Escape Rooms Central Coast: Espionage [Review]

logo-3Location: Escape Room Central Coast, Charmhaven, Central Coast, NSW, Australia

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

Creativity: 7; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 6.5; Fun: 8.

Requirements:

  • Fluent English.
  • 2-8 players
  • Family friendly

When a journalist who had uncovered evidence of a global conspiracy network has disappeared from his apartment, Pa decided she could not leave a fellow journo’s fate in the shadows. The idea of spending some time in the Central Coast may also have appealed to her. So we took the car and started our journey towards Escape Rooms Central Coast. It was up to us to find out what have happened, preferably within one hour!

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Escape Room Treasure Hunt: Escape the Past [Review]

erth-logovLocation: Adelaide Fringe Festival (17 Feb – 19 Mar 17), Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Date completed: Mar 2017 (7 players). Succeeded escaping!

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

Requirements:

  • Intermediate English.
  • 2-8 players (public ticketing)
  • Family friendly

Remember those Cold War-era nuclear test videos where these fake towns get annihilated? The source of some of these well known videos come from the Nevada Test Site, which has been used since January 1951. As Chrono-Cops, Pa and I as well as five strangers were sent back to late-1950 to change the past related to the establishment of these tests. Mission was successful, but trouble struck and our time travelling device was destroyed! We reached our safe house, a dinghy hotel room in Las Vegas, and needed to construct a time portal to return to the present and Escape the Past.

This mobile escape room from the US company Escape Room Treasure Hunt (ERTH) has been doing the rounds through Australia, initially with Perth’s Fringe World Festival (Jan – Feb 17) and will be at the Adelaide Fringe Festival until 19 Mar 17. We just happened to be in Adelaide at the time and simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play this room.

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Unexpected Exit: Blast Radius [Review]

Unexpected-Exit-Escape-RoomsLocation: Unexpected Exit, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Date completed:   Jan 2017 (2 players). Failed to save the day!

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

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-10 players (we highly recommend 3+)
  • 50 minute game

The Zamorian terrorists are planning to strike Newcastle again! They really have a beef with the city! 🙂  After our previous failed attempt to prevent the attack on the city in The Terror Cell,  Pa and I recently returned to Unexpected Exit to confront the terrorists from the fictional state of Zamoria once more.

This time around, we were trapped in another of their hideouts. Pa was kept hostage in a separate room from me and we had 50 minutes to find the bomb, defuse it and get out. It seemed like we were in big trouble!

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Riddle Room: The Bomb Defusal [Beta Test Review]

Location: Riddle Room, Mitchell (North side Canberra), ACT, Australiariddleroomlogo

Date completed: Jan 2017 (2 players). Test successful, bomb improved!

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

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-6 players
  • One team member not colour blind
  • Acute senses
  • 35min room
  • Not recommended for first time players

We may be at the edge of incurable, as escape room enthusiasts. The other day, we were home late at night after a tough day at work, in pajamas, after shower, and saw a little post on Facebook: “Would anyone be able to test an escape room now?” In 5 min we were awake, properly dressed and driving down to Riddle Room in Canberra. Nothing else mattered – there was a bomb to be disarmed!

Bomb Defusal is a 35min game with a straightforward story: you are agents of the bomb squad and a device was located. You must enter the location and use the right tools and techniques to avoid the destruction of the city. This game starts the moment you enter Riddle Room’s venue – locating your defusal kit and the room with the bomb is actually part of your mission!

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Xcapade: Project Indigo [Review]

xcapade_logoLocation: Xcapade, Fairfield, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Date completed:  November 2016 (2 players). Uncovered the mystery, but failed to escape!

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

Requirements:

  • Intermediate English
  • 2-6 players

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 73 and 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.

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Xcapade: Apartment 73 [Review]

xcapade_logoLocation: Xcapade, Fairfield, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

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

Creativity: 7.5; Difficulty: 6; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 8.5.

Requirements:

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

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!

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The GCHQ Puzzle Book [Review]

logo-4Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Cryptic puzzles, decryption.
Year released: 2016
Difficulty: 7 to 10.

The British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is UK’s signals intelligence agency. They are also the proud inheritors of a legacy spanning all the way back to World War 2 when their predecessors from the Government Code & Cypher School, then located in Bletchley Park, spearheaded Allied efforts to break German military encryption enabled by Enigma machines.

img_9309The people in this field, as exemplified by those such as Alan Turing, were intelligent, driven, determined and sometimes considered misfits of their time. They certainly provided a juxtaposed archetype of the British Spy, who is normally stereotyped as a suave action hero (martinis shaken not stirred). It should perhaps be no surprise then that GCHQ would launch a puzzle book. Apparently their workforce loves solving puzzles. Who would’ve thought?

Last Christmas, Pa and I bought a copy to try out and see just how the brains of these people tick.

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