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.
Opera: The star of the caberet is missing. What happened to her? Our team of investigators was sent in to find out.
Pros: This establishment has an inviting waiting room that adds to the overall ambiance. The game master was also welcoming and helpful from start to finish. The set was decorated to theme with puzzles somewhat aligned to the storyline. The combination of mechanical and traditional puzzles was fun. We struggled with a few and needed hints to move us along but we enjoyed the puzzle-solving process.
Cons: One of the puzzles in the beginning stumped us for quite a while and we thought it could be slightly adjusted to be a bit more clear. Most of the puzzles however proceeded nicely and were logical and fun to solve. The set design was no frills but worked with the story. Overall this was a middle-of-the road escape room experience.
Professor Zoltan's Virus: Professor Zoltan has gone mad and plans to release a deadly virus that will destroy humanity. We had to locate the virus and flee the lab in order to foil his evil plan.
Police Academy of Palmento City: As police academy cadets we had to pass one final exam: defuse the bomb and escape with our lives.
Pros: The game master enthusiastically introduced the story and dressed us appropriately for the parts we had to play. The added touch of costumes always adds to the experience, so hats off to Happy Hour Escape Rooms for props and costumes! The game master offered much needed hints through a monitor on the wall. Thankfully, we only needed a few hints here and there as the puzzles were clear and quite solvable. The game flow was linear and logical with each puzzle proceeding clearly from one to the next.
Cons: The sets were basic in design but clearly aligned to the story. However, not all the puzzles fit the theme and storyline. At the end of the day, this was an overall solid middle-of-the road escape room experience. So grab a croissant and play a game or two at Happy Hour Escape Game in Paris!
Mona Lisa's Diamond: Mona Lisa's diamond is hidden in the central bank of Paris. Our band of expert burglars, had to locate and steal the world's largest diamond.
The Matrix: Trapped in the Matrix, we had to find our way out and save the world in the process.
Pros: We loved the game masters here. The young woman who led us through the first game was exceptionally friendly, fun, and enthusiastic. She was excellent at introducing the game. Once inside the rooms, we discovered that the sets were decorated to theme, creating a fun, immersive environment. The puzzles worked overall but we struggled with a few that seemed illogical.
Cons: In both of the games that we played we felt that the puzzles were overly convoluted creating an unnecessarily frustrating experience. In the Matrix, for example, we needed a pen and paper to help us remember parts of the puzzles that we had already solved. But a pen and paper were nowhere to be found. After our game was over, the employees told us that at one time paper and pens were included in the game but had since been taken out since the game seemed too easy for people. We thought this was a huge mistake since we had to memorize a large amount of numbers while also continuing to solve the puzzle. The game lacked a clear progression to indicate to players the next steps. This created unnecessary confusion and required redirection from the game master. Adjustments could easily be made to puzzles and game flow to fix these issues.
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