The 10 Best VR Puzzle and Escape Room Games

Enhance your gaming experience with virtual reality

Advancements in VR headsets and the content that pushes what these devices can do have ushered in a new generation of games.

In the early 1990s, CD-ROM puzzle games such as Myst and Riven used the added storage capacity of this new storage medium by adding graphical elements that went beyond those of traditional games of the time. Much as the advent of the CD-ROM helped to further the puzzle game genre; virtual reality is reinvigorating puzzle games by immersing the player in the puzzle environment.

When you feel like you're present in the environment, the game is enhanced on many levels. For puzzle-type games, the mechanics of VR connect you to the puzzle elements.

The live-action escape room experience has inspired the creation of VR escape room game counterparts. In VR, you're not bound by the limitations of the real world, so VR escape rooms can be anything you can imagine.

Check out these VR puzzle games and escape room games to discover how immersive VR gaming can be.

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The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed

Cloudhead Games Ltd.

What We Like
  • Good mix of story, puzzles, and VR.

  • Cool "blink" teleportation mode.

  • Spooky, intriguing storyline and atmosphere.

  • Genius backpack solution for storing tools.

What We Don't Like
  • Puzzles have obvious solutions if you look around.

  • Holding items feels awkward due to limited hand positions.

  • Very short game.

The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Star Seed is part puzzle game and part mystery with escape room elements. In Call of the Star Seed, your quest is to find your missing sister. You start on a mysterious island and follow clues left by your sister on a series of audio cassette tapes. The developers call the game a "built-for-VR game inspired by dark '80s fantasy films."

This game is reminiscent of the television show Lost, with its eerie island-based science lab theme. Logic puzzles abound throughout. The attention to detail in the environments creates an excellent sense of immersion, which is one reason HTC Vive picked this game as one of its content bundle selections.

The whole game feels well planned and polished. The VR teleportation mechanics are excellent, especially for people who only have small VR play spaces available. This game is a must-have title if you're into VR puzzle and adventure games.

The environments of this game are lush and detailed, and the backpack inventory mechanic is how adventure games should do an inventory from now on.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, Valve Index

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I Expect You to Die

I Expect You To Die VR game

Schnell Games

What We Like
  • Lots of fun, humor, and achievements.

  • Multiple solutions and hidden content increase replay value.

  • Played from a seated position, so nausea-free.

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of trial and error.

  • Too short.

Did you ever pretend that you were James Bond or some other famous secret agent when you were a kid? 007 is always put in dire situations that seem to guarantee his almost certain death, yet he always survives through his ingenuity.

I Expect You To Die is a VR puzzle game that distills the whole secret-agent-caught-in-a-trap plot device and makes a fun game out of it. You play as a secret agent with telekinetic abilities. Your mission is to stop a nefarious weapons and pharmaceutical company.

One of the scenarios has you in a fancy Bond-esque gadget-filled car that is in an airplane. Your goal is to escape the airplane by starting the car and somehow getting it out of the airplane. Bonus (or spoiler): missiles are involved.

If you like having to solve puzzles as if your life depended on it, then this game is for you.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

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Obduction VR game

Cyan Inc.

What We Like
  • Evokes Myst and Riven nostalgia.

  • Beautiful, engaging worlds.

  • Cerebral puzzles with attention to details.

  • Longer than similar games.

What We Don't Like
  • Escape from a planet instead of a room sacrifices the claustrophobic vibe.

  • Backer Reward items don't add to the game or puzzles.

  • Unsatisfying endings.

If you wondered what happened to the team behind the classic puzzle game Myst, one of the most famous puzzle adventure games of all time, wonder no more. The team was working on Obduction.

Cyan, the team behind the legendary Myst, created another otherworldly puzzle game, and this time it's built from the ground up for virtual reality. Obduction has been called "the spiritual successor to Myst and Riven."

This game is an escape room game on a grand scale with puzzles throughout. You're not trying to escape only a room but an entire planet to find your way home.

Unlike many other puzzle titles that can be completed in an hour or two, Obduction is meant to take longer. Some reviewers said it took them two and a half days or so to complete.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, Valve Index, PS VR

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Fantastic Contraption

Fantastic Contraption VR game

Northway Games, Radial Games Corp

What We Like
  • Simple premise, challenging execution.

  • Addictive puzzles with lots of replay value.

  • Level editor for user-designed levels.

  • Colorful, cartoonish style.

What We Don't Like
  • Some devices/puzzles are too challenging and frustrating.

  • Only three objects to work with.

  • Gameplay is repetitious.

If you like hands-on physics puzzle games that make you feel like an inventor and pit crew member at the same time, then Fantastic Contraption might be right up your alley.

Fantastic Contraption is a whimsical puzzle game with many characters and tons of levels to keep you busy. The game's basic premise is to build an invention to move a puzzle piece from point A to point B. The terrain between points A and B could be an incline, a flight of stairs, or any number of crazy possibilities.

You must build a simple machine to move your puzzle piece through the terrain obstacle. You are given various machine parts, some that act as motors, some that act as wheels, and some add support to other parts. You combine these parts in VR by virtually snapping them together.

When you think you've built the perfect machine, press the play button and see if it works. If it does, great; move on to the next level. If it doesn't, then it’s back to the virtual drawing board to tweak your machine and try again.

This puzzle game is definitely for creative types of all ages. The developer added a level editor for creating user-generated content. Users can download and play levels built by other users, which increases the replay value for this game.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, PS VR

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SVRVIVE: The Deus Helix



What We Like
  • Immersive, creepy environment.

