Virtual Escape Rooms

Ceris Hymas, Head of Marketing at Partridge Muir & Warren, continues her series of articles aimed at providing inspiration whilst in isolation. In this article she looks at the fad of virtual escape rooms that has emerged as a result of the lockdown.

Virtual Escape rooms are a new fad that have emerged from the lockdown that provide thought-provoking and interesting alternatives for online socialising. After months of the regular friends and family quizzes, someone suggested we try something a bit different. I was certainly happy with the idea of deviating from quizzes that seemed to have come straight out of the Oxford encyclopaedia, so we arranged a family zoom call to take part in a virtual escape room.

There are a number of different types of virtual escapes rooms out there, some are free and others cost as much as £40 per person. We opted for a paid option, but the one we chose was only £8 and allowed for up to 6 logins from different devices.  The scene was set and like many, it was based on a murder. We had set up a separate zoom call and had our ipads logged into the escape room so we could discuss each stage as we went along. Anyone in the group was able to try their hand at the puzzles so it meant that we could all participate and also share our thoughts. The experience lasted around an hour and provided some tricky and yet fun puzzles and riddles to keep us thinking. It also provided a nice summary of who answered which puzzle if you want to be really competitive.

It is the perfect alternative to the typical quiz and you don’t necessarily need a group to enjoy it. You can even do one yourself if you are looking to immerse yourself in some brain training puzzles for an hour or so. Many of these escape rooms have been released by businesses that are not able to offer the real thing at the moment, so it is also nice to be able to support them in some small way.

Below I have provided a list of some free and some paid virtual escape rooms. I am sure you will find one that suits you or your family.

Free: Hogwarts Digital Escape Room – For those Harry Potter fans out there. This escape experience was created by Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA. This means the puzzles are centred around the USA, but this experience offers a nice quick escape room if you have a spare 15 minutes and is absolutely free. Click here to start the escape room.

Free: Spy Apprentice Digital Escape Room – For those interested in spies and mystery, this offers a challenging experience for adults and teens. It was created by Lauren Rura and Felicia Brock, Adult Service Librarians at Washington-Centerville Public Library in Centerville, OH. Click here to start the escape room.

(£8.99) Trapped in the Web – This website offers a number of virtual escape rooms at various levels and with many different themes. They even have some lockdown themed escape rooms if you haven’t already had enough! Click here to visit the site and see the experiences on offer.

(£8) Elgin Escapes, Murder Mansion – This is an independent escape room that is currently closed and unable to offer the full experience. They have come up with a virtual option that cost just £8 and allows up to 6 players (or groups) to participate. Click here to book the experience.

(£15) The Panic Room – There are so many different themes available on this website, ranging from typical murder mystery to a six-part mythical adventure. You can also purchase printable escape rooms for just £10 for the less tech-savvy adventurers. Click here to see the experiences available.

I hope you are tempted to find something a little different to enjoy with friends and family. Happy escaping!