Escape Rooms Canberra: Mr. Keller’s Magic Emporium [Review]

ercLocation: Escape Rooms Canberra (ERC), Phillip (South side Canberra), ACT, Australia

Date completed:  September 2016 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 9.5Difficulty: 7; Atmosphere: 9; Fun: 9.5.

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-6 players
  • At least one person not colour blind

We found ourselves applying for a position with an old fashioned toyshop named Mr. Keller’s Magic Emporium, where Mr. Keller had left us with a series of tasks and puzzles to solve in one hour. The door locked behind us and we were treated to a shopfront that was odd and looked like it belonged to the turn of the 20th century.

If the description for this room sounds somewhat familiar for readers who have been following this blog for some time, it should. Escape Room Melbourne (ERM) have licensed one of their more successful games out to Escape Room Canberra (ERC), a new escape room venue which opened the start of this month in Australia’s capital. This adaption from Escape Rooms Canberra is as enjoyable as the original, with some special flavour. Read on to find out how!

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ClockLocked: Cleopatra [Review]

clocklogoLocation: Clocklocked, Ultimo, Sydney , NSW, Australia

Date completed:  July 2016 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 7.5; Fun: 8.5.

Requirements:

  • 3-7 players
  • One team member with full mobility
  • Intermediate English
  • 90 minute room

Cleopatra is the newest room in ClockLocked and also the biggest: it is a 90-minute room! What is Cleopatra about?  A long-time friend sends a package with a message to your team, saying he is in an excavation project in Egypt. He claims to have found an ancient treasure and is now being chased by smugglers. The treasure has been hidden and he has left notes for you to retrieve it.

Will you be quick enough to find the artifacts and your friend before the fiends find you? Be ready to grab a Fedora hat and a crack whip and start the treasure hunt!

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ClockLocked: Da Vinci [Review]

clocklogoLocation: ClockLocked, Ultimo, Sydney , NSW, Australia

Date completed:  July 2016 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 7; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 7.5.

Requirements:

  • 2-6 players
  • Full mobility
  • Fluent English

ClockLocked opened in Sydney in 2014 and Da Vinci was among the first escape rooms in the city. A lot of other venues have opened and closed since over the last two years, however, that game remained. We finally had the opportunity to play it some weeks ago and quickly realised why it is lasting: Da Vinci ticks all the basic boxes. Puzzles were well-done, props worked, gamemaster were quick and attentive. We were very glad that it was not a dated game at all!

In Da Vinci, a cardinal grows suspicious of a fellow religious colleague and hired your team of detectives to find any secrets that may affect his relations with the Vatican. You have a one-hour window to enter his office and find the truth.

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PANiQ-ROOM, The Rocks: Sens3s [Review]

paniqLocation: PANiQ-ROOM, The Rocks, Sydney , NSW, Australia

Date completed:  July 2016 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 8.5; Difficulty: 8; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 8.5.

Requirements:

  • 2-6 players
  • Acute senses
  • 1 team member with full mobility
  • Fluent English

I tend to enjoy ‘magic’ rooms and was really keen to try Sens3s in PANiQ Room, given the quality of their escape rooms. Some people think that ‘magic’ is a silly theme, overused and an easy way for designers to include whatever puzzles they want in a room (as anything can fit in a ‘magic house’). I prefer to think of it is an opportunity for out of the box thinking and creativity. PANiQ Room took this opportunity to do something different and included a lot of unexpected puzzles and tasks in Sens3s. It’s slightly on the creepy side, but what a fun room!

Players start in a visit to the house of Mr. Magician, and in a blink, ta-dah! You are locked in. Or is he locked inside your mind? Whatever happened, it’s no good and you have to get out – or have your senses twisted forever.

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Escape Hotel: The Blonde in the Bathroom [Review]

logo-escapehotelLocation: Escape Hotel, Pinheiros district, São Paulo (SP), Brazil

Date completed: June 2016 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 9; Fun: 8

Requirements:

  • 3-7 players
  • Fluent Portuguese (English version available in August 2016)

Many cultures have a version of the Bloody Mary urban legend. You know how it goes: Kids like to scare themselves and dare each other to stay in a dimly lit room / bathroom, stare into the mirror, call out the name of a ghost and wait for it to appear. In Brazil, this tradition has gone through several alterations to become The Blonde in the Bathroom. The principles are largely the same as willing participants have to perform specific actions to invoke the presence of a school girl who died in the school bathrooms.

In this creation from Escape Hotel, players have one hour to investigate the case of a missing high school student. Sure enough there were stranger things afoot, however, I sure didn’t expect the scares that came from The Blonde in the Bathroom!

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Escape Hotel: The Temple [Review]

logo-escapehotelLocation: Escape Hotel, Pinheiros district, São Paulo (SP), Brazil

Date completed: June 2016 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 7; Atmosphere: 8; Fun: 8.5

Requirements:

  • 3-7 players
  • Fluent Portuguese or English (for hints)
  • Basic Math

You and your team of archaeologists found the ruins of an ancient temple. Legends say that uncountable treasures are inside, as well as the bones of many adventurers who tried to retrieve it in the past. A curse will be unleashed in 60 minutes, so you better get that gold out quickly!

The Temple was the second room we played at Escape Hotel, and the setting is impressive. The tall, heavily-decorated room transports you very quickly into the jungle setting. One of the owners of Escape Hotel specialised in cinematography, and the benefits of that are visible in this beautiful and fun game.

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Escape Hotel: Crime Scene [Review]

logo-escapehotelLocation: Escape Hotel, Pinheiros district, São Paulo (SP), Brazil

Date completed: June 2016 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 7.5; Difficulty: 7; Atmosphere: 8.5; Fun: 8.5

Requirements:

  • 3-7 players

“Yup, many people enter here thinking it is actually a hotel”, said Patricia, one of the owners of Escape Hotel in Sao Paulo. It is easy to see why people get confused: the venue’s entrance resembles a hotel façade and even has a space for drop-off and taxis. Once inside, players talk to the receptionist at a concierge who will take them to the escape room they booked. The entire waiting area looks like the lobby of a legit fancy hotel – except that you book the rooms here per hour, and not to sleep.

This first impression of Escape Hotel was very good and the smooth transition from a hotel lobby area to the escape room helped create the atmosphere for the room we booked: Crime Scene (“Cena do Crime” in Portuguese). We almost expected a bellboy to bring our luggage!

A person was murdered inside the hotel and the family hired you to investigate in parallel with the police. But you will only have access to the crime scene for one hour, so hurry up!

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