Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day won’t be the same this year. There’ll be no taking your loved one out for a meal and movie, in fact most of us will be choosing between rooms in our homes when it comes to ‘where shall we go tonight?’
If you’re looking to break the monotony of pandemic life, then you should really consider an online escape room. If you’re reading this then you’ve probably heard of escape rooms, those games where you get locked (it’s never fully locked) in a room and then have to solve puzzles to escape, well now you can play them from the comfort of your own home.
There are a number of different types of digital escape rooms and we certainly haven’t played them all, but here are our top picks from the games we have played which we think could help put a bit more fun in your Valentine day plans. If you want a more detailed review, then just click on the title of the game and that will take you to our review.
Ok, so technically we haven’t played this game but we have played all their other games and they have been great so we are confident in recommending this one (*update*: we’ve now played and reviewed this game, and thoroughly enjoyed it). As with all the clueQuest print and play games, you have the choice of printing this game yourself (£15) or they will print and post it to you (£25).
clueQuest games are always top quality and as an added bonus they’ve included a way for you to hide a personalised message into the game. Ditch the roses, nothing says ‘I love you’ like a hidden message in an escape game!
- Price: £15 print yourself, £25 print and post
- Est Time: 90 mins
- Link: clueQuest: Mechanics of the Heart
Is this Valentine’s themed? No. Is it a wonderful game with a beautiful song? Yes!
Unlike the first game by Deadlocked (The Insiders), Cyphstress is completely online so you don’t need to print anything and it is one of the games that we are often recommending to people as we really enjoyed it.
Cyphstress can be played solo or as a team, so you and your loved one could do this together (awhhh). There’s a wonderful sense of adventure in this game and it will have you scouring social media, visiting tropical islands, and solving some very clever puzzles.
- Price: £12 (or order it from Siren and get the beer too for £35)
- Est Time: 2 x 90min chapters
- Link: Deadlocked: The Cyphstress
Post-a-Puzzle is exactly as it sounds, you pay some money and puzzles are sent in the post. There are a number of games like this available, and we’ve played a few, but the reason we’ve selected this one is two fold: 1: the game is completely recyclable and they plant a tree on your behalf, 2: confetti! Yes, confetti, this card gives you the option of purchasing confetti to make it that little bit more special (bonus – use code ‘REVIEW’ to get confetti added to your card for free).
Post-a-Puzzle is lacking story, so if you just want to send a card and puzzles to a loved one, this is the game for you. You can choose the card, choose your confetti and have it sent straight to the recipient. This is a great idea if you can’t physically be with them on the day (or even if you can).
The best thing about Post-a-Puzzle? Once all the puzzles are solved, a message from the sender is revealed. You can choose to upload an image, a video, or just text. This is a lovely way to say ‘I love you’, make them work for it!
- Price: £12.99
- Est Time: Perhaps an hour
- Link: https://post-a-puzzle.com/ *
If you want to play a game online but can’t be in the same location as each other, then The B.R.U.C.E Project could be the game for you. This game has oodles of humour, really good puzzles, and to make you feel like you are connected to your loved one, you can see each other’s cursors on the screen as you interact and move around the interface.
As a Brucey bonus (see what we did there?) if you want to play a game but don’t want it to be too difficult then The B.R.U.C.E. Project Part 2 has easier puzzles and you don’t really need to have played Part 1 first.
- Price: £18
- Est Time: 60 – 90 mins
- Link: https://bewilderbox.co.uk/onlineescaperooms/
Agent Venture: The Heist, Cyborg Island, The B.A.D Side of the Moon
If you have friends, want to do a double date and want something different, then any of the games by Agent Venture would be a good choice. Again, not really Valentine themed (you’re a secret agent), but this is an audio led adventure where each team member (up to 5) has a set role and has their own challenges and puzzles to solve. They have three games to choose from and each episode’s story follows on from the first so it probably makes sense to start at Episode 1.
- Price: £12 per person (4 people min)
- Est time: One hour
- Link: https://www.agentventure.com/
These aren’t the most challenging of games but they enable you to set up an escape room in your own home. The game arrives in a small box and has instructions on what needs to go where, keep your loved one out of the room and then let them in to be amazed by what you have created.
These games are available from many locations, if you’re going to purchase one then please check out your favourite escape room company to see if they stock them, if not, then you can always find them on ‘the site that shall not be named’ (it rhymes with Blamazon).
- Price: £12.99 each
- Est time: One hour
As far as we’re aware Solve our shirts is unique, but if you’re UK based you may have left it a bit late to order this; if you’re in North America you may be in luck. This is both a gift and a game in one so it’s like a two-for-one type of thing. We thoroughly enjoyed this game as it had cracking puzzles, was very cleverly constructed, and the t-shirt is supersoft and is high-quality.
Buy this game and your loved one will have a new t-shirt that they can wear when the world reopens and they can play real escape rooms again!
- Price: $35-95
- Est time: 60 – 90 mins
- Link: https://www.solveourshirts.com
Cryptic Enigmas: CSI Bristol (UK only)
We had the pleasure of playing CSI Bristol earlier this week (review coming soon), and it was a great game! Cryptic Enigmas will either deliver the box to you personally or arrange a courier, either way it is seamless. What you get is a box filled with puzzles and padlocks that gives a flashback to when we used to be able to play ‘real’ rooms. This is a big box of goodies with really clever and well constructed puzzles.
Once you have purchased your voucher for CSI: Bristol, contact Cryptic Engimas directly to book your slot. They will arrange for it to be couriered to your address and include a return label to make it easy to return. You do not own this game, you are simply hiring it. They require at least 7 days’ notice, and only have so many in stock, so you better be quick!
- Price: £60 – £85
- Est time: 2 hours
- Link: https://crypticenigmas.com/csi-bristol/
The Panic Room: Valentine’s Day Escape Room Cards
Another one we haven’t played but The Panic Room are normally good in what they do. If you want to literally just get your loved one a card, without spending a lot of money then perhaps check these out. The Panic Room have two versions available – much better than a boring regular card!
- Price: £4.75 (+ postage)
- Link: The Panic Room Online: Valentine’s Cards
Live Avatar / Hosted Games
There are lots of top quality avatar games out there, these are games where from the comfort of your own home you tell a real person (avatar) in a physical room what to do and how to interact with the puzzles. We purposely haven’t included any recommendations for those rooms for a few reasons.
- Price varies greatly (£35 – £150 or more)
- You have to book a slot at a specific time (don’t forget timezones)
- The avatar may have a loved one who they’d like to be with, but you’re making them work (awhhh)
We aren’t aware of any Valentine themed escape rooms and we certainly haven’t played any, but if you really want to play a live avatar game then these would be our recommendations (based on theme/fun) that could be suitable for a little Valentine’s day virtual outing. We’ve included the country where the game is located as you’ll need to factor in the timezone when booking.
- UK – Agent November: Virtual X-Caper (lots of fun, and lots to do)
- UK – Headlock Games: The Mystic Ruins (budget friendly option)
- Canada – Improbable Escapes: Neverland: Heist on the High Seas (beautiful set)
- Canada – Mystery Mansion: DTF (ridiculously fun and a great host)
- USA – Trapped: Operation X-13 (hilarious, perhaps you can get the avatar to serenade you?)
These are all just general recommendations but if you are looking for a game and there is something specific you want from it, just drop us a message and I’m sure we can help point you in the right direction. We’re often contacted by email or message us asking for recommendations, but be prepared, we have a lot of recommendations!
*this is an affiliate link so we may get a little kick back if you purchase after clicking it