Escape rooms have exploded in popularity during the last decade. They offer groups of friends entertainment and intellectual stimulation. But in the wake of the pandemic, many people turned to games that can be played in the comfort of home.
I like Werewolf Experiment because it includes several elements from traditional escape room games. But it’s a far cry from the only good option.
So I’ve reviewed the best escape room board games for you to decide which one is best for you. You’ll find information on the best escape room games, including the level of difficulty, the appropriate age range, and more.
Ready to learn more? Let’s jump right in.
Best Escape Room Board Games: At A Glance
If you enjoy escape rooms, you might find yourself wondering which board games will suit your preferences.
If you want something for the whole family to enjoy, you might go with Escape Your House, Scooby-Doo Escape, or Escape the Room Stargazer’s Manor.
If you want an extra spooky theme for teens and adults, you might like Escape Room in a Box: The Walking Dead or Escape the Room: Cursed Dollhouse.
If you want more of a traditional feel with lots of physical puzzles, you’ll like Escape Room the Game or the Werewolf Experiment.
However, if you want to try something different, you might find yourself liking Star Wars UNLOCK!, which is a card-game version of the best escape room board games.
Escape Room Game Reviews
Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment: Best Overall
Playing Time: 60 minutes
This is another installment in the Escape Room in a Box series of escape room board games. In the Werewolf Experiment, players must work together to escape before a mad scientist turns everyone into werewolves.
Players must solve physical puzzles and find hidden clues to escape. This box has a lot of components, so you’ll want plenty of room to spread out.
Werewolf Experiment has a variety of challenges, so you won’t be stuck solving one type of puzzle, which is nice.
This can be played with anywhere from 2-8 players, so it’s great for a variety of groups.
Buyers enjoyed this Escape Room in a Box. They liked the level of difficulty, which hit the sweet spot between “this is too easy,” and, “I can’t figure this out!”
The biggest drawback to this game is that it’s a one-and-done game. Technically, you could write in pencil and try to box up everything to attempt it again, but reviewers confirmed it would not be the same.
Realistically, the Werewolf Experiment can be played once.
- Entertaining puzzle solving
- Wide range of player groupings
- Good quality components
- Connects to Amazon Alexa
Escape Room the Game, Escape Your House: Best for Family Game Night
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Escape Room the Game, Escape Your House is a great board game for families. Designed for ages 8 and up, this game will have you working together to solve riddles and find keys.
Players have their work cut out for them, though. This Escape Room game only gives players 15 minutes to escape.
As part of the Super Secret Spy Team (SSST), you can choose from one of six thrilling missions to uncover the mystery and unlock the door.
You can play this game from any room in the house. Transform your room into the mission’s location with the included supplies, such as the door lock and timer.
The game comes with a door key, puzzle cards, answer cards, door hangers, missions cards, area management and scoring cards, and game rules.
Many reviewers played with their kids and had a fun time working through the riddles and solving the puzzles. They found it appropriate for kids but not completely boring for adults.
With six missions, Escape Room, the game does have some replay value, which is nice. However, the game does have a limit to how many times you can play it, and it’s super short.
This game is perfect for family game nights or as a gift for kids.
- Ideal for families
- Play from any room in your house
- Has replay value (multiple missions)
- Simple to set up
- Slightly confusing at first
- Short game length
Scooby Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion: Best for Multiple Sessions
Playing Time: 100+ minutes
“Ruh-roh!” Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred are trapped inside a haunted mansion. In Scooby Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion, your job is to solve the mystery of Lady Fairmont’s ghost and escape before the Scooby Snacks run out!
Players assume the role of Scooby Doo and friends. They work together to decode puzzles and solve the mystery in this two-part gameplay experience.
Players don’t take turns, but each character has its own abilities. Velma can research something, Shaggy can eat things, Scooby smells things, Fred investigates, and Daphne uses objects.
This escape room board game is a complete kit that contains everything you need. It comes with 5 narrative books, 13 map tiles, 60 clue cards, 8 sealed envelopes, 5 characters, and 1 mystery manual.
Players collaborate to solve over 50 clues in order to escape the haunted mansion. This game accommodates one to six people. With a minimum recommended player age of 8 years old, it’s perfect for players of all ages.
