Classic games like Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit will always have a treasured place on the list of reliable game night options. But sometimes you want to step into the 21st century with a digital group game experience — one that you’ve never played before, which brings with it the thrill of unpredictability. That’s when you go online and pull up a virtual escape room.
Virtual escape rooms typically have a central theme or take place in a specific universe with well-defined characters. To “escape” the room, players must solve puzzles, riddles or other mysteries to unlock the next challenge in the game. The clues often have to do with the topic of the room, and they can be presented as math problems, word puzzles or other trivia challenges.
Ready to level up your games … game? Try playing one of these virtual escape rooms and find out if you and your crew have what it takes to escape. Many of the ones on this list were developed during the pandemic as a means of remote entertainment, and nine of the 10 are still available for free.
1. Minecraft Escape Room
This exciting Minecraft-centric experience is an online game with a fan-fiction vibe. You’ll access this Minecraft Escape Room via Google Form, as it was created by a librarian at the Regency Park Branch Library in New Port Richey, Florida. In order to escape, players will tackle math problems, video mysteries and more in this fun adventure.
2. Hogwarts Escape Room
All the Harry Potter-heads in the family can unite in their quest to escape the Hogwarts Escape Room, which comes from the Peters Township Public Library, located in McMurray, Pennsylvania. No wizardry is required for this game, and the premise is simple: As a first-year Hogwarts student, you find yourself locked in a room and need to puzzle your way out — without using magic!
3. Ultra Mega Super Death Escape Room
With its ominous-sounding name, you know this escape room will be full of tough challenges. It’s recommended for teams of up to four people, ages 13 and up, and you may want to pick your nerdiest, most brainiac friends for your team as these puzzles require some math skills and geography know-how. You can use paper and pencil, like the olden days, but Googling and calculators are forbidden.
4. Spy Apprentice Digital Escape Room Adventure
Have you ever wanted to jump right into the plot of a thrilling spy novel? This spy-themed mission is a jet-setting tale of intrigue, peppered with puzzles to figure out as you (the protagonist) put your spy apprentice skills to the test. This escape room works for groups or individuals, though it’s a bit tricky to solve, so it’s best-suited for teens and adults.
5. CU Adventures in Time and Space ($10)
The CU Adventures in Time and Space escape rooms are different from many of the others on this list in that they’re offered by an IRL escape room company and they’re not free (the cost to play starts at $10). The “C” and “U” refer to Champaign-Urbana, as the company is based in Urbana, Illinois, though they also offer virtual experiences that you can play at home using their online interface and printable clues.
Choose from two games: Floor 13, which is set in an office building after-hours, and The Lost Temple, which takes place in the 1930s and brings some serious Indiana Jones vibes.
6. Welcome to Romeo & Juliet Escape Room
Are you, Romeo, clever enough to win the approval of Juliet’s parents? This series of tests and puzzles is played from the POV of Romeo, giving the lovelorn teen an opportunity to potentially change his fate — and that of his beloved Juliet — if he can only escape the room and prove his worth to Juliet’s family.
7. Dog Man Digital Escape Room
The beloved character of Dog Man needs your help. In this game, created by a school library worker, Dog Man is trapped in a parallel universe and players have to solve puzzles in order to help him escape.
8. Jumanji: Escape Room
This escape room finds you stuck inside a Jumanji game where you’ll need to overcome a variety of obstacles over the course of six levels. The ultimate goal: Get the magic gem to the jaguar statue and escape! These playful challenges are fun for kids and adults alike.
9. Unlock Disney World
Calling all Disney fans, young and old! This after-hours adventure through Disney World will test your trivia knowledge and will require a certain enthusiasm for all things Disney. The story begins inside the Country Bear Jamboree, where you wake up alone after the show has ended and everyone has left. Now, you must journey through the park and pass the challenges to escape Disney World! This escape room is played in a slideshow, so make sure to click Present at the top of the slideshow to begin.
10. Escape From Wonderland Digital Escape Room
As you can see from the title, this escape room is based on the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, as well as the movies, all of which provides ample fodder for a game about puzzling your way out of a mysterious land. This virtual escape room is a great option for an all-ages game, and you can complete it by yourself or with a group. Quick, follow that White Rabbit!
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Kate Emswiler contributed to this report.
9 free digital escape rooms for your next game night originally appeared on Simplemost.com