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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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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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.

Requirements:

  • 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

Requirements:

  • 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

Requirements:

  • 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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Time is Key: Bradshaw Manor [Review]

timeiskeylogoLocation: Time is Key, Dandenong (Melbourne), VIC, Australia

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

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

Requirements:

  • 90 minute room
  • Fluent English
  • Acute senses
  • Full mobility

If you are a real state agent with paranormal skills, would it be ethical to sell a house that you know is haunted? Trapspringer and I often discuss hypothetical scenarios, and that one once came to the table while we were visiting some allegedly haunted places during ghost tours in Victoria.  (Btw, our answer, independent of belief, was “no, try to solve the ghost issue first”).

To our complete surprise – and somewhat amusement – an escape room in Dandenong created a game with the exact same premise! In Time is Key’s Bradshaw Manor, a family wants to sell an old house but are having doubts, as they believe the place may house the ghosts of former owners. You play the paranormal investigators hired to find out if their fears are real or not, before the place goes into auction. Without spoiling the end, I’ll just say I had the biggest jump scare of my escape history within the walls of Bradshaw Manor.

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Ultimate Roomscape: Kidnapped [Review]

Location: Ultimate Roomscape, Malaga, Perth, WA, Australia

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Date completed:  January 2017 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!

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

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-8 players (we recommend 4-6)

The situation was no good. We were cuffed to the floor of a dark bathroom, kidnapped by a group known as ‘The Clowns’. It seemed like they were trying to use us as exchange for the release of their leader, but negotiations with the authorities went South and we were probably going to be killed on the spot – unless we found a way out.

At least that was the dark story behind Kidnapped on Ultimate Roomscape’s website. As the game developed, the plot changed drastically (we did not find information about the Clowns), but it became way, way creepier…

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