Over the weekend, my husband and son became completely engrossed in these escape room apps (or puzzle room, to some people), and after taking a look myself, I can totally see why. Warning: they are pretty freaking awesome, so much so that you might have a hard time putting your phone or table away.

Related: Over 25 cool ideas for an escape room party for kids

The Cube Escape apps from Rusty Lake are so well done, from the puzzles themselves to the imagery and story lines. It really feels like you’re in a real escape room or puzzle room, except without the claustrophobic feeling. And while I am trying to limit screen time, I also know that my brain needs a little exercise. See how easily I rationalized that?

Cube Cave app from Rusty Lake

Related: Our favorite brain teaser app for kids and adults 

If you’ve never done an escape or puzzle room before, you basically need to search for a series of clues, to solve a series of puzzles. It requires all sorts of creative and critical thinking, with the satisfaction of solving it well worth all the trouble.

Now, these apps in particular are rated 12+ and are not really for kids. My son, who is 11, was okay with the macabre story lines, and was mostly just focused on the puzzles themselves. But you’ll definitely want to try them yourself to see if your kids can handle the story lines before passing them along to them.

But if you need a little diversion and aren’t really a crossword or Soduku kind of person (that’s me!), download these stat.

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