Date completed: April 2015 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!
Creativity: 5; Difficulty: 5; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 7.
Knowledge requirements: Fluent English compulsory.
Straight after completing Kidnapped on the Beach, we dived into Escape Hunt Experience Gold Coast’s ‘medium level’ room, Murder in the Cellar. In this room, you play detectives trying to discover who murdered a vineyard owner in under an hour.
What a difference from the previous room! No sun and beach, but a dark wood-decorated cellar full of bottles and candles.
As for Kidnapped on the Beach, Murder in the Cellar was professionally run and we had an immense amount of fun.
Although this was the second Escape Hunt room we played, the format of the franchise was starting to become clear – find locks, find puzzles, open locks, get pieces of puzzles and the occasional hint to the overall mystery, move onto next second part of the room, solve more puzzles. Still this did not detract from the enjoyment we had and the puzzles in Murder in the Cellar used the setting very effectively – they were every bit the part of the puzzle solving experience.
The room was beautiful and it was a stark difference to Kidnapped on the Beach with far less props in the room. However, this was a case of ‘quality not quantity’. Even though all elements of the room were visually and physically accessible, this did not make the puzzles any easier.
We used few hints in completing this room, which the staff provided without breaking the illusion. The hints were also good in that they guided players rather than solving the puzzles for them. The locks were well maintained and the props/furniture matched the story. There was a good mix of logical and search challenges.
The puzzles in this room are challenging for beginners but would probably not pose too much difficulty for experienced escape room players. For me (Trapspringer), the main difficulty was in identifying the patterns within the props. For Pa, the darker lighting (combined with her myopia – which is not a problem of the room!) added a slight difficulty in one of the puzzles.
Again, fluent English in needed to understand and solve this room. We mention this for non-English speakers or English as second language players (useful to know if, for example, you’re playing with backpacker friends you met in a youth hostel). The room is playable with only two players.
After getting out with a few minutes to spare, we went for a lunch break and recharged batteries to their third (and far more challenging) room: Heist in the Art Gallery.
Out of the room
Service: As mentioned in other reviews, staff in Escape Hunt Experience Gold Coast were friendly and patient with first-timers. They provided excellent service (tea, biscuits in breaks, nice chat) and were happy to provide good tourist advice for local restaurants and public transport. There a fantastic burger place just a few meters ahead the escape rooms.
Communication: Escape Hunt franchise standard, using walkie-talkies to provide hints. Staff were not intrusive.