Cryptology: Total Carnage [Review]

Cryptology, Chermside, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Date completed:  October 2017 (3 players). Succeeded escaping.

Creativity: 5; Difficulty: 4; Atmosphere: 3.5; Fun: 4.5.


  • Fluent English
  • 2-6 players. We recommend no more than 4.

Waking up trapped and cuffed in a dark dungeon, we were once again captured by some maniac serial killer. We had one hour to find a way out, before the criminal came back to probably end our days. While the “Saw premise” for escape rooms is very common these days, it’s all a matter of execution (as we have seen in some notable examples). So  we were curious to see how Cryptology, the escape room brand from Playtime / Kingpin Bowling, would develop this theme.

Soon we noticed strange sounds around us. But they were not the heavy footsteps of the serial killer…

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Escape Manor: The Asylum [Review]

manor-logo-navLocation: Escape Manor, Brisbane City,  QLD, Australia

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

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 8; Fun: 8.5.


  • 2-6 players (Public Booking)
  • 45-minute room
  • Basic English
  • 1 player not colour blind

When we travel, we do enjoy to take part in ghost tours. Not exactly for the supernatural parts, but hearing the specific stories of people who previously lived in places tends to be interesting. So we found it quite curious that The Asylum’s story revolved around a group of strangers on a ghost tour to visit an abandoned mental facility. It was a very clever plot, as Escape Manor does public bookings (something not common in Australia) and the group can indeed be formed by strangers. The names and places cited by the gamemaster’s briefing actually existed in Brisbane in the early 20th century.

So there we were, ready to embark in a ‘tour’. Our guide was quite enthusiastic about the visit to the mental facility. A bit TOO enthusiastic. He closed the door behind us, and all we could hear was a maniac laugh….

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Escape Manor: The Covenant [Review]

manor-logo-navLocation: Escape Manor, Brisbane City,  QLD, Australia

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

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


  • 2-6 players (Public Booking)
  • 45-minute room
  • Intermediate English

That contract was suspicious, but the terms were so good… What did you wanted most? Money? Fame? Love? It was all there. The ‘solicitor’ making the deal was a bit weird, and his hair was so hard and spiky you could expect it to pierce through his hat. For some reason, you felt like trusting him anyway. Silly mistake. Now, how deep must you go to destroy that contract to save your very soul.

The Covenant was a race into the ‘office’ of a very suspicious individual to retrieve and destroy a document you regret having signed. It was also our first experience with public bookings in an Australian escape room venue – we had only seen that in pop-up rooms before. The Brisbane operation of Escape Manor is a franchise of the same-named company in Canada. As far as we know, Escape Manor is the only public-booking venue in the Australia. We found out when we arrived that we had been paired with another couple for this adventure. How do you think it unfolded?

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Woodbury Escape Rooms: Leaper [Review]

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

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

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


  • Fluent English
  • Basic knowledge of traditional English children culture
  • Acute senses
  • 2-6 players (we recommend 4-6)

An elite squad of investigators called ‘Leapers’ were trained to ‘leap’ into the minds of suspects and extract memories, in order to solve the most heinous or complicated crimes. Their technique was extremely advanced an infallible… until it wasn’t. A Leaper has been murdered while exploring the mind of a convicted killer called the Architect, whose final victim is believed to be still alive. Your tech team can guarantee safety for 60 minutes while you leap into the Architect’s mind to find out where his final victim is… After that, you may suffer the same fate as the last Leaper who tried.

This very Inception-esque plot is the story behind the excellent Leaper, the hardest and most atmospheric game in Woodbury.  Our team of four had a very intense time going through a very twisted setting. There were moments we were very hesitant in making any step forward…

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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.


  • 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.


  • 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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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.


  • 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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Scram Escape Rooms: The Doll House [Review]

scramlogoLocation: Scram Escape Rooms, Parramata, Sydney , NSW, Australia

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

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


  • 2-8 players
  • At least one player not colour blind and with full mobility

Dolls have this incredible skill of turning into creepy objects when subjected to the right light or setting. If the dolls are made to look scary on purpose, then you have a horror movie waiting to happen. That was how I felt in The Doll House by Scram. In this game, you were kidnapped by a maniac that collects dolls, and you will be the next addition to his collection.

Playing as a duo, Trapspringer and I started the game isolated from each other, which made things even scarier. The rooms looked like a kid’s bedroom, but there was something very, VERY wrong about it.
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Mystery Escape Game Porto: O Orfanato [Review]

LOGO_MIXED-mysteryescapegameportoLocation: Mystery Escape Game, Rua do Carmo, Porto, Portugal 

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

Creativity: 7.5; Difficulty: 6.5; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 8


  • Basic English or Portuguese
  • 2-6 players
  • Acute senses

Being such an ancient city (some ruins date from 300 BC), Porto has plenty of mysterious and haunted places. In this game, you are hired to enter one of these locations – an old orphanage – and find out why kids are disappearing from there. You are contacted by the manager, Rose, who suspects paranormal activities to be the cause of all this.

While missing children and abandoned toys have a great potential to generate scary escape rooms, O Orfanato (‘The Orphanage‘ in Portuguese) is well lit and caters to most types of players, with just some eerie elements here and there. The challenge is to go through the large amount of puzzles that separate you from the truth about the fate of the children within 60 minutes.

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Keysroom: Rabia [Review]

logotipo_keysLocation: Keysroom, Pontevedra, Spain

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

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 10Atmosphere: 8.5; Fun: 8


  • Intermediate Spanish
  • 2-5 players
  • One player not colourblind
  • One player with full mobility

A group of scientists started researching with human manipulation and developed the Proozol, a virus that at first seemed to give new abilities to its carrier… before turning it into a zombie! In Rabia, you have to enter the lab to search for an antidote. The problem is that the venue was shut down for security reasons, with all its subjects still inside.

Keysroom created a very complex lab with layered tasks galore in Rabia. The room is also in the edge of scary/gore, so parental guidance is advised. Although the mad scientist plus zombie combo is fairly common in escape rooms, it is refreshing to see this type of story turned into a high quality game such as this one.

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