5 Top Rated (In-Home!) Escape Rooms

 In Atlanta, Silver Spring

Amidst the pandemic, many people are finding solace in many forms. One new way of escape from the stress of everyday life is the new forefront of Virtual Escape Rooms. Since escape rooms and escape room like adventures have been on the rise for the last decade, many of the earlier, as well as the newer, more technologically-based escape room companies, have begun adapting to a virtual style of their escape rooms.

As the old saying goes “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Albeit, these companies, and other regular people are not “inventing” escape rooms; they are building off of the materials and supplies that they have at their disposal. Zoom, Google Docs, even self-titled internet web pages where live actors are at your command to solve the adventure, are all ways that these creative individuals have begun implementing this very new form of entertainment to those that cannot get to the adventure themselves.

Welcome To The Snowball

These adventures range anywhere from free to around $75. Many of the free adventures that you can find online are very creative. Many take the form of a Google Docs/Powerpoint style presentation where each slide uses a form of “password protection” keeping you from moving on to the next slide before you are able to solve the puzzle on the slide itself. One of these styles of virtual adventure that I was able to find is called “Welcome to the Snow Ball”.

In this adventure, you and your significant other are trapped in a ballroom where a mysterious Russian man calls you on your cell phone. You then have to solve a series of riddles and puzzles in order to escape (sound familiar?).

This Google Docs adventure has that password protection type of integrity that I was talking about earlier, where after solving the riddle on pen and paper, you have to type in the answer into the answer bar at the bottom of the page before you are able to go to the next screen. If you don’t and try to hit “next” without inputting the correct answer, it just refreshes the same page that you were on until you get it right!

DIY Murder Mystery Kit

Another style of free adventure are the DIY kits that you can find on many websites, including ours! We here at Big Escape Rooms offer a free DIY Murder Mystery escape adventure that you can download and print, and do right in your very home with your friends and family!

Within our adventure, many of the items that are needed, i.e. clue sheets, riddles, business cards (for the puzzle!), are included within the printables. There are some items such as locks that will need to be purchased separately, but don’t let that discourage you! We enjoy our DIY escape room based on the fact that you can manipulate the story and items in any way you want. The ideas are limitless.

If you don’t have a lock, you can use rope or a zip tie and a way to untie the rope or cut the zip tie by adding in an additional clue to the item you need, like a pair of scissors hidden in a portion of the room. That is what makes our adventure, and many other DIY escape adventures, such a success. It puts the creativity in the hands of the user and nothing is better than your own imagination.

Point-and-Click Style Rooms

One of my favorite styles of escape adventures is the old Flash style “Escape the Room” point-and-click. You would normally find these on flash websites like Miniclip.com or Newgrounds.com. But my most favorite of the classic point-and-click puzzle-solving games, and be ready to be taken back in time, is the original escape adventure: Myst. A lovely mind-bending game of enticing puzzles and confusing riddles.

Looking for information on virtual style escape adventures however, I did find someone who made a reminiscent style of the old point-and-click. It’s a Shrek adventure where Shrek needs to escape before he is taken by Lord Farquad.

It was very nostalgic as I made my way through the adventure. Again, pretty easy, but nonetheless fun! One reason I was intrigued by this specific adventure, is it was done through the website building website called Wix. An ingenious way to use what you have to your advantage, and I recommend everyone give something like this a try.

Virtual Escape Rooms

One of the more younger ideas to surface among this age of adaptation in humanity, are actual, experience from the comfort of your own home, digital, virtual reality style escape adventures. One company in particular seems to have taken and optimized their ability to run virtual adventures with its customers. It’ll take you and up to 6 people $75 to do, but it is the most involved virtual escape room that I’ve found to date.

The adventure itself is titled “The Real Kitchen Nightmare: Silent Partner Edition,” and it’s put on by New York-based escape room company “Esscape Room.” In this adventure, your game guide is the silent partner as you and your team investigate the kitchen of the infamous “Butcher” and find out what really happened to the previous employees under Chef Butcher.

You’ll be watching and directing the game guide through an online domain that streams only the adventure through the camera that the game guide wears on their head. The rest of the party that you are with will have to communicate via internet meeting application Zoom. This is also where the game guide will brief and debrief the participants.

Time to Get Creative!

With the many ways escape rooms have reached the internet, find one that suits you and your friends and enjoy the time together with them! Or even better, put your minds together and create an adventure for others to enjoy! The possibilities are endless with the right amount of imagination.

Works Cited

https://laurasvirtualprogram.wixsite.com/shrekescaperoom/locked-in-video (Beat)
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeDqYBGISk7HxptHbpfbm8vn-g5lCr8vuhv3ZyPQ41HnlZ_mA/formResponse Snow Ball (Beat)

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