2019. május 30. 11:01 - SzabadulósBlog

Budapest Escape Room Guide – from a native to English speaking ER enthusiasts

Budapest is a city full of escape rooms, among them the ones with longest history around the globe. Below is a quick list of the rooms we played and reviewed at this Hungarian blog. Note, that there is no international comparison, as we are locals and have not played outside the country.
In general Budapest is a great city to travel to, cheap accommodations and restaurants can be found at central places, the public transport is functional, and some nice sightseeing places are at reachable distances. Escape rooms are all for private booking and the prices are affordable. Game master’s English levels vary greatly, so that’s unfortunately a random factor. And if you book at busy hours (evenings, weekends) most likely one person will be GMing multiple rooms at the venue.
We start the article with rooms we almost say are "must do", but highly recommend to read through the rest as well; the ranking is mostly our subjective experience, while in the description we try to remain objective, so you might be interested in rooms that are our least favorites. Hope this helps and feel free to drop an e-mail for more info about particular games (we understand if you do not want to google translate through the rest of the entries to find all the details).


Rooms we enjoyed most
These are the ones we can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, our true favourites

E-Exit - Heaven & Hell; Secret Subway
This is the company you will most likely get recommendations for if you ask about Budapest escape rooms, and we agree that it is a must. We played two of their rooms and both were extraordinary. If you search a little more thoroughly about Heaven & Hell you will also find along with the many positive opinions some critiques about the decoration being cheap. This is indeed the case, but it’s not the kind of cheap when you get hold of any used furniture you can just to fill the room; it’s the kind of cheap that, to me, gives this typical Hungarian feeling where brilliant things are made from little money. Every prop has a function, and succeeds in creating a very unique atmosphere. In addition the puzzles are tons of fun and truly original (there is one process puzzle we disliked, but other than that, each one is nearing perfection), plus there are hilarious aha moments (one you will need to skip unfortunately if you have claustrophobia, but they are prepared for that as well). On top of that what is most impressive is the way you advance in the story from room to room: it’s not simply a quest and some puzzles that fit the theme, it’s a real sense of advancement. Secret subway is the newest room of the company. The experience was totally different from the other room, and I couldn't tell which was better. The "cheap" feeling of the props is no longer true, but the experience was somehow not that stront, at least in our case. Never the less the room was great, the puzzles were varied and original, and what we loved about both rooms was that the adventure went along several different rooms that all provided some aha moments.

PLAY - Jack the Ripper
We were impressed by the authenticity of this room and the amount of research and background story that went into it. Unarguably this is the strongest room if you are looking for a story that feels real and is truly based on historical facts. The room is richly decorated and the puzzles are also quite varied and interesting (plus they fit the atmosphere), so I see no reason why someone would not enjoy this experience. The story is 16+ though and quite unsettling, so be prepared for that. And the room is a little longer (90 min), but still very challenging to complete. Unlike most rooms in Budapest this one has a hint system integrated into the game, you have to make hard choices (and most probably sacrifices) in order to get help.

LogIQ Rooms - Napuche
A room that has a good mix of everything you need for a great experience: hidden passages, technology that appears as magic, ingenious logic puzzles of the traditional type, a story that is both credible and fits the rooms, a climatic ending, a challenge that is fair but hard. The room has been transferred to another location since we played it, the new company is Izgiroom not far out of Budapest.

This is a city treasure hunt (so not really an escape room), but we loved it so much, that we highly recommend you to try. You get a starting pack at a secret location, and everything in that bag will come at use to solve the puzzles and find out where to go next. At each location you will get tourist information from little cards (many of those will need to be used in puzzles), so it is perfect if you also want to see the beauty of the city. The puzzles are creative and fun, they make use of the sites you visit plus there are hidden signs and objects to spot and use at the most unexpected places. Both the Pest and the Buda tour lasts about three hours, and you don’t need to hurry, just go at your own pace and enjoy the game. (We tried the English version for the Buda tour and it was a truly pleasant experience with a mix of treasure hunting, puzzling and discovering the Castle area.) Plus you get to take home your goodie bag with treasure-hunter souvenires and after successful completion of the game (which will always be the case, what varies is the time and hints needed) you will get some sweets… uhm I mean treasure! :)

