Budapest, Hungary: Room Escape Recommendations

Latest Update: December 31, 2017

Budapest was the early home of innovation in escape rooms.

We took a pilgrimage and here are our top escape rooms in Budapest. They are broken out into categories because we like nuance.

The palace in Budapest lit at night.
#NoFilter

Market standouts

If you only have time for a few games, play these:

  1. Pirate Cave Escape Room
  2. Legacy of Noo’Zaca, Mindquest
  3. White Mission, Gozsdu Mission

Set & scenery-driven adventures

Puzzle-centric

Tech-heavy

Newbie-friendly

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

E-Exit – Heaven & Hell [Review]

Go to Hell!

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Date played: August 26, 2017

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 10,000 HUF ($39) per team of 2 players; 12,000 HUF ($46) per team of 3-6 players

Story & setting

In Heaven & Hell, our hearts had stopped and we were dead. We had an hour to puzzle our way out of Hell, through Heaven, and back to the land of the living. If we failed in the middle, we would be stuck wherever we landed for eternity.

A radiant blue hand in a white and blue space.

 

Heaven & Hell took us on a journey through death itself. The set was creatively designed and unapologetically handmade. The environments were not particularly immersive, but there was a lot of detail and thought put into their representation of an adventure through the afterlife.

Puzzles

Heaven & Hell focused on puzzles, particularly visual, spatial, and mechanical ones. It had an adventure component to it, but this was primarily an escape room for folks who want to work through puzzles.

Standouts

Heaven & Hell took us on a bizarre journey to puzzle our way back from death. It was delightfully weird and oddly charming.

The homemade, hacked-together environments supported the narrative. While grounded in established myth, they were unique, detailed, and amusing.

In-game: A red and black room filled with ghosts and skeletons.

 

The story came full circle providing narrative closure through puzzles. It worked surprisingly well.

Shortcomings

Although Heaven & Hell delivered a story, it was not particularly immersive or believable. In the middle, the puzzling was more like a smorgasbord of escape room-style puzzling in someone’s strange vision of hell and heaven.

A few puzzle components were a bit too hacked together and thus really worn. We may have accidentally contributed to the wear as we figured out how to manipulate them. Heaven & Hell would benefit from some repair and refresh work.

Should I play E-Exit’s Heaven & Hell?

Heaven & Hell was first and foremost a challenging puzzle game.

E-Exit wrapped these puzzles in a strange, quirky, and amusing vision of the afterlife. It was weird, but it worked. In this way, it was unlike any other escape room we’ve seen in Budapest, or anywhere else.

While we enjoyed this journey through death, we couldn’t help but wish it were more polished and refined. There’s room for E-Exit to take this escape room to the next level.

I recommend Heaven & Hell most highly for experienced puzzlers who can appreciate how odd this escape room is.

Note that there are two tight spaces in Heaven & Hell… and if this is a problem for you, your gamemaster can offer you an alternative path.

If your idea of heaven is puzzley escape rooms, look no further.

Book your hour with E-Exit’s Heaven & Hell, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Trap – Armageddon [Review]

“I don’t want to close my eyes…”

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Date played: August 25, 2017

Team size: up to 5; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 12,000 HUF ($47) per team

Story & setting

With an asteroid hurtling towards Earth, we had to initiate a planet-saving countermeasure before the massive rock crossed the point of no return.

In-game: The concrete military bunker set of Armageddon. The wall reads, "Security Level 5 in yellow."

Staged as a high-security missile silo, Armageddon had a minimalist design. It looked a bit sterile, and at times inconsistent, as we pushed deeper into the game. Parts of it looked militaristic, while others looked like the Budapest basement that housed the escape room.

Puzzles

Armageddon was more of an adventure game with puzzles. Both the fun and the challenge lay in exploring the gamespace. The puzzling was built around noticing interesting details among the props.

Standouts

Armageddon had a minimalist, bunker-esque setting that set a dramatic tone for the experience. The look worked.

We appreciated how well Trap used steganography.

Trap constructed some exciting interactions through mechanical contraptions and analogue technology. These were satisfying, tangible, and exciting solves.

Shortcomings

Armageddon focused on making discoveries within the set and the resulting interactions. In doing so, it lacked satisfying cerebral puzzles. We found these either overly simplistic or completely obtuse.

While there was a lot to do in the space, the lack of puzzle depth made Armageddon feel light on content.

Should I play Trap’s Armageddon?

Armageddon was an entertaining adventure that could have pushed its ideas further. The concept, set, and interactions were all solid and fun to explore.

A bit of advice for tall folks: in one section of Armageddon, you’ll really want to duck.

While experienced players will likely breeze through this end-of-the-world scenario, Armageddon would be a fun and approachable room escape for newbies.

Book your hour with Trap’s , and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Trap provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

Gozsdu Mission – White Mission [Review]

It’s like being locked in a giant puzzle box.

