An increasingly popular pastime in Greece, the country’s escape rooms have grown in number and sophistication since they first appeared about 10 years ago. There are now more than 200 in the country, with Athens considered an escape room “metropolis”, including some of the best in the world.
One of the best-known escape room firms is Lockhill in west Athens district of Nea Ionia, which has earned rave reviews and awards from Trip Advisor and escape room enthusiasts. Its “Chapel and Catacombs” room, described as ‘actively scary’, was in fact voted best escape room in the world by the Top Escape Rooms Project Enthusiasts’ Choice Awards (TERPECA), among 929 rivals in 28 countries.
“It is truly an honour for me that one of my creations was awarded by a very large section of people in Greece and abroad as the best escape room in the world,” said the owner and creator of Lockhill, Vasilis Dalitsikas, talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
“When people who have experience with more than 1,000 escape rooms worldwide tell you that yours is the best they have played, this is incredibly rewarding. It gives me the energy to make more and new rooms-experiences,” he added.
Dalitsikas said the next project in the works is inspired by TV series like Stranger Things and games such as Silent Hill and Visage and should be available toward the end of the summer.
Since first appearing in 2014, escape rooms have morphed into something that more resembles Live Action play than the original classic puzzle games, while at Lockhill the games are linked by a common narrative thread with a strong horror element, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft stories and well-known video games of the genre.
Both Greek and foreign escape room enthusiasts prize the high quality of the props and scenery, which include audiovisual effects and interactions with live actors, as well as the gameplay and the narrative, which combine to create a unique atmosphere of mystery and suspense.
At Lockhill, the story begins when renowned archaeologist Nathan Jones arrives at the village of Lockhill searching for a rare artifact, with four locations to explore. The “horror” gauge is quite intense and can be moderated to fit the requirements of individual groups, including young children.
The full list of escape rooms to receive a TERPECA award in 2022, including several others in Greece, can be viewed at the website https://terpeca.com/2022/