House of Mysteries - Hangover Story
Another fun adventure that takes place throughout the city is by House of Mysteries. Hangover story is unique among their programs, so if you decide to follow our recommendation, make sure to book this one and not another story (see another review from them below). Here again you get a starting pack (less impressive than the one by Urbango, but still great), and with that you visit a series of bars following the footsteps of crime gang. In each bar you'll order a drink and get a locked box; you will need to solve puzzles and open each box in order to place together the story and find out which member of the crime gang has the money you are looking for. The game itself isn't complex, but the puzzles are ingenious, every detail is in it's place, and frankly solving a mystery while getting drunk at bars selected for us with a great taste was a pleasant new experience.


Great rooms we recommend you try
If you plan to play more than just a couple of rooms, we think these are the ones you should be looking at when putting together your itinerary.

Escape Zone - Back to the present; Star Wars
This is an ER company that has been present from the beginnings. The two rooms we tried are very different, but both great. Back to the present is a classical feel with many locks and combinations, what stands out is how you physically have to assemble things (god, it really feels like you are assembling a nuclear reactor). In contrast, the Star Wars room is very modern, no locks, no doors - your way is blocked by lasers, and the puzzles you solve are all something different, not a number combination (except for one). The scene is really movie-like and you even have the robots and stuff in there to move around physically.

I Locked You - Defeat the Night's King
This is a fairly new company that currently operates four rooms, the one we tried is among the two easier. It has a classical feel, located in a not-too-fancy basement, with a good mix of tech-operated puzzles and traditional locks. It is easier (and probably a better experience) for those who know the GoT series, but I enjoyed it never the less, and to be fair, all the necessary outside knowledge is hidden in there somewhere.

Horror Factory - Saw II.
This location specalises on horrormovie-based ERs, currently they have two rooms based on the Saw. I thought the one which tells the story of Saw II. was a bit better, but both very enjoyable. The rooms are not scary at all, and the puzzles provide a good variety of searching and logic.

Pirate Cave
A favourite to many, we also like Pirate Cave. It is located a little further from the city centre, but still reachable by public transport, and as many will say you get a great story, a nicely decorated room and fun puzzles that use both logic and dexterity. On the down side, the room seemed quite empty to me, but that might just be because I had very high expectations, and indeed the rooms have plenty of space, which is good. Also we felt it was quite easy to solve the puzzles, and then we were sorry for not taking any hints, since this place has a hint system embedded in the game where you have to complete additional tasks to ask for help. This is a plus already, and also the place is unique in that it only runs one room, thus you will have the GM's full attention, which includes many effects that are triggered manually (both lights and sounds).

Museum Escape (formerly Knowland) - Dare to Win; Hundead Quit
There are two escape rooms at the Science History Museum which I'd highly recommend both for adults and (high school) kids. I thought that both rooms were equally fun, with engaging (and very real) stories, and a great variety of puzzles that use objects from the museum archives (human bones and remains in one case, and animal and plant preparations in the other).

LogIQ Rooms - Philosopher's Stone
Another great room by LogIQ Rooms is about finding the philosophers's stone. I first played the earlier version of this game (which was a portable game in a couple of suitcases), and liked it very much. The updated version is set in a room (and thus includes some wall paintings and other decoration, the previous one did not). Maybe it's because of the repetition, but I slightly enjoyed the first game better, but for anybody who likes traditional lock-based escape games and has a sweet spot for magical stories it will be a good choice.

Magic Rooms - Magic School; Date Room
A big company with a couple of locations and several rooms; of the six rooms I played here, the Harry Potter-based is my huge favourite. This is on the modern side, built with no-lock technology and offering a great variety of electronic tricks that feel like magic, as well as mechanically solvable puzzles. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the props you get to use are of a really high quality. The game is on the easier side, and likely to be completed in much less than the 60 minutes, but every minute of it is worth the trouble.
The company more recently also opened a Date Room, which I think is a great idea, the couple (or couples) is / are separated into boy's room and girl's room, and communication between the two rooms is key into solving the puzzles which will lead to the date location where further puzzles will need to be solved. We did this as a pair, and was a really enjoyable experience, easy enough to feel smart, but hard enough to make us think and work together as a team.

