ESCAPE ZONE Berlin, Berlin City

The „Emergency Room“In the „Emergency Room“ a dangerously ill patient depends on you. It is your responsibility to study his chart and find the right remedy before the time runs out. Can you be a life-saver?

The “Dictator-Room“

You will be dealing with the greatest dictator ever known to men. The End of his rule is close. He managed to build a bomb and hide it in his study. Your job is to enter the study, deactivate the bomb and leave the room within 60 minutes. Can you handle the pressure?

http://www.escape-zone.de

REVIEW:

There are two rooms available at Escape Zone:

“The Emergency Room” and “The Dictator”. If you are an “Escape Room virgin” – then “The Emergency Room” is the best way to start as it is the most conventional in terms of puzzles. “The Emergency Room” requires you to find an antidote in order to escape. There are a variety of puzzles, and requires a lot of “searching” to solve. That is not to say there aren’t clever ideas – Escape Zone extends the box that you need to think outside of!! This is especially true in “The Dictator” which is the most complex of any room we have done so far with puzzles that are outstanding – including diffusing a bomb in situ!! 

“The Dictator” is much more exciting in terms of its décor and the complexity of some of the puzzles was “Mensa” clever, not just lateral. While you don’t necessarily need prior knowledge, it really doesn’t hurt in this room in order to save you some time – after you’ve worked out what you need to do!!

The only thing that would have improved “The Dictator” would be the hints being given via the video feed. I am not personally keen on any “human interaction” by the gamesmaster, and the manner in which the hints were offered would not have been out of place via video.

If you only have time to do one game in Berlin, are in a team of two or more, and have played previously – then The Dictator is the one to do.

The venue is easy to find, and the gamesmasters are excellent and they take the time to do a bit of a debrief too. There is a waiting area and toilet, and you can also purchase refreshments (chocolate bars and drinks).

The Emergency Room

Décor ★★★☆☆

Storyline ★★★☆☆

Puzzles ★★★☆☆

Overall ★★★☆☆

 

THE DICTATOR

Décor ★★★★★

Storyline ★★★★☆

Puzzles ★★★★★

Overall ★★★★★

  

 

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MISSION ACCEPTED – DE, Berlin City Centre

She needs your help. The German Secret Service’s headquarters is in danger. But people think the former special agent is crazy for saying so. Only together you can prevent a catastrophe.She investigated, inquired, did her research. She’s absolutely sure, now: Someone is planning to break into the most secret area of the new BND Headquarters. An enemy in the German Secret Service building! She tried over and over again to warn them – nobody wants to listen. Instead, they want to lock her up now! She has five suspects on her list, but who is the target person? The high-ranking agent or the inconspicuous secretary? The clever data analyst? Is the stereotypical gardener the murderer? Or maybe the chef likes to play with fire a little too much?

Search, think, wrack your brains, crack codes and draw conclusions – immerge into the world of profilers and special agents with our escape game. You are right at the center of a thrilling case. Become Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Columbo, MacGyver, Carrie Mathison, Horatio Caine or Mister T. Solve the case like you saw it’s done in Homeland, CSI, Criminal Minds and True Detectives! Are you ready for your Room Escape Berlin Mission?

http://en.mission-accepted.de/

REVIEW:

The minute you walk into the games area, you are within the situation (although there is a waiting room where you can purchase drinks, and a toilet). 

Conceptually this is beautifully presented, making excellent use of the location – opposite the Secret Service building as part of the plot. This also gives the best “photo memoir” of any we have done – a CCTV capture of you playing the game.

Technically too, this uses computers in a way that exceeds other games – you aren’t just having to access a laptop to look at a video or picture here!!

There were very unusual puzzles included in order to find escape combinations, and the game was more cerebral ie. there was a “Whodunnit” type puzzle embedded within the story.

For a “first time” escape room player, this is a very enjoyable game to play as it is largely linear, the puzzles are all different (it’s not just a series of locks), and the story adds an extra element – and, unlike other rooms with an overarching “mystery”, you MUST have the correct solution to escape.  

 
MISSION ACCEPTED
Décor ★★★★☆

Storyline ★★★☆☆

Puzzles ★★★☆☆

Overall ★★★★☆

Cat in the Bag

Cat in the Bag, Berlin City CentreAlpine Ski Lodge

Alpen. Snowstorm. You are lost, it seems hopeless… and suddenly a small warm house in the middle of nowhere appears, but as soon as you get inside you feel that something is wrong here. What’s going on? The doors are closed and the house is alive. Solve all the secrets and find a way out.

24 players, 60 minutes

http://www.catinthebag.de

REVIEW:

There are three games available, “Ski Lodge”, “The Bunker” and “The Prison” – we only had time for “The Prison”, but speaking to the gamesmaster – for a first time player – “Ski Lodge” or “The Bunker” are the way to go.

However, if you’ve played these games before – DO NOT miss out on “The Prison”!!

In a team of two especially, this, for us, was the game to end all games…at least so far!!

This took the concept to a different level. Communication and teamwork really are THE most essential part of the game, the puzzles were excellent (and so fitting within the concept!), and for a team of two who have played previously, you’d be hard pressed to find better – at least at the moment.   The Cat in the Bag is a new “room”, but even speaking with the gamesmasters of other games in the area, they agree, “The Prison” is brilliant.   (It is much MUCH better somehow for a team of 2 though!!!)

THE PRISON:

Décor ★★★★★

Storyline ★★★★★

Puzzles ★★★★☆

Overall ★★★★★ (…for an experienced team of 2 who want something a little unusual, I’d add an extra star!!)

    
 

Guest Review Posts

I am going to be posting a series of reviews from a dear friend who first introduced me to Escape Rooms.  

Audrey Tang holds a PhD in business and her training company CLICK received CPD accreditation for its management programmes in 2015. She is also a fledgling media personality (Resident Expert, Chrissy B Show Sky 203; Radio Host: LifestyleMK 105.5FM) and International conference speaker (on immersive training) with a book on management, aimed at Corporate clients, coming out in March 2016. Since 1994 she has also run a community theatre group producing shows to support and raise awareness of local charities.

Story of Belis

  
A tale of a captive child in the hands of her family lived in 70’s. It is a thrilling experience for you! Every room you enter will be the only reality surrounding you. Your mind will brake the limits by beating codes, locked doors and old chests. The tale of Belis offers you two scenarios: Horror or thrill? Pick your style before you come.

 

If you like a challenge in the midst of creepy dolls, errie music and suspense filled surprises then the story of Belis is definitely for you.  The 70s decor puts you on edge from the word go.  Even though we had requested thriller rather than horror.  

The guys at Kacis were really kind and let us continue an extra few minutes to complete the game.  Afterwards they talked us through what a horror game would have been played like.  It sounded pretty awesome and we agreed to try the horror theme for our next game.  The suspense filled atmosphere certainly made this one of my favourite games of the trip to Istanbul.  There were some really thoughtful touches that made you really think you were in a remake of Amittyville Horror.  The puzzles were tough and requires a fair amount of thought to work through.  The rooms didn’t require too much searching; nearly everything was in plain sight.  I kind of like that approach, I have played too many games that were scuppered at the last minute by something being overlooked.  There was a great deal of variety in terms of the skill set required to solve the puzzles.  I’m not sure everyone would agree with me but I loved this room. 

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.  

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.