HintHunt: Zen Room

We joined a detective team investigating a robbery in a Japanese apartment, in an adventure HintHunt recommends to “world travellers, secret agents, fairy tale fans, mystery seekers, mediums, magicians and fortune tellers.” Would it suit this pair of Japanophile escapists?


  • Location: Euston (nearest tube Euston)
  • Players: 2-5
  • We played: October 2019 as a team of 2

Great things about Zen Room

  • This Japan-themed room makes effective use of traditional Japanese decorative objects and games, both as set dressing and as part of the puzzles and tasks.
  • Zen Room (also referred to as Zen Suite on HintHunt’s website… and Zen Garden at the venue itself…) has a good range of types of puzzle, from straightforward searching to logic puzzles and motor challenges involving a range of games and objects.

On the other hand…

  • Usually even after a mediocre escape room we get to praise the friendly and professional staff, at the very least. At HintHunt, however, we encountered zero staff members: a self-check-in and check-out station means that players don’t meet their game host unless they knock on the control room door. Meeting and interacting with a passionate, attentive game host can be one of the high points of an escape room experience, so this was a disappointment for us, and the end of our game in particular was an anticlimax – having completed our room we simply opened the door, checked ourselves out and left the building.
  • This room uses Japanese character translations as a main part of a puzzle, which means that anyone who can read Japanese (or Chinese) can simply skip this stage of the puzzle.
  • HintHunt are proud to have had some of the first escape rooms in London – but unfortunately this room really shows its age. For one thing, it relies heavily on padlocks, which don’t really fit the theme, and a number of the props in the room were worn and tatty.
  • There was a backstory to this room, but it neither made much sense nor added any value or direction to the game.

Who should try this room?

We would only sincerely recommend Zen Room to the curious who want to see how far escape rooms have come in the last few years, or those who find interacting with interacting with game hosts an unnecessary chore.

Rating – 4/10

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