Scooby Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion is a Coded Chronicles game, an escape room board game where players unlock clues and solve puzzles by using a unique code-revealing mechanic.
Buyers had positive reviews for this escape room game. They enjoyed the problem-solving and the fun, nostalgic theme. They enjoyed exploring the rooms and the option to break in-between chapters, spreading out the fun over two nights.
Some complained that they didn’t have a necessary clue to solve the final mystery, and others said there were strong red herrings that slightly dampened the fun.
However, if you enjoy Scooby Doo and solving puzzles, this game might just be the right fit. Zoinks!
- Includes puzzle-solving
- Unique storyline
- Players find clues and crack codes
- Fun cartoon-based theme
- Includes optional “intermission”
- Includes red herrings
- Some were missing a clue
Escape Room the Game, Version 2: Best Overall Runner-Up
Playing Time: 60 minutes each
In this version of the Escape Room board game, you get to choose your own challenge and create an escape room at home. Simply set the time on the Chrono Decoder and attempt to break out in 60 minutes!
Escape Room the Game requires teamwork, creativity, and attention to detail as you solve puzzles and riddles.
This game box contains four different Escape Room adventures, which means you can play this game more than once. Each adventure has three parts and must be solved in 60 minutes to win.
To escape, your team must enter the correct keys into the Chrono Decoder. Each adventure is increasingly more difficult to solve, for a fun and challenging quest.
If you’ve got younger children around, you might skip this one. Escape Room the game is designed for teens and adults, ages 16 and up.
If you complete all four scenarios, never fear. You can continue the mystery with add-on Expansion packs, which are available for purchase. Keep your game pieces to use with future puzzles.
The Escape Room companion app adds a thrilling soundtrack to each escape room scenario. When you combine the music with the sound effects from the Chrono Decoder, you can create a true escape room atmosphere from the comfort of your own home.
When it comes to the gameplay, buyers had rave reviews for Escape Room the Game. They enjoyed the challenging clues and puzzles. They also liked that it’s not a one-and-done game, with four adventures included for extra value and extra fun.
Customers found the sound effects and the app-provided music entertaining, as well.
Even though this game ticked almost all the boxes with reviewers, there were two major flaws.
First, several people had trouble finding the mirror card required for the “basement” section. Some said it was missing, while others pointed out it’s included in the Prison Break game.
This isn’t a huge deal, though. The mirror card is simply a reflective piece of cardboard, and any household mirror will work.
The second issue is more problematic. Several customers also reported a faulty Chrono Decoder.
It’s such a common problem that the manufacturer puts a disclaimer in the product description telling buyers to contact the seller for replacement. Make sure to check your decoder when you receive the board game.
If you can get past that major flaw, this game has a ton of value.
- Includes 4 adventures
- Increasingly difficult as you go
- Responsive customer service
- Reports of faulty decoder
- Not for kids
Escape Room in a Box: The Walking Dead: Best for Older Players
Playing Time: 90 minutes
The Escape Room in a Box is a popular series of escape room board games by Mattel. The Walking Dead version is a game set in the zombie apocalypse that tests the survival skills of players.
Inspired by the Walking Dead Series on AMC, this game requires players to work together to break into a safe haven. Each group has 90 minutes to solve puzzles and unlock the door before they are “silenced” forever.
Each team can use up to five hints when solving puzzles. The clues may involve logic and general knowledge.
Due to the scary theme, this game is best for players ages 13 and up. But you don’t have to be a fan of “The Walking Dead” to play the game.
Buyers found this board game to be so much fun. They enjoyed the puzzles and the game components. It had good pacing, and several used hints at some point.
One of their favorite features was the fact that you can repack this room in a box after playing, provided you use your own writing pad to mark it up. You can also go online and reprint materials for future run-throughs.
Obviously, there is a limit to replayability, but you might decide to play it and then sell it. Either way, you get more value out of it than a single play-through.
Some felt that the game wasn’t quite as polished as they’d hoped. Little things, like a single clue that required guessing, or one piece that was a little difficult. But the reviews overall were very positive.
If you enjoy the zombie apocalypse theme and escape room games, this is a great game for you.
- Entertaining gameplay
- Quality components
- Good pacing
- Familiarity with the TV show isn’t required
- Has some replayability
- Mature theme not for kids
- Not as “polished” in some ways
Star Wars UNLOCK!: Best Card Version
Playing Time: 60 minutes
Star Wars Unlock! is actually not a board game, but an escape room card game. It’s fully cooperative, and it requires players to solve riddles and enter the correct code to escape.
