Escape Hunt Adelaide: Spy on the Beach [Review]

Logos-for-website_0012_ESCAPE_HUNT_ADELAIDE_LOGO.pngLocation: Escape Hunt Experience Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Date completed: Mar 2017 (2 players). Succeeded

Creativity: 6; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 5.5; Fun: 8.


  • Intermediate English
  • 2-5 people

On the morning of 1 December 1948, the body of an unidentified man was found on Somerton Beach south of Adelaide. Investigations into the death of this individual gradually uncovered a strip of paper with the Persian words tamám shud (it’s finished). This piece of paper was subsequently identified to have been ripped off a copy of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a collection of poems attributed to the 12th-century poet Omar Khayyám. As the mystery deepened, the book itself had a phone number and what appeared to be encrypted text written on one of it’s covers. Under these circumstances, the Tamam Shud case, also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, became one of the the most famous cold cases in Adelaide folklore.

In Escape Hunt Adelaide’s Spy on the Beach, players are taken back to 1948 at the scene of where the Somerton Man was discovered and have one hour to solve the mystery surrounding his death. One hour to solve a 70 year old cold case? Sure, why not?

This escape room opened with the Somerton Man’s effects laid out in a beach setting and after a cursory search, the line of investigation became apparent. As we progressed further into the game, the tranquil beach setting shifted more towards Cold War intrigue.

Although the decoration throughout the Spy on the Beach was somewhat basic, Escape Hunt Adelaide integrated the story of the Somerton Man into most of the puzzles rather well. For starters, the case file information became directly pertinent to the puzzles in the room. This came as somewhat of a surprise as most case file material in other rooms from the Escape Hunt franchise tend to be mostly irrelevant and placed for story purposes only. Not so here. The case file information pertained not only the mystery surrounding the Somerton man, but also the mysterious codes found in the book of poems by the 12th century Persian poet. This is an escape room which will require players to make sense of some of the items they find within the context of the scenario.


The puzzles were a mix of association logic, basic decryption and some searching. Overall, they were not too hard and the room is easily achievable by two people or a group of escape beginners with a good team. On the day we played, we arrived at the same time as another family of five who went on to play the Spy on the Beach in a different room (Escape Hunt Adelaide offers competitive play). Both our teams finished virtually at the same time with around five minutes to spare.

Another pleasant part of this room was how there were no issues with the locks or props. From what we saw on the night that we played, Escape Room Adelaide sees many customers. After our game, we also had a chat with the staff who let us know that Spy on the Beach is come to the end of its time and will be replaced soon. For a game coming to an end after probably tons of customers, the escape room was in pretty good nick and it was quite clear that Escape Hunt Adelaide takes pride in their rooms.

After we completed the game, we went on to play The Collector’s Curse at Escape Hunt Adelaide. That game completely blew us away with how awesome it was!

Out of the room

Service: One thing that struck us about Escape Hunt Adelaide was how professional the staff there were. From dealing with them on the phone to their reception and gamemastering, the people who worked here managed a slick operation. Despite there being many customers when we arrived, we were never kept waiting for too long and their management of the different teams coming and going was seamless. We were handed through different staff to a very concise briefing but it never felt like we were just people to be industrially pumped through their escape rooms.  Another thing I’ll say too is that the staff were well resourced. They had enough people to manage their significant amount of customers, unlike some other franchised escape venues we have seen.


To give you an idea of how large a operation this business is, they occupy two entire floors of a building, with a gorgeous reception / bar area on the upper floor and the escape rooms on the bottom floor. This venue is definitely designed for corporate events and is probably well suited for it.

Escape Hunt Adelaide had boxes for personal belongings outside each room. They also give players very nice cards at the end of the games with the time of completion.


Communication: Escape Hunt Adelaide uses an intercom system to facilitate talking with the staff for hints. Hints are unlimited and do not give you time penalties.

Surroundings: Escape Hunt Adelaide is in the middle of Rundle Mall in the heart of Adelaide. There is no shortage of options for food in this area and it is easily accesible by tram or bus.

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