Tabletop Escape Game Recommendations

Latest update: December 2, 2018

Looking for an escape game that you can play from the comfort of your own home?

These are our favorite escape room-style table top games.

Unless otherwise noted, you can play all of these games with a bit of table space, pencil, paper, laptop/ phone, and maybe scissors.

For more at-home activities, take a look at our Escape Room Lover’s 2018 Holiday Buyer’s Guide.

In-game: a green biohazard box locked with a plastic 3 digit lock, a gold plastic warded lock, and art depicting a female werewolf.

Boxed Escape Rooms

Boxed escape rooms will take you about 60 minutes to play. This is a longer list… but there are a ton of different games in this category. These were the standouts. 

Presented in alphabetical order:

Escape Room-Style Puzzle Book 

This escape room-style puzzle book contains more content than a boxed escape room, but it’s easy to pick up and put down if you have limited time.

The first page of a Cryptogram Puzzle Post laying on an open envelope with a beautiful illustration.

Subscription Games

Each episode of a subscription escape room takes about 60 minutes to play. New games arrive at your door on a regular schedule.

Presented in alphabetical order:

In-game: a beautiful, intricate laser engraved/ laser cut wooden puzzle box.

Advanced Challenge & Commitment

These products are more involved than tabletop escape rooms. They are all quite different from each other.

Presented in alphabetical order:

Quiz Master: A red tube with input for a 3 digit number and a letter answer. A key is protruding from its side. An array of corresponding puzzle cards are fanned in front of it.

For Kids

Presented in alphabetical order:

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

(If you purchase via our Amazon links, you will help support Room Escape Artist as we will receive a very small percentage of the sale.)

The Best Horror Escape Rooms to Visit this Halloween

If you’re traveling to haunted attractions this holiday season, don’t forget to include horror escape rooms. It’s one thing to walk through a scary place; it’s way more fun to have to play and think within the space while you’re afraid.

A ponderous skeleton.

The Most Terrifying

Pretty Damn Scary

Scary but Accessible

Creepy & Unsettling

For more details check out our our lists:

Happy Halloween 🎃

The Best Horror Escape Rooms to Visit near Los Angeles this Halloween Season

Los Angeles offers many varieties of horror experiences. If you’re looking for horror in escape rooms this Halloween season, these are our recommendations.

A glowing, smoking, menacing jack-o-lantern.

Classic Serial Killer

At THE BASEMENT, Serial Killer Edward Tandy is out to get you. Even if you escape one of his rooms, there’s always another death trap to thwart.

The Elevator Shaft, THE BASEMENT – Our unconscious bodies had been tossed into the body-disposing, Death-Star-trash-compactor elevator shaft. We needed to trigger the override sequence. This dark, detailed, and badass set felt alive. It always doing something different… whether we wanted it to or not.

Close up of the wall, "Are you listening?" is painted in blood.

The Study, THE BASEMENT – As we explored our captor’s home, we stepped into a set that looked great in a dingy, “this is the worst place on earth to die” sort of way. Our escape included a superb solo moment that triggered fight or flight.

Image of the Study. A bookcase with a few books on it, a taxidermied buck, and a boarded up window.

The Courtyard, THE BASEMENT – Next we played Tandy’s murderous game in his fenced-in courtyard, an incredible environment, combining nature with decrepit structures to deliver a sense of continual discovery tinged with foreboding. An actor-driven midgame puzzle sequence was unforgettable.

In-game: an aged porch with a rocking chair.

Truly Terrifying

This is the scariest escape room that we’ve found thus far. It’s worth a drive to Anaheim for this absolutely terrifying game… but only if you’re honestly ready for it.

Zoe, Escapades This was a haunted house with escape room mechanics as gates. We were mind-controlled and at the mercy of Zoe as she paralyzed us with fear… then made us solve puzzles.

In-game: Closeup of heavily damaged piano keys in a dim room.

Poking Fun at Horror

Also in Anaheim, you’ll find a cheeky take on high school drama horror.

Hex Room, Cross Roads Escape GamesThe Hex Room cast six players as different horror film archetypes. Costumed and locked into separate places, we became these high school drama queens. The set, ambiance, and isolation built fear through anticipation more than any in-game frights.