Mars Mission
This is a puzzle room with no big story (you are training to go to Mars and solving puzzles), but the overall experience is really great. You have several (13 in total) little boxes that each contain a number of puzzles you need to solve. The order of the boxes is arbitrary and completely up to you, and the puzzles you will find are both about logically obtainable codes as well as electronical and mechanical solutions. Overall this is the place where you will find most variety in puzzles; although they vary in both difficulty and creativity (at least there were some we did not like), we enjoyed our time very much. The game is longer than usual (90 min), and no team ever solved all 13 boxes during that time, so you don't have to worry about getting less for your money (in fact they always give extra time to complete the last box you were trying to get).

Mind Crime - The memory thief
This room stands out with its unique story about entering another person's mind in order to obtain bank account details. The rooms and puzzles are brilliantly constructed to make you feel like you are advancing further and further in this other person's memories. The room is nicely built and fun, also suitable for children (probably a little too easy for enthusiasts).

MystiqueRoom - Pirate bay; The Iron throne; Shogun's shadow; Cathedral; Tower of Wollongong
This big an well-known company offers several rooms at a single location, all of them of a pleasantly high quality. Of the seven rooms I played, these five were the ones I enjoyed most. They were all beautifully decorated, perhaps Pirate bay was the nicest, as that had a ship we could climb onto, and several tiny spaces we could unlock and explore. Iron throne would of course be most appealing to GoT fans, but even without that I very much enjoyed the no-lock puzzles and creative solutions (with one tiny frustrating element about a cooperative puzzle where we could not communicate at the two sides of the wall as they were fully soundproof). The shogun room is a more traditional type with locks and mechanical solutions, but we found a lot of nicely executed solutions that surprised us. The Cathedral is another traditional room, with some of the props a little worn-out, but to my taste perfectly fitting the theme; the room is recommended for smaller groups due to linear structure, but the puzzles themselves are clever and nicely built. Tower of Wollongong is the odd one out, here the decoration is minimalist and the story element is more or less irrelevant; players need to break into a tower solving puzzles of all kind, a very enjoyable puzzling experience, but without the adventure element of physically searching a room.

Neverland - Wizard Trials; Wild West
A bar with several escape rooms, all of them newly built and with a lot of technology, plus rich decoration. Neither the wizard nor the western room was anything extremely surprising, but the atmosphere was really well-built and we went through multiple rooms in both games that gave us amazement as we progressed. They were both a pleasant experience, solvable but still challenging; and what really stood out was the whole location starting from the way you entered in the first place up to the equipment of the bar.

PanIQ - Saw
The PanIQ franchise is probably known for many (they operate several room in the US), they are one of the oldest (the second oldest actually) in Hungary and have really many rooms at different locations throughout the city. The Saw room is one of their traditional games, but still with many electronical tricks. The story of the first Saw movie does not need much implementation to turn into a great escape room, and they really did an excellent job in creating the atmosphere and putting together a built-in hint system in theme.

Scavenger - Mozart's mystery; Egyptian adventures
The two rooms we played at this location were both very good (Mozart a little harder, Egypt on the easier side). Unique stories, nice decorations and varied puzzles.

TRAP - Anacronistica; Indiana Jones
Team Race against Puzzles is another company with old traditions, but their currently operating rooms are very modern. Anacronistica is a time travel story with a nicely built room where nothing seems like a puzzle, but then you start discovering what to do and how to unlock the tricky electronics. The Indiana Jones room is currently operated by PanIQ (formerly at TRAP it was called Egypt, that is the version we played, according to their website there are a few modifications since then). This one is a combination of modern and classical technology and stands out in its paralel puzzles, meaning that this is really suitable for groups that can work paralelly (except for the very end when you go through a tiny space to solve the final puzzle).

