Panica – Eurovision Pizza Party [Review]

Pizza my heart ❤️

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Date Played: May 10, 2022

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 140 NIS per player for 2 players to 120 NIS per player for 5+ players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: All players must pass through a narrow doorway

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Panica has discovered the solution to getting hungry while playing escape rooms: culinary escape rooms. In Eurovision Pizza Party, we solved our way through a set of Eurovision- and pizza-themed puzzles, unlocking real dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and other pizza toppings along the way. By the end of the game, we’d baked a delicious pizza, which we were invited to enjoy right there in the room.

A heart-shaped pizza with a pizza cutter on one side and three tomatoes on the other.

The gameplay in Eurovision Pizza Party was simple and delightful. I particularly appreciated how each puzzle that unlocked a food ingredient was clearly themed around that ingredient.

Of note, Panica has a second pizza-themed room, Holy Pizza, that is more singularly pizza-centric. As the name suggests, Eurovision Pizza Party was equal parts pizza and Eurovision.

I’ll readily admit that my exposure to Eurovision prior to playing this room was largely limited to a viewing of the film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga a few years ago. As an American, I’d been aware of Eurovision, but it was never a particularly big part of my life. While the room included plentiful Eurovision references that I imagine Eurovision fans will appreciate, it succeeded in authentically channeling the joy, showmanship, and talent that are core to Eurovision without over-relying on the reference as a gimmick.

As a dining experience, Eurovision Pizza Party was reasonably filling. The pizza made for a tasty lunch, especially when split amongst a smaller team. The pricing for this experience was quite reasonable: including the price of the pizza (with a small additional charge for the vegan option), the price stayed around the average for Tel Aviv escape rooms.

Eurovision Pizza Party was the only game at Panica officially available in English, but our team had the opportunity to play a selection of their other Hebrew-language offerings, including Mega Burger, Ice Cream Blast, and Free at the Bar. For our reflections on these games and Panica’s approach to culinary escape rooms, check out our culinary escape room overview (coming soon!)

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Pizza lovers
  • Eurovision fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Colorful and joyous environment
  • A delicious pizza is included
A bar with photos of singers on the wall, and a keyboard int eh corner.

Story

We visited a pizzeria that was frequented by Eurovision fans and home to a Eurovision Hall of Fame. A mysterious mischief-maker had sabotaged the restaurant, and we had to work through the strange Eurovision-themed puzzles they’d used to lock up all the pizza.

Setting

Eurovision Pizza Party combined a Eurovision tribute lounge with the trappings of a classic pizzeria. The decor was bright and festive: from rainbow sequined tablecloths to the purple and orange walls to the ongoing soundtrack of fan-favorite Eurovision performances. Just beyond the dining area, a small pizza oven and food preparation area awaited.

A turntable with a slice of pizza on it.

Gameplay

Panica’s Eurovision Pizza Party was a culinary escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles and making connections. As in a classic escape room, some puzzles led to more puzzles — but solving other puzzles unlocked actual food ingredients that we used to prepare a pizza at the end of the experience.

Analysis

🍕 The pizza was surprisingly delicious! With a simple step-by-step recipe and an easy-to-use mini oven, even players who never cook can expect positive results.

➕ The puzzles were well themed around Eurovision, music, and pizza. They were consistently fun, providing a lively balance of thinking and doing.

➕/➖ The room was a festive, colorful, fun environment with both the Eurovision and pizza themes strongly represented. However, these two themes at times felt disjointed, and some other Panica rooms demonstrated a level of deeper thematic cohesion.

➕ The gameplay embodied a sense of humor, and a number of interactions made us laugh. Some of the jokes were Eurovision-themed, and while Eurovision fans will especially enjoy the bounty of Eurovision references baked into the room, most of the humor was accessible to those of us less steeped in Eurovision culture.

➕ An unexpected reveal elevated our experience.

❓ One puzzle required using our cellphones, a break from the norm which was mentioned in the pre-game rules. While I liked this interaction, it just as easily could have been accomplished using an in-room tool instead.

❓ The room was quite clean, though the intended table on which for us to roll out the pizza dough wasn’t a dedicated food preparation surface. I would have preferred to keep puzzling areas and food prep areas more separate, but your mileage with this may vary. Wet wipes were provided in the room, and our team felt safe consuming the food we had cooked.

Tips For Visiting

  • There was a vegan option available (swapping in vegan cheeze and avoiding animal-based toppings.) Players with gluten allergies may want to avoid this room, though.
  • English playability: An English version of the full game was available, and all but one puzzle was translated.

Book your hour with Panica’s Eurovision Pizza Party, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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