Dimensis: Deep Space [Review]

dimensisLocation: Deep Space, Brunswick (Melbourne), VIC, Australia

Date completed: January 2018 (4 players). We survived!

Creativity: 9.5; Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 10; Fun: 9.5.

Requirements:

  • 2-4 players (we recommend 4)
  • 70 minute room
  • Fluent English
  • Acute senses
  • Full mobility

As advertised in the Dimensis website, when players venture into Deep Space, they may find themselves having to deal with inexplicable spaceship malfunctions, a friendly onboard AI, and trying to survive while something else makes its way onto the ship. Earlier this year, four of us ventured on board the Ishtar VII to explore a new star system.

One of our players had already tried the game before and indicated that there were several endings for Deep Space. Intrigued by this, I wondered whether we would be able to get the ‘perfect’ ending. Instead, what we found was that this game operates within nuanced moral grey zones and that there were no real ‘right’ choices, only consequences which determined our chances of survival. Houston, we had so many problems!

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Riddle Room: The Hotel [Review]

Location: Riddle Room, Mitchell (North side Canberra), ACT, Australiariddleroomlogo

Date completed: April 2018 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 8.5; Difficulty: 6.5; Atmosphere: 9.5; Fun: 8.5.

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 4-8 players (we recommend 4-5)

Riddle Room opened their much anticipated new room recently, and we were invited to join another couple of escape room enthusiasts to try the adventure. An archaeologist specialized in ancient civilizations, known as Dr. Desmond, chose us to help him explore a site where he believed a valuable artifact was hidden. Of all places, the object would appear to be located in a most unexpected locale: an abandoned hotel in Canberra. Dr. Desmond gave us the directions and some time to explore The Hotel. What he didn’t say is why he did not want to explore the premise himself…

The Hotel is the most immersive game at Riddle Room and is very narrative-driven. More than an escape room, you feel like you are part of a movie or a live role-playing game on steroids. There were puzzles, of course – but the story and how you interact with the setting around you are the best part of this multi-ending adventure.

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Quest Room: Escape the Jigsaw [Review]

 Quest-Room-LogoLocation: Quest Room, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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

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

Requirements:

  • 2-5 players
  • 1 player not colour blind

For some reason, there is a vast portion of people, who having never tried an escape room, automatically associate them with the Saw movies. That apparently prompted the owners of Quest Room to create a game with that vibe. Besides the series of movies, there is also a Jigsaw-named murderer in the UK, so in any case, having to Escape the Jigsaw surely means you are in trouble.

More traditional (in terms of puzzles) than Quest Room’s other room Sherlocked, Escape the Jigsaw was still challenging and atmospheric. It was also the proof that you don’t have to be in the dark to create a tense and scary environment: despite being very well lit, this game had a lot of unsettling details. But we were able to see our way out – cutting very close!

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Quest Room: Sherlocked [Review]

 Quest-Room-LogoLocation: Quest Room, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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

Creativity: 8.5; Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 9; Fun: 9.

Requirements:

  • 2-5 players (we recommend 2-3)
  • Fluent English
  • Acute Senses
  • Familiarity with Sherlockian lore enhances the experience

It is very probable that 221B Baker Street is one of the most famous addresses in the world. If you were a young investigator in London in 1885, that is where you should go to if you discovered that an evil genius was trying to bomb your city, and that is the story behind this immersive game in Quest Room. Investigation  shows that Professor Moriarty plans to explode a bomb somewhere in London and players are sent by Scotland Yard to consult Sherlock Holmes – but he is not there. Not to fear! Sherlock has left guidance and clues on his investigation. It is up to the players to think like the brilliant detective, act like him… and be completely Sherlocked.

There are many good things to be said about Sherlocked: seamless tech, beautiful setting and fun. For a fan of detective stories like myself, it was specially pleasant to see one of my favourite characters so well represented in a game – both his good and polemic aspects.

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Puzzled: Haunted Academy [Review]

puzzled-whiteLocation: Puzzled Room Escape, Holland Park West, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Date completed: October 2017 (2 players). Oh no, we failed!

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

Requirements:

  • 2-6 players
  • Fluent English

The urban legends of an evil that lurks over the school takes a macabre turn when some of the students begin to disappear for real. In this creepy escape room by Puzzled, players receive a letter from the president of the Supernatural Society seeking help in locating the whereabouts of their vice-president, Sharon Hommes, the last to disappear.

Haunted Academy has a strong horror setting and a few jump scares, so it may not be for the faint of heart. For that very reason, Trapspringer was assigned to open all doors – I’m such a scaredy cat. We started the game with just an electric candle in a school changing room, which seemed to have been the site for something horrible. It was surely not a good day at school…

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Puzzled: Monkey Run! [Review]

puzzled-whiteLocation: Puzzled Room Escape, Holland Park West, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Date completed: October 2017 (4 players). We escaped!

Creativity: 8.5; Difficulty: 6.5; Atmosphere: 8; Fun: 9.

Requirements:

  • 3-6 players
  • No language required
  • Most of the team not colour blind
  • At least one player with full mobility

How can you escape a room of you cannot read or write? How can you escape if you are not even human? Monkey Run! has a very interesting plot that incorporates those challenges: players are a team of monkeys who are being used in experiments by Dr. Irov. Tired of not knowing if they will be alive tomorrow, they decide to escape using their monkey skills!

This room was highly recommended to us by other enthusiasts, and we could see why. The unusual background story is well translated into the setting, resulting in a room with no letters, no numbers and no common locks – as they would not make any sense for monkeys. It was more task-driven than puzzle-driven, but it did not lack logic. It was heaps of fun and bananas!

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BMW X-Cape [Review]

Event: BMW X-Cape, Sydney (5-7 Apr 18); Brisbane (12-13 Apr 18); Melbourne (26-27 Apr 18)

We completed: Sydney Opera House, Sydney , NSW, Australia

Creativity: 2; Difficulty: 1; Atmosphere: 5; Fun: 5.

Requirements:

  • Native English speaker
  • Full mobility to reach the location
  • Up to 30 minutes

Chances are that if you have been in Sydney recently, you would have come across ads promoting an escape room experience associated with the release of a new model of BMW, the X2. Located in the carparks below the Sydney Opera House, the online bookings for this event pretty much got taken within 3 hours of release. Sounds exciting right? We gave the BMW X-Cape a try this weekend and found that it was less an escape room, and more an abstract experience. But hey, free alcohol….

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