Woodbury Escape Rooms: Wanted – Warriors [Review]

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

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

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 5.5; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 6.5.

Requirements:

  • Intermediate to fluent English
  • 2-6 players (we recommend 4)
  • Full mobility

This rogue life of room-escaping is really dangerous. How many times have we found ourselves on death row since we started this hobby? In this adventure by Woodbury, we played a group of Warriors arrested in the Wild West and were found guilty. But we wouldn’t sit waiting for execution. While a bunch of Bandits caused havoc storming the Police station, we found our opportunity to escape!

Warriors is one half of an very interesting concept by Woodbury: the same space 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 confiscated money. We had played the latter in our previous visit to the venue, so we decided to try the other path this time. Both games run in the same room, but Bandits and Warriors do not happen at the same time – you choose one of the options when booking. It was very interesting to return to a known setting, but to face completely different challenges!

Our game started in a semi-lit cell. We were all cuffed to the walls, and a huge panel separated our team in half. I was on one side with a friend, while Trapspringer was on the other side with Craig, from the Escape Room Blog NZ. After some contortionist maneuvering  and lots of persistence, we finally defeated this initial puzzle, which was rather punishing, got rid of our cuffs and continued on our race to escape.

To exit this cell,  we had to perform a sequence of spatial-perception and physical tasks. We then emerged in known territory: the saloon we had visited previously while playing Bandits. As with other games in Woodbury, Wanted- Warriors is linear and the sequencing of the puzzles are marked with pink numbers (the blue ones are for people playing Bandits). So, if you are lost, just look for the next pink sticker and go on. While we think this makes the games a lot easier, we understand there is a considerable slice of the market that is still new to escape rooms and would appreciate some direction.

Most-Wanted2-2

In the bar, there are new dexterity and spatial tasks to be solved, alongside with some logical and cryptic ones. Having a person who is able to take a step back and look at puzzles from different angles will help a lot – some puzzles in this room really need a fresh pair of eyes.  I am quite good in recognizing patterns, but one of the puzzles in this area got me completely stumped. One of our friends figured it out and gave me a hint along the lines of “all you’ve done until now with the puzzle does not apply at all!” And then there was one of those moments you feel completely stupid when you figure out a simple thing after having done equations and integrals in your head…

Some puzzles are completely related to the saloon-style decór, some not as much. Although as we found many of the challenges belonging to the other game, at no time was there any confusion about which path we should follow. Another characteristic of Woodbury games is that they always include a bonus puzzle that, if solved, deduces eight minutes from your escape time. We did it, and our registered escape time (17 minutes left) was much quicker than the real escape time (9 minutes left)!

We had a good run and successfully escaped the room. It was also very interesting to see how the coexistance of two games within the same space was not a problem at all. We saw some items that were from the other game, but they surely did not interfere with us completing Warriors. Both rooms are similar in difficulty, however we enjoyed Bandits more. We say that because the first puzzle in Warriors was got really tiresome after a while – a physical task that took us almost 20 minutes to complete due to a prop characteristic. We know it may not be an issue for some teams, but for us it was frustrating to repeat the task for so long, knowing what the end result should be. We talked to the designer of the room, Aaron (who is a very nice guy and passionate about his games) and he mentioned he would alter that feature. By now the issue is hopefully gone and teams may have a smoother experience. Besides that, the game was nice. Both games are suitable for beginners, and first-timers would probably do better if trying one of them before attempting the other rooms in Woodbury.

In Woodbury we also played Wanted – BanditsLittle Playful Things,  The Curse of Kidd Island and Leaper (which was our favourite of of all their rooms).

Out of the room

Service: Our gamemaster was a very nice girl, who gave us a concise but efficient briefing. After our game, we had a nice chat with Aaron, the designer.

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.

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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