Online escape games (sometimes known as online escape rooms) are a bit of a new phenomenon that have grown out of the Covid-19 pandemic. But what are they?
I am never going to be a fan of games that are giant logic puzzles as I prefer a more diverse range of puzzles, but saying that, if you’re looking for a decent game to play with friends (remotely) then this should keep you occupied for a while
ClueQuest have turned the difficulty up to 11 for this game and that will likely give you love/hate feelings towards it. We loved it and it kept us occupied for nearly 2 hours, which for £12 is a bargain. If you want a challenge, give it a try!
We liked the premise behind this room and felt it had a strong start and a lovely end, but there were a few areas where it needed improving
We very much enjoyed this game and came away with the same type of buzz that we get when we complete a physical escape room. We were truly immersed in the story and were saddened when we reached the end. For now, we’ll just have to wait for the sequel
In terms of difficulty this is a step (or five) up from their other online experiences but it still features the same quality of story throughout, and has puzzles that will give your brain a good workout
With a well thought out story, great puzzles, and beautifully curated parts, The Network gets you as close to immersion as possible for a play at home game.
This game doesn’t really scratch the escape room itch, but if you wanted a party game where you can have multiple teams completing the game either simultaneously or one-after-another then this would certainly be suitable
While playing this game, one of our team proclaimed “this is the most like a real escape room experience we have had so far”, and to be honest I think it is a good call
Take a pinch of Bewilder Box, a dash of Eltham Escapes and mix it together with a healthy dollop of fun. Throw in a perfectly blended use of technology, and you have the recipe for a great time.
Despite not being ‘blown away’ by this room, it was an enjoyable experience and kept us engaged well. Take your communication ‘A-game’ with you and you’ll have a good time.
The Tomb had promise to be great, and it probably once was. For us, it needed some TLC to bring back those past glories. Still a room that will be a hit with the kids
A bit run down in places and we think it used to do more than it currently does, CSI will keep you busy and isn’t a bad way to spend your hour, but one puzzle needs ‘fixing’
We chose Incognito’s Secret Lair to be our 200th room, so no pressure. This room had a good mix of puzzles and we can easily see this being a family favourite (equally good as a two though!)
We can’t say enough how much we loved this room. We never felt like we were playing a game, it actually felt as though we were saving War-era Canterbury, and the epic conclusion here is one not to be missed!
Going into this room I didn’t expect it to be my favourite at TimeQuest, but it was. The outside-of-the-box thinking and the heavy search element made this very enjoyable for us, and the attention to detail was also refreshing.
This is a very different offering to the others at TimeQuest and those looking for a tech heavy room that mostly steers away from padlocks should be in their element
We have absolutely no reservations adding The Curse of Curawood’s Garden to the list of rooms that would be enjoyed by players of all ages, young and old alike. Play it, and get lost in Curawood’s world
A massive step in quality over the earlier games at Escape Hub. Inbound has great set design, good puzzles, and a wonderful journey through the streets of ‘York’
This wasn’t a bad room, and we actually had a fun time (especially with the ending). But with a few too many padlocks and a little too much wear-and-tear we feel like this room may be slightly past its prime.
Hypnos is darker than their other room but has interesting and challenging puzzles. A number of padlocks around the place but a good use of tech breaks them up nicely and keeps it engaging
Perhaps we’re biased because Get Lost’s room always seem to ‘click’ with us, but we thoroughly enjoyed this room and thought the set design was very impressive. Always love a uniquely themed room!
For us, this room felt like an odd crossover between Jurassic Park and a zombie film – and it worked! Good puzzles in a variety of styles and great set design to boot
With only 60 seconds to fix the time machine, this isn’t your ordinary room. Technically a 90 minute experience, sci-fi fans will likely find lots to love about The Time Machine (we did)
Motel California is a fun room at a company run by enthusiastic and passionate owners. While there is nothing stand out about this room, we enjoyed every minute we spent in it.
A room that won’t blow you away (no pun intended) and is very padlock heavy, but if your observational skills are on point then you’ll likely have a good time.
A few too many red herrings and generally puzzles that just didn’t click with us meant that we didn’t particularly enjoy our time in this prison van – but that’s the idea of prison vans, right?
