Whilst some may travel the world to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Statue of Liberty, or the hot air balloons of Cappadocia, puzzle fanatics are more likely to collect visits to sites of intrigue and mystery. This includes the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, and the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. But it can also include some of the hardest escape rooms in the world.
The Hardest Escape Rooms in the World
If you’ve been burning your way through some of Melbourne’s best escape rooms with minimal fuss and have started to look for some of the most challenging escape room experiences to enjoy abroad, then this little list is sure to inspire your next domestic or international getaway.
So without further ado, here’s our picks for the top 5 most difficult escape rooms in the world!
(A quick disclaimer before we begin: the escape rooms mentioned on this list have largely been picked based on reviews and their recorded escape rates. As not all escape room companies record their escape rates, it’s impossible to accurately determine what the most difficult escape rooms in the world actually are. Our team has made their best effort to ensure that the escape rooms listed below are some of the most challenging and top-rated escape rooms that you can expect to find in all the destinations listed.)
Review: “Walks the line perfectly between being challenging and fun.”-WhatNerd
Before you book your flight tickets, however, why not have a go at the hardest escape room in Melbourne? This is none other than our very own ‘Fractured’ escape room here at ERM. Taking place in the mind of Robert, a World War II veteran who’s currently in a coma, ‘Fractured’ is one of the most surreal escape room experiences that you can enjoy in Oceania.
Your team of 2-6 players has just 70 minutes to connect the dots to unearth more about Robert by completing a collection of linear puzzles and logical tasks. Whether you manage to escape or not, you’ll love the psychological depth and nuance of this narrative and will undoubtedly find yourself immersed in Robert’s story.
2. The Marlowe Hotel – The Cipher Room
Hardest Escape Room In Sydney
Time: 60 mins
Review: “★★★★★ for Atmosphere, Creativity of Puzzles, and Difficulty!”- Time Out Sydney
Even though Fractured is undoubtedly one of the most difficult escape rooms in Australia, it may be on par with another escape room in NSW. That honour falls to ‘The Marlowe Hotel’, a spine-chilling escape room experience developed by The Cipher Room in Sydney.
‘The Marlowe Hotel’ has been called the hardest escape room in Sydney by a range of different Australian publications including Time Out, who weren’t able to escape in time themselves! But what makes ‘The Marlowe Hotel’ such a difficult escape room experience?
For starters, this unique escape room has been designed to look like a film noir set. Everything in this 1940s-era seedy hotel is monochromatic. The lack of colour in the room can really make your eyes swim alongside making your mind boggle.
Once you do get to grips with this surreal world, however, you still have to solve all the unique puzzles and cryptic challenges that this escape room posits. You step into the role of a private investigator who’s working for the honour of Betty McGee, a singer at The Marlowe Hotel. Her boss, Eddie Marlowe, has some incriminating information on her and is threatening blackmail. Will you be able to break in and retrieve those documents in time?
3. The Caretaker – America’s Escape Games
Hardest Escape Room In America
Players: Up to 6
Time: 60 mins
Review: “Boasting an escape rate of 8% on their website The Caretaker is the most difficult room that America’s Escape Game (AEG) offers by that metric”- Escape Junkie
Completing an escape room as a beginner can feel very different to approaching an escape challenge as a pro. For starters, beginners can simply enjoy the process and immerse themselves in the experience as it unfolds. For professional escape roomers, the experience can be a bit more methodical. And in some cases, downright frantic.
We have strong suspicions that ‘The Caretaker’ is one of those escape rooms that was designed to be more frantic than streamlined. With an escape rate of just 1.5%, this is rightfully called the ‘most difficult escape room in America’. In fact, it may just be the hardest escape room in the world.
And as it’s set in a cabin in the forests of Oregon, ‘The Caretaker’ is also regarded to be one of the scariest escape rooms in the North Americas too. So take five of your bravest friends along with you for this chaotic ride.
4. Cypherspace – Confundrum Escape Rooms
Hardest Escape Room In Canada
Time: 60 mins
Review: “Took us two tries to get through this room! Very well done and very challenging!”- Trip Advisor User
Confundrum is regarded to be one of Canada’s top-ranking escape room developers for a range of different reasons. They have five high-rating rooms to their name, with another one in development. But of the escape rooms that they do have, one undoubtedly takes the crown for the most difficult escape room in Canada.
Aptly named ‘Cypherspace’, this ethereal escape room revolves around a team of astronauts (you and a maximum of 7 other participants) who are scrambling to unearth a hidden discovery at the centre of a nearby wormhole. You have only 60 minutes to collect the data you need before your vessel becomes damaged by the external radioactivity.
Confundrum has called this particular escape room a great team building exercise for older adults, but Cypherspace is family friendly too! This makes it one of the most accessible escape rooms on this list.
Many regard ‘Virginia House’ (designed by Lucardo) to be the hardest escape room in the UK. But truth be told, there are just so many challenging escape rooms across England that it’s difficult to say whether or not ‘Virginia House’ does officially take the lead. What we can say, however, is that this is one of the most eerie and perplexing escape rooms you’re likely to find in the world, so it rightfully takes its place on this top 5 list.
Located in Manchester, ‘Virginia House’ revolves around a team of Scotland Yard detectives (you and a maximum of 3 other players) who’ve been tasked with tracking down the next location where a serial killer is suspected to make their next big strike. You have just 60 minutes to save this innocent life. Will you be able to meet this deadline?
And there you have it – the 5 most difficult escape rooms in the world, based on participant reviews, commercial reviews, and their recorded escape rates. Do any of these international escape rooms pique your interest? Then get to packing and preparing your puzzle pilgrimage right away.
Need a little more training before you escape abroad? Then contact our team at Escape Room Melbourne to book Fractured or any of the other popular escape rooms we have on offer.
In addition to a passion for board games, Owen holds a PhD in psychology and is a practicing clinical psychologist, bringing a unique dimension to our escape rooms and experiences. Owen, together with co-founder Ali, have designed and built over 8 exceptional and innovative escape rooms that have been licenced in over six countries worldwide. In addition, Owen was commissioned to create a learning-based installation for Melbourne University (in a thief’s hideout van!), demonstrating his ability to cater to diverse audiences and create engaging experiences in various settings. In 2021, Owen led a successful application for the State Library’s Alchemy program, where ERM was among 14 applicants chosen from over 300 to help support the recovery of Melbourne’s creative industry and breathe new life into Australia’s oldest public library.