The Great Escape
by Lucas Aresin
Originally a Japanese concept, escape rooms have quickly become a popular attraction across other parts of the world, including Europe, and as such, Budapest where it all started out on the continent in 2011. This city is the number one destination for escape fans: it offers a real fine selection of carefully crafted rooms that'll enjoyably twist your brains and provide a true team building exercise.
For all those who do not know the concept, escape rooms are interactive game rooms. Participants are locked into a labyrinthine set of rooms and have to solve puzzles to escape within a set time limit. The escape rooms are themed – you might find yourself in an abandoned horror hospital, as part of an abduction, or in a magic castle. The puzzles cover logical thinking, memory, math, and more. We at B Side Tours have successfully escaped from the rooms below. Bogi has played in over 30 rooms (she's an addict!) So let's see if you can find your way to the bottom of the page (clue: scroll down). One more thing before you start: All escape games in this list can be played in English.
If you love pirates (or Pirates of the Caribbean!) and have an eye for detail (trust us, you'll need it), try the Pirate cave. In this beautifully constructed escape room, you'll hunt for lost treasure in front of a stunning backdrop – including a waterfall and a pirate ship! The medium level traps guarantee a smooth, interactive game with sound effects and the creative riddles will keep you entertained until the end of your adventure. Both the physical puzzles as well as the brainbusters will have you hooked from the very beginning. Even though it's not downtown, the short metro ride is definitely worth it!
E-Exit offers three very different and very creative escape rooms for you. In "Heaven & Hell", you're dead. You wake up in the morgue on the slab, which carries you into the purgatory, where you are about to either ascend to heaven or fall into the depths of hell. In order to save yourself, you have to find the defibrillator at the end of the track and resurrect yourself. Demons and Angels stand in your way – use your brain one more time before it's too late!
In 1984, you realize that heaven or hell might not have been too bad. Big brother is watching you, and not even your thoughts are safe! But then, fate has mercy! The system fails, and even if only for sixty minutes, this is your chance! Run for your life and escape the madness!
However, just when you thought you got away from the craziness, you find yourself in "The Circus". Behind the scenes of a grand show, you have to set tortured circus animals and acrobats free and on top of it all, escape as well. In your way stands the evil circus director, who will do all he can to keep you here … forever!
In their newest room, the Mexican inspired Santa Muerte, get ready for a surprise!
Prepare yourself for four very different rooms from different places and time periods.
You start in "Pharaoh's Burial Chamber" and descend into an old Egyptian tomb. You have to discover the guarded secrets that lie beneath and then escape. What's particularly interesting about this room is that there are two identical versions, and you can book it together with a friend and compete for the best time!
In "Shogun's Shadow", you investigate a murder in feudal Japan. At night, you sneak into the Shogun's house and try to find any evidence you can use, to bring an end to this nightmare.
We return to the west for "The Cathedral". Mysterious forces have gathered to stop the construction of a new cathedral in your town. To avoid a town-wide scandal, you have to retrieve the stolen construction plans. Beware! There may be traps …
And finally, try one of the first virtual reality exit games ever! In "Cosmos", you put on your virtual reality headsets and become astronauts. If you ever wanted to visit space for real, this gets close. It's a cool and unique twist on the typical escape rooms. Find out what you can do if you combine the thrill of real escape rooms with the exciting newness of virtual reality!
Are you a film fan? Have you dreamed of diving deep into the world of movies, replacing the hero with yourself and saving the day? MoviEscape allows you to do precisely that! Currently, they offer two variations:
If you're not easily scared and ready to stand up to Japanese horror, try "The Ring". In "The Ring", people who watched a certain, creepy tape died after 7 days under mysterious circumstances. Those 7 days are 60 minutes for you. Driven by fear and adrenaline, your job is to dig through logic puzzles and escape impending death before the clock runs out! The movie "The Ring" has quickly become a cult classic, and this particular room follows in its footsteps.
If horror is a bit too much for you, lighten up with "The Prestige". The room, based on Christopher Nolan's (Inception, The Dark Knight, Memento) film revolves around magic tricks. You will be part of the show. As a teleportation trick goes wrong, you have to find your way out of wherever you are. But beware – magicians' art is deception – don't fall for their tricks!
Budapest's installment of Paniq Room offers you 9 (nine!) escape rooms in total. That's enough choices to keep you entertained for a while. Each room comes with a different theme and difficulty level. Let's try to count them all down.
Do you wanna play a game? In "Saw", you have to escape your prison before poisonous gas kills you and everyone in the room. If that is too intense for you and you'd like to relax with a cool beverage instead, try "Heineken". Help to brew a beer and make the Heineken bar a success. If drinking is a waste of time, which may be what Mister Sherlock Holmes would say, visit "Sherlock". Help Dr. Watson save his best friend and colleague. Getting lost too in Sherlock's particular logic? Try "Lost 2". Your plane has crashed, but you have survived. As expected, you find an abandoned camp and a locked bunker. Can you get inside before the voices from the jungle drive you mad? And if that's not enough mysteries, try "The X-Files". Here, you can help Mulder and Scully clear up a plot that involves one of them accused of being a suspect themselves. The truth is out there; you just have to shoot for the stars! If you'd rather shoot with the stars, try "Hitchcock" and help the master to shoot your favorite horror scenes. While you're in the theater, the horrifying movie scenes turn into gruesome reality.
Visual art is also the theme of "Darkroom", where you enter the apartment of a stalking photographer. Your job is to steal an incriminating DVD, but then, the front door won't open. Can you find your way out of the apartment? Speaking of an apartment, that is also the theme of "Mindlabyrinth", where you're imprisoned in a strangely sophisticated, labyrinthine apartment. And now that you've come to the end of the Paniq Room post, let's go back to the beginning – in time. "Time Trap" is a room that sends you through three different times of your life – only in reverse order. You start with retirement, move on to your working days, and end up in school. Your escape from this madness will be – you guessed it – your own birth. Intrigued?
If you want to do more than just sightseeing in Budapest, take a look at the remix - we can help you create a great day in town!
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