Escape Hunt Adelaide: The Collector’s Curse [Review]

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

Date completed: Mar 2017 (2 players). Succeeded
escaping!

Creativity: 8.5; Difficulty: 8.5; Atmosphere: 9.5; Fun: 9.

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-5 people

After solving the mystery behind the Somerton man cold case in Spy on the BeachPá and I took a different turn and assumed the role of detectives helping the Adelaide branch of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Apparently, one of their members, mysteriously known only as the Collector, has stolen and made off with three of their artifacts. What’s more, he has also been dabbling in dark magic! We had one hour to get on the case, enter the Collector’s home, and retrieve the artifacts. Once inside, we also had to find a secret password which would unlock the dock to get out.

The Collector’s Curse is billed as the hard difficulty room at Escape Hunt Adelaide and they weren’t kidding! This dazzling game definitely proved a challenge.

On entering the Collector’s home, we were blown away by the residence and actually needed a moment to take stock of the situation. Quite simply, the level of detail invested in this strange hideout was almost overwhelming. There were curious objects which had been collected by the Collector everywhere and it was clear that there would be many puzzles in the room even if none of them jumped out as obviously being part of one. The wall was covered with numerous framed items, odd pictures and the illuminated cabinets were fully decorated with bizarre and exotic items. All of this was neatly arranged and we definitely got the impression that the Collector was a character who took great pride in his collection.
The Collector's Curse - items

We were enjoying this elaborately decorated magician’s hideout and began to find the starting points for the puzzles, which were the main attraction. Although the starting point became obvious after casual observation, another puzzle which must be tackled at the start was cleverly hidden in the backdrop. We were very impressed by how this one puzzle was so elegantly inserted so as to blend into the background and it was unnoticeable at first glance. It was so simple, effective and was completely consistent with the story.

As we advanced, we found the well-blended puzzles to be a continuing trend with with The Collector’s Curse. One particular piece of written material was marvelously produced to be in theme with the workings of the Collector and one of the last puzzles was an achievement which combined the rich setting of this escape room with a difficult deductive set piece.

IMG_9353Most of the other puzzles were designed with some rather traditional elements covering mainly association and pattern analysis. However, it was never just a simple one step solution after figuring the pattern. The puzzles had layers which required multiple steps and sometimes involving contraptions and subtle use of technology. When they were triggered, we were definitely impressed with how they were executed. There were a fair amount of these well designed puzzles and they will keep even a team of five sufficiently occupied. We finished with only a little more than 10 minutes to spare. The game, although linear, also had a really smooth flow which gradually increased in difficulty until we hit the end. I’ll also add that it pays for team members to keep track of what has been completed and found as well. There is so much going on here.

Another nice thing about this room was that everything worked. All the locks, the mechanical and technological elements did what they were meant to do seamlessly. As this room was still new, everything was in excellent condition. We really hope Escape Hunt Adelaide maintains the room in this state – for the benefit of future players, take care with the items when you go into the room, no physical effort is needed at all. 🙂

I’ll be honest, The Collector’s Curse is by far the best escape room we have played in the Escape Hunt franchise to date. It also definitely rates up there along with all the other high scoring magician themed rooms in Australia. It is beautiful, lavish, difficult, creative, had character and is lots of fun.

Out of the room

IMG_9347Service: 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 smooth. 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.

IMG_9348

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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