Believe it or not, there are lessons to be learned from escape room marathons. When EscapeRoomers J and K booked 12 escape rooms across 2 days for the Budapest Blitz, we questioned the sanity of such an idea. Afterall, Budapest is a wonderful city. Why were we committing ourselves to spending 12 hours out of the 36-hour trip locked inside a series of rooms?
Here is how Day 1 was laid out.
- 09:00 ESC Exitgame
- 10:30 Mystique
- 13:30 E-Exit (1984)
- 14:30 E-Exit (Circus)
- Last Minute Add E-Exit (Heaven and Hell)
- 16:00 MindQuest (Matrix)
- 17:15 MindQuest (The Bomb)
- 19:30 Claustrophilia (Voodoo)
Luckily, this was Budapest, with a great concentration of escape rooms, all within a walkable area. None of the escape rooms were more than 20 minutes away from the next destination. We tried to add in breaks between for coffee/lunch/meals. We booked the last room for 7:30 p.m. because I anticipated we’d be exhausted after. In reality, we weren’t. In fact, our fastest time was our last room, getting out in under 30 minutes. (See the specifics below).
Instead of feeling exhausted, we felt a little exhilarated after each room. However, I did notice our scavenging skills got a little bit weaker as time went on. We don’t really like scavenger/search-type rooms, but there is a little bit of that in most rooms. After our 3rd or 4th room of the day, I noticed we weren’t doing full searches of each room, relying instead on finding the puzzles and locks, and determining what we had to do to open them. This really wasn’t a problem for most of the rooms, but I think that is where we ended up asking for a hint in certain rooms.
Would I do it again? You betcha! It was a lot of fun, and actually, it was a pretty good way to see the city. Granted, we’d both been to Budapest multiple times. My first trip there was in 1997! And I’d been at least 5 times since. So we didn’t miss out on some of the traditional tourist sights as we’d seen most of them before. Strangely, I think I left this trip with a more positive impression of the city as compared to previous trips. We saw a lot, walked a lot, wandered quite a bit, and talked to a lot of locals (employees and owners of the escape rooms).
Overall, if you enjoy escape rooms, I recommend trying to do a few in a row to see how you enjoy it. Budapest is a great city for it, with lots of rooms in a convenient area, and costs much lower than you’d find in North American and Western Europe. Have you done an escape room blitz?
By the Numbers – Day 1:
- Escape Times: 36 minutes; 37 minutes; 35 minutes; 38 minutes; 48 minutes; 47 minutes; 50 minutes; and 29 minutes.
- Escape Time Average: 40 minutes/room.
- Average hints taken: 1.5/room. (Mystique really screwed us up, with about 5 unprompted and unwanted hints that we couldn’t unhear).
- Rooms with 0 hints: 3.
- Rooms with 1 hint: 3.
- Total Cost: 62,000 HUF (about $220)
- Average Cost/Room: 7,750 HUF (about $28)
- Cost/Escape Room Time: (11,625 HUF/hour, or about $41/hour)