Escape Hunt Brisbane: Bomb at the Government House [Review]

Logos-for-website_0017_ESCAPE_HUNT_BRISBANE_LOGOLocation: Escape Hunt Brisbane, South Bank, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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

Creativity: 4.5; Difficulty: 4; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 7.5

Requirements:

  • Intermediate English
  • 2-5 players

Your team of investigators just received a letter informing that a bomb has been set to detonate in Brisbane’s Government House in 60 minutes. Your mission is to find and disarm the device, and try to find out who made this threat. But why are there so many clues left behind? You start wondering if  the bomber actually wanted to be caught…

If someone ever asked what a escape room traditionally entails, the answer would probably be something similar to Bomb at the Government House.  Some locks, some puzzles, nothing to overthink and props related to the story. In all its simplicity, it was a quaint and fun game. We scored it low in creativity and difficulty because this is true: all puzzles were very traditional  (not to say old-fashioned) in the current escape room market, and the game was very, very easy. Nevertheless, this was not a bad game – I personally had fun and felt quite satisfied for finishing the room in a great time.

While not a room to captivate enthusiasts, it is a decent room for beginners, or if you want to introduce a friend to escape rooms. Bomb at the Government House is the oldest game at Escape Hunt Brisbane, but the props were very well treated when we played and it did not seem old. We started in some sort of living room, and made our way throughout the Government House areas, decorated with vintage furniture and some personal objects of the Governor. The story and layout followed a very traditional Escape Hunt format. While exploring the rooms, we found information on suspects of the crime. By the end of it, we knew who had planted the bomb and what were the real intentions behind that act. The relationships between the characters described in the files were consistent. Despite being simple, they were better written than some other plots we’ve found around venues of this franchise.

bombgh

Puzzles involved search, observation and association, with bits of basic arithmetic. They utilized the props in the room and were mostly related to the scenario, ending in a number or letter combination locks. However, a more dissecting look would show that many of the challenges were adaptations of ‘magazine style’ puzzles. It is not necessarily a problem, as in a entry-level room this is the type of puzzle first-timers would have some familiarity with. However, those tasks are not as satisfying once you have done this type of puzzle a few times. There were one or two puzzles (ones that involved search) which were more creative and required more varied thinking. Knowing chess may help to solve a puzzle quicker in this room, but it is not mandatory – all instructions were provided in the room. Trapspringer is actually an excellent chess player and got the answer for the puzzle even before we found out the question… while I could barely move a pawn forward.

The game was linear and puzzles were all single-layered: once we finished something, it was done and we would go for a new one.  The recommendation for this game (as for many others) is to not overthink. If you are asked for something, solve that something and you will be fine. This game is suitable for younger players, as long as they are aware of basic logical concepts. We found the bomb and disarmed it in 34 minutes with no hints, which was the record for that week.

Escape Hunt Brisbane printed our finishing photo in a magnet, so it is now decorating our fridge. We nice a nice chat with the gamemaster Chris, who talked to us about other games  and about the other events run by people involved with Escape Hunt Brisbane in other fronts, as theatrical experiences and outdoor activities.

In Escape Hunt Brisbane we also played Treachery at the Racecourse and The Jewel Thief.

 

Out of the room

Service: Our gamemaster Chris was nice and accommodating. Escape Hunt Brisbane has a spacious waiting area, with water available. There are lockers for players’ belongings outside each room and toilets. Drinks other than water can be purchased at the reception desk.

Communication: There was a buzzer to press and talk to the GM in case we needed a hint. Hints are unlimited and there is no time penalty.

Surroundings: Escape Hunt Brisbane is easily accessible by public transport, being close to both South Brisbane and South Bank stations. It is located a short walk away from Brisbane Southbank Parklands, one of the most beautiful areas in the city. A public artificial beach and the flowery arborized land create the perfect area to relax, refresh yourself from the Queensland heat and chat about escape rooms with friends.

Bomb at the Government House was also reviewed by Gotta Get a Room.

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