ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you’ve always wanted to visit Dracula’s Castle.
Avoid if… the color red makes you, um, see red.
Escape Art Zagreb:
Address: Draškovićeva 2nd floor ul. 53, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 011 (if dialing from outside Croatia), then 385 91 923 1248
Room – Dracula’s Chambers:
Description (from the company website):
Welcome to mystical castles of Transylvania
Eternal residences of deadly, unholy, humanlike creatures. Locally known as moroi or strigoi, but you may know them simply as… Vampires.
Bloodsucking bastards, who traded warmth of the day for cold blackness of the night. Pale, bloodthirsty monsters who enjoy the sound of fresh blood rushing through your young, pumped veins. Sophisticated alluring devils who can only be defeated by wooden stakes with silver tips, sunlight, or garlic.
Legends say there are a few ways to become one. If you are born with extra hair or a tail, if you are the 7th child in the family, if you die an unnatural death or get bitten by one – beware. Maybe your favourite drink will become Bloody Mary, Stacy, Tom or Whoever Smells Nice.
The Glorious Madman Called Dracula
Long long time ago, in the 15th century, in his medieval castle, lived a cruel, cruel ruler named Vlad Dracula. Some might say he was one of the greatest Romanian rulers. Great at conquering, but with not so great personality. He was well known and feared across the land, because he had a nasty habit of impaling people who wronged him. Hence, the nickname Vlad The Impaler, or Vlad Tepes.
He was not very tall, but was strong as hell. His cold, terrible appearance would cast a shadow of fear in every room he stepped into. His pale skin and piercing green eyes could freeze your blood. Even when he was in a good mood, his thick, black eyebrows made him look threatening.
He vanquished lots of land, impaled lots of people, and finally, after a long reign of terror, Vlad The Dragon died an unnatural death in battle. Well, eventually, every life has to come to an end. Or does it?
500 years later…
You are a member of a team of curious wildlife explorers who are on a mission in Transylvania. It’s starting to get dark, and you know you all should head home, but… You see a monumental castle lurking behind the tall dark trees and, of course, go and have a closer look. Carefully walking around the castle, you see an opportunity – an open door. You go into the castle and snoop around a little more. Oh, another door! You slide them open and enter the room. There is a big painting hanging on the wall. Wait, that’s a portrait of Dracula! A set up table, with no dust on. Hmmm. What’s on the menu? If you don’t want it to be you, you better run!
Bam! Door slams shut. Panic. No way out. It is getting darker by the minute. Panic again.
Tick-tock! Only 60 minutes left until Count Dracula wakes up. Probably hungry. And we all know what’s his favourite food.
Get out or get sucked!
Difficulty: 2 of 3 stars
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Cost: Cost: Cash only in Croatian kuna is accepted
150 kuna per person for 2 people, about $23.14 each
100 kuna per person for 3-4 people, about $15.43 each
90 kuna per person for 4 people, about $13.89 each
75 kuna per person for 5 people, about $11.57 each
Languages: Offered both in Croatian and English
Party Size: 2–6 people
Staging Area: A very comfortable seating area, and you are offered a beverage before you go in the room.
Metro Access/Parking: This location is on the second floor of a building down in the city center. Uber works well in Zagreb.
This is the video we took before we entered the room:
This is the video we took just after we completed the room:
Note: We were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.
Description of the room: A small, dimly lit parlor decorated in red and black, with a slight mist floating in the air. There is a desk with mirror, a large cabinet, and a small table, along with some bookshelves, and a large door.
Understanding of the Mission: You have stumbled into Dracula’s castle, and have one hour until sunset to find the key and escape before ending up as Dracula’s breakfast.
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining: 2:46 remaining
Our Suggested Party Size: 4 should work fine
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Heather
Worth the time and money? Yes
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: There are lots of places within walking distance, so we recommend you use Google or TripAdvisor (or ask for a recommendation!)
