In August 2017, I visited Warsaw as part of a group of ten people and played a few escape games in the Polish capital. OK, a total of 37 rooms across 13 different venues. Between us, we had over 100 bookings so, as well as being able to comment on my personal experience in the rooms, I’ve got a broader picture of how the companies performed in terms of resetting and GMing, which can obviously vary from game to game. We played at least three slots at every venue, and in most places nine – enough to give us a decent idea of whether there were systemic problems or it was likely just a one-off.
I built up the list of games via TripAdvisor, recommendations on the Escape Room Enthusiasts’ Facebook Group, information on lockme.pl (which was reasonable but not so useful for newer games), making good use of Escape the Review and emailing the owners to ask which other games they’d recommend. If you’re heading to Warsaw and looking to play a few games, then hopefully this series of posts will give you a leg-up on the research!
If you’re happy to take Ubers, you’ll find it’s incredibly cheap to get around the city. The ride in from the main (non-Ryanair) airport was only about 20 PLN, and most rides between games were half that price. The majority of games are within half an hour’s walk of each other, so you could certainly opt to go on foot instead, although I found there were a lot of big busy roads in the city. If you do decide to take this option, it’s definitely worth thinking about your route if you want to make it a pleasant stroll.
At a high level, I found the usual mix of good and bad rooms – certainly enough good quality games to keep most enthusiasts happy for a weekend away. While the standard of English was high, we found more communication issues in the rooms than in other European journeys, so it’s worth taking extra care to speak clearly when asking for clues. Ignoring that, we still found the standard of GMing to be significantly lower than we were expecting, with several mis-set rooms and GMs regularly giving us clues for puzzles that we’d clearly already solved. This may be due to the pressure of handling three simultaneous teams of enthusiasts showed, although I don’t quite see what difference that would make. It certainly wasn’t down to sharing hosts – during all the games we played, I never noticed us sharing GMs across rooms. That GM quality was surprising, because I also found this to be the city with – by far – the most GM enthusiasts: it wasn’t uncommon for them to have played tens of games.
The only other trend I noticed across games was a greater requirement for mathematical ability – multiplying double-digit numbers together seemed not to necessitate a calculator (one room in particular didn’t provide one for that but did at a later point for a more complex problem, suggesting that they really didn’t see it as necessary for the first one).
If you want the in-depth articles, they’re here:
- Room Escape Warsaw (3 rooms)
- Dom Zagadek (3 rooms)
- Hard Lock (3 rooms)
- Escape Room Warsaw (3 rooms)
- Black Cat (4 rooms)
- Escapers (3 rooms)
- Quest Hunt (3 rooms)
- Dom Klucsy (1 room)
- Escape Room Bank (4 rooms)
- Cryptex (3 rooms)
- Dom Zagadek VR (3 rooms)
- House Escape (2 rooms)
- Amazeing Escape (2 rooms)
Too Long; Didn’t Read?
In summary: Cryptex was my favourite venue and I’d strongly recommend all three of their games. Escapers is another quality company with three games that are worth checking out. Dom Zagadek VR (note there are two Dom Zagadek venues – this was the out-of-town one) had a couple of top quality experiences, especially if you’re a computer gamer. Amazeing Escapes, again a bit out of town, is well worth a visit for their interesting games. Finally, Dom Kluczy had a fairly old-school experience but with lots around the game to make it significantly more interesting. I don’t think there was a clear consensus in our group about which was the best game, but Tomb of the Dragon (Escapers), Cannibal’s Lair (Cryptex), Escape Reality (Cryptex), Room of Riddles (at Dom Zagadek VR) and Head Hunter (Amazeing Escapes) were all mentioned. It’s a tough call, but Cannibal’s Lair won the day for me.
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.