Date completed: November 2015 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!
Creativity: 10; Difficulty: 8; Atmosphere: 8.5; Fun: 9.5
- Fluent English
- 2-6 players
- Acute senses
You work at a mine and have come on shift and the main office is deserted. No one is around and your workmates go to investigate what is going on. They too disappear and you have around 70 minutes to rescue them and get out!
Mine Escape isn’t your typical escape room and even the plot is pretty original. A mine site incident? I don’t think you’ll see this storyline anywhere else. Escape Room Melbourne (ERM) delivers yet another immersive adventure that surprised us with their creativity despite the seemingly boring setting. Our preconceptions were very wrong and we were very surprised by how well this room played. It gets the first 10 for creativity in our blog for many reasons, so read on more to find why!
I have to admit that after being indulged with the flamboyancy of Kellar’s Magic Emporium, a mine site office didn’t seem anywhere as interesting or mysterious. The story seemed straightforward enough and the gamemaster let us know that this room was significantly harder than Kellar’s. Once we entered the rustic and spartan mine main office, however, the game sucked us in.
The visual design of the room and sounds of the office created a very different atmosphere to what we have experienced in other escape rooms. A minimal amount of locks were visible and those that could be seen fit the setting very well. There was not much hide and seek to do, and the few items you have to find are part of a bigger picture.
Mine Escape had unique ways of presenting traditional puzzles. Whether they be hide and seek clue hunts, following cryptic instructions, or interpretation exercises, Mine Escape integrates the setting seamlessly into the puzzles. Everything around us mattered. Believe us, everything! Things seemingly in the background could jump out at players and reveal themselves as part of a puzzle all along. Even the red herrings had clever ways of being uncovered for what they were. To escape, you will have to leave many assumptions behind and look further than normal into the challenges.
To a certain degree, some of the puzzles of Mine Escape also required mechanical intelligence as there is a fair amount of interaction with items. One of the props from mid to late 20th century also brought back memories of primary school in the 80s and if players are familiar with this item or are mechanically minded, you can use it to your advantage as the pressure mounts from environmental factors.
As with Kellar’s Magic Emporium, Mine Escape was a very immersive game. Certain events and milestones in the game triggered changes in the environment designed to provide additional stimuli to players and get their hearts pumping. The crashing sounds of a collapsing mine! (Fake) smoke! This all added to the difficulty of the game however it also made it more exciting.
Mine Escape also flows quite well and can be played by large groups quite easily. It’s non-linear design means that groups can split up to tackle different portions of the room and still find things to do.
Starting from just a day in the office of a mine, the game really takes off very quickly. We gave a 10 for creativity to Mine Escape for several reasons. Firstly, this is one of the few rooms we have seen in which the environment has been so well morphed into the game to the point of providing a significant wow factor at the reveal. Secondly, the game designers at ERM have found ways to make conventional puzzles truly interesting. Finally, ERM have a pretty original room in Mine Escape. For an escape room, this was not an easy setting to do from a game mechanic or atmosphere perspective and I can only assume that this carried a certain amount of risk in trying something like this.
Do not miss this room if you ever go to Melbourne.
Out of the room
Service: The staff at ERM gave professional briefings and followed our progress closely without interfering. They too were escape room enthusiasts and we were able to talk with them about the hobby, how they run the rooms and they also gave reliable recommendations of other good rooms to play.
ERM has lockers for people to store their belongings.
Communication: Walkie talkies are used for hints throughout the game. Gamemaster were really quick to answer.
Surroundings: This ERM venue is in South Melbourne and is a medium walk from the city. There are good bakeries and cafes in the surrounding area.
Mine Escape has also been reviewed by Escape Rooms in Melbourne.