If you like escape rooms go to Istanbul


Just off to the airport now and with a 4 hour flight there will plenty of opportunity to write up my reviews ( as long as only connect doesn’t get in the way).  

The final verdict?  Having played 6 out of the cities nearly 100 escape room games I can honestly say this city is the place to go.  The level of detail and sophistication is quite honestly mind blowing.  They make the ones I have don’t in the uk look amateurish at best and thoughtless at worst.  That’s not to say the UK ones are no good but compared to Istanbul there is simply no comparison.  

Because the different games were so diffident I am going to find it hard to say which was best but if you like your classic escape room both Istrapped games were quality and delivered on so many different levels.  If you like your rooms to be intense and get your heart racing Odadan Kacis and Cage404 certainly deliver on that score.  If like me you relish technical ingenuity in your rooms you will definitely like Quest.  


The Double Crossing – Keyhunter


Irwin Gibson, an American spy, was sent to the Russia-China border in order to obtain evidence of large-scale nuclear weapon production. He locates them, but was soon captured by the authorities and locked up in a cell. The American government denies all involvement with his activities, and he soon finds himself walking a lonely path, demotivated by betrayal. The only thing he can do now is escape…  

No melon is ever ripe enough for people on TripAdvisor,” says Jared Blank, “…I’m always shocked by the comments: from the quality of the fruit, to the mobile-phone reception on an island in the middle of nowhere…” People complain, people like to complain and it was with that view I took a chance with a generally unpopular (according to trip advisor) KeyHunter. Unfortunately the pinch of salt I need for trip advisor turned out to be more like a bin full of grit just prior to a particularly heavy snow fall. KeyHunter had a lot of potential, I loved the art work and the story for each of the three game rooms. Local media had given it a big thumbs up but in the back of my head I could still hear the trip advisor reviews ringing. We took a chance and booked the “silver” and “gold” rooms. 

We arrived with plenty of time to spare and after pressing the buzzer and ringing the bell for a good 10 minutes we were finally let in by a somewhat dishevelled lad in his early 20s who seemed to have just woken up. After a somewhat lacklustre briefing were were taken to our silver room, the double crossing. Ok so the reviewers were right about the seemingly shabby decor and bare surroundings, but surely this would be offset by some ingenious puzzles and clever twists? Nope! With 5 of us and so little in the room we essentially just had to watch each other takings turns to solve the handful of puzzles. We wasted 20 mins on a puzzle that really needed to be repainted. After about 40 minutes we opened the door to freedom…by the end of the game I felt double crossed, where was the second room? where was there the misleading clues? where was the…. anything else! 

I will add the star rating in when I get home but needless to say it doesn’t score high.  

Escape to Istanbul 


From a rooftop terrace neatly sandwiched between the Blue Mosque and the Bosphoros, I decided to catch up on some escape room reviews.  I have been struggling to find the motivation to write about my Birmingham experience (reviews to follow) but last night felt energised by perhaps one of the best rooms I have or will ever play, Odadan Kacis(reviews to follow).  I knew Istanbul was a great city to visit but little did I know what an ‘escape room Mecca’ it was.  Any escape room fans should seriously consider an escape room holiday to Istanbul.  

So far I haven’t played a bad room yet.  Armed only with my puzzling queen Nicole we have conquered two, slightly over time but hey, it’s the off season, and we narrowly missed out beating Istanbul’s first ever escape room by a few minutes.  With 4 more still to play I am a little nervous that when you reach the escape room mountain top it’s only down hill from there.  

We have Cage404 later and Istrapped’s second room directly after.  I’m going to pop up to the grand bazaar before hand to mentally prepared.  Not sure if it will help but when in Istanbul…

Secret Studio

Beneath the pavement – just 100 yards from the British Museum – lies a haunted film studio that’s waiting for you to release its secrets.

I was particularly looking forward to this room for several reason.  Firstly I had a new team to escape with.  3 friends with different strengths: A PE teacher, particularly useful if we needed to throw anything, a drama teacher, useful if we needed to pretend anything, and finally a Media teacher, particularly useful with we needed to… something anything.  Secondly I loved the original premise of the room. 

 Despite being the new kid on the escape room block Secret Studio has quickly rocketed to 3rd place on the trip advisor “top fun activities and games”.  Once you have found the place, and it is literally in the shadow of the British museum, you may think this looks a bit ‘independent film’ if you know what I mean but don’t let looks fool you.  Secret studios greatest strength is the setting…

The puzzles were very much linked to the progression of the story, combining low tech problem solving and high tech ingenuity.  As usual there wont be any spoilers but one of the great things about this room was the sense of togetherness you had with the team.  There was a real mix of puzzles that could be solved by one and puzzles that required the whole team to take part in.  Im not giving anything away by saying there was more than one room and the atmosphere created was stunning.  There was a definite theatrical feel to the experience.  Well worth a visit.