The free companion app supports integrated gameplay by having players input codes, interact with machines, and receive hints. It also creates the galaxy with sounds, music, and droids.
Star Wars Unlock! is easy to learn and has a tutorial adventure to help players learn how to navigate the game. It also features multiple levels of difficulty, making the game fun for everyone.
Players must search the scenes, combine objects and solve puzzles. Each story challenges players in unique and interesting ways.
This card game offers three epic adventures. Explore the Star Wars Universe and interact with droids as you seek to escape.
Reviewers enjoyed this game. They liked getting three escape tales in one set, and they were pleased with the quality of the card deck.
However, some felt it was too easy. If you’re a veteran of escape room board games, this might not present enough of a challenge for you.
As with anything labeled “Star Wars,” this game is on the expensive side. But it might be worth it if you’re a big fan of the Force. You’re also getting three hours of entertainment for the price, so that adds some value.
- Stars Wars theme
- Easy to learn
- Includes three epic adventures
- Some found it too easy
Escape the Room Stargazer’s Manor: Best for Beginners
Playing Time: 90 minutes
In Escape the Room Stargazer’s Manor, players uncover clues and hidden objects to escape rooms. The goal of this version is to save a well-known astronomer. Can you do it?
The scene card sets the stage, while the five sealed envelopes contain secret items. The solution wheel and instruction manual round out the components of this board game.
Reviewers enjoyed the immersive story. Several said this is a great sleepover game.
They did say that the clues are very linear. While some escape room games have you explore while solving clues simultaneously, this version has you work on a puzzle or two before going to the next.
The clear instructions make this game easy to learn. You can begin playing immediately.
Some buyers felt that the mystery was too easy. They wanted more of a challenge. But others found it to be difficult enough.
You can reprint materials, so the game can be played more than once. However, you might not find it as stimulating the second go-around.
- Quality components
- Can reprint materials to play again
- Good for older kids, birthday parties
- Interesting background story
- Easy to learn, can play immediately
- Some said puzzles were too easy
Escape the Room Cursed Dollhouse: Best for Advanced Players
Playing Time: 2-3 hours
Another installment in the Escape the Room series, Cursed Dollhouse has you build a creepy 3-story dollhouse to escape from. It comes with five rooms, three-dimensional furniture, and a variety of creepy dolls.
This is supposed to be the most challenging escape room game for this series, with advanced puzzles for experienced players. It also has a story booklet, secret items to discover, and an improved solution wheel with a locking mechanism.
Cursed Dollhouse is a 2-3 hour experience that can be played in one sitting or over several sessions.
The website has re-packing instructions, reprintable puzzles, and music suggestions to help you create your own story.
The puzzles are quite difficult, even to the point of frustrating for some reviewers. But that’s a personal preference and varies among players.
Due to the extra difficulty and the creepy theme, this is definitely a pass for children. Honestly? Even as an adult, the creepy doll theme is a bit much for me. But if you like to be spooked, you might find Cursed Dollhouse is the best escape room game for you.
- Can be played at once or over sessions
- Difficult, extra challenge for experienced puzzlers
- Creepy, immersive theme
- Reprintable materials
- Lengthy game time for more fun
- Not for kids
- Too difficult for some
Escape Room Board Games Buying Guide
When choosing between escape room board games, some features are must-haves.
First, it’s important to have quality game materials. Parts that don’t work, don’t fit or don’t make sense can be a nuisance for typical board games. But they can ruin escape room board games. High-quality physical components are crucial.
Secondly, escape room board games must have challenging puzzles to solve. A game that’s too easy is no fun, while an overly difficult game is frustrating. It needs to have the right balance.
Lastly, escape room board games must have a variety of clues to make them interesting for the whole group. If you’re good at wordplay, but your friend is good at cracking codes, you’ll probably enjoy finding different types of clues. Besides, only solving one type of puzzle would be boring.
Best Escape Room Board Games: The Final Word
Which one of the best escape room board games is for you? I recommend The Werewolf Experiment. But whichever game you choose, you’ll enjoy telling your escape tales to the world… if you are lucky enough to escape!