In January, we spent five days in Vienna, Austria, and despite it not being an escape room trip, we couldn’t resist the opportunity of playing our first international games. We’ve been meaning to go to Budapest for a long time, however, after over four years of escaping we still hadn’t played anything outside of the UK. This all changed when we landed in the country of schnitzel and Julie Andrews singing about goats.
We took on four games in total, the first two of which were the very interesting sounding games of Real Escape Wien,
“Can you imagine being tied to another person and sharing with them your every action, every breath? Can you rely on your partner? Do you understand each other? Do you dare to find out? Because if you do not cooperate, you will not succeed! Creepy and eerie atmosphere … real chains … Chained – not for the faint of heart! Try something new in your free time.”
The entire set-up of the game is unnerving, as you’re led one by one into the room blindfolded, and then chained up again and again. All you can hear and feel are more chains being added into the mix, and you start to wonder what you’ve got yourself into. It’s all an illusion of course – the only thing really binding you is a series of easily removable velcro cuffs, meaning there’s no worries of being trapped in the event of an emergency.
The situation you find yourself in makes the gameplay quite different from anything else we’ve experienced. You get chained up in a lot of escape rooms, but it’s not often you find yourself chained to one spot, and to each other, for the entire 60 minutes. Being chained to each other means you have to heavily cooperate so you can each reach particular areas, but being chained to just one spot in the centre of the room also adds an interesting dynamic. The game takes place in the smallest room we’ve played in, but despite this, there are still several areas you can’t quite reach. It sounds like it should be difficult to get a full game out of such a small space, but it’s all done quite well, as you use the things you can reach to progress through the game and unlock more of the puzzles.
There was nothing too challenging in the game, with most of the puzzles requiring a bit of thought but having a clear solution. We did need a couple of small hints, particularly where we’d failed on searching for things, but everything made perfect sense overall. The game had a good flow and it felt like we never stopped working through things. If you’re looking for something a little different on an escape room trip, we’d recommend giving this one a go, but if you’re looking for something even more different, then the next game we played will be right up your street…
“An escape room with an unusual and exciting new twist. Have you ever played an escape game while lying down? Now there is a possibility! The big challenge here is the small space. You can expect two big, quite cozy but closed boxes. But have no fear! For your safety there are ventilation systems and also, of course, emergency buttons. Look your fears in the eye, overcome them and be surprised!”
Yes, the details in the description are true. This isn’t an escape room. Instead you are blindfolded and led into a small box, slightly larger than a coffin, where you are told to lie down before the lid slams shut on you, leaving you trapped in a small, pitch black space. If you are at all claustrophobic, it’s probably best to give this one a miss, but for anyone who is considering giving it a go, it’s honestly not as daunting as it sounds.
The box is lined with a comfortable mattress, while a ventilation fan keeps it nice and cool. Aside from the whole being trapped in a box thing, the theme of the game isn’t scary either, with the story revolving around you being trapped in a dream, and the aim of the game being to wake up – AKA get out of the box.
It’s a very unique scenario, and one that is executed very well. Despite being in individual boxes, the game does require a lot of teamwork, and you’ll be surprised at just how many different things you’ll find in your box to use, even if at first sight and feel it seems quite empty.
Of course, the small space you’re stuck in makes everything a little more difficult, but it’s all part of the challenge and adds a fun twist to the usual experience. The game had a good flow, although we did have to call for help a few times with a few tricky moments.
Overall, this is one of the most unusual escape games we’ve played, and the unique concept really does make it something you should give a go when you’re in the area. Both of the two-player games we played here felt very different to the norm, and the refreshing ideas added a lot to the experience.
Host: Our host for both games was Max, who was very welcoming and friendly and did a great job with the brief and clues.
Clue System: In Chained, we were given a phone to talk to the host with when we needed help, while in Claustrophobia it was as simple as shouting his name and talking to him through the box lid.
Success: Yes, we escaped Chained in around 33 minutes and got out of the Claustrophobia boxes in approximately 35 minutes.
NOTE: Sadly, the games here are closing on 10th March, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to play!