Escape rooms as such are already a part of many people’s lists when it comes to activities they want to do while traveling. Not only does it take care of a bit more than an hour of awesome time, it enables you to see escape room standards and practices in other countries – and they can vary quite a bit.
However, not everyone is a fan of being locked in a room for an hour while visiting another country – some might not have a lot of time on their hands and want to see the city a bit, walk the streets, sightsee. Could an outdoor escape room experience be the perfect solutions for them?
Not everyone have the time or want to be locked in a room for an hour while visiting another country – they want to walk the streets, sightsee.
I’m not all that familiar of how new the whole concept of an outdoor escape experience is – but this was the first one for us. We took the journey of uncovering a secret society in Ljubljana, Slovenia – Ljubljena, prepared by Enigmarium escape rooms. If you’ve read some of my reviews you probably know I’m a bit of a fanboy as their rooms rank very highly up on the ladder of the best escape rooms I’ve visited, so expectations were set quite high.
The briefing takes place in city center, close to one of the monuments. Even the intro gives a totally different impression – not in the office somewhere, but outside. We’re going for an adventure!
After we were explained the story and goals, we were given a couple of items that should help us on the way, and off we go. Walki-talkies are provided for communication with the game master, ans stopwatches for… well, keeping time.
Also, a map with marked locations comes handy for everyone not familiar with the town so much.
Path leads you throughout the city center, visiting quite a few monuments and other touristic attractions. There is quite a bit history being told while you walk, discover the secrets and solve the tasks and puzzles set in front of you. So not only is there the adventure part to it, but you also get to know a bit about the places you are visiting.
The puzzles are just very nicely done. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and they really did a lot with what was already there, and didn’t add a lot of elements all together. Not only does that mean that it doesn’t ruin the sightseeing spots, also it greatly adds to the immersion – you are solving mysteries based on the information that has been there for more than a hundred years, and was not added artificially.
The whole commotion, walking around with props and solving the puzzles of course brings a glance or two from the bystanders. Mostly, they were intrigued and interested in what’s going on, and two elderly men were almost ready to help us solve some puzzles – which is a great experience on its own. I think it adds a great dimension to the experience, as you are, once again, not locked in a room with your group, but actually out in public.
The escape room enthusiast perspective
If you’re looking for lots of difficult puzzles, you will be disappointed. That’s not the point of the outdoors escape experience. But if it lacks in puzzles (or difficulty), it brings it on a several other areas – and it’s great. I’ve been to quite a lot of escape rooms – and the outdoor experience, even though we cannot really call it a traditional escape room experience, brought a breath of fresh air.
The good, and the bad
I’ve written quite a bit about the good parts of the experience already – to sum it up, a great outdoor experience (which already has its charms), with well done, fun puzzles. We finished the game in just about an hour, but we took our time :). If I’d have to point out a couple of things that weren’t the best – the communication over the walkie-talkies is almost a must in a game like this, but the signal just wasn’t all that awesome at times. Also, there was only two of us solving the mystery, and we got quite a few items to carry around. We had backpack with us, so it wasn’t a problem – but if we didn’t we could have a few difficulties with that. The problem only applies for two people groups, groups of 3 or more shouldn’t have any problem.
Overall, we’ve had a great time. It’s great for foreigners, as well as the locals. It’s a very cute, interesting, fun and immersive experience, and great for everyone that wants to sightsee at the same time as solve some puzzles and uncover the mystery. Perfect for tourists who want a bit more active trip through the city center.
And you? Have you had an outdoor escape experience yet? What were your impressions?