Escape to Eastern Europe – Escape Tourism at it’s Best

I’m writing this in the taxi on the way to Budapest airport. We have just finished our last escape room of the holiday, 13 in total. Both cities had an excellent reputation; Budapest in particular had a lot to live up to. The concentration of rooms and price makes both places somewhat of a Mecca for escape tourists. Hungary on average is about 5 quid cheaper than most Czech rooms (average price 15 quid). Prague has come a little late to the escape room party but they certainly bring something fresh and invigorating. Out of the 4 Prague games we played with 2 companies I was really pleased with both. The Chamber and Questerland were both expanding and you could see why. Questerland had the room within thirt current premises to make a number of new rooms and The Chamber was opening up in a close location. Both companies were enthusiastic about rooms although Questerland had the edge on passion and customer service. The guy from Questerland wanted to tell us all about their 9 month journey and their expansion plans. 3 out of the 4 rooms we played were high tech without being too techy. We connected most with Questerland’s high tech bank vault robbery room but loved Harry’s room and the Hackers Nest almost as much. 

After taking the train to Budapest we played the two Claustophilia games that evening. It is easy to see why they are so high up on trip advisor because they certainly would have been ground breaking in their day. Some of the newer rooms blow them out of the water though now. These two rooms are my new bench mark for just above average.  

We then played ExitPoint which showed a lot of promise thematically but was just way too hard for two. The delivery and execution was strong but I think they must be missing the mark with “only 20%of people escaping”. Just a personal thought but people should feel good about getting out or nearly getting out not deflated because even with a million clues it was still a struggle. I’m not trying to knock them but I think you have to reconsider what your primary aim is. Create a room so hard only the few can escape (seriously John Nash would have struggled) or one which gives people an enjoyable experience no matter how far they get.  

The next day we ventured further out of the city (end of the line on the M2) and found the Pirates Cave. This was one of the highest rated games on trip advisor and one that is spoken of very highly on FB groups. The room was extremely well designed with cool puzzles and some ultra wow factors. It books up petty fast so you should consider advanced booking. The extremely enthusiastic young lady host told us that when they opened they hadn’t really considered just how much tourism they would get because of how far out they are but they are booked up pretty much every day. They are particularly popular with Israeli tourists apparently. They had 2 groups booked in after us. It was a little more expensive that the other rooms but it really was worth it. To complete our premium day we played the White room. No back story, it’s a white room with puzzles in. That’s all that needs to be said. Gozsdu mission is close to the entrance of the Gozsdu party district, a strip of a large number of bars ensconce neatly in the Jewish quarter of the city.  

Friday we tried two of the lesser known Eexit rooms, Circus and 1984. The circus room was very different to a lot of escape rooms utilising a larger than normal number of skills based puzzles. 1984 had an industrial post apocalyptic feel to it. Two big thumbs up to this room. We wanted to end our journey on a high so we went back to Godzsdu mission to play their 75 minute mafia room. We didn’t need the extra time, getting out in 55 minutes but we made a good choice to go back there. It was a tremendous end to a a trip and a fitting way to celebrate my 1 year escape room anniversary.  

1 year, 46 rooms and just as hooked as I was by the Room, Berlin.