In Trapt’s Madhouse, players are accused of a murder and must exonerate themselves within one hour. Sounds like a typical escape room scenario right? What’s not usual is that this escape room is located in a supposedly haunted location – a 19th century homestead in the middle of nowhere in Point Cook, South Melbourne.
Whenever we travel, both Pa and I really enjoy going on tours about ghosts and ‘dark pasts’. If nothing else, they provide a means to understand the lesser known ‘street histories’ of places and give insights into the lives of normal people. Like city walking tours, they’re also really good at giving visitors a feel on how to navigate a city. While were were looking for ghost tours to do in Melbourne, we came across Trapt’s Madhouse. Our interest suitably piqued, we made the booking and drove down with two friends.
Some weeks ago, Trapt Bar & Escape Rooms retired their beginner level room Prison Breakand added a new entry-level challenge to its patrons. Who would expect that the chosen theme for the new room would be Prohibition? In a bar?
Trapspringer and I joined another friend to give this new room a go, and we were not disappointed. It is simple, but well done. A very good room to bring friends who are new to the hobby, or to warm up the brains of a group willing to attempt harder rooms later!
In the third part of Xcapade’s escape room trilogy, the story concludes by tying together the mystery surrounding the missing journalist Sherlock from Apartment 73and the morbid experiments of Dr. Frank from Laboratorium.
The search for Sherlock continued and finally lead us to an old office belonging to Project Indigo, a covert ‘X-Files’ arm of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). For our overseas readers, ASIO is the equivalent of MI-5 (UK), DGSE (France), BND (Germany) and kinda like the FBI combined with the Department of Homeland Security (US).
Unfortunately for us, the office was rigged with a self destruct mechanism and we had only one hour to find uncover the mystery once and for all.
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.
As avid readers, old-school nerds and RPG players, Trapspringer and I really appreciate a good story. This fact is no exception for escape rooms: we tend to prefer those that make you feel like part of a narrative. When we found out about how all of Xcapade’s rooms are part of a larger plot, we had to try it!
We started by playing their easy-level game, Apartment 73. A journalist friend of yours, called Sherlock, has not been in touch for a while. He was busy investigating something for his newspaper, The Argus, and so you decide to stop by his place to see how he’s doing. Getting there, the door to Apartment 73 is open, as if he was waiting for you… but no! The door slams behind you! The race is on to find out what happened to Sherlock and to get out, because something weird is going on!
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?
Ever want to rob a bank? This is the very simple premise behind Pop Up Playground‘s massively immersive heist game, Small Time Criminals. Having wanted to play this for ages, we recently kickstarted an escape room marathon by taking in a team of five to raid the very questionable firm Eureka Futures. Think Ocean’s Eleven and the Italian Job.
Is this game actually a escape room? Not really. But labels are not important here. It has a story, puzzles, tasks to perform and a lot to explore. Let your raider side take flight and avoid the security guard!