A fun room that’s a full-on assault on the senses! We had a great time in Carnevil and particularly enjoyed the more physical aspects of the room. Possibly one of our favourite ‘Panic Room’ rooms.
The theming for this room was fun but weak puzzles that were easily bypassed and a lack of atmosphere took away from the excitement we should have experienced, and one GM for multiple rooms is never a good way to go.
A room with a solid premise but ultimately the execution was lacking. Couple that with a distracted GM and it doesn’t make for the best experience
Good set design and a mix of puzzles that has plenty to keep you going. We felt let down by our GM but if your GM is on the ball then you’re sure to enjoy your time in ‘the den’
We loved Battle for Britain and although this room didn’t quite reach the greatness of that room, it’s a good room which we thoroughly enjoyed. Puzzles were logical, it was fun to be in, the ending was strong and the hosting was spot-on
People often visit Salisbury due to the proximity of some ‘large standing rocks’, but ditch the rocks and make Live Escape your destination, you won’t regret it.
Yet another fun room from Trapp’d, not their best, but equally not their worst. Be prepared to get dirty so make sure you don’t do this room before a night out! A fun use of tech and on-theme puzzles made this an enjoyable room
A fun room with strong set design and a good story to follow. Families (particularly kids) will love this room! A bit of wear-and-tear that needs to be fixed, but we enjoyed it regardless
A good warm-up room for enthusiasts or a great family room. On the easier side so enthusiasts will probably fly through it, but it’s enjoyable and has some nice design touches that we haven’t seen elsewhere
A fun room with some nice 80s touches. Decent puzzles but ultimately let down by red herrings and an over abundance of sign-posting. A few tweaks to the puzzles, and perhaps the clue system and this could be a great room
This room won’t blow you away but we did have fun, just not as much as at their other location. The star of the show was the vault itself, the room was an acceptable way to spend 30 minutes
If you’ve done rooms at Escape Peterborough before then this room will be nothing like them. They’ve really upped their game with this room and the only rival for it there is The Cabin. Good theming, decent puzzles (although padlock heavy), but swash-buckling fun
The Damned has firmly staked out its place as a horror room, but with friendly owners you can probably tone this down if you’re not a fan of jump scares and live actors. Ignoring the horror bits, it’s a solid room with flowing puzzles and fun from the very start to the end.
This felt like the weakest of the rooms at this location. It could really do with a refresh as it is very worn in a number of places, but if you like the 80s then you’ll probably have fun.
A ’fun’ take on the rather grim Sweeney Todd story. Decent puzzles, good design, and a good flow. We struggled, but we’re not really sure why
This room was much better than we expected and as a creepy (not really horror) room, it was good fun. The only bit that was lacking was the ending. I’m sure it’s not easy to make exiting into a corridor fun, but it was just a bit anticlimactic
A beautiful room (in places) but the generally weak puzzles let it down. A confusing journey and too many red herrings made us more annoyed than anything else
This room was the highlight of the day for me. I know VX2.0 seems to be getting more love right now, but this room is fun, traditional, and just generally well put together
You’ve got to give Trapp’d credit for what they’ve done with this room. They’ve tried to do something different, and they have. If it wasn’t for a jumpy GM we’d have probably enjoyed this room more than we did
If you’re a fan of horror experiences and have 2.5 hours to spare then it could be worth giving this a try. It’s very different to the Exit Games and we found that if we didn’t mark the book then the experience is reusable
We loved this room and enjoyed every moment in it. It’s a cracker of a room and even in a team of five there was plenty to keep us all busy
The key selling point of this room is the darkness. Take that away and you’ll be disappointed. But as it is, it’s a room that’s worth doing just to really test yourself. Try it, you’ll be surprised.
This was a straight-up horror room, there’s no denying that. But the puzzles flowed and we had fun, even with the live actor tormenting us at every turn. Horror fans will love it
When it was new this was probably a decent room. Unfortunately in its old age it has lost its way and become a bit frustrating. Couple the frustration with tired props and it’s good it’s set for retirement.
A decent room that is definitely good for beginners and has enough fun to keep you going. Decent puzzles and theming made for an enjoyable experience.
A solid room where you’re trying to barricade yourself in rather than escape. I preferred their other rooms but this was still a good room with decent puzzles and a solid ending.
