Woodbury Escape Rooms: Wanted – Bandits [Review]

woodburyescaperooms_logo-inverseLocation: Woodbury Escape Rooms, South Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Date completed: June 2017 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 7; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 7.5; Fun: 8.

Requirements:

  • Intermediate English
  • 2-6 players (we recommend 3-4)

The sheriff just confiscated all our money. All that we worked so hard to get! It was not easy to open that vault without making a noise, or to enter other people’s houses without being caught… But we won’t let it go easily. The sheriff is not the good lad he poses to be, he took our money into his private gambling den. His dirty little secret! We also know that he is busy arresting a bunch of Warriors, so we, the Bandits, will just enter the gambling place and retrieve our money before he returns!

The designers of Woodbury Escape Rooms came with an interesting concept for this room: it actually hosts two different games. You can play as the Warriors, just arrested by the sheriff and waiting to be executed, or as Bandits, who want to recover the confiscated money. We chose the latter, which we were told was slightly easier. Yeeeeehaaaaaa!

Although both games run in the same room, Bandits and Warriors do not happen at the same time – you choose one of the options to play. This means that the room is replayable, in a completely different fashion. We loved that idea!

2 - IMG_20170319_183558_454As Bandits, our mission started at the city Saloon and, from there, we had to find our way to the secret gambling den. As other games in Woodbury, Wanted- Bandits is linear and puzzles are marked with blue numbers (the pink ones are for people playing Warriors). It is not a very large room, so we recommend playing it with a team of 3-4 people, to avoid anyone being left without a puzzle to solve. The early game will require mainly deduction and observation, with a little bit of basic math. The puzzles are all related to the saloon-style decór, and although we found many of the challenges belonging to the other game, at no time was there any confusion about which path we should follow.

One of the first puzzles in the game was a nice surprise: although it looked like it would have a very obvious and easy execution, it was actually solved in a very different (and even simpler), but not obvious way! This seems to be a trait in Woodbury’s rooms: a different and creative approach to otherwise simple puzzles. Quite refreshing, I must say. Once we entered the gambling area, the puzzles with casino style props were a lot of fun – we used them in many ways that were not exactly like placing bets on a roulette!

The second part of the game can be much harder or much easier than the first, depending on how you tackle it. Your deduction skills will be really tested once you enter the gambling den, and how you apply them may determine how fast you will go through this area. Unlike the beginning, it also becomes non-linear. We opted for and “out of the box” multitask approach, and it worked very well! Be prepared for smart use of the props around you and some riddles as well. It is actually not necessary to solve everything in the room to retrieve the money and escape, but it is worth it.

1 - IMG_20170414_132736_861We got our many back and got out of the room well in time to escape the sheriffs arrival! Trapspringer had also been solving Wanted‘s bonus puzzle from the moment we saw it, while the rest of us powered on. Every room in Woodbury has a bonus puzzle, which will reduce eight minutes of your finishing time if you solve it. That is quite a bonus! In our case, we had a great run and finished Wanted – Bandits in approximately half an hour. With the bonus puzzle, our time was reduced incredibly to just over 21 minutes! It almost made us look like crazy escape addicts, which is totally not true! 😀

Wanted – Bandits was the easiest of the three rooms we played in Woodbury on that day (we also played Little Playful Things and The Curse of Kidd Island). As their website indicates, their other games Wanted – Warriors and Leaper, are more difficult. We would recommend trying Bandits as a first game, if you intend to play back-to-back rooms in this venue. We also thought it was a very interesting way of  building a replayable room and will surely come back to try the Warriors version in the future!

Out of the room

Service: Our gamemaster Laura was a funny lady that made us welcome and quickly sorted payments when we added a last minute member to the game. As we mentioned we had played escape rooms before, briefing was quick.

There is a box for personal belongings and water at the reception. If a team finishes the room, players receive magnetic badges according to their escape time: Platinum for under 30 min, Gold for 40min, Silver for 50min and Bronze for finishing.

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Communication: A walkie-talkie radio is provided to facilitate communications with the GM.

Surroundings: Woodbury Escape Rooms is located in front of a tram stop in South Melbourne (10-15 min from the city), so we would highly recommend using public transport to get there. There is a large variety of restaurants and cafes around for a pre or post-game meal.

 

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