While in many countries a few major cities concentrate the majority of the best games, for instance Athens in Greece or Barcelona in Spain, the escape room scene in the Netherlands is spread out throughout the country, which is why in this last trip we were in 7 out of the 12 Dutch provinces in just little more than 3 days.
Amsterdam being the most known city and a magnet for tourists has surprisingly few escape rooms of very high quality compared to the major cities mentioned above. Even compared to other cities, such as Berlin, Hamburg or Prague, it does not stand out, in spite of the fact that the Netherlands is a country known for its escape rooms.
Nevertheless, it does not mean that Amsterdam does not have outstanding games. Amsterdam was well-known by escape room enthusiasts of the first hour for Sherlocked’s “The Vault”, which back then was one of the best games available across Europe, incorporating some ideas (don’t worry no spoilers here) that expanded the horizon of what an escape room can be, and which in spite of the time passed, it is still well worth a visit, as its position in the first Terpeca ranking from 2018 clearly showed. More recently, Logic Lock’s “Amsterdam Catacombs” put Amsterdam again in the spotlight with a fantastic game, that has been selected among the best of the world for three years in a row.
But we are not here to talk about those well-known games, but rather to talk about other games, which are well worth a visit, if you happen to be escaping or sightseeing (sorry Heiner) in Amsterdam.
One of these games is in my opinion The Gallery, which was the starting point of our route. The Gallery is clearly not a high budget game and I want to state this upfront, to avoid creating fake expectations, nonetheless it is a very solid experience, that I can wholeheartedly recommend.
After having played many rooms, sometimes the difference is in the details. Other than the core of the game and the flow within, it is very important how the experience starts and how it ends, and this is skillfully done in this escape room, which provides for a satisfying experience from the beginning till the end.
The game as such comprises a variety of games, some which for experienced escapers will be well-known, while others are really original, something I personally appreciate. I don’t want to enter in spoilers, but I found the general idea of the room is very well implemented and shows how several aspects around the underlying topic were carefully taken into account.
The game was fun and had a few nice challenges. I would advise though for experienced escapers against going in there with large numbers. While there is some room for multitasking, there are also some linear moments/bottle necks, that you will enjoy more not being too many. I think 3 was the perfect number. Depending on how much you have played, you will find some things more or less surprising, which is also an added value in any experience.
The Gallery is for me a perfect example, that even with limited budget but some original ideas, you can create a thoroughly enjoyable game, even for serial players like ourselves.