World of Horror
This is a truly scary horror experience, so only go there if you want that. The game is somewhat shorter (45 min), and there are only a few simple puzzles, but trust me with the environment that makes you feel like inside a horror movie, and the actors that I can't even begin to explain how well they do their roles… so those puzzles that are simple in retrospect will still get you stuck. Overall a really unique experience with several rooms and a very very good flow.

Logixity - Operation Mindfall
Logixity offers a great variety of games, including escape rooms (not only traditional, but also with live actor or with AR) as well as city roaming games. Operation Mindfall is in the latter category, and one that we truly enjoyed. I'm not sayin that everything was perfect, some of the puzzles were not that well incorporated into the story, but to be fair, they had to use what the streets offered, and they did a great job with many ingenious solutions. For this game one needs to book a slot, just as for any escape room, because the mission will need a suitcase full of secret spy goodies, including a chemistry kit and a tablet for AR elements.

CsoPa – The renewing city
This room at the Science center is focused on recycling and renewable energy. Despite the theme being rather controversial for me, the room was great fun, I very much enjoyed the way it communicated the related facts. This is more a venue for families with kinds, but if you are one, I wouldn’t miss it.

Fóbia – Kísérlet
The theme is light horror, but nothing too scary, and being one of the newest rooms in the city they offer several creative puzzles, plus a great atmosphere-decoration and a unique story that you follow throughout the escape.

Gellért Escape - Imprisoned in Mexico; Lost Memories
Another relatively new venue with interesting puzzle ideas and great implementation. We tried two of their rooms out of the three they currently have, and both were a pleasant experience with an outstanding quality of the puzzles. For the first despite the prison theme being rather dull, they managed to give a truly engaging story to it, the Mexican touch was unique and well-thought. The Lost Memories room is very similar to the well-known Hangover movie, only that this time we are at Budapest waking up to being locked in our own hotel room, and not remembering how we got there. The room is sufficiently paralel so that we are never short of things to do, and like I said all the puzzles are high quality and perfectly working. In our personal (but very personal) opinion despite everything being perfectly in place (and the stories were great and the puzzle matched theme), but somehow the game did not flow well, we just did not feel enough progression to get fully immersed.


Solid rooms with something that makes us like them
The below are all rooms that we are still recommending; although they are not perfect, there is some element that made us like them

Trap Factory - Prison break
This is for you if you like prison theme. Nothing extraordinary, but a nicely executed room with solid puzzles. The Factory is huge though and has a great atmosphere, we did not play any other rooms there, but might be worth a try.

Scavanger - Budapest Treasure Hunt
This ER franchise also offers an outdoor treasure hunt activity that might be worth a try. You get a bag full off things (such as an UV lamp and a diary), the downpoint being that you will need to return it in time. Then there are several puzzles for you to solve in order to find out the route you need to follow. The final solution will unlock a criptex and with that you get the final piece to the story. The story itself felt a little bit too cliche to us, but the puzzles were mostly fun, so this is another great way of exploring the city.

PánIQ - Sherlock
One of the above mentioned big PanIQ company's room is Sherlock, where we are tasked with helping the big detective clear himself of alleged crimes. The room had a little too many three digit combination locks for our taste (yes, we get frustrated easily when we need to try a code we obtain on several different locks randomly), but other than that (plus a puzzle where you have one shot and no chance for correction), this was a great experience with a lot of fun ideas mostly on the classical ER style.

ParaPark - Community Cube Factory
This company was the first to open an ER in Hungary (and among the first in the world), for me this mere fact makes them worth to visit. The rooms are obviously not the same as eight years before, but they preserved the classical feel both in terms of decoration and puzzles. However, I felt that this kind of decoration fitted well to the room theme (communist era) and the puzzles were a nice variation with many ideas.

PLAY - Drakula; Da Vinci
This company has two further rooms apart from the one I mentioned in the "must do" section, and both of them are good, nicely decorated and with some good puzzle ideas. I prefer multi-room games, so unless one is really great (such as their Jack the ripper) I won't fully appreciate single rooms, but other that that both the Drakula theme and the Da Vinci provide a fun experience (amd they have discounts if you play more than one room with them).

