Flow Escape Game – Earning the Holy Grail [Review]

Foreign yet familiar.

Location: Debrecen, Hungary

Date played: August 31, 2017

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: 10,000 HUF ($39) per team of 2, 12,000 HUF ($58) per team of 3-4, 3,000 HUF ($12) for each additional person

Story & setting

We were on a quest for the Holy Grail. We started our quest in a marketplace, from which we would make our way into the castle to retrieve our prize.

In-game: A medieval marketplace with baskets of items and a balance. There is dirt and hay on the ground.

Flow Escape Game built Earning the Holy Grail into the old brick wine cellar of a building in a residential neighborhood. They relied on the building itself for much of the dramatic aesthetic. I left Hungary with the impression that these old wine cellars are fairly unremarkable to locals, but as foreigners we found them both unusual and enjoyable.

Puzzles

Earning the Holy Grail required searching, making connections, and layered puzzling.

Standouts

The majority of the set pieces in Flow Escape Game were custom construction. Most of these housed interesting and sometimes unexpected mechanisms that facilitated fun interactions.

 

We really enjoyed the final act of Earning the Holy Grail. The tangible and interactive puzzles led to fun reveals. The puzzling flowed well and the outcome was exciting.

The basement that housed Earning the Holy Grail included some oddly shaped spaces. Flow Escape Game built interesting puzzles into some of these places. These were creative and unique puzzle designs.

Shortcomings

Earning the Holy Grail also included one rather expansive space. It was mainly outfitted with uninteresting furniture and an assortment of props. There were far too many small details to find in this one massive room.

Earning the Holy Grail included multiple trick locks. These are incredible puzzles unto themselves, but don’t belong in escape rooms without built-in clues. These seemed especially out of place given the custom locking mechanisms that Flow Escape Game built into other parts of this room escape.

While we really enjoyed many of the puzzles in Earning the Holy Grail, they sometimes lacked connective tissue. Just a little more clue structure would make this adventure flow more smoothly.

Should I play Flow Escape Game’s Earning the Holy Grail?

Debrecen is located on the Great Hungarian Plain, about 3 hours east of Budapest by train. We had traveled to Debrecen because I was speaking at a conference about my work as an onomastician. While in town, we visited one escape room.

Earning the Holy Grail included fun puzzles, especially those built into interesting custom construction. We recommend that Flow Escape Game lean into their talents and integrate more large, tangible interactions as well as a bit more clue structure. There is an interesting and exciting escape game here.

While Flow Escape Game does run games in English, the English-speaking gamemaster was unavailable during our short visit to Debrecen. The owner, who only spoke Hungarian, brought in a friend (who had never played, or even seen an escape room) to translate for us. Both the owner and the translator went out of their way for us and we truly appreciate it. It was a wonderfully strange end to the trip’s Hungarian escape room adventures.

If you find yourself in Debrecen, we recommend Earning the Holy Grail.

Book your hour with Flow Escape Game’s Earning the Holy Grail, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

 

 

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