In-game, a hallway with a coatrack holding a fedora, and trenchcoat. Clearly the detective's room.
Image via Cross Roads Escape Games

Christmas Horror

Krampus, 60 Out – We were investigating the festive yet morbid apartment of the Krampus killer, who murders naughty children on Christmas Eve. It was intense and creepy… and heart-poundingly scary.

In-game image of a dramatically lit Christmas tree in a dark and creepy home.

Horror of Old

Bloody Elbow, QUEST ROOM – Back in the 14th century, we awaited slow, gory, and creative deaths at the hand of a sadistic executioner by the name of “Bloody Elbow.” His torture devices alone instilled an urgency to puzzle out our escape.

In-game: A dark dungeon environment with a bloody torture table.

Happy Halloween 🎃

The Best Horror Escape Rooms to Visit near New York City this Halloween Season

The metro New York City area offers a lot of great escape rooms. If you’re looking for a fright this Halloween season, check out these scary escape rooms.

A man in a hoodie with an scary LED mask.

True Horror

In Manhattan, there is one truly terrifying escape room:

Cursed, Komnata Quest – This journey through an abandoned house haunted by the ghost of a little girl delivered tension, story, and puzzles. The practical effects made it both challenging and exciting.

In-game: A blood-soaked bathroom.

Badass Moment

Take the 7 train to Long Island City for this creepy thriller:

Sanatorium, I Survived the Room – In this game with actors, we were at the mercy of the doctor in this dark, gritty, and creepy asylum setting. If you can puzzle through a nerve-wracking set, intense actors, and a deliberately gross environment, you might just get your hero moment.

A woman inspecting a cabinet of drawers with candles atop it.
Image via I Survived The Room

Actors in October

During October, 13th Hour Escape Rooms lets actors roam through their escape rooms, all of which take place on the premises of the creepy Hayden farmhouse. 13th Hour Escape Rooms is located in Wharton, NJ, about a 45-minute drive from Manhattan.

The Cookhouse, 13th Hour Escape –  The murderous Hayden family cannibalizes their victims and we were about to be their next meal. This grotesque kitchen made us want to both shy away and interact.

The Dungeon, 13th Hour Escape – We started in individual cells and solved our way into a two-story macabre prison/ shrine to infamous American serial killers.

In-game: a stairwell going up in a dark dungeon.

The Great Room, 13th Hour Escape – Locked in the majestic and creepy Great Room of the Hayden farmhouse, we needed to solve a series of challenging puzzles to survive.

In-game: a collection of skulls.

Jersey Shore

Drive 1 hour south to Red Bank, NJ for this frightening escape room:

Bogeyman, Trap Door – In this hide-and-seek-and-puzzle game, the Bogeyman lurked behind any twist in the maze of rooms. Our investigation into a paranormal-influenced disappearance of children turned into a game of challenge and intrigue in the menacing world of the Bogeyman.

Escape room camera image of a team puzzling and a guy cowering and sitting against a door, blocking it.
Game camera image provided by Trap Door.

Happy Halloween 🎃

Nashville, Tennessee: Room Escape Recommendations

Are you traveling to Nashville, TN for a concert, bachelorette party, or other festivities?

In preparation for the escape room conference in Nashville July 27-29, 2018, we took a trip down to Music City and explored its booming escape room scene.

You can play some great games in downtown Nashville. If you have (or can rent) a car, we also recommend you drive 30 minutes south to Franklin, TN and 40 minutes southeast to Murfreesboro, TN. These recommendations cover Nashville, Franklin, and Murfreesboro together, which collectively make one fine escape room market.

Here are our escape room recommendations near Nashville, TN to help you choose the games you’ll enjoy most.

A collection of guitars including a Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, and Fender Telecaster.

Market standouts

  1. The Blind Pig, Murfreesboro Escape Rooms
  2. Special Ops & Playground at The Escape Game (or just about anything at The Escape Game)
  3. Pharaoh’s Chamber, 60 Minute Escape
  4. Treasure of Pacari, LiveMinds Adventure Escape

Set & scenery-driven adventures

Puzzle-centric

Newbie-friendly

Games with actors

Unusual designs

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

Salt Lake City & Park City, Utah: Room Escape Recommendations

Looking for an escape room near Salt Lake City or Park City, Utah?