Logixity - Adventure in the Foreign Legion; Magic Portal
We played the Foreign Legion room at the former location of the company, but they moved some of their games to the new place, including this one. This was a single-room game with decoration that many complained about being poor (and we agree), but the puzzles were generally fun, and we loved the professional actor who was part of the game.
Magic Portal is part of the company's recent addition of AR (augmented reality) city games, where you get an iPad with the app you will use to play (displaying the AR elements you can explore in 3D as well as prompting you with puzzles and clues as you visit the GPS locations indicated on a map). The game is intended for families with kids, so the tasks are on the simpler side, but it has a really nice graphic that makes the exploration of the surrounding streets quite memorable.

Magic Escape - Harry Potter
A small company that offers one Harry Potter and one Game of Thrones room. We completed the former and as huge fans of the franchise really enjoyed it, mostly because the beautiful graffiti decoration that made us feel like we really were inside this magical world. The puzzles also had some good ideas (all keys and number combinations), in fact the endgame was great, we haven't see anything similar (and for the rest we just forgot the forgettable).

Magic Rooms - Pirates of Caribbean
The pirate themed room of this above mentioned big company is another one we really liked. It's a spacious multi-room game with a great variety of puzzles and nice decoration.

If you like a good 18+ room (with sexual content) either as a bachelor party or simply with you significant other, we thought that this was a really fun location. The puzzles were average, but the way they are embedded in a brilliant and funny story, plus the subtle, but you know… decorations made this quite a memorable escape for us. Suffices to say that the dragon in this game does have seven of a certain body part, but it's not the head.

Logic Arena - Disaster
There was one element we particularly liked about this room (it's not a spoiler, they say it at their webpage), which is the earthquake simulation at the very beginning. The rest of it was a solid multi-room experience with classical type puzzles and some nice surprises. The company has other rooms which we did no try.

Mind Quest - No'Zaca
A big company conveniently close to the ruin bar area. Most of their rooms have average reviews, but No'Zaca stands out, thus we decided to give it a try, and it was in fact a great experience. To out knowledge this was the first room (at least in Hungary) to use the no-lock technology, and they have some technically very clever puzzles. The rooms are on the teenier side and the decoration is a little worn-out, but we still enjoyed it. Be aware that contrary to what is customary in Hungary at this location they do not offer hints on request, it is up to the GM's discretion to give hints on a screen when she/he deems it necessary.

Neverland - Spaceship
Being a location with a bar & escape rooms, this company is one we like much. Two of their rooms (above) are better than Spaceship, but this was also an experience we liked mostly because of the beautiful set design. Being in a fully decorated spaceship was really cool, and some of the props we needed to use were also very good.

Pucolj Ki
A 50 minute ER operated by an environment protection foundation. I really like the cause (to educate people about recycling) and the story of the room fits great: you need to clean the room after a party and then clear out before the parents of a friend of yours get home (the Hungarian name "pucolj ki" has the double meaning of both clean and clear, I could not find how the room is called in English). The puzzles are mainly centered around one big recycling task (which waste goes to which bin), plus a few extra tasks, but if you like the theme it is worth a try and you will guaranteed have a nice chat with the operators about interesting recycling facts.

Sweet Escape
Another company with long traditions, Sweet Escape is often cited as the best value for money, as they are among the (if not the) cheapest escape rooms. Thus here do not expect anything luxurious, yet you will get fun an innovative puzzles (some using technology, some using combination locks), nice wall paintings that set the theme and very friendly staff. We tried two of their rooms (Sweet Escape and Gingerbread House) and they were both fun to play. On the down side the story is not very immersive, it's more like a series of puzzles that culminate in a meta-puzzle but no directly connected to the theme. Also they have multiple locations in one space, thus you will likely hear other teams play. But this is a great entry point (if you maybe have friends with you who haven't played escape rooms yet), you will certainly get a series of puzzles that flow well, and just enough challenge so that the victory feels great. (Btw they have a money-back guarantee, that says quite much.) A huge plus is that in some of their rooms they have the possibility to incorporate your own photos into the game, just e-mail them and ask.


