Updated: Aug 4
Thank you for all your warm wishes for our recovery from COVID. We are feeling much better now and have started to update our blog again. We still have a pile of different types of escape games at home that we have to get to but wanted to get this list out to our readers and anyone in the escape room industry first. In the past few days, we gathered companies from all over the world offering either a generous free digital game or other virtual options. The list includes Remote/Audio Escape Rooms, Online Puzzles, Digital Escape Games, DIY Escape Kits, Puzzles by Mail (Board Games, Subscription Mysteries, Card Games), App/PC Games, Puzzle Books, etc... from all over the world., so be sure to check out the language when purchasing. We will continue to update this list daily as we discover new content being added by companies.
Click HERE for The List
(Updated daily - Sorted by category and then by company name)
As players we hope the list comes in handy for you to enjoy these services. If the company is offering free escape games online, we hope you would consider a small donation to help them during this difficult times.
If you are an owner or have a business relating to the escape room industry that's reading this, we hope this list can give you some insight to researches for your own business in terms of pricing, different types of creative ideas that others are doing, and of course you can help other businesses as well by playing their games.
While we were compiling this list, we did run into a few issues that it would be great to hear from both sides as a player and as an owner of escape rooms or puzzle developers on how these could be addressed as we’re all so new to this “virtual world.”
How are you categorizing your game? Are you calling it virtual escape room? Remote play? Online Escape room? As players, we were confused by how many different types of names are out there and we weren't sure how to differentiate them as we were doing our research. It would be great to see the companies be more detailed about what is included in their games on their website description so players could differentiate them.
How do you justify your pricing? As a player, we like to know what the price includes as we see a vast difference in similar named products. I would assume a room that’s physically in a escape room (which for the sake of this list we are calling it “Remote Escape Rooms”) with an avatar (game master) would be more costly than an audio escape room with less visual excitement and perhaps less costly due to the “acting” part of the experience being removed from the players. It would be nice to see some unification of pricing or at least not a huge range in the near future when more companies decide to add in the virtual element. It’s a rather hard decision as a player to make for paying a premium for one company over another without knowing what they are getting for the price. Of course, this will take some time since all the locations are so new to these changes.
We noticed that some locations are calling it an online escape game (which is either printable or playable online without a game master or being in a physical escape room) virtual escape room. We were confused about that terminology until we read through the details to the part where it can be delivered to you immediately without booking.
For the sake of this list we divided our categories using these 7 terminologies:
Audio Escape Game/ Live Stream Puzzle - Booking for a specific time is needed. The game master will not be in a physical escape room setting and you'll be meeting together via Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, etc. where they will be still using your decisions to help you solve the puzzles together.
Digital Escape Game - Online escape game where there's a storyline similar to an introduction to an escape room. Some games will still be timed for your escape. These will be delivered immediately to you via email or you can play it on their website. There are no game masters/ guides. More enjoyable to play as a team but some you can certainly do on your own as well.
DIY Escape Kit - Can be downloaded online immediately after purchase or some companies are offering them for free. Additional supplies may be required like a printer, scissors etc... to complete the game. There’s a storyline similar to an introduction to an escape room. Some games will require you combine their online elements as well as the printout portion(s) to complete the game. Most of the time you can time yourself with these games. Can be played alone or with a team.
Escape Video Game - PC or App Game
Online Puzzle Games - Riddles and Puzzles not really relevant to a specific storyline. You can do these on your own or with team. These will be delivered immediately to you via email or available on the website. There may be required printing.
Puzzle Book/Online Novel Mystery - Hard copy (mailed) or digital puzzle or mystery books.
Puzzles by Mail - These are developing stories/ puzzle boxes/ board games that could be subscription based or a one time purchase. It would most likely be mailed to you although some might have digital options.
Remote Escape Room - Booking for a specific time is needed. There's an actual game master (avatar) who's set up physically in an escape room and you're guiding them on what to do and can see them opening locks and following your instructions. The closest to a real life escape room experience.
If we missed anyone on the list, please feel free to EMAIL US and we’ll gladly add you to the list. If there’s any errors that you find on the list of how you are categorized, hyperlink issues, pricing, etc... please contact us right away to fix it. Even though there’s a lot of hardships right now in the industry, we are seeing some positive outcomes as well. Players who would probably never travel to Malta just to play an escape game, can now play “Can You Escape Malta’s Remote Play Escape Room – The Pub: A Puzzle Psychopath’s Trap” from the comfort of their homes. Family and friends who haven’t seen each other for awhile and usually hard to meet up can now enjoy being on Zoom together laughing and solving puzzles together for less than the cost of going to a physical location and saving time. Lots of creative ideas are coming out during this timeframe when normally there’s always not enough time for everyone.
Lastly... if you would like us to beta test your products and give our two cents, we would love to help out.
Most of all, enjoy these at home games and puzzle on!!!
“To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings. We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.” ― Oliver Sacks