Pristina, Mar 2020
At time of writing, RAZ Escape Room is the only escape room in Kosovo. It also has an intimidatingly back to basics website – the home page greets you with a booking form, there’s no information on the game’s theme, and you only get the full street address after booking. Based on that, I was half expecting a questionable operation run out of someone’s spare apartment.
However, once inside the impression is a lot more professional, with a spacious and decent looking lobby. Our host explained the plot, which was a Sherlock theme: Moriarty has sent ten assassins after members of the royal family, and while he’s identified nine of them he’s relying on you to identify the tenth.
I also got a positive impression from the room on entering: a good sized area attractively decorated as a Victorian office. Hints were via a TV screen, and the game was primarily lock based but with several more sophisticated components that I suspect the venue has purchased.
I enjoyed playing the game, the operators seemed like nice people, and in any case I have no wish to bash a game that currently represents Kosovo’s entire escape room industry. Still, I can’t avoid saying that there were serious problems with several parts of the game flow: a couple of large red herrings of the most flagrant kind (which were probably ghost puzzles, retired but not removed), two puzzles that were in different ways arbitrary or ambiguous, and actively misleading use of ‘don’t touch’ stickers.
Still, at time of writing there are no other options to get an escape fix in Pristina – as long as your expectations are calibrated suitably then you might still want to consider dropping by, if only to support the industry!