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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Escape Room Reviews: The Budapest Express

Company: Escapology (Las Vegas)
Room: The Budapest Express
Date Played: 7/12/17
Player Count: 2, but 3 or 4 might be best
Success:  Failure!  We successfully cracked the case, but failed to pull the emergency brake before the train reached its destination.

Premise:
1) You’re on a train. 
2) There’s been a murder. 
3) There’s a famous detective on board.
4) But she’s asleep.
Therefore? 
:. It’s all up to you to catch the killer before the train reaches the station!

Immersion: Pretty great! The train cars look terrific. There's a gimmick of using a monitor as a window, which is fun. The puzzles, and the murder investigation, hold true to the actual state of the train cars as you find them, which is excellent.

Highlights: At the risk of repeating myself, what was really great about this room was the production design, and the fact that the facts of the case were actually represented in the room. When it comes time to collect the facts (as any detective story must), you can either work out the truth from the detective's notebook, or have simply observed the train around you, and both are equally valid.

Lowlights: I would like to file an OSHA complaint against the train company. Not only is there a huge lock on the EMERGENCY BRAKE, but it just so happens to have been set in a way that involves the intimate details of a murder of one of their passengers! This is either the world's biggest coincidence, or the train company's got some serious explaining to do!  Also, we had trouble with one puzzle because of our accent differs from the puzzle designer, and our GM / clue master had no idea what was going on in our room, which wasted a little time. 

And Finally:  I think a piece of the puzzle of what I would consider the ideal room escape puzzle flow is to build towards a climactic final puzzle, which should probably be followed up by a gimme on your way out. This room follows up their Big Puzzle with... a bigger puzzle! I'm not going to make a value judgement on that, but it was too much for our duo, which was consisted of me and my dad, who'd gamely let himself be dragged along to see what this room escape business was all about. We could've used another one or two experienced puzzlers, but on the other hand, with only two of us he had to get in there and open some locks. Out of 28 games, I'm ranking this one #14. 

How to book this room yourself: Visit https://www.escapology.com/en/las-vegas-nv/escape-games/

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