In September 2019, seven of us visited the Greek capital, Athens, for an escape room trip. We’d picked out some of the best games in the city (based on other enthusiasts’ recommendations) to fill up our five-day trip, with plenty of tourism too!
The escape room industry often has a different feel in each city, but nowhere is that truer than in Athens. Here are some key things you should know that apply to most games there:
- Everywhere spoke English – flawlessly. I’m sure there are a few places that are Greek-only, but the vast majority of venues are able to cater for international enthusiasts.
- Games are often scary. And here, scary can mean really scary because…
- Games often contain actors.
- Games are often longer than an hour – in fact, every game we played was >60 minutes!
- Expect larger-than-average sets – it was rare to just have a couple of rooms to the experience.
- Expect impressive sets – decoration standards were high.
Most of the venues are more or less walkable from the centre, but you can hire scooters (I recommend Lime) or take relatively cheap taxis (we used Beat, which was the local equivalent of Uber).
The quality in the city was high. If you’re into set and more immersive experiences, then it’s a great place to visit, especially if you enjoy scary games. The puzzles were pretty typical – if anything, slightly weaker than in other cities. Most games had one or two puzzles that I felt were dubious, and one had a whole string of weak challenges.
If you want the in-depth articles, then read on here. Alternatively, skip to the final section for recommendations:
- Paradox Project (the Mansion and The Bookstore)
- Escapepolis (Cosmos 05)
- Room 54 (Swamp of Sorrows and Ring of Protection)
- Lockhill (Sanatorium and Lockwood Manor)
- Reality Ripples (Deadlock)
- Escaped (The Otherside)
- Mystery Lab (Requiem)
- Brainfall Hotel (Dark Seas and Down the Rabbit Hole – both since closed)
- Darkwood Village (Mrs Rose’s Cottage)
- Adventure Arena (The Prison)
Too Long; Didn’t Read?
Truthfully, I’d recommend almost all the games we played but, if I had to pick:
- The three-hour-long Paradox Projects are must-plays. They are majestic games full of story, puzzles and, in the case of The Bookstore, beautiful sets.
- Sanatorium is a must-play for anyone who can cope with very creepy experiences – fun puzzles and a really interesting set. If you like scary experiences, then play in midnight mode (2h30m!).
- Cosmos 05 is a must-play for people who like sci-fi. A couple of rough puzzles but otherwise a beautiful experience.
- Swamp of Sorrows is a really interesting RPG-escape room hybrid. Well worth checking out for something different.
- The Otherside and Requiem are both very good games that would be highly recommended almost anywhere else.
- Darkwood Village will be adored by people who like scare experiences and do get scared.
There are only two games that I’d suggest you skip: Ring of Protection, which I didn’t enjoy; and Deadlock, which had very weak puzzles, although I still enjoyed it.
That’s all, folks
I hope you found this write-up useful. If you did, then please let me know via email, and that will encourage me to write more in future. If you’ve got opinions on the above or, equally, if you’ve found some other gems that people should take a look at, do drop a comment below.