This was a fun experience, but for us at least it wasn’t worth the money and was over-hyped. Sherlock enthusiasts will probably love it, escape room enthusiasts will probably find it like Marmite.
Pier Pressure have created a room that is 100% fun and if you like some classic old school tunes, you’ll have a great time. Fun puzzles and a top soundtrack will give you a time to remember.
A room that’s strongest point was it’s theming, it does well to include relevant props and decor that help immerse you. Tricky at times but doable, this was our preferred room of the three at this venue
We don’t normally detour to venues with just one room, but as we’d heard good things about Jail Break at Clue Cracker we decided to make an exception and swing by Tunbridge Wells – it was worth it.
Fun puzzles, a beautiful set, and a story that keeps you guessing right up to the end – get to Faversham and do this room! Certainly one of the best wild west rooms around!
This is one of those rooms that is difficult to review. It’s a good room, but I didn’t overly enjoy it and I’m not sure why. Give it a try and make up your own mind
Out of the three rooms at Adventox this is by far the weakest. Feeling tired and dated it could do with a bit of a revamp. Couple that with weak puzzles and it’s not a room we’ll be recommending unless you’re really desperate for that escape room fix.
Tucked away in a mall overshadowed by Westfields, ‘Haunted’ by Adventox was our favourite room at this location. Solid set design and a fun flow – it’s worth checking out
This room promised a lot but ultimately fell flat in many areas. Perhaps one wow moment in the entire game but even that couldn’t help this room rank higher for us.
This room instantly went into our Top 10 and it will be there for some time. Strong puzzles, hilarity, and wonderful GM, this is a room not to miss. Flash Gordon for the win!
A really fun room that encapsulates the spirit of Alice in Wonderland perfectly. Puzzles on theme, set looking great, generally just a good room all round
A 40 minute room that won’t challenge enthusiasts (we got out in 12 minutes) but it is a whole lot of fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it. A great warm-up or cool-down room and definitely one to add to the list if you’re in Brighton!
This is one of those rooms that you enter and think you know what you’re getting but then it finds ways to surprise you and fill you with excitement. On the surface it looks like a simple room but behind the scenes there is a lot of tech working hard to keep you on your toes
In places this was a very hard room, at times it was frustrating, but in the end it was fun. A lot of time was spent on immersing you in the story, and the ending was something a little different
This room certainly won’t give you any surprises, nor will it wow you, but it is still a decent room. For us though, this was the weakest of the rooms at Lucardo (Manchester) – but they had set the bar high.
Due to bad experiences in the past we tend to stay away from magic themed rooms, but this one has restored our faith. Now we need to head to the Lucardo Rawtenstall branch to check out the sequel!
Gem Runner is heavy on the ‘traditional’ escape room puzzles, with plenty of padlocks, codes, and searching and is not a tech heavy room. I could easily see this being a favourite with family groups, or even two person enthusiast groups like us.
We got possibly our quickest ever escape time in this room, partially because the puzzles just clicked, but also because there wasn’t that many of them. A fun room but don’t do it in a large group or you may not have much to do
Each time we do a room we learn something new, but there are a few things we stick to each time and so far it has seen us keeping a 100% escape rate (famous last words). Here are our ten top tips for completing an escape room
Lock & Code rooms won’t blow you away but they are solid rooms that will give you an hour of fun. Dead on the Hour was fun, and at times challenging, but once again we left Lock & Code with smiles on our faces
“Like real-life Indiana Jones” that’s what we were promised. It was certainly an adventure through a dark, creepy crypt, but luckily for us (and Indy) there were no snakes
This is a fun room, but due to how linear it is and the lack of puzzles we probably wouldn’t advise it for large teams, especially if those teams are experienced. It’s definitely a room to give a go though as it is visually impressive.
This room is not one for the faint hearted and if you’re of a nervous disposition it’s probably one to avoid. However, if you want a room that it a bit different and will not only challenge your mind but also your bladder control, then give it a go!
You’ll be hard pushed to find a room with a better story, and you definitely won’t find a better setting for a room. This room lived up to it’s impressive venue and is well worth a visit/detour
This room won’t blow you away but if you want a solid room that will give you an hours entertainment, then this is that (added bonus: free sweets!)