Rooms that we thought were not the best, but still might be worth a try
Below is the collection of rooms we did not enjoy too much, but still have some element that might appeal to players, thus we would not discourage you from the either.

Brain Maze
This one sounded very interesting where a group of 4+ people is split into two groups and they solve two separate rooms in competition. I was very looking forward to their promise that the teams needed to cooperate in order to succeed, but also had the opportunity to block the others. Unfortunately (although the statement was true) it did not really hold up to the excitement it promised. The puzzles very quite mixed, but overall not very impressive and the cooperative versus competitive element was only a single-type part. So we did not end up very happy, but still the idea is unique.

BudaSteps - Murder in the bath
A treasure hunt offered by a city walk company. We liked the story here, actually it was one of the best to our taste (both believable and simple enough to follow), but the puzzles were less impressive or somehow just did not match with us.

CsoPa - The engeneer's room
The other room at the Science Park did not impress me as much as the above one. This illustrates / uses basic physics knowledge and will probably appeal to some, but overall was not too impressive for us. A fair note, that we played as adults, and the room is intended for children / families.

Horror Factory - Saw I.
The first room of this company (we mentioned above) is based on the first Saw movie. It is an okay room with only logic puzzles (no dexterity) and moderate technology, it might be worth to play both rooms if you go there, but if you only want one, we'd suggest the second (especially if you also play the Saw room at PanIQ, the two have a very similar setting).

Time Trap - Magic I, II & III. (The Burrow, Prison of Wizard, Chamber of Secrets).; Prison trap
Several rooms to chose from at this company, they are among the first to open in Hungary, thus rather well-known. I've seen (mostly non-Hungarian) bloggers complain about sanity issues at this venue, and I have to agree, the company still reflects the old-school basement-based escape room feeling, where a clean facility is not a goal. They have three rooms with the "magic" label that are based on the Harry Potter franchise (of course not officially), and while I know from several forums that many ER enthusiasts would despise of companies that profit from such well-disguised IP thefts, if someone can put that aside, all three rooms are fairly enjoyable (so any fan who finished the above HP room might give these a try, they offer a discount for playing a magic marathon so it's quite affordable). The first takes place in the Weasley Burrow, the second is Azkaban. While the first two HP rooms have their own story, for the third one (Chamber of Secrets) players need to complete the quest that Harry, Ron and Hermione did. All three rooms had some leaps of logic for us, but looking at the room records that had been set, there certainly are teams who find them easy.
The prison trap room is at another location, and it might be good if you like tiny spaces (max 4 players) and being locked away in two different cells. It has a rather hard cooperative dexterity puzzle to start with (especially since you are all chained and in handcuffs), and a few other things to complete, but nothing extraordinary. On the plus side, this is the company that recently started a series of social media posts about ER safety, and they do make an effort to make sure players are safe.

Valley of the Kings
One of the most beautifully decorated Egypt theme rooms I've seen, this place might be worth to visit if you enjoy breathtaking decoration. However after the first few minutes we spent just gazing and amazing, the puzzles were not at all impressive. In fact there was one main puzzle based on substitution, where you had to find many many pieces of paper containing the key hidden at several mostly random location and then decipher two long sentences. There were a few other puzzles (and one mirror puzzle we quite enjoyed), but those were just a few minutes of fun.

LogIQ Rooms - Zero Level Energy; Code13
Alongside the two highly rated room we presented above LogIQ Rooms has two more games we were not so impressed with. Zero Level Energy is a bunker against a solar flare, it is a room with solid puzzles and a few great ideas. Plus the game flow is constructed so that at every certain times you need to plug in an additional energy supply or you die before the 60 minutes run out; we liked this aspect as it gave us little victories also during the game. Code 13 is the antidote and deadly virus scenario, again some good ideas, and overall we enjoyed it, but there were some bumps that got us out of the flaw.

