Last week we decided to celebrate Spring Break by donning our swimsuits (then thermals, wool sweaters, snow pants, jackets, hats, gloves and waterproof galoshes) to leave the perfect warm climate of our home town and depart for that most famous Spring Break destination: frigid Iceland. We stepped off the plane and were immediately met with the harsh wind and rain of an Icelandic winter (technically it was one week into spring but this is winter to us). Pushed and shoved by the less than welcoming airport crowd we were crammed into trams and buses and eventually made our way to downtown Reykjavik. Jet-lagged and barely awake, we slogged our way through the sleet and wind to the warm refuge of Reykjavik Escape.
Once inside we divested of our multiple layers of clothing until we looked less like trolls and more like the Viking warriors we hoped to be: ready to battle and prove our martial prowess in the art of escaping! The game master recommended we play Mafia (less Viking themed than we had hoped) but he promised us it was their most challenging game. Once inside the room, we found the puzzles logically laid out in both multi-linear and linear fashion. Being no strangers to cracking the inner workings of organized crime networks, we set to work to bust the case. We proceeded through the puzzles quickly with only one small hint to help us through. The game flow was seamless and the puzzles logical: exactly the way we like our games to be! We successfully escaped with plenty of time to nom on some Skyr before succumbing to the full force of our jet lag.
After a few days of exploring the waterfalls, lava fields, and glaciers in search of Gryla and the Yule Lads, we returned once again to the city and to Reykjavik Escape. This time we decided to try to fly the coop in Prison Break. This game ran as smoothly as glacier water. We moved quickly through the puzzles, slowed only by our failure to understand the workings of a European style computer keyboard. Without so much as a single hint, we made our escape out of prison and into the dark Icelandic night in search of one last glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Upon our departure we asked for recommendations on other escape room establishments to play while in Iceland. The game master informed us that Reykjavik Escape is the only game in town and in fact in all of Iceland. “It’s a small country.” Holy puffin! That’s awesome! Our work here is done! Time to head back to the land of sunshine. We love you Iceland but you can keep your wind, sleet and snow. Turns out we weren’t made for that weather.
Haunted Photo Lab: A boy has mysteriously gone missing in his father's photography lab. A cryptic video tape, created by the now missing father, warns of the boy's ghost haunting the room. We had to escape the boy's ghost.
Pros: The introductory video helped set a spooky tone to the game and kept us in anticipation of what might happen next. As we searched the room looking for clues we constantly looked over our shoulder fearing a ghostly apparition. The game master helped when one of the locks would not work.
Cons: This room was mostly about finding objects and less about solving puzzles. The few puzzles we did solve were more time-consuming than cognitively challenging. Overall we wish we had skipped it since escape rooms are much more expensive over here in Scandinavia and we didn't feel we got our money's worth.
The Pirate Ship: We had to steal the Captain's treasure before he awoke to discover our plan and make us walk the plank.
Curse of the Pharaoh: As treasure hunters we had to locate the missing jewel deep inside the Pharoh's tomb.
Pros: The pirate and Egyptian rooms were fun themes. Although the rooms were small, the multilinear puzzle design kept us engaged. The puzzles were simple but logical and tied to the theme. The game master was super enthusiastic with a great introductory speech that helped get us amped up for the game. She monitored our game closely and offered hints via a monitor in the room. The puzzles ranged from riddles to mechanical tasks. We escaped with minutes to spare. The games were challenging but quite possible to solve. We especially loved that when the game was over we celebrated our victory with the song "we are the champions." We definitely felt like victors on this day.
Cons: The only struggle we had in both games (besides our own personal struggles with certain puzzle types *cough cough* math) was in understanding the audio hints in some of the puzzles. This is a simple fix for the game designers though. Overall this was a very enjoyable escape room experience made even better by our enthusiastic game master!
Airplane: Our airplane had been hijacked and we had to find a way to stop the hijackers before time ran out.
