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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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.


  • 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


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

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


  • 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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Xcapade: Laboratorium [Review]

xcapade_logoLocation: Xcapade, Fairfield, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Date completed:  November 2016 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 7; Atmosphere: 8.5; Fun: 8.5.


  • Fluent English
  • One team member not colour blind
  • 2-6 players

Two hundred years ago, when a 18 year old Mary Shelley wrote the first drafts of Frankenstein, she could never have imagined that it would become canon for gothic horror literature (not to mention becoming one of the first science fiction novels).  She also probably couldn’t have realised that this masterpiece would inspire plays, songs, movies, and….. escape rooms. Xcapade’s Laboratorium gorges in references from the novel and will be especially interesting for those who appreciate the story of Dr. Victor’s creation.

However, Laboratorium is not a room about Frankenstein. As we mentioned before, all rooms in Xcapade belong in the same universe and follow a story. In this escape room, we infiltrated the Laboratorium of Dr. Frank in search of our friend and journalist, Sherlock, who was kidnapped from his home in Apartment 73. Sherlock was on the trail of suspicious activity related to the theft of corpses at the time. Is he in the lab? What is Dr. Frank actually researching, and how does it connect with Sherlock’s investigation? Why is the scientist so interested in the works of his Gothic namesake? We were really curious to find out.

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Escape One: Reféns [Review]

logoescapeoneLocation: Escape One, Corrego Grande district, Florianopolis, Brazil

Date completed:  December 2016 (5 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 7; Difficulty: 8; Atmosphere: 8; Fun: 8.


  • Fluent Portuguese
  • 3-8 players

The situation did not seem good. In the middle of our holidays in Florianopolis, we found ourselves cuffed in the dark. Kidnapped by a serial killer. He was not in the room, but we knew he would come back… with a chainsaw!

We played Reféns (“Hostages“, in Portuguese)  at Escape One in Florianopolis, Brazil, right after me (Pá) and my parents finished their first room, Bomb! As the challenge in Reféns would be bigger, we called on reinforcements and two cousins joined our group. I’m glad we did, because we needed everyone’s skills to escape from captivity!

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Pop Up Playground: Room Service [Review]

Room Service, upper floor Preston Markets, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Date completed:  November 2016 (3 players). Succeeded surviving!

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 8.5; Atmosphere: 7.5; Fun: 7.


  • 2-6 players
  • Fluent English
  • 30 minute game

We found ourselves working a Room Service shift in a 1970s hotel. After getting a somewhat frantic welcome by our new employer, we were led into the kitchen of the hotel, where we soon found out that we were on the menu and we had 30 minutes to keep the guests out of the kitchen! After that, we were free to leave. If we didn’t keep them out though, the guests (in creepy masks) would turn us into their fillet mignon. Or casseroles. Who knows about rich cannibals?

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