The Mystery Rooms: Chapter 4 – A GRIMM Finale [Review]

mystery-headerlogoLocation: The Mystery Rooms, Fitzroy (Melbourne), VIC, Australia

Date completed: April 2018 (5 players). Succeeded escaping (juuuust in time)!

Creativity: 9.5; Difficulty: 8.5; Atmosphere: 9; Fun: 8.5.

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 4-6 players
  • Acute senses
  • Full mobility
  • Warm clothes
  • Some knowledge of fairy tales highly recommended

Once upon a time, a group of escape room enthusiasts entered a series of quests to retrieve the talismans of Strength, Knowledge and Courage. With those magical items, they could  restore the separation between the realms of Reality and Fantasy, and avoid an invasion by the forces of the Snow Queen. Backed by a secret organization called GRIMM, our heroes departed into a chilling adventure!

We were invited by the Mystery Rooms to try Chapter 4 – A GRIMM Finale, which is a special escape room for those who have previously completed the other three (excellent) games in the venue, where you obtain the aforementioned talismans. It is an intense game that keeps the entire team busy! And a piece of advice, which will sound like something a mother would say: bring a jacket!

Continue reading “The Mystery Rooms: Chapter 4 – A GRIMM Finale [Review]”

EscapeXperience: Clockworks [Review]

Locatescapexperience-redion: EscapeXperience, Oakleigh, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

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

Creativity: 7.5; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 8.5; Fun: 9.5.

Requirements:

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

 

When we entered the house of Robert Spear, vanished almost a century ago, the only thing we knew is that he was a scientist. He allegedly disappeared a few days before he was meant to present a ground-breaking invention to the public. Not even his family knew what he was doing. Spear’s place was full of notes and pieces about of some sort of device, but we were not sure what it was or what it did. We could only say that the place was not totally strange, it was actually very familiar…

Clockworks is a beautiful game created by EscapeXperience in partnership with Escape Room Melbourne (ERM).  The setting, with touches of vintage and steampunk, is very well thought: the game is meant to be a prequel to Escape Room Flemington, one of the first escape games built in Australia by ERM and a classic in Melbourne. The result was an intricate-looking and fun game, with a great flow and creative ending.

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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.

Requirements:

  • 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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Woodbury Escape Rooms: Wanted – Warriors [Review]

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

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

Creativity: 6.5; Difficulty: 5.5; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 6.5.

Requirements:

  • Intermediate to fluent English
  • 2-6 players (we recommend 4)
  • Full mobility

This rogue life of room-escaping is really dangerous. How many times have we found ourselves on death row since we started this hobby? In this adventure by Woodbury, we played a group of Warriors arrested in the Wild West and were found guilty. But we wouldn’t sit waiting for execution. While a bunch of Bandits caused havoc storming the Police station, we found our opportunity to escape!

Warriors is one half of an very interesting concept by Woodbury: the same space actually hosts two different games. You can play as the Warriors, just arrested by the sheriff and waiting to be executed, or as Bandits, who want to recover confiscated money. We had played the latter in our previous visit to the venue, so we decided to try the other path this time. Both games run in the same room, but Bandits and Warriors do not happen at the same time – you choose one of the options when booking. It was very interesting to return to a known setting, but to face completely different challenges! Continue reading “Woodbury Escape Rooms: Wanted – Warriors [Review]”

Trapt: Espionage [Review]

TraptLocation: Trapt, Melbourne CBD, VIC, Australia

Date completed: January 2018 (3 players). We failed to save the world!

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

Requirements:

  • Intermediate English
  • 45 minute room

The specter of nuclear ‘Mutually Assured Destruction‘ (MAD) between superpowers was  sobering for those who grew up during the Cold War. For the spies engaged in the silent war, trying to gain an edge for their masters was deadly business – the secrets concerning nuclear capabilities of adversaries were the Holy Grail of their profession. This conflict has been a popular theme for entertainment – novels, movies, games, and lately, even with escape rooms. Why not? Codes, ciphers, deception, subterfuge, sabotage… Espionage during the Cold War was a cerebral affair.

