In the middle of the day, in the center of the city, someone locks up a person in a room without a phone, internet or even a toilet.
But this isn’t a story about kidnapping or unlawful detention — the person who was locked up went into the room willingly, and even paid for the experience.
This is an escape quest — a game in which a player has to use their wits to find a way out of the “prison.”
Peter Kim, 19, has been on six escape quests, in which to get out of the room, one has to use logic and clues that lead to a hidden key. The price of a quest in Kyiv can be as little as Hr 100 and as much as Hr 1,500, for one to eight players.
“It’s 100 percent worth it,” Kim says.
Escape rooms have been gaining popularity for several years, and Kyiv now boasts over 100 venues, ranging widely in difficulty, theme, and setting.
“Solving puzzles with friends and experiencing the satisfaction of succeeding is so enjoyable,” Kim says.
The games don’t involve physical challenges, so anyone can participate. The players can ask for additional hints during the game, or give up and be released at any time.
“In stressful situations, a person’s personality is revealed — it lets me see how my friends handle challenges and teaches me more about them,” says Kim, grinning mischievously. “It’s a good way to test the waters in a relationship.”
The Kyiv Post tracked down some of the best escape quests in Kyiv that require no knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian.
Mysterium Plunging into a world of the unknown, players find themselves in a mystical thriller with hints of the afterlife.
18+, 1–4 players, Difficult 10 a. m.-9:45 p. m. Hr 1,500 16 Instytutska St., firstname.lastname@example.org, +38099 482 8818 http://escapequest.net/kyiv/l_en/Mysterium
Pirates of the Caribbean Captain Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series is assembling a team of choose the best and brightest.
12+, 2–8 players, Easy Mondays 12:15 p. m.-10:15 p. m., Tuesday-Sunday 11:15 a. m.-10:15 p. m. Hr 100 34V Stepana Bandery Ave., Blockbuster shopping mall, email@example.com, +38093 801 0101 https://qimnata.com/rooms/110/#
Kadroom This company has three movie-based games, available for English speakers.
Titanic: After colliding with an iceberg, passengers are locked in the engine compartment of a sinking ship, stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
2–4 players, Normal Difficulty
Morgue: Morgue is the first extreme quest for one player. Who can make it alone?
1 player, Difficult
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Nancy was kidnapped by the famous maniac Freddy Krueger. Inside her nightmare, Freddy follows anyone who tries to rescue her.
2–4 players, Normal Difficulty
10:40 a. m.-10:40 p. m., Hr 200–900 10B Pushkinska St., firstname.lastname@example.org, +38044 279 6542 http://kadroom.com/en/
PodZamkom When booking with PodZamkom, customers should indicate if they are an English-speaker, so that English translations of the pre-game instructions can be provided.
Think Like a Thief: A gang of professional robbers is being hunted down for their crimes. They’re accustomed to stealing money, but now they must discover how to win their freedom.
2–5 players, Difficult
Access Code — Bastille: A group of detectives awakens in an unknown place. They must quickly piece together their location, how they arrived, and where their enemy is hiding.
14+, 2–4 players, Difficult
11 a. m.-11:50 p. m., Hr 600–900 3 Shota Rustaveli St., email@example.com, +38067 829 6047 https://podzamkom.ua/en/