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Date played: August 26, 2017

Team size: 4-7; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: ranging from 5,000 HUF ($20) per person for 2 players to 3,000 HUF ($12) per person for teams of 7 players

Story & setting

We were locked in a strange white room with the exit key hanging by a chain from the ceiling. The chain was just a touch too short to reach the door. We had to explore the space and figure out how to get that key into the lock.

In-game: Close-up of a large key padlocked to a chain in the middle of a stark white room.

White Mission had a sterile, sci-fi aesthetic. Its decidedly minimalistic layout made for an unusual environment.

In-game: A stark white room with empty white picture frames, and a key hanging from a long chain.

Puzzles

Built entirely around puzzling, White Mission had no narrative whatsoever. We need to explore the space, figure out how it worked, and then puzzle through it. Some of the puzzles were environment-based; others required more traditional logic, reasoning, and mathematics.

Standouts

In-game: A white control panel beside a white table in an entirely white room.

With White Mission, Gozsdu Mission deliberately designed a themed puzzle room without narrative. It was a bold decision that worked really well. The minimalist environment and stark contrast built excitement in and of itself.

We particularly enjoyed the mechanics that opened up hidden things.

White Mission leaned into substantial, challenging, and fair puzzles.

Shortcomings

While the puzzles themselves were well designed, White Mission relied too heavily on some common escape room play mechanics.

We didn’t enjoy searching in expansive darkness.

Should I play Gozsdu Mission’s White Mission?

White Mission was a 90-minute room escape. We listed that above, but it’s worth repeating. There was a lot to puzzle through and the puzzles were challenging.

If you’re looking for a purely puzzle experience in an interesting environment, White Mission is a fantastic choice. If you’re looking for a grand, narrative-driven adventure in a detailed set… then choose something else.

Newbies will likely need some help getting through this experience; don’t be afraid to accept hints.

Experienced players will find a lot of satisfying puzzles to chew on.

White Mission had a lot in common with another game that we love, The Experiment at Escape Games NYC. I suspect that White Mission inspired the folks in New York City as they are originally from Hungary. We’re happy about this as both are entertaining puzzle games.

Book your hour with Gozsdu Mission’s White Mission, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Gozsdu Mission provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Mystique Room – Time Machine [Review]

Hot Steam Time Machine.

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Date played: August 26, 2017

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from 11,990 HUF ($46) per team of 2 players to 19,920 HUF ($77) per team of 8 players

Story & setting

Doctor Clarence Guinan Donnolly, a professor from a small town in the United States, had accidentally stopped time while configuring his time machine. We had to set things right or Doctor Donnolly and his entire town would remain frozen forever.

In-game: A gear covered set and a large locked cabinet with a nixie tube clock.

Time Machine’s steampunk time ship looked absolutely gorgeous. The set was detailed and busy. In fact, upon first glance, I was worried that it might be impossible to tell the relevant puzzle components from the set dressing. Fortunately, with rare exceptions, the puzzles stood out from the decor.

Puzzles

In terms of puzzles, Time Machine was escape room-y. It had many standard escape room puzzle and lock interactions creatively implanted throughout the game.

In game: a metal stairwell in a steam-punk set.

Standouts

I loved the beautifully polished, intricate, and expansive steam-punk gamespace. It was detailed, but not distracting.

In-game: an intricate array of gears

Time Machine was generally composed of tangible prop manipulation. We particularly enjoyed one incredible door-opening mechanism.

Mystique combined analogue and digital technology; these blended into the look and feel of the Time Machine. In this way, Time Machine felt like a cohesive puzzling experience.

Time Machine was the only escape room that we played in an old Budapest basement that didn’t smell musty.

Shortcomings

While there was a story behind Time Machine, the narrative elements felt forced. We appreciated it as a time-travel steampunk adventure rather than a deliberate mission to help specific characters.

In fact, when the puzzles leaned into the narrative, they fell victim to “escape room logic” where things only made sense in the context of puzzle solution.

At the time we visited, 2 large set pieces in Time Machine were broken. While this didn’t dramatically change the game, it did stifle reveals. This was particularly disappointing since an entire space was devoted to one of these broken setpieces and thus rendered unnecessary.

Should I play Mystique Room’s Time Machine?

Time Machine offered a gorgeous set and fun puzzles. These were challenging, but approachable. The narrative wasn’t particularly cohesive, but that didn’t stop the fun.

Experienced players should have an easier time than newbies parsing what is in play and what is not. That said, players of any experience level could appreciate Time Machine.

Budapest doesn’t have a lot of room escapes with meticulously designed sets, so if that’s what you’re looking for, then Time Machine is a must-visit.

Book your hour with Mystique Room’s Time Machine, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Mystique Room provided media discounted tickets for this game.