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|As Heather and I were making our way up the coast of Croatia on vacation, we were ending our trip in the capital city of Zagreb. It’s a smaller city with some sights to see and very walkable, but we found ourselves with an afternoon with nothing on our schedule… so…
We booked a few escape rooms. I simply did a search for “escape rooms in Zagreb” and we had a few options. Escape Art was selected because of the themes they had, as well as the incredible amount of detail for each room on their website (and snarkily written with some great puns, I must add).
|You are wildlife explorers in the forests of Transylvania. On your way home, you decide to seek shelter in a castle that you’ve found in the distance. Unfortunately, after a bit of exploring, you see a painting on the wall of the owner, who is none other than Count Dracula, and a table that seems to be set for an upcoming meal. It’s now 60 minutes until sunset, and the heavy door bangs closed behind you.
This was a pretty cool story, and I thought it intertwined the Dracula legend nicely. If I had the choice of spending the night outside in the dark forest with wolves, bears, and other creatures of the night, I would likely seek shelter at the first building I saw too…vampires be damned! LOL
|Search the castle for the key to the door, and escape before you become Dracula’s breakfast.
The mission is a simple one, which goes towards the original premise of escape rooms which is to ESCAPE THE ROOM (not necessarily just completing some sort of mission parameters). This can probably be more difficult by also adding in “find his hidden treasure”or “find his documents detailing his plans for when he moves to London,” but I don’t think it was necessary here.
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|Lots of puzzle and lock types in this room, including a lock that I had never seen before. (This one has all the digits from 0-9, and you simply push the 4-digit combo and then pull a lever on the bottom of the lock to trigger the mechanism, which was pretty cool. This type of lock, however, doesn’t allow repeating digits, and it doesn’t matter what order you input the numbers to the combination).
I liked a lot of the puzzles in this room…some where hands-on and required a bit of fishing, while others tested your ability to follow directions and pay attention to the things you found during that progression, and others that required you to decipher some items, and finally to test your mettle in trying to achieve your final mission parameter.
The locks were primarily padlocks and some combination locks, but they fit the room well. I’d suggest a bit more tech here or there with a jump scare or two (since this is a room based on the ultimate horror story, after all).
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|The number of puzzles in the room was well done, and ranged in complexity from solving within 30 seconds to others that took a few minutes each.
There were a lot of things that you could easily overlook (and we did), which made the experience a bit tougher with just two people, but – hey – we used our 3 hints and progressed really well through the room.
|The decoration in the room definitely lent itself to the immersion factor. You feel as if you are in a drafty old parlor in a castle. The props and things in the room fit the mission and theme… almost 100%. I would say that having a mirror in the room didn’t really belong, if you remember that vampires really, really hate mirrors because they don’t show their reflections.
The flow of the room was pretty good… very linear, but it worked well with a small group and moved you along from solving something quickly to something else that you had to work on for a few minutes, or search around to find that one key element.
There was one puzzle that I really enjoyed, which was a take on another that I’ve seen elsewhere, but I loved the spin that they put on it. I’ll just say “clock” and you’ll figure it out when you actually do the room.
There was some reading involved to get through some of the puzzles, but it wasn’t excessive, and I’m very, very glad it was in English!
|We definitely had a good time in this room. As it was just the two of us, we really had to communicate with each other as we were solving things, and had to work together as well on some of the puzzles.|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|Jasmina was awesome. She let us work at our own pace, and gave us the time checks that we asked for (even though we had a clock in the room).|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|Yes, the hints to solve the few areas where we stumbled put us back on the path, and gave us nudges towards areas where we may have already been looking.|
|ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score|
|I did feel stupid a few times, simply because we overlooked some very small, but important details.
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 7.4/10
Final Thought: I’m a huge vampire fan, and when we saw this room, we decided that we had to do this one vs. the other rooms they had. Jasmina actually encouraged us to try out their other room, but we had another appointment (see our review of our walk-through of Robin Hood).
This room may not be flashy with a lot of tech, but it was fun to play and a great way to start winding down our vacation. The descriptions of the rooms on their website are probably some of the best we’ve seen in all the rooms we’ve done.
Jasmina was a great host and her excitement about her location got us excited to play as well and it was great to chat with her for a few minutes before we entered Dracula’s castle.