During our few days in Salt Lake City, we experienced some of the most entertaining, in-character gamemastering we’ve seen to date.

Here are our recommendations for escape rooms in Salt Lake City & Park City, organized into categories.

Stylized image of the cathedral at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Market standouts

  1. Prison Bus Escape, Alcatraz Escape Games
  2. Mine Trap, Escape Room Park City
  3. Zombie Apocalypse Escape, Alcatraz Escape Games
  4. Reactor Room, Getout Games 
  5. Sherlock Holmes and the Great Charade, Lockbox Mysteries (play at home)

The set & scenery-driven adventures

The puzzle-centric

The newbie-friendly

Competitive Play

The spooky & scary

Games with actors

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

Massachusetts: Room Escape Recommendations

Looking for an escape room near you in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has a lot of great escape rooms outside of Boston. You don’t even need to know how to pronounce the names of the towns to play the games!

Drive west, past Route 495 to find many of these gems. There lies an awesome escape room day trip.

We’ve covered Boston recommendations (inside Route 95) separately.

A covered bridge over a stream at the peak of fall.

Market standouts

  1. The Assistant, Gate Escape
  2. The Dollhouse, Curious Escape Rooms
  3. Escape the Video Store, Curious Escape Rooms
  4. The Titletown Ring Thief, Escape Room Westford
  5. Secret Society, Winchendon Escape Room
  6. King Arthur’s Quest, PuzzlEscape

The set & scenery-driven adventures

The puzzle-centric

The tech-heavy

The newbie-friendly

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

Boston, Massachusetts: Room Escape Recommendations

Looking for an escape room near Boston, Massachusetts?

We go back and forth to Boston a few times a year and we try to sneak in a few escape rooms on each trip.

These are our recommendations for Metro Boston.

If you’re ok with traveling beyond Route I-95, check out our recommendations for the rest of Massachusetts.

Stylized image of the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor.

Market standouts

  1. Boda Borg
  2. Clock Tower, Escape the Room Boston (played and reviewed in New York City)
  3. The Museum Heist Caper Job, Wicked Escapes
  4. Pirate’s Booty II, Room Escapers
  5. The Retreat, Trapology

Something different

The set & scenery-driven adventures

The puzzle-centric

The tech-heavy

The newbie-friendly

Big group games

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

Anaheim, CA: Room Escape Recommendations

Some of our favorite escape rooms in the United States are in Anaheim, California.

It’s worth the trip from Los Angeles, even if you get stuck in traffic and don’t have time to eat before the next game. (This might have happened to us.)

We’ve broken them out by category below.

Image from Disneyland in Anaheim. Statue of Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse's hand in front of Cinderella's Castle.

Market standouts

  1. The Hex Room, Cross Roads Escape Games
  2. Zoe, Escapade Games
  3. Fun House, Cross Roads Escape Games
  4. Escape The Hydeout, Mission Escape Games (reviewed in 2015 in New York, visited in 2017 in California)
  5. Midnight on the Bayou, Red Lantern Escape Rooms

The set & scenery-driven adventures

The puzzle-centric

The story-driven

The newbie-friendly

The scary & intense

Mild frights:

The Hex Room, Cross Roads Escape Games

Major frights:

Zoe, Escapade Games

Games with actors

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

New Orleans, Lousiana: Escape Room Recommendations

We were spoiled in Louisiana. The escapes rooms in this region are a cut above.

In 2017, we gave 3 Golden Lock-In Awards to games on this list… and it was tough to choose among them.

That’s why we’re bringing our escape room tour, Escape Immerse Explore, to New Orleans in 2018. Join us this June for a weekend trip to visit many of the escape rooms on this list.

If you’re interested in escape room tourism, this is the region to visit. You won’t regret it.

Updated August 8, 2018, after we played a few more games on our tour in June.

A close up of a baby gator.

Market standouts

In New Orleans

Outside of New Orleans

The spooky & scary

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.