Israel: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: November 24, 2022

Israel has a burgeoning escape room scene filled with highly creative, family-friendly games.

Most top escape rooms in Israel are within a short drive of Tel Aviv. We also heard about a handful of standout rooms in the northern part of the country, which we didn’t have the opportunity to visit on our trip.

You can read more of our observations about the Israeli escape room market in our Field Report.

And you can learn more about Gai Bosco, designer of many of these escape rooms, on this episode of The Reality Escape Pod:

Reads: "Israel Escape Room Guide." Depicts the Tel Aviv coastline.

Market Standouts

  1. The Intervention, Escape Center
  2. Kami Temple, Escape Center
  3. Robin Hood, Action Game
  4. Hollywood 117, Hype Escape
  5. The Sting, The Maze
  6. The Vikings, Escape Sign
  7. Kofiko, Amazon Escape
  8. Cube, The Maze
  9. Action!, The Maze
  10. Mega Burger, Panica (only available in Hebrew)

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle-Centric

Large Team

Something Different

Panica – Culinary Escape Rooms in Israel

The culinary escape rooms at Panica in Tel Aviv combine classic escape room mechanics with in-room dining experiences. Solve puzzles to unlock various food ingredients and prepare an entree, dessert, or cocktail by the end of the game. Many of the puzzles are themed around food, and a few even use real food items in their solutions.

I love boundary-pushing hybrid escape room experiences, and this particular pairing was especially delectable.

As of my visit in May 2022, however, only one of Panica’s games, Eurovision Pizza Party, was fully available in English. But, with the assistance of some Hebrew-speaking teammates, I was able to play three other rooms at Panica: Mega Burger, Ice Cream Blast, and Free at the Bar.

While I didn’t review the explicitly non-English-playable rooms from my trip, I couldn’t pass up sharing some brief reflections on each of these unique experiences. Bon appetit!

A tiki bar with a beer tap.
Continue reading “Panica – Culinary Escape Rooms in Israel”

Amazon Escape – Grease [Review]

“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s what you do with your dancin’ shoes.”

Location: Holon, Israel

Date Played: May 15, 2022

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 150 NIS per player for 2 players to 100 NIS per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Game Breakage: One puzzle was broken at the time of playing

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Grease was a groovy depiction of classic American rock & roll culture.

Themed more around the era than the film of the same name, Grease guided us through various iconic settings with a lighthearted balance of family-friendly puzzles and fun interactions. Our ultimate goal: to restore the rock & roll music for our high school dance so we could fit in with the cool crowd.

Grease demonstrated the importance of cultural context in escape room markets. This room consistently ranks highly amongst Israeli enthusiasts, and while I had fun, Grease didn’t blow me away. What is important to acknowledge, though, is why this room ranks so highly, which is in large part due to the novelty of a real-life American diner for Israelis and the novelty of certain non-puzzle interactions that are rare amongst Israeli escape rooms.

In other words: I grew up in suburban America with classic diners as a persistent element of vintage nostalgia. I’ve also played a good handful of diner-themed escape rooms around the US, so standard diners are an enjoyable but not uncommon setting for me. But for many non-Americans, the diner setting provides a unique escape to a far-off place only seen in movies.

An American 50's style diner with a jukebox, a coke machine, and milkshakes on the counter.

Grease was a delightful, if slightly dated, experience that was shaped by the experimentation, playfulness, and care that characterizes many Israeli escape rooms. If you are visiting Amazon Escape, make sure to play their newest room Kofiko for a more ambitious and polished experience. If you have the time, Grease would make a fun addition to your itinerary.

Continue reading “Amazon Escape – Grease [Review]”

Amazon Escape – Hansel and Gretel [Review]

Confectionary capture

Location: Holon, Israel

Date Played: May 15, 2022

Team Size: 3-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 135 NIS per player for 3 players to 115 NIS per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Players must walk through a narrow passage and over an uneven surface (there is a way around)

Emergency Exit Rating: We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The concept behind Hansel and Gretel was adorable, delightful, and delicious.

Starting off in a quaint, wood-paneled library, we entered into the story of Hansel and Gretel, through a magical candy forest and into a witch’s sweet abode. Along the way, simple puzzles were intermixed with the construction of some edible (and utterly cute) confections and light actor interactions.

Massive lollypops, and other candies.

However, at the time of playing in May 2022, the set of Hansel and Gretel was in a state of significant disrepair. The library was sparse and looked as though nearly all the books had been checked out. The candy forest, while colorful and attractive from a distance, appeared to have been partially consumed. Large foam-molded props had many visible scuffs and breaks, having been hastily hot glued back together multiple times. The mag-locks on compartments were either weak or falling apart, and it was often difficult to tell whether or not the compartment had actually been opened yet. We repeatedly asked the gamemaster for confirmation before opening almost everything, not wanting to accidentally break sequence.

Our visit fell just a month after Passover, a major holiday during which escape rooms experience a surge in traffic from families. Hansel and Gretel is especially popular amongst families, and when you put a bunch of kids in a brightly colored room full of candy and candy-like objects… well, some damage is bound to happen. That said, the set wasn’t built solidly enough to withstand this sort of expected wear and tear. In particular, applying some sort of hardened exterior to the molded foam could better protect it from this sort of abuse.

There was so much in Hansel and Gretel that I loved, and much more that I wanted to love, but it is hard to recommend in its current form. Amazon Escape was planning a major revamp of the game soon after our visit, upgrading the set, replacing the live-actor interactions, and making some of the puzzles more challenging. I truly hope that these changes restore Hansel and Gretel to its previous glory and future-proof it against players of all ages.

Continue reading “Amazon Escape – Hansel and Gretel [Review]”

Sherlocked – Gulliver’s Travels [Review]

A Swift escape

Location: Rishon Lezion, Israel

Date Played: May 23, 2022

Team Size: 3-10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 120 NIS per player for 3 players to 95 NIS per player for 8+ players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Climbing and crawling required for all players (there is a way around), quiet audio

Emergency Exit Rating: We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Gulliver’s Travels is one of the most popular escape rooms for families in Israel, and the reasons for this were immediately apparent. Building off of Jonathan Swift’s novel of the same name, Gulliver’s Travels transported us by boat to a land of tiny people where we felt like giants, and to the land of the giants where we felt minuscule. Especially for newer escape room players, the set provided a swashbuckling adventure to some wondrous worlds.

We thoroughly enjoyed this journey, and we experienced many joyous moments along the way.

As a puzzle-loving enthusiasts, though, it was hard not to feel as though some elements of the room were a shadow of their former self, and we indeed confirmed with local escape room enthusiasts that some of the original puzzles in the version they’d played years ago had been simplified over time into more straightforward interactions. This is not necessarily a bad thing; many escape rooms adapt over time to fit their target audience. In the case of Gulliver’s Travels, we were not always that audience.

Model of a city.

For families and newer escape room players, Gulliver’s Travels provides a delightful experience that would likely make teams eager to experience more escape rooms. For escape room enthusiasts, Gulliver’s Travels was a fun but particularly light experience that provided a unique take on a nonstandard theme.

Continue reading “Sherlocked – Gulliver’s Travels [Review]”