While typically, escape rooms are held in a building or home where you and your friends can go physically solve clues to escape a murderer, break out of prison or solve a mystery, stay at home orders have made this a bit tricky. Of course, no virus or pandemic is a match for technology—and people all over the world have begun to bring escape rooms online. Virtual escape rooms may seem like somewhat of an oxymoron, but they can be just as complex and fun as the real thing. While you may not be able to pick up objects and search for clues, you can still solve puzzles and find hidden clues without ever leaving your couch. So go ahead and immerse yourself in a fun online escape room for an hour or so—You’ve probably got the time, anyway.
From murder mysteries to bank heists, there’s no shortage of exciting virtual escape rooms you can play while at home. Even if you’re not into escape rooms that have a creepy or ominous theme, you’ll find a challenging puzzle game that’s right for you. Plus, many of these games can be played both alone and with others—so you can meet up your with friends online and solve mysteries together all night long. Or, if you’re stuck at home with a roommate or partner, you can work together on these online escape rooms and have some bonding time that isn’t binging every show on Netflix. (No judgement!) However you choose to play, these virtual escape rooms are sure to be a fun distraction from reality.
Below, you’ll find 10 different virtual escape rooms to try right now. Some cost a fee, while others are totally free. Call up your friends and plan a Zoom game night where you all work on an escape room together. There’s no limit to the amount of fun you can have when the clock is ticking and you’ve got clues to find.
1. Escape The Crate’s “Midnight Express”
While Escape the Crate is a subscription mystery box that gets sent directly to your home, right now they’re offering an online mini game—“Escape: The Midnight Express”—that you can play while you’re stuck at home. You’ll need the timer on your phone, a pencil and some paper to get started on this mystery journey.
2. Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
Calling all fans of the one, the only, Harry Potter (or Ron, or Hermione—You get the gist.), this free Hogwarts digital escape room is for you. It only takes about 15 minutes, consists of three puzzles and can be done individually or with a group. Prepare for some magical moments.
3. Puzzle Break’s “The Grimm Escape”
Puzzle Break may be known for their incredible in-person escape rooms, but they also have a virtual escape room for when you’re stuck inside your home. Play with your pals over video chat for $25 a person. You just have to book a time to play through Puzzle Break’s site, and you’ll be transported into the ultimate online mystery game.
4. Ultra Mega Super Death Escape Room
This free virtual escape room is beyond meta. It takes place in quarantine when you’ve done absolutely everything to entertain yourself. You finally decide to splurge on a Nintendo Switch so you can play Animal Crossing—but there are no more available. Luckily, you can get access to a special word that gets you into a secret stash. But first, you have to complete a set of challenges.
5. Expedition Escape’s “Bank Heist”
Grab a pencil, calculator and some paper, and get ready to pull off the ultimate bank heist. You have 20 minutes to find all the clues and complete your job as the safe cracker. This virtual escape room can be done with one to four people—and can be done in longer than 20 minutes if you need more time.
6. Murfreesboro Escape Rooms
This virtual escape game subscription service offers 12 (!!!) different online escape games that happen in real time via a live video. The cost is $30 per team, then you can choose your game and book a time to play individually or with your friends.
7. Paruzal’s “Pizza Makes Anything Possible”
If murder mysteries or spooky escape games aren’t for you, try this pizzeria-themed virtual escape room. For $15 per player, you’ll get access to the ultimate time challenge. Can you get your boss’ new pizzeria ready on time—with only an hour before your first shift?
8. Spy Apprentice Escape Room
This free escape room for all wannabe spies was created by two librarians at Washington-Centerville Public Library in Ohio, so you know it’s going to be full of literary twists and turns. You can experience this escape room alone or with a group—and embark on a spy-themed mission that takes you around the world solving clues.
9. Enchambered’s “Alone Together”
Emchambered’s two-person puzzle game “Alone Together” is the perfect way to keep entertained if you’re stuck at home with a roommate or partner or want to play a fun online game with a friend who’s far away. This virtual escape room uses two different devices, so you can play from anywhere.
10. Romeo & Juliet Escape Room
Join Romeo in his quest to convince Juliet’s parents that you deserve their daughter’s love. The Capulets will put you through some rigorous tests and see if you can use your intelligence and wit to win them over. Can you succeed, or will your end be as tragic as the Shakespeare play?