|Game experience: AVERAGE
|The musical immersion.
The only escape venue in Reykjavik.
Reykjavik’s weather is a good incentive for playing escape games.
Classical puzzles with lots of padlocks.
Playing an escape game may not be on top of your list of the to-do things if you are visiting Iceland, but think about it: Iceland weather’s is not exactly a sunny 30°C all year round, and if you’re in Reykjavik between two nature tours and already visited all museums of interest to you, you might want to find another activity.
I had less than a day between two planes in Reykjavik, unfortunately too short to plan a tour, but long enough to visit the city center and plan an escape game to discover the local scene. Reykjavik Escape is located very near to the historical center. They have quite a few differently sized rooms, including one that can accommodate 7 to 12 people (“Hangover”), and another one which is designed for 13-20 people (“Hollywood”) – a rarity in the escape game scene. I would have been curious to try one of those, but I was on my own and didn’t know anyone in Iceland, so I went for one of their most classically-sized room for 2 to 6 people, with the extra challenge of playing alone. The manager recommended me the “Mafia” room, so this is the one I played.
“You were sent into the Godfather‘s home by a Norwegian art museum in order to reclaim the famous painting Madonna by Edvard Munch. The museum directors believe the Godfather had it stolen. You break in at the only time you‘re sure no one is in the building, at 11 on Sunday morning. The Godfather has the whole family with him in church. When you enter the building the door locks behind you and therefore you only have 60 minutes to find the painting and escape!”
The room has simple decors but convincing enough for an office. You receive the hints from a smartphone, which strengthen the immersion; and the music fits very well with the mafia team (you’re a puzzle expert, so I’m sure you can guess which one it is!). You will discover a bit more about the scenario during your adventure; interestingly, it is inspired by a true story, as the version of the Madonna owned by the Munch Museum of Oslo was stolen in 2004 but recovered two years later. The room is not so much isolated from the rest of the venue, being located along a corridor leading to other rooms, but there wasn’t any other team when I visited, so I wasn’t disturbed by any noise.
The puzzles are very classical overall, so if you’ve never played any escape room, you should have a blast; and if you’ve played quite a few of them, you should manage to solve them without much difficulty. This is very much a first-generation room with many, many padlocks, and only few manipulations. One element was a bit confusing in my opinion, and an (apparently unintended) red herring.
The gamemaster entered with me into the room before the game started, which breaks a little bit the immersion. He sent me two hints through the phone during the game. The first one was sent too fast to my taste, as I was working on another puzzle, and hadn’t started to think about the puzzle he gave me a hint about. The second hint just told me something I already knew.
Overall, this is a very classical room, that will be good for escape game beginners. I would not recommend it for escape game enthusiasts though, unless you want to try to beat the record which is, to this day, of 35’18’’ without hint (I was actually surprised that the record times were so fast for several of their games: 16’15’’ for “Taken”, 17’47’’ for “Prison break”, and 20’13’’ for “The scientist”). As for me, I had a fun time solving it by myself (I escaped after 51 minutes); and you should have too, if you manage your expectations. Finally, if you’re a big group of 13+ people, you have there a quite rare occasion to play an escape game all together with their “Hollywood” room!
Game tested in April 2018
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