In Trapt’s version of this epic struggle, players have 45 minutes to prevent the MAD scenario from coming about and it all starts in an underground bunker. It’s a race against the end of the world! Continue reading “Trapt: Espionage [Review]”

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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Trapt: Biohazard [Review]

TraptLocation: Trapt, Melbourne CBD, VIC, Australia

Date completed: October 2017 (5 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 5; Difficulty: 6.5; Atmosphere: 5.5; Fun: 6.5.

Requirements:

  • 2-6 players
  • Fluent English
  • 45 minute room

Most escape room enthusiasts have probably already noticed that mixing a secret laboratory with a biohazardous experiment doesn’t end well most times. In Biohazard, something went wrong in a high-security government laboratory and the scientists have not been heard from in days. To make things “easier”, you don’t know what they were researching or who they are.

The only information you’ve been given is that your specialist retrieval team must enter the facility and search for the scientists. If there are any survivors, retrieve them and exit as quick as possible. The mission lasts 45 minutes, and after that the military will destroy the facility for safety reasons – and everything inside, including your team.

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Trapt: Wonderland [Review]

TraptLocation: Trapt, Melbourne CBD, VIC, Australia

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

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

Requirements:

  • Very fluent / Native English
  • Full mobility
  • 45 minute room

When we had our most recent opportunity to visit Melbourne, Trapspringer and I went to play Wonderland at Trapt. Although it is not new, the game still receives very good comments.  Wonderland, as the name suggests, is inspired in the adventures of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’, some of the world’s greatest references in fantasy and nonsense genres. There is hardly a media without a version of Alice’s adventures: movies, plays, songs, videogames. It was just a matter of time for escape rooms to have their go, as the story itself is rich in brain-teasers and games.

“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” – “No, I give it up, what’s the answer?” – “I haven’t the slightest idea”.  This conversation between Alice and the Mad Hatter, in chapter 7 of the book, could very much be escape room chat!

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PAX Australia 2017 Panel: Behind the Hidden Door

22179978_127486074575081_5900641369381559922_oLocation: PAX Australia 2017, Melbourne Convention Centre, VIC
When: 28 October 2017
Panel: Jesse and Chris (Riddle Room), Matt (Enigma Room), Rohan (Cubescape), Josh (Mystery Rooms), Pa! (where else?)

I can’t believe its been a full year since we last headed to Melbourne to cover the escape room panel for PAX Australia! Time has passed (too) quickly and many escape rooms have been played. Pa was fortunate enough to be invited this time around to sit Behind the Hidden Door and fly the flag for our blog at this year’s panel. Attending PAX as a panelist? Achievement unlocked.

With so much development in the Australian escape room industry through 2017, it was hard to nail down any single topic to cover. Matt from Enigma Room came up with an ingenious idea to spur discussion this year – the audience would submit their questions by paper plane. They weren’t given much warning this would happen and those who managed to land their question into a box got first dibs at being presented to the panel.

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The Mystery Rooms: Chapter 3 – The Last Stand [Review]

mystery-headerlogoLocation: The Mystery Rooms, Fitzroy (Melbourne), VIC, Australia

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

Creativity: 10Difficulty: 9; Atmosphere: 8.5; Fun: 8.5.

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 4-6 players
  • One player not colour blind

The search for the talisman of Courage is the background story for Mystery Room’s Chapter 3 – The Last Stand, in continuation of the adventures of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. This room is based on a real character of Australian history: the bushranger Ned Kelly, famous for battling local authorities in an improvised suit of armour. (For readers not from Australia, bushrangers were outlaws of the outback in the 19th century). As mentioned in the company’s website, “whether viewed as a hero or villain, opinion is united that few would have had the courage to walk in his footsteps, fighting for his beliefs all the way towards his ultimate and perhaps inevitable demise.”

The talisman players must find is a green scarf awarded to Ned Kelly when he was 11 years old for saving a younger lad from drowning. This memento would be worn by Ned Kelly during his last stand at Glenrowan, Victoria, in 1880 and it is just prior to this event that players will find themselves transported to. The portal to the past remains open for one hour in which the talisman of Courage must be found!

Continue reading “The Mystery Rooms: Chapter 3 – The Last Stand [Review]”