You might not be aware, but the escape rooms we know and love today started out as video games in the early ’90s! The innovative video games acted as trailblazers for the escape room industry we know today, and a number of popular ‘escape the room’ video game franchises are still going strong.
If you’re ever feeling that desire for a puzzle-solving adventure game, but can’t make it to your local venue, here are some of the best and most iconic escape room style puzzle games around!
Zero Escape Series
The Zero Escape Series was originally released in Japan in 2009 as ‘Kyoguken Dasshutsu’, which translates literally to ‘Extreme Escape’. The series follows a group of nine who are kidnapped and held captive by a mysterious villain known as ‘Zero’.
The game itself works exactly like a real-life escape room, where the player must solve puzzles and make a number of in-game decisions, which will ultimately affect the ending they are given. The chain of scenarios reflects the modern escape room design but instead, players get all the thrills and brainteasers at their fingertips.
Myst was first developed for Mac OS in 1993 and later Windows and PlayStation in 1994 and 1996 respectively. The game was such a success that a remastered version was released in 2015 on Steam, with the franchise moving away from video games as recently as 2019 after the film production company ‘Roadshow Pictures’ purchased the rights to create a film and television series based on the game.
The game series is centred on an unnamed protagonist known only as The Stranger, who has the ability to travel to the mysterious island of ‘Myst’ by using a special book. The game was hailed for its incredibly immersive atmosphere, which served at the backdrop for a puzzle-solving, brain-teasing adventure.
Released in 2012, The Room is a relatively new release, which was critically acclaimed and sold with huge success around the world – reaching nearly 12 million sales by 2016. Unlike the other games we’ve mentioned, The Room is strictly about puzzle solving – presenting the player with a number of mysterious locked puzzle boxes, which contain mechanisms and puzzles. This game is puzzle solving in its purest form and will definitely get you in the mood to test out your newly acquired skills in a real-life escape room!