Are you in for a mysterious journey underground?
‘OH MY GOD, what is that sound?? Is it over yet?’ ‘Nononono it’s just the final alarm, but give me that key for crying out loud…’ goes a conversation most probably quite ordinary and common behind that particularly locked vault door somewhere below ground level in the 8th district of Budapest.
Yes, you guessed right, I’m talking about ParaPark, Hungary’s – and most probably the world’s – first four dimensional and completely real ‘escape the room’ point-and-click game. It was opened in June 2011 in the cellars under the ruin pub Gondozó, and has been almost fully booked ever since, having 95% positive feedback from the visitors. This huge demand encouraged the creator to come up with new ideas. As a result, he has already built a second level and is currently preparing the third one. But what is it exactly? Well, we went and saw for ourselves.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by one of the organisers of the game, who gave us a five minute introduction concerning things like how we can use the walkie-talkie or what we should not touch or move once we get inside. Other than that, she only told us that our aim is to get out in 60 minutes. And there we were, facing the vaults, not having the faintest idea of what we would see inside. The second we stepped in, the electric door closed behind us and the clock started ticking.
Without spoiling anything, I can say that after one hour spent in there, I totally understand and agree with all the enthusiastic and excited comments the players have left in the guest book or under articles about the place. All four of us enjoyed every minute inside, not to mention that extremely overwhelming sensation I felt when we finally managed to open the last door in the very last minute. It was like being part of an action thriller movie packed with scenes after which you give yourself a big facepalm and say, ‘In the last two seconds? Seriously?’, except, this was actually real.
ParaPark is a game played by teams of 3-5, requiring nothing more than logic, resourcefulness and thinking outside the box, communicating with each other and working as a team. The experience is suitable for everybody above the age 14 according to the creator, since, despite its name meaning ‘Fear Park’ in Hungarian, there is nothing to be afraid of down there: it’s rather the adrenalin rush you get due to the time pressure and the mere thought of escaping somewhere that gives you the goosebumps.
So, if you like riddles, puzzles and adventure games, grab a few friends and don’t hesitate to descend into the mysterious vaults of ParaPark, where you can lose sense of time and forget about the outside world completely for one hour.
1081 Budapest, Vajdahunyad st. 4. (2min walk from 32esek tere)
Info and booking: http://parapark.hu