Escape Room SP: B Side [Review]

Escape Room SPLocation: Escape Room SP, Vila Mariana district, São Paulo (SP), Brazil

Date completed: June 2016 (4 players). Failed, but we got SO close!

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 6.5; Fun: 8


  • Fluent English or Portuguese
  • 4-10 players


You are called to inspect the lab of a scientist who has gone missing. Apparently, he was very fond of travelling. Or were all those maps and postcards related to his research? Looks like he was making tests with light – and trying to reach the speed of light by different means. It does not take long for you to put two and two together and realise that your fellow scientist is not only lost “somwhere” but is also lost “sometime”.

As a Tardis is not available, you do have a hard task ahead! You only have one hour to find where and when he is!

Sala Lado B. (5)B Side (“Lado B”, in Portuguese) is the most ‘traditional’ of the three Escape Room SP games, in the sense that it contains a vast majority of search and association puzzles and a few locks to open.  Players who haven’t been exposed to escape rooms may find this to be an easier introduction than Atelier or Harbinger. However, it does not mean the room is easy – the structure of game is actually quite complex.

To solve each enigma, you will deal with many layers that chain to each other. There is a sequence of puzzles, and determining their order is part of the fun. If you manage to understand the order in the beginning of the game, you will advance very quickly! We took a while to realise that some information we found was actually meant to guide us, costing us precious minutes in the end! (Too much overthinking!)

Besides the search and association, there are logical puzzles and some arithmetic in B Side. There are also physical tasks, and one of them is very simple but used for a creative goal. All puzzles in this room work in English and Portuguese, and all texts are written in both languages.

As you are meant to find a scientist lost in space and time, knowledge of Geography and History will give you some advantage in this room. Literature helps as well.  None of those things, however, are mandatory, and an interesting aspect of B Side is how it mixes puzzles where interpretation is required and others which are literal. You will need to switch between  conventional and lateral thinking quite often, so be prepared! Or you could just bring a diverse team to ensure that some “out of the box” people will be available, while some “anchors” keep you well grounded!

The room itself is very well lit, not scary, and all props make sense within the game. There are also some amusing geeky references littered around – time travelling is quite a rich field in fiction! There is a little bit of tech involved, but it was very, very straightforward. Even tech-illiterate person will understand how to solve it.

Hints are delivered by the gamemaster through a screen if they think your team is stuck. Our gamemaster, Bel, was attentive and she gave good hints in a timely manner. Despite of her efforts, we failed in rescuing the scientist in time (no pun intended). We actually found where and when he was, but could not finish the last puzzle – the poor professor will be stuck with a very interesting historical character for a while…

In Escape Room SP we also played Harbinger and Atelier.


Out of the Room

Service: The staff at Escape Room SP is super friendly and professional. The venue has a medium-sized waiting area with free wifi, which you’ll have to solve a simple riddle for the password. There is also an Easter egg puzzle somewhere in the waiting area.

Lockers for personal belongings are also there, and water and coffe are available for purchase.

Players not from Brazil may have to email Escape Room SP to organise bookings, as the direct credit card payments are tied to the Brazilian National ID numbers (called CPF, which every Brazilian has). Also, it is nice to inform the staff beforehand if you wish to play in English.

Communication: Bel, our gamemaster, was a bit nervous at first while briefing us in English, but did a very good job. She was always on top of what we where doing in the game and send hints through a screen – no answers, but actual hints (the way we like it! :D)

Surroundings: Escape Room SP is at a 15min walk (1km) from Ana Rosa subway station, near Ibirapuera Park, a beautiful green area in this gigantic concrete city.

From there it is also a short taxi ride to Paulista Avenue, São Paulo’s main street, where there is plenty of options to eat and do some shopping. We suggest stopping at any cafe and ordering a “Pão de queijo” (pronnounced pan-de-kayjow), a cheesebread. It’s a local treat and great gluten-free snack. Another option is “açaí” (assah-eeh), a super-refreshing and energetic bowl of mashed açaí amazon berry.

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