Four Elements: Uniting the four elements of earth, wind, water and fire was the key to our escape.
The Curse: A witch has cast her evil spell, we had to find a way to counteract it quick.
Pros: The game master and the owner greeted us and helped get us excited for each game. Airplane was a unique and fun experience. The puzzles flowed in a logical linear fashion and our group of four broke the record! The next two games also were very logical in puzzle design. We most enjoyed playing the Curse with it's spooky storyline. It was ideal for a group of four and once again we broke a record. We didn't need much help from the game master but when we did, she was always quick to provide hints. The sets were decorated to theme and helped add to the experience.
Cons: None! This was a great experience through all three games and highly recommended. If you have to choose one, play Airplane. The Curse is definitely our second choice. Exite games rocked!
Smuggler Monk: Searching for the monastery's lost treasure, we had to follow the path of the monks to find it.
Pros: The storyline and concept were interesting. The game master was friendly and professional from the booking to our successful finish.
Cons: The website described numerous games. We had trouble booking via the website and therefore had to call to schedule a session. They recommended we play their best game. This review is based only on that game and not the others. After we played it, we did not want to waste our money playing any more. The set was basic with little decoration and few props. The puzzles consisted either of finding keys or inputting random numbers that we found into locks. There were a few puzzles that actually required solving but these were all illogical and we needed hints to know even how to "solve" them. In the end we were disappointed with puzzles, set, and game flow. We chose not to play any further games based on our experience with this game.
The Lost Symbol: A professor of cryptography has disappeared, we had to unravel the mysterious symbols and find the missing professor.
Pros: From the moment we walked in the door the game master was very accommodating. We appreciated his help throughout the game. They had a beautiful waiting room and a welcome atmosphere. We successfully escaped the room we played and wished we had the chance to play the rest of the games. Our limited time in Copenhagen, however, did not allow us to squeeze in any more games.
Cons: Our major concern with the game we played at Brain Quest was with the puzzle design. The first puzzle was very illogical. We needed the answer in order to move on. Even after the game master provided the answer we did not feel it was logical at all. After substantial delay on this first puzzle we decided to be wary of all future puzzles. We proceeded with caution but soon discovered similar issues with at least two other puzzles. Ironically, however, we did not need hints on these subsequent baffling puzzles since we have played many poorly designed rooms and have learned some illogical strategies used in similar rooms. We escaped but left with a general feeling of annoyance at the poor puzzle designs. Set design and story line were simple with puzzles sometimes linked to the story.
Valhalla: Our band of Vikings had to find a way to enter the eternal Viking paradise.
Crazy Grandma: Grandma had been kidnapped and locked away. We had to find her and help her escape.
The Cell: Locked away in a hole in the wall, we had to find a way out before they began harvesting our organs.
Pros: We started our day by playing the Viking-themed game. Our group of four (with two newbies) had a slow start in the beginning but after a small hint from the game master we were off and running. The puzzles were fun and logical and tied to the Viking storyline. We found our way into the otherworld with plenty of time to spare. Our first-time friends loved it and left happy. Overall we definitely recommend this room!
Cons: The next game we played was Grandma. The puzzles in this game had some clear logical flaws. Several of the puzzles required hints mostly because they defied the laws of logic or common knowledge. We were able to figure out others more by lucky guess than anything else. This game seemed rather raw and could use some major reworking.
Our experience with the puzzles in the Cell was much better since most of the puzzles flowing in a logical linear fashion. We enjoyed the challenge of working in a confined, cramped space. This room is limited to two people but is not for the feint of heart. The small dark space is sure to invoke some degree of claustrophobia even among those who have never experienced such. We overcame this quickly but stumbled on one puzzle that cost us precious time. The game master attempted in vein to help but unfortunately the hints he offered were for a puzzle we had already solved. Twenty minutes of wasted time trying to re-solve a puzzle we already had a correct answer for resulted in our failure to escape.
