Nice – Round Up

Played the 3 Fox in a Box games over the last couple of days. So impressed with how friendly all the staff were.  I’m really behind with my reviews so I will try my best to complete them today.  I still have 5 from Istanbul as well as the 3 from Nice.  Fox in a Box is a franchise with branches in many major European cities.  I believe they have 8 or 9 games in total across the franchise.  They are looking to secure premises in Nice to host up to a further 6 rooms.  Fox in a Box had a similar feel to clue quest.  Solid game room experience with a strong emphasis on breaking codes. If you are new to escape games start with Bank or Bunker and work your way up to Zombie.


Ziya the Librarian – Istrapped

Ziya the librarian was a man dedicated and in love with his books.  He would spend his entire limited librarian wage on his beloved books; they meant everything to him.  Eventually he would go on to lose his mind thinking about loosing his books and would resort to preventing those who have entered the house from ever leaving.  The only way to ever leave Ziya the librarian’s house is to find his favourite book and decide the clues.

If it hadn’t been for google maps and photos of the entrance on trip advisor I probably wouldn’t have found Istrapped.  The puzzle queen and I debated for a few seconds whether this could possible be ‘it’ as we ascended the dimly lit stone staircase passing door after door of residential properties.  Eventually we spied the Istrapped symbol  (It was only a couple of floors up).  We buzzed and entered.  Now my experience of escape rooms thus far was been relatively similar.  Nice corporate reception area, safety briefing etc… As soon as the door closed we were locked in.  A voice did explain what was happening and then the lights went out.  I remember thinking how awesome this was.  There is a reason the first escape room in Istanbul is still open despite a deluge of competition.  This was a solid complex of rooms interconnected with intricate well thought out connections.  The puzzles were varied in terms of difficulty.  It was always going to be a challenge with just two of us and we very nearly escaped within the hour.  There were just two puzzles that we overlooked a vital component of setting us back 5 minutes.  2 more minutes more we would have escaped.  This is a solid escape room that makes you feel like you are in Istanbul.  Technical this was not, but very much a classic puzzle based room.  It was a really good way of getting back into the escape room mind set.

The Red Curse – Keyhunter

Brenda and Tommy, a couple of high class, experience the fright of their lives when they came back to a man’s ruthlessly savaged body laid in their bedroom. Inspector Hugo and his team has been sent to investigate, but the door locks shut behind him. Is this the work of a haunted house, or something more…

After completing double crossed we sat back in reception assuring another family that there were better escape games in the city. As happy as they were I couldn’t help but feel they could have been so much happier. We pondered for a while the connection between the Sherlock Holmes motif and the triad/oriental themed stories. Ok so now we were ready for round two.  After literally being double crossed on the first game we had everything crossed ready for the big one, the gold room, the curse of the red pearl. The room was of a similar size and I quickly worked out it was going to be a single room again. No matter, there were a couple of nice touches and  a cool puzzle.  
Now I haven’t really said anything about the team. There were 5 of us not all seasoned escapers but certainly a bunch that would hold its own on “Only Connect”. We were really keen to break a few records. We hadn’t really got anywhere close with double crossed ( the best time being 20 minutes) but we were also keen to enjoy the room and whilst getting out in the quickest time possible was something we had considered we certainly hadn’t envisaged anything like strolling out of there in 12 minutes. As I turned the key my heart sank thinking surely to god this can’t be it. We passed the games master on the stairs as we made our way back to reception. He did a double take rather surprised to see us so soon. He quickly quizzed us if we had played before or knew about the room. I don’t say this to gloat; far from it. I really wanted a difficult room that would not only test us but also want us to stay. The best rooms should exert a pull on you to remain, their fine details make you look back with a sense of longing… Ok sorry this is getting to self indulgent. It was just plain bad… I certainly won’t be bragging about escaping in 12 minutes to anyone (except to you of course) but this isn’t bragging, you can’t brag about something of which you feel acute embarrassment over. So my final verdict. Key hunter please stop hurting this industry with your shoddy room, please visit another room where people actually care about the game.