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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Orz Escape: The Vanished Carnivale [Review]

orzLocation: Orz Escape, Melbourne CBD, VIC, Australia

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

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


  • Fluent English
  • Acute senses
  • 2-6 players
  • 45min room

Evil clowns. They seem to be everywhere these days. Melbourne has a hilarious reputation of being a city full of hipsters, so I guess Orz Escape lived up to this reputation when they did an evil clown escape room before they became mainstream. Enough of bagging out Melbourne though. If you suffer from coulrophobia – the fear of clowns – this is a room to avoid. They are CREEPY.

The Vanished Carnivale is home to the greatest clowns the world has seen. However, after every show, it seems like the troupe of clowns is becoming smaller and smaller. Have they been disappearing? Did I mention that they are evil clowns? We found ourselves handcuffed to the wall of the Carnivale at the start of the investigation and had one hour to solve the mystery.

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Encounter: The Hospital [Review]

encounterlogoLocation: Encounter, Geylang Rd, Singapore

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

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 5.5; Atmosphere: 9.5; Fun: 9.5.


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

Note: Unfortunately, this room was retired in October 2017. This was a huge shame as it was an excellent sequel to The Apartment. 

The Hospital takes place after the events from The Apartment, where the Fong family vanished from the face of the Earth. Having experienced the supernatural horrors involved with their disappearance, the investigation continues in an abandoned hospital, where we had one hour to delve into this claustrophobic setting to investigate the mystery.

The Apartment was the most thrilling and engaging game we played in our first trip to Singapore. We could not leave without finding out more. We needed to enter The Hospital.

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Encounter: The Apartment [Review]

encounterlogoLocation: Encounter, Jalan Besar, Singapore

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

Creativity: 8.5; Difficulty: 5.5; Atmosphere: 10; Fun: 9.5.


  • Fluent English
  • 2-8 players (we recommend 2-4)
  • At least one person with full mobility

You ever curious to find out what it feels like to be in an Asian horror film? The story of an entire family disappearing from an old Singaporean apartment grips the local media who are most curious and determined to find out more about this mysterious case. This is the circumstance players are thrown into when they enter The Apartment, where they have one hour to find out what happened to the family and avoid their fate.

It does not take long for you to start doubting your own shadow. Bring at least one person who won’t be paralysed by fear. Read more to find out why.

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Escape Rooms Canberra: House on the Hill [Review]

ercLocation: Escape Rooms Canberra (ERC), Phillip (South side Canberra), ACT, Australia

Date completed:  October 2016 (4 players). Succeeded escaping (with extra time)!

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


  • Fluent English
  • 2-6 players
  • At least one person not colour blind

After having a thoroughly enjoyable time playing Mr. Keller’s Magic Emporium at Escape Rooms Canberra (ERC), we recently teamed up with fellow Canberran bloggers from Escape Room Explorers to try House on the Hill. What a blast!

The game is set in Salem, presumably sometime around the late-1690s while the infamous witch trials were taking place. The city is hysterical. Ms Margret, who lives isolated in the House on the Hill since the death of her husband and daughter, is accused of spreading a mysterious illness which has struck the town. Is the illness the work of witches in consort with the devil? Players must discover the truth and escape before the time is up or risk being stuck in the house forever. Because it indeed looks like Margret is involved with supernatural forces…

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Escape Hotel: A Loira do Banheiro [Review]

logo-escapehotelLocation: Escape Hotel, Pinheiros district, São Paulo (SP), Brazil

Date completed: June 2016 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 9; Fun: 8


  • 3-7 players
  • Fluent Portuguese (English version available in August 2016)

Many cultures have a version of the Bloody Mary urban legend. You know how it goes: Kids like to scare themselves and dare each other to stay in a dimly lit room / bathroom, stare into the mirror, call out the name of a ghost and wait for it to appear. In Brazil, this tradition has gone through several alterations to become The Blonde in the Bathroom (A Loira Do Banheiro in Portuguese). The principles are largely the same as willing participants have to perform specific actions to invoke the presence of a school girl who died in the school bathrooms.

In this creation from Escape Hotel, players have one hour to investigate the case of a missing high school student. Sure enough there were stranger things afoot, however, I sure didn’t expect the scares that came from The Blonde in the Bathroom!

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