. Your task is to play detective and solve this active investigation using game clues and an online solution check-in.

Creators suggest you can play solo, with a partner or with a group, so these games have great flexibility for any household into True Crime podcasts and Forensic Files reruns (Robin… again).

The different versions of Unsolved Case Files games are universally well-reviewed, so it seems like the aspiring detectives of the world love them.

Long play times (2-3 hours) and replayability (if you keep parts separate and pass/trade them along to a new household) are all great selling features too!

Ages: 14+

Hunt a Killer is another well-reviewed, murder mystery puzzle-solving game series. They allow for small or large groups to play and feature online hint check-ins if/when you get stumped.

Players suggest Death at the Dive Bar as a great place to start as it is easier than some of the others (most still report 2-3 hours to solve). The story sounds well written with every piece being connected to nabbing the final suspect, and there are loads of cool bits of evidence to sift through.

Get your Serial/Only Murders in the Building fan group together and get to work!

We’ve got plenty more fun game ideas!

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