Magic Rooms - Atlantis; Hangover; Star Wars
This company also offer beautifully decorated and modern rooms, you may see that a couple of their games made it to our favorites. These are the three that although we did enjoy there were some elements that did not work perfectly. To be fair for the Atlantis room we had some technical issues, that have been fixed afterwards, and the location was both big enough and beautiful to make it enjoyable to explore. Hangover is a great story (based on the movie), I thought it was ideal to be in a room and not remember what got me there. Overall the puzzles had many ideas, but still some missed that little something to tell us what to do, so we needed quite a few hints (which were by the way delivered by room service, so quite nicely in theme). Star Wars is another no-lock room and with nice wall paintings, maybe it's my lack of SW knowledge but the puzzles often felt arbitrary, yet if you like SW, probably you will enjoy this room just because you are in this world.

MystiqueRoom - The pharaoh's burial chamber; Time Machine
While we enjoyed all other games at Mystique, this Egypt themed one was not for us. The decoration was impeccable, but random search tasks and a couple of red herrings disappointed us. Another unfortunate coincidence was that we visited at a very busy time (on a day when they had 50% discount) thus we were rushed by the GM receiving unsolicited hints to finish with 20 minutes to spare.
The Time Machine is probably their best known game, and when we played it the GM also told us, that this is among the hardest rooms in Europe and they are prod that many bloggers visit them from abroad to write about this room. I think that while this rooms probably must have been among the best when they built it, by now the company has done better. The decoration is great, just as in any other room here, and we really loved the central machine that we needed to get to work. There were great puzzles as well, so overall a good room that won't disappoint enthusiasts, but nothing outstanding. Be aware that the starting room is too tiny for a group of more than four. Another drawback is that the puzzles are more or less unrelated to the story (there is certainly no advancement in the story as the game advances).

PánIQ - Mindlabyrinth; Godfather; Invisible forest; Game of Thrones
PanIQ is a big company with a great variety of room where I'm sure most will find something for their taste. We liked very much a couple of their rooms, the above four are the ones we were not especially fond of. Mindlabyrinth is the classical type which is ok for me, and there were a few things we enjoyed (e.g. the way we needed to progress through the rooms), but sodoku puzzles, search in the dark acivities or tv screens are not our thing. Godfather is a modern room, with mostly tech-based puzzles, and both great ideas and nice executions. Unfortunately one of the puzzles did not work when we played, so we finished quite early and thought that the challenge was quite simple. Invisible forest is a great idea, you play in a completely dark room, and if successful you regain you sight (with a cool effect in the end). Playing in dark is a great experience, what ruined it was the arbitrary nature of some puzzles, but then again some might have the brains for this. Game of Thrones was also ok, it simply just felt like a combination of rooms we did before, and not much new to offer; maybe with the exception of a physical activity we had to carry out in order to enter the second room, that was pretty fun.

Mysterygames - The Maya Empire
This is a company with a great reputation, we might have just chosen the wrong room. They had a discount on the mayan room, so we decided o go there. The room was beautifully decorated, and they are among the first to use automated technology for many puzzles. We had two main problems: we got out in half of the designated 60 minutes, which never feels good, and the GM was not friendly at all. I've seen many social media reviews of the company praising the GM, so that's probably just bad luck on our part, and the room is certainly good for a family with children or les experienced players, but we don't recommend going in there with a big team, it was quite crowded with the three of us.

A room operated by a medical collage promising to put us in situations modelling real medical tasks… we all thought this would be the best! Unfortunately reality was a small room in the collage's cellar with crosswords and similar requiring high school science knowledge. To be fair they do state that the puzzles are based on outside knowledge, and all you need is indeed basic; so our complaint was not the difficulty but the lack of innovation we expected. They have a version of the game for professional medics, if you are one of them (or possibly a university student of medicine) this might be a nice way to show off.

House of Mysteries - Immortal of Hungary
The biggest among city mystery companies in the country, house of Mysteries offers so called town mysteries (like this one we tried) as well as mystery dinners and an escape room-like adventure called Hotel Crime. The big advantage is that they are present at most Hungarian towns, so if you plan to travel around the entire country and not just Budapest it is nice that you can start the game at one city and play the next episode in another. On the plus side they accept teams of two at the same price/person as bigger teams, thus if you are travelling as a couple this is cheaper than most other games. On the downside the game itself is rather simple. You get pieces of black and white photocopied papers and need to find locations at the area to count or read things and then convert numbers to letters and give answers about the person who is the protagonist of the story. So if you are up for something light, go for it, but do not expect a never before puzzling experience.