  • Six self-contained levels.

  • Adds narrative to the escape room plot.

What We Don't Like
  • Environments are too dark.

  • No mid-level saves.

  • No replay value.

If alien-themed puzzles are your thing, SVRVIVE is a title worth your consideration. This game has you playing a forced recruit whose mission is to obtain helix pieces by solving puzzles at various alien locations to which you are teleported. Solve all the puzzles, and the aliens say they'll give you your life back. Fail to solve them, and you'll be... well… try not to fail.

To get your feet wet, you start in a basic escape-the-room scenario for the first mission, and then the game gradually moves to larger and more varied alien locales.

If you're looking for challenging puzzles where you can take your time to work things out, then this game is worth a try.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

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Conductor VR game


What We Like
  • Each train station has unique puzzles and challenges.

  • Cool train transportation.

  • Rudimentary graphics work well for this game.

What We Don't Like
  • Puzzles are too easy.

  • Little replay value.

  • Short game with abrupt ending.

Conductor is from the makers of Abode, another puzzle game on this list. While Abode is a good but short escape room game, Conductor is more of a puzzle-adventure game.

Conductor features multiple locations and has the unique game mechanic operating a train to transport you to the next location. The game also features a weapon of sorts, a gravity cannon, which can be used to move things around or grab onto things and smash them into walls to disable them.

Conductor operates with lo-fi graphics rather than flashy photorealism. The choice works well, as it lets you focus on the puzzle tasks at hand and makes for a less resource-demanding game.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality

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Statik VR game

Tarsier Studios

What We Like
  • Intelligent and lots of fun.

  • Puzzle boxes are simpler than they look.

  • Intriguing companion character.

What We Don't Like
  • Cryptic storyline.

  • Only eight puzzles in this short game.

  • PlayStation VR only.

Take the fidget cubes all the kids are playing with, make them into complex puzzles, and then add a portal-esque lab setting, and you have Statik for PS VR. This game is a PS VR exclusive, and for good reason, as it was designed to use about every button of the PS4's DualShock 4 controller.

In Statik, you are a test subject in a lab where you must solve puzzles that are strapped to your hands. You can flip the puzzle around to about any angle you want to see puzzle elements on each side. You must figure out the puzzle through trial and error and by using clues, which are often found in the environment around you.

While you're trying to figure out the puzzle, the game adds a bit of stress and distraction in the form of scientists who appear to be analyzing your every move and writing notes on their clipboards. You don't know what they are looking for or what the purpose of the experiments is, but the whole thing makes you feel like a guinea pig and inspires a bit of paranoia.

Statik is a must-have if you own PlayStation VR and love puzzle games.

VR Platform: PlayStation VR

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What We Like
  • Classic escape room scenario in a cool futuristic apartment.

  • Almost everything in the room can be interacted with.

  • Relaxed pace.

What We Don't Like
  • Only one room.

  • Less than an hour of gameplay for most players.

  • Imaginative ending doesn't fit futuristic setting.

Abode is an indie puzzle title that has character. It's a short title, having only one room to escape from, but its price reflects this.

Abode is a classic escape room title. Solve multiple puzzles to find keys and such to solve other puzzles until you finally get a code to let you escape the room. Most of the puzzles aren't hard, but they're fun and require at least a little bit of thinking.

The graphics are lo-fi, but the game is all about the puzzles, and Abode delivers on those. The game is a short experience, but a fun one.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality

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Nevrosa: Prelude

Nevrosa: Prelude VR game


What We Like
  • 5-minute free teaser game.

  • Creepy horror/escape room.

  • High-quality computer graphics.

  • No jumpscares.

What We Don't Like
  • Players can die.

  • Most puzzles aren't terribly difficult.

If you like your puzzle games with a heaping dose of scary, then you should check out Nevrosa: Prelude. Nevrosa is so terrifying that it doesn't need to resort to using cheap jumpscares. This game is a creepy experience.

One unique element of Nevrosa: Prelude is that, while most escape room puzzle games don't put you in any virtual physical danger, Nevrosa adds the element of this-puzzle-could-actually-hurt-me to its escape room game. It is reminiscent of the Saw movies.

Nevrosa: Prelude is a free-to-play game. As the title implies, this is an intro and not a full-fledged game. The free experience is designed to whet your appetite for the full game. Download Nevrosa: Prelude if you dare.

If you survive Prelude, you may be interested in the full game, Nevrosa: Escape, which isn't free to play.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality

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Belko VR: An Escape Room Experiment

Belko VR Game

Top Right Corner, Yarvo Productions, Paper Crane Games

What We Like
  • Polished, entertaining experience.

  • Timer that adds urgency.

  • Scary, high-pressure escape room.

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely brief.

  • Annoying guy in the background.

  • Replayable.

Typically, movie tie-in games are terrible. Surprisingly, The Belko VR game is pretty good for a movie tie-in game.

It's not a game for kids, and given the premise, adults might not find the whole thing appealing either, but it makes for an interesting escape room game that ties nicely to the premise of the movie, for which it's named, The Belko Experiment.

This escape room game comes with a 15-minute timer. If you fail to complete the goal in that time, you die. The timer adds stress to the situation by creating a sense of urgency and making it a puzzle/escape room game that gets your blood pumping.

The price is right: The game is free because it was created to promote The Belko Experiment movie. If you think you can handle the stress, give this game a try. Players may experience different endings depending on the choice they make toward the end.

VR Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index

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