Lonely Planet Writer

Budapest hosts first Escape Room World Championship finals

Ever since Parapark opened its doors to problem solvers in a dilapidated Budapest basement in in 2011, live-action room escape games have become a global hit. In the Hungarian capital alone there are at least 50 games you can try out for yourself, but for the pros, Budapest is set to host the finals of the first-ever Escape Room World Championship on 25 March.

Parliament on Danube river, Budapest.
Parliament on Danube river, Budapest. Image by Ph Ferdinando Scavone/Getty Images

National champions hailing from 22 countries are getting ready to flex their logic muscles to solve a sequence of clues and puzzles to break out of a locked room somewhere in Budapest. And it’s going to be no easy feat, since leading innovators in the industry, such as MIT Game Lab, have developed the gruelling final challenge that requires an intellectual toolbox of problem-solving skills, packing logic, creative and visual thinking next to teamwork and game strategy.

Over 9000 took part in the tournament’s qualifying rounds, known more intimidatingly as ‘Mission: Unlock Enoch’ and hosted by the Red Bull Mind Gamers Platform, but only the best will make it to the Budapest finals.

Teams from the US and the UK will compete with Hungarians on their home turf, along with other finalists from Europe, the Middle East and even competitors from as far as Singapore and South Korea, in a race against time that requires a diverse range of problem-solving skills.

You can tune in to watch the finals in the live stream on 25 March on Red Bull TV, but if you want to try a a room escape game out for yourself, there’s plenty to choose from  in Budapest alone, and who knows, maybe you might get the bug to try out for next year’s championship.

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