Get that haunted house, back-of-the-neck-tingling, skin-crawling feeling from inside your own home.
Updated October 16, 2017 — Haunted Rooms: Escape VR is an episodic game that'll makes use of all the creepiness VR offers alongside a narratives that unfolds the more you play. You're told you "just woke up in a dark isolated room" and then asked to "unravel the sinister plot by escaping from room-to room," according to the developers. The app is free, and available for iOS and Android.
Haunted Rooms: Escape VR app drops you into a darkened room—and you have to find your way out.
While I've never done an Escape the Room, the one in Haunted Rooms: Escape VR is great at tone and ambiance. You're dropped in a room where it's unclear how you got there, and you're in a house filled with dark bookshelves, paintings, and conveniently placed objects to help you progress into different rooms which also get progressively harder.
The general format for the first episodes is figuring out how to open some doors, and the game is pretty good about dropping hints. This door needs a key. That one needs wooden boards removed. This drawer needs a knob. As a result, you're usually not at a complete lost when moving, though it's eerie and fun to explore your surroundings in general. Small details are everywhere, like a spider or the same painting over and over.
There are hints in Haunted Room: Escape VR on what to do next.
The first room serves as a kind of tutorial, which is helpful for getting to understand the mechanics. The game is also available in non-VR modes, which is nice since the puzzles are interesting in and of themselves.
I also appreciated that movement in this game relies on you looking at specific points, instead of wandering aimlessly. Not only is this a struggle for a lot of games that don't use controllers (leading to a lot of one-location games or some kind of dizzying movement that makes you nod a lot), it lends itself well to the puzzle format. What do I do at this stop point? I haven't picked up anything on this one yet, will it become relevant?
Like being scared? For a free app, Haunted Rooms: Escape VR delivers.
A warning to anyone who's easily spooked—there are some jump scares and shockers that you might want to be aware of going in. There's one in the second room, and it effectively made sure that I would never be calm or fully at rest for the rest of the game. Sometimes I find jump scares a little too obvious, but that feeling of being on the edge and frightened is exactly what you're trying to get out of a haunted house.
Haunted Rooms:Escape VR is a great game for anyone likes Escape the Rooms and haunted houses, but would rather do them from the comfort of their own home—and for free.
Pros: Free, lots of levels, fun puzzles.
Cons: Less fun without VR.
-Charline Jao last reviewed the Night Terrors AR app for GearBrain.