Grounded - Mysteries in Hogwarts; Shaken, not stirred
A traditional company that was among the first to open, the two rooms we played here were both on the classical side and nothing too innovative. The Hogwarts room I would discourage you from (unless you played all other Harry Potter rooms, and are dedicated to play all… like I am). The James Bond room was more fun and more challenging; we liked the idea that it starts with locking away one of the players, although in retrospect I'm happy for not being the one, since there was not much to do in that dark room while waiting for the others to open the lock. Some of the props and puzzles made happy little moments, you need some moderate knowledge of James Bond, and the place is located below a ruin bar.

Törd a fejed - Double Escape
A small company that offers two rooms at the relatively remote suburbs. I'm not entirely sure if they offer the games in English (could not find an English page), but the location is close to Gellert bath, so if you are visiting that area it might be worth to contact them. The room itself was relatively low key, but the general story had a nice twist to the classical prison game: you not only had to escape your cell, but you also had to break into the sheriff's office to find incriminating evidence. The puzzles were all padlocks, but some had clever ideas, so overall we had a good time (and the game is 75 minutes long so that's a plus).

Portal Quest - Aztek legend
A nicely decorated room (especially the first part, when we are at the jungle; then I'm not sure where we are…) with a good mix of technical and classical puzzles. Some of the puzzles were very clever (unfortunately not necessarily fitting to the theme). The only reason we did not like this room, is because somehow it did not flow well; but I realize that is very subjective opinion, so other than some arbitrary elements and lots and lots of locks, there really is nothing negative about this game.

Moviescape - Sherlock Holmes; The Prestige
As the name suggests, this company uses well-known movies for theme inspiration. We played the Sherlock theme and The Prestige, both were a slightly annoying experience, but with several positive thoughts as well. This is the only escape room location so far I encountered which does not have a bathroom (since we placed the two room one after the other, this was an issue). Also, it's probably just our bed luck, but both the game master (who happens to be the owner of the location) was rather rude to us, and the location was overly hot (which they told us is not the case for the whole year, bad timing). The two games were enjoyable. The set decoration was far from making us feel like being part of a movie, but the puzzles and the flow of the rooms were good. Sherlock is more linear, and probably less of a surprise for an enthusiast, but still ok. The Prestige was, however, outstanding in some points. The whole game started with the GM showing us some card ticks, and we got to bring with us the cards we selected, so the tricks actually played a role later in the room. Apart from this great twist the rest of the game was also ok with some puzzles that surprised us.


Rooms that you won’t play
These are either in Hungarian only, or closed down already.
Újpalota - Captain Grant
This is an escape room at a local “house of culture” that was built with literally no monetary funds, but a lot and lot of enthusiasm and it provides great entertainment for local families at the symbolic price of less than 1 USD. I thought you should know, I’m so proud to have these kind of people in my town. 

Mind Breaking
The escape room of the drog prevention facility serves educative purposes and can be visited by high school groups for free. A truly unique initiative, the puzzles tell a story that is based on real stories and really set the mood for adolescents to talk about drog issues with the professionals there afterwords.

Arany (Karinthy School)
At a remote high school hidden in the suburbs, the enthusiasm of a literature teacher brought to life an escape rooms that is visited by the students to check their knowledge about a famous Hungarian poet in a fun way.

Street Escape
Another city treasure hunt, that I’m really sorry that is not available in English (that would move it up to the “must do” category. This one is more puzzle-heavy and you run against the clock (plus against other groups), so a really competitive event with great puzzles spread throughout checkpoints you visit in order to unfold the narrative.

This room was available in English, but we were not so big fans of it, and it closed anyway.

Jusski - Straw knight; Bagdad thief
This is a family friendly location (actually two locations run by the same company) at a supermarket where they have escape rooms for kids aged 6-8 and up. We played two of their rooms as a couple of adults, and really liked them; actually these were the two rooms we first played, so kind of the ones that introduced us to the genera.


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