The popularity of real-life room escape games is on the rise and there’s a wide range of thematic elements around which each game is centred. The so called exit games are constructed to challenge the participants with puzzles, small clues and logical tasks in order to escape the room within the given time limit. Although the adventure requires constructive team work in solving the puzzles, it can result in heated arguments and can end life-long friendships. Fortunately, in our case with my friends, the game was taken just as seriously as it was required for a succesful escape.
The game’s theme placed us on the board of Titanic where we had to escape from our cabin and find the Heart of the Ocean necklace along with the key. The liner’s cabin of the catastrophic voyage was re-imagined in a basement room from a two-minute walk from Kodály körönd. After welcoming us and saying a few words about the game, the fun part began as we were led to the room from which held us as captives for the upcoming hour or so. The room was furnished with commodities trying to be as faithful to the 1910s as possible. Far from being crowded with furniture, the room had a big wardrobe, two desks with drawers and compartments, a sofa and a huge wooden case. Staying true to the sea adventure, the walls were styled with shell-patterned wallpaper yellowed over time.
As soon as we were locked in by the young coordinator, the 60-minute quest started. The first instruction directed us to one of the desks with drawers labelled with one point of the compass. Each door, drawer and case held another puzzle and was locked with a padlock that could be opened by a four-numbered code. We had to figure out these numbers by the small clues, such as maps and clocks found in the room, and even Morse code transmitted on an old radio.
The first lock opened with the date of Columbus’s first voyage which, well, took place a bit earlier than our liner was set afloat. Nevertheless, we got hold of the next question dealing with time-lag. Being students of the humanities, we spent relatively more time on tasks involving even basic math. Three clocks showing the time in London, New York and Moscow helped us to calculate the time-zones and give the time-lag of four further cities. However, maybe because of the intensifying sinister background music, maybe because of the fear of getting stuck in a basement room without Wi-Fi, we took the opportunity one or two times to contact with the coordinator on an old phone just to make sure we used our reasoning well. The most challenging task was probably the decoding of Morse signals through an old radio and rewriting the letters into numbers with the help of a table. As we explored the content of all the furniture in the room capable of hiding an instruction inside, the big wooden wardrobe led us to another small room with a beautifully lighted huge globe in it and a wall representing the sky covered in the Zodiacal Constellations. The number of points representing the stars of the constellation gave the numbers to open the last drawer which held the key and, of course, the Heart of the Ocean necklace. It was not surprising that we were not only happy but also proud- we managed to escape our cabin in just fifty-three minutes out of the one-hour time limit. Efficient teamwork and successful reasoning brought the well-deserved escape of quitting the sinking ship. The game is definitely recommended for more than two people, not only on the principle of ‘two heads better than one’ but because of the fun part as well. Not to mention the discount if more adventurers join: the price for a two-person team is 8000 HUF per participants, whether a six-person team is 13,800 HUF, costing a person only 2,300 HUF. It’s really not that much for escaping real life for an hour.
Opening hours: 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. every day (reservation in advance is needed)
Address: 3 Szinyei Merse Street, Budapest, 1063