Escape Room Board Games for Adults

2020.12.26.

Thanks to the popularity of escape room games, then it's no surprise that snapping on the heels of the location-based games, there is now an ever-increasing number of board game offerings. Considering that a trip to your local escape room games business might set you back $25 - $50 for an hour of high-intensity gameplay, you might want to save some money and opt for a board game. Rather than getting together a number of your friends to play on location in a real bricks and mortar escape room, why not break out the board game and play at home. We've got together a review of four of the best and so let's take a look at escape room board games.

Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment

This is one of the closest experiences you can get without going to a real bricks and mortar escape room. All the puzzles and clues you'll find in the box are very similar to what you'd find in the real deal. The game can be played for between 60 - 90 minutes. It's suited for between 2 - 8 players. One point worth mentioning is that this game has real re-play value. By visiting their website, you can download a whole new set of clues, puzzles, and challenges, along with instructions allowing you to repack the game and rebuild the box. There's also a section called "Host Repack" where you can act as the games master for all your friends or family. The game comes with a script, so you'll know what to say and when you say it, as well as giving hints. 

The box also contains keys, locks, boxes, codes, and different "feats of strength" that need to be mastered. There is any number of both inside the box and outside the box challenges to be completed. By the way, there are two versions of the game; "The Werewolf Experience" and "Flashback".

Exit: The Game - The Abandoned Cabin

So here you are, happily driving along some secluded road with your friends, when the car decides to break down. No one can fix it, and there's no phone reception. So there you all are stuck in the middle of nowhere. You all start walking and with half an hour you stumble across an old abandoned cabin. You have little choice but to rest there for the night. But when you all awake, it's to discover that all the doors are locked and the windows are barred up shut. There is a strange assortment of items and objects left in the middle of the floor. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the premise of this game. Unfortunately, the game can only be played once, so it's a one-hit-wonder. In the box, you'll find a deck of cards, a details booklet, and a mysterious disc. As the game progresses, you and your team will use these things to solve the various puzzles and clues that you'll come across. Playing time is anywhere between 1 - 2 hours, though that does depend on how often you use the "help" cards, and/or how good you are at solving puzzles. Be warned, that some of the riddles are particularly difficult.  

The puzzle and riddles vary in how challenging they are, from easy to almost impossible. Sometimes during gameplay, everything grinds to a halt as we all become stuck on one puzzle. But the game does come with helper and answer cards (3 per riddle) and they provide in order, small, medium, and large amounts of help to get you back on track. The third clue card will more or less answer the puzzle for you, but if you're still stuck, then use the answer card. Because this game can only be played once, it's cheap. In that respect it's like a real bricks and mortar escape room experience in that once you've played it, then you know where and how all the puzzles and clues work. 

Luckily there are multiple versions of the game:

Exit: The Game  The Abandoned Cabin

Exit: The Game  The Pharaohís Tomb
Exit: The Game  The Secret Laboratory
Exit: The Game  Forbidden Castle
Exit: The Game  Forgotten Island


Escape the Crate

This game is a real game-changer in both the board game space as well as in the escape room board game spectrum. The concept is new and it revolves around a subscription model. Every month you'll receive a collection of board games and puzzles. And you receive them in a crate! 

The back story involves a lot of time travel. Essentially, an organization, "The Emergency Mediation In Time" is an institution tasked with going back in time to fix issues. Their number of cases means they're swamped with cases. This is where you come into the picture. 

We must say that this is a brilliant concept and in practice, it works well. Each month you'll receive a completely new board game, along with new puzzles, riddles, and problems to solve. As of writing, there are 16 months of games and they are constantly expanding their range. Each crate is different from the last so there's zero possibility of any cross-over in gameplay. These puzzles come in the form of locks, ciphers, letters, tools, and riddles. And the puzzles themselves range from deciphering an alien language to finding a murderer. All the backstories for the puzzles, along with the games are all unique and designed to be engaging.

Unlock!

In comparison to the above games, Unlock! is much simpler. The game comes with cards and then you'll need to download a smartphone app. The game setup is super quick and there are several different adventures to embark on as a team. Having said that the game might look simple to play and should give you the idea that the game itself is simple....far from it! The gameplay is engaging and a  whole lot of fun at the same time. 

Each game is around one hour of playtime, but you can select your time limits. The general idea is to crack the codes and make your escape within the time limit. There are around 60 cards for you to work your way through, solving puzzles and riddles along the way. The game is designed for between 2 - 6 players. What's interesting is that the app acts as the game host or game master. It will keep time, and confirm if your answers are correct. This is a great game if you want a quicker time filler, as there's much less to set up before playing when compared with other escape room board games. 

Because the game is just a pack of cards and a phone app, then it's very cheap. It's also extremely easy to set up. But the game is pretty complex and the puzzles are certainly not easy. But the whole game is a huge amount of fun, being incredibly engaging and well worth the outlay.


The game comes with three adventures built-in. These are:

Unlock! "The Formula"

Unlock! "Squeek & Sausage"

Unlock! "The Island of Doctor Goorse"

But you can download multiple adventures. There's also a ten-card tutorial so that you can learn how to play in no time at all.

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