This room delivers something that you probably won’t have seen anywhere else. No spoilers – a fun room with some very impressive room design and definitely one you won’t forget
The rooms at The Bewilder Box are more than just escape rooms, they are experiences where everything works together to immerse you in their world. Each time you think you know what to expect they do something different, wonderful, and unexpected.
Another beautiful Tulleys room but ultimately let down by reset issues. Give the room a try, but probably wait a while for them to get it running smoothly – we should have waited.
Enthusiasts shouldn’t struggle with this room and probably won’t find anything they haven’t seen before in terms of puzzles, but it’s worth doing if for no other reason than the final challenge.
A fun room but generally nothing exciting to reflect on. Probably a good beginners room but enthusiasts will have seen better.
Get Lost Dover currently have three rooms and each is fun in their own way. This was my least favourite of their rooms, but don’t let that fool you, it’s worth doing and does enough to keep you on your toes
Have you ever done a room where every puzzle just clicked for you? Like you were in the mind of the room’s designer? That’s exactly what happened for us in this room and we enjoyed every minute of it
Do you ever put off doing something because you really want to do it but you feel that the expectation may not live up to the hype? That is why it has taken us so long to do Battle for Britain, now I wish we’d done it sooner!
A short and arguably easy room that should probably be a 45 min experience rather than 60. A pretty average room with above average GMs but a weak ending. We expected more from MacGuffin.
I loved this room, I really did. Retrogaming memories are my weakness and this room exploited them to the max
A great room with welcoming hosts and a very good GM. Faversham is beautiful, but this room really makes it worth visiting
If you’re lucky enough to get a good GM then this is a solid room and one we would happily recommend to enthusiasts
If things were running smoothly this is probably an ok room, particularly for children or new players. But if you’re an enthusiast I think you’ll find this room rather lacking and one to avoid.
While we did escape, it was only just managed, and we were left feeling a bit deflated, due to both the quality of the puzzles and the attentiveness of the GM
Lacking in backstory this room makes up for it in the excitement it delivers at all points. Easier puzzles but good for all ages (except maybe the really old).
Probably the third best room at Tulleys, strangely we found this one harder than Nethercott Manor despite this being classed as easier by Tulleys
If you’re looking for a corporate team building exercise then this is probably a good room. If you’re an enthusiast then it isn’t
Don’t wait to be passing by Swindon to do this room. Make it your destination, it’s worth it!
A tech heavy room that has a very impressive ending. One of the many rooms that is worth doing in Margate
Even when you’re receiving the briefing for this room you know it is going to be something special. This isn’t just a 60 minute experience, this is a game changer.
This room is beautiful, it really is, and when a room uses genuine artifacts there is no doubt you are in for a treat
If you’re in Big Bear you should probably get out in nature, but if the weather is bad then this is a great room to do.
A friend had recommended Big Bear as a must-see so we thought this was a good excuse to go.
Some great wow moments and so much fun all around. Definitely worth doing!
Although not the best room at this location, it is still the second best room we did in Palm Springs
Our third and fortunately final room at Escape Palm Springs was ‘Bank Heist’
A room that tries to hard to be special and has a very strange GM setup. I’m not sure this room ever had any ‘magic’
‘Titanic’ where you have to find the last hidden life boat before the ship goes down.
Everything just works in the way it is meant to and you find yourself just moving from one puzzle to the next without a care in the world.
If you’re in Los Angeles and there is a room that has been ranked number eight in the world then really it would be rude not to try it out.
Just around the corner from Disneyland is Mission Escapes, and what better than to do an escape room after Disney closes?
Every single puzzle involved a padlock in one way or another, I don’t mind a good padlock but this took that to the extreme
Despite this room being a little creepy, it is in no way scary so I wouldn’t let that put you off.
This room didn’t feel up to the same level as the other Panic Room rooms, and although it was fun, we left feeling a bit flat
A great introductory room for inexperienced players, or a nice little warm-up / cool-down after a long weekend of full length escape rooms.
Don’t be fooled by the theme, this room will give both families and enthusiasts entertainment, and is challenging enough for both.