We have mixed feelings about Exit Games Stockholm. The Viking room is definitely worth playing. Skip Grandma. The Cell: only for the bravest of the brave escapeologists.
Prison: We had 60 minutes to break out of jail and smell the sweet air of freedom.
Bomb: Harkening back to the days of the Cold War, we had to locate and deactivate a bomb before the world became a nuclear wasteland.
White Room: A white room, a ticking clock and time is money.
Pros: Timequest is a top-notch escape room experience and definitely worth a visit when in Copenhagen. The game masters were professional and observant throughout the whole game. We donned our prison garb and began our day at TimeQuest by being handcuffed, blindfolded and locked in a cell. We proceeded rapidly through the game despite being handcuffed through the majority of it. We had to fight our natural instinct to work on different puzzles at once and instead work together. The linear nature of the puzzles helped with this. The puzzles were logical and directly tied to the prison escape theme. The Prison Break soundtrack in the background helped motivate us in our escape. We made our jail break in record time, beating the top score. We felt like professional escape artists!
Our experience in the White Room quickly deflated our burgeoning egos. The concept behind the room was quite unique in that we had several strategic options that would effect our final score. The object was not only to escape quickly but to locate hidden money and determine whether or not to use said money to purchase clues. The puzzles were multilinear and multi-leveled creating a challenging experience for even the most experienced and record-breaking escapeologists. This room seems ideally fitted for 4-5 people rather than smaller groups. We struggled with the complex puzzles and lost a lot of precious time before ultimately choosing to pay for hints. We escaped with a lot less money than we had hoped. We recommend this room as a challenge for more experienced players.
After playing the white room, our cognitive functioning seemed severely diminished but we determined to power through and play the Bomb. The puzzles were logical and linear like the Prison room. We moved through the game and were able to successfully escape with time to spare and only one hint, The set design was perfect for the theme and the puzzles tied to the storyline.
Cons: We were overall impressed by TimeQuest. Our only concern was that the puzzles in the White Room may be too complex for beginners. We suggest that you play that room with 4-5 experienced players. When in Copenhagen and in need of an escape room fix, Timequest is the place to go.
10 Millions of the New York Gangsters: The notorious Chris Donovan gang is on the run after hiding nearly 10 million dollars in cash. We had to search their hideaway and escape with the money.
Mystery of the Pirate Ship: Our band of unruly pirates boarded Captain Duke's ship in search of the Golden Amulet of the Seven Seas.
Pros: The storyline and set design in these rooms immediately drew us into the game. The attention to detail and subtle added surprises helped keep us on our toes throughout the game. The electronic puzzles really added to the fun. All the puzzles tied to the theme making for a clearly connected narrative. The game master watched our moves closely and intervened when were way off track. We escaped both rooms with time to spare.
Cons: The puzzles felt less like puzzlss than simple tasks to be completed. Once we figured out what to do, the next task was presented. An excellent place for newbies to learn about the basic concept without delving too deeply into the muck of solving complex puzzles. Recommended for those new to escape rooms or escape room addicts who like to see various approaches to set design. We highly commend them for the creativity in set design.
Wonderland: The colors have been kidnapped and locked away. Our goal was to free the colors and escape before time ran out.
Pros: The set design was very unique and creative. We felt like we had entered the strange world of Wonderland. The game master was very polite and helped us navigate our way through the puzzles. The hints were tied to the story of the colors and freeing them.
Cons: A few of the mechanical parts of the game could be improved for better overall flow and game play. Aspects of the game seemed counterintuitive to experienced escape room players. However, we enjoyed the opportunity to challenge ourselves in this way and rewire our brains to think a bit more creatively and out of the box. This was quite the challenging experience and recommended for those wishing to try a room that is a bit out of the norm.
Cover photo taken at Countdown Live .
We are escape room fanatics who have played over 370 games in the U.S. and Europe. We love the art of escapology and we wanted to share our adventures in playing room escapes with you!
Rooms Played: 370