Can’t get your escape room fix thanks to being stuck at home? Luckily, escape rooms are a popular phenomenon, and they’ve made their way into all sorts of other media formats (some more successful than others). We hope everyone’s staying safe during this lockdown, and if you’re missing escape rooms while you’re self-isolating, LockHouse has got you covered with some at-home alternatives. Here are some of the ways you can engage with escape rooms from home!

Board games

The escape room board game Exit, showing blue answer cards, orange riddle cards and green hint cards, as well as a code wheel and a folded posterEscape room board games bring you the fun of escape room puzzles in a format that’s easy to play at home. There’s a range of different options out there, ranging from card deck-based games like Unlock! or Deckscape, to ones with more physical interactive components such as Exit or Escape Room: The Game. Escape room board games are great to play cooperatively with other people, and the physical nature of the components means they capture some of the fun escape room feeling of actually interacting with puzzles. If you’re looking to recreate the feeling of actual escape rooms from home, escape room board games are probably your best bet.

Find out more about Exit and Unlock! games in our in-depth post here.

Video games

a person wearing a vr headset holding their hands up in front of a background of blue sky with cloudsEscape room video games fall into two main categories, point and click games and VR games. There are lots of point and click escape room games available to play online for free. The upside of these is that they’re easily accessible, and there’s a wide range, so if you’ve got some time to kill (you probably do, at this point) then they can be a fun distraction. The downside is that they can be quite variable in quality, both in terms of the design and in terms of the puzzles. The most sophisticated ones we’ve played are the Neutral games (watch out: some of the puzzles are truly fiendish). Or for something even quicker, try these standalone mini puzzles.

VR lends itself well to escape room-style games, so it’s not a surprise that there are so many VR escape room games out there to choose from. (Seriously, so many.) The strength of VR lies in immersion — in a VR escape room, you’re fully involved in the ‘room’, able to move around and interact with items like you would in a real escape room. Put on your headset, and enjoy being somewhere that’s not the same room of your house you’ve been staring at for days on end.

Books

a hand holding a pen writing in a notebookRemember choose-your-own-adventure books? Now picture those, but with puzzles. Escape room books feel like a genre that has potential but hasn’t quite found its feet yet — the ones we’ve played have the difficulty of trying to find a balance between the ‘story’ component and the ‘puzzle’ component. But while they’re not perfect, escape room books can be a lot of fun. They’re a good way to get a dose of escape-room-style puzzle solving in a less immersive, more chilled-out way. While some options have a timer mechanic built in, the story framework tends to help slow the pace of the experience, and the book format means that it’s easy to put down and pick up again later if you get frustrated, need a break, or want a cup of tea.

Some options: For a more ‘classic’ escape room feel try The Escape Book by Ivan Tapia or Escape Room Puzzles by James Hamer Morton. For something more eldritch, check out Journal 29 or Codex Enigmaticum.

We hope everyone’s staying safe, and looking after yourselves and others during these stressful times. While LockHouse is currently closed, we’ll be keeping up a series of blog posts on all things escape rooms, board games, tabletop RPGs, media recs, and more. Plus keep an eye on our Facebook for everything from updates to brainteasers!