Although this room is creepy, and it certainly is creepy, I wouldn’t really call it a scary room and it is definitely fun
£5 per team 10 minutes of your life = a wonderfully relaxing alternative to a traditional escape room.
What a room! This room is not just a must-do room in Gravesend, but definitely one of the top rooms in the country.
Although not the most advanced or impressive room in The Panic Room’s arsenal it’s still a solid room and one that’s definitely worth doing.
If Operation Escape start taking feedback on board then I think they could have a chance at survival in an already tough market, if they don’t then I fear they won’t be around for much longer.
We were on for a record time, then we encountered a puzzle we couldn’t solve, but apparently kids can!
A fun room that is perhaps past its prime and they need to do some maintenance to get it running as it should.
This was a really enjoyable room, a little bit rough around the edges in places but had a good mixture of finding things and solving things.
If you like more traditional rooms, or want an introduction to escape rooms then this is a good room to go for. We didn’t rate their other room in Yeovil but this one was the standout winner of the day.
This room is probably a love/hate type of room and I’m sure some people will love in. In fact looking at TripAdvisor you can see that many people do, but for us it is one that we’d advise our friends to avoid.
I saw that Phobos-17 was closing down at the end of the year and as it had such positive reviews we just had to fit it in before it went, so we did.
A slick operation with a solid room and good story to follow. Not cheap, but worth it.
This 45 minute room shouldn’t be a hard, but for us it was. If you’re looking for a slightly different Christmas room then this one is a lot of fun.
With a background in Thorpe Park Fright Nights you’d expect this to be a scary room, it isn’t. It’s creepy but I wouldn’t class this as a scare room (or it wasn’t when we did it)
What this room lacks in space it makes up for in fun. As soon as you’re in you’re working on puzzles, then you’re on the tube with more puzzles, then you’re off the tube with more puzzles, and just when you think you are done and home free, there’s another puzzles!
A fun room, and one that may be a little easy for enthusiasts, a good challenge for beginners, but a great room to do regardless.
A mediocre room let down even more by a terrible GM.
Our first experience with Omescape and turning up at this dodgy looking building just north of King’s Cross did nothing to put our nerves at ease, entering the waiting room did even less for that!
Credit to Adventure Rooms Cardiff for trying to introduce different technology in the room, it is a great room and definitely one to do if you’re in Cardiff.
If this beta test was anything to go by then this is going to be a hard room but good room. Very different to the other rooms we did in Cardiff
Not a bad room and there are definitely better in Cardiff, but if you need a room to do then this is a decent contender
A well designed room with puzzles arguably on the easier side. Probably good for beginners or anyone you want to get addicted to escape rooms
A hard room for inexperienced teams who aren’t confident on their communication, and annoying for experienced teams who like good rooms
A solid room but make sure you are comfortable working as a split team and are happy with your communication skills
There isn’t much to this room and it’s very much what-you-see-is-what-you-get but we found there was enough in there to keep us occupied
A strong room with impressive set design and puzzles we’ve not seen anywhere else.
The area this room stood out on was not the puzzles, but the set design. They did a good job of avoiding the readily done ‘split-start’ system and have made a truly enjoyable game.
It’s easy to be the best room in Slough when you’re the only room in Slough, but it’s still close.
This was a fun room and although basic at times it still has enough to keep you going, although I wouldn’t recommend playing with a large group
For an enthusiast built room it is really rather good. OK, it isn’t as polished around the edges as some big money rooms but it works and is definitely still fun and worth doing.
A small room that has enough to keep you going and somehow still manages to surprise you.
If you’re looking for a room that does something a bit different then this is the one, it forces you to rely on communication between each other and without it you will go down with the ship.
This room really has so much to keep you going, and such variety that there is no chance you’ll get bored. I really would have no hesitation in recommending this room to enthusiasts and beginners.
Handmade Mysteries seem to take a dose of escape room and a pinch of theatre and blend them together to create something truly delectable.
This room had promise, it really did but it failed in some key areas that really let it down and means we have no desire of going back and doing any more rooms at Lock’d.
How can you fit so much fun into such a small space?! A great in character GM and a bottle of wine to boot, made this room a winner for us!
It’s true what they say, you never forget your first, and fortunately for us that was ‘Escape in time’. A really solid game with some very memorable moments.