Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Updated Summary of all ten escape rooms I have been to in Sydney (as at February 2015)

I have now been to ten different escape rooms in Sydney, so I thought now would be a good time for me to give a quick summary of my thoughts on each room.   See the table below.  

It’s really difficult to compare all 10 rooms and rank them (as they are so different – it really is like comparing apples and oranges).  However:

  • for advanced players, my favourite rooms are PanIQ Room’s Supercell 117, Mission Escape’s Dr M and Parapark Sydney’s 9A Gateway; and
  • for beginners, my favourite rooms are Parapark Sydney’s 9A Gateway and ClockLocked’s Dexter.

I'd be really interested in receiving any feedback or comments that you have on any of the Sydney escape rooms (good or bad and whether or not they appear in this list). 

Here's the table - I hope it is useful!

Room Theme
PanIQ Room
(The Rocks)
Click here.

Supercell 117
This room was fantastic!  It has a great mix of high-tech and low-tech puzzles, the theming and props are flawless and the room design is the best I have seen. 

I think this room is a little tricky for first-timers (that’s not to say that you wouldn’t enjoy it, but you might not get out in time).  Personally, I’d do a couple of other simple rooms before tackling this one.  It’s suited to kids and groups of up to say 6 people.  See my full review here.

Mission Escape (Sydney CBD)
Click here.

Dr M
I LOVED this room!  It is the most high-tech room in Sydney – the puzzles are largely home-made and very original and the theming is excellent.  It’s a little pricey (up to $45 per person) but definitely worth it.  They are ranked the number one escape room in Sydney on TripAdvisor for good reason.  The room is too scary for kids (probably best suited to say 12yo+).  I would try other rooms before tackling this one (as it was pretty tricky – I doubt most first-timers would escape in time).  See my full review here.

ParaPark Sydney (Macquarie Park)
Click here.

9A Gateway
This is another fantastic room.  The quality of the puzzles and theming were excellent (and many of the puzzles are home-made and very original). 

Of all of the rooms, I think this is a really good option if you are a first timer or an advanced player (both would enjoy this room).  It can be a little scary for young kids, so I would suggest not bringing kids who are under say 10yo here. 

Check out this room – you will love it.  Macquarie Park is only 15 minutes from the city – it’s definitely worth the trip!

See my full review here.

Mission Escape (Sydney CBD)
Click here.
Vampire Castle
This is a great room.  It was the first high-tech room we had done and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for several days after.  It was my first taste of a great escape room in Sydney.  We didn’t escape (we missed it by a couple of minutes), but I was well and truly hooked after this room.

As with Dr M, the puzzles are all high tech and the theming and props are excellent.  Again, it’s a little scary for kids under 12yo.

I think this is a good room for beginners and advanced players alike.  See my full review here.

(King Street Wharf)
Click here.
We all very much enjoyed the Forensic room, but jeez it was difficult (my group says it wasn’t that hard, but they are wrong – trust me, it’s very hard).  The game master told us that less than 5% of all groups escape this room!

There wasn’t much ‘hunt and seek’ in this room but instead it was all mind-bending puzzles.  Once we figured out a few puzzles, we got on a roll and we managed to escape with about 6 minutes left on the clock (much to the surprise of our game master).

They also only give you 50 minutes to escape (rather than the standard 60 minutes), which makes it that much harder.  The theming is great and the quality of the puzzles is excellent.

This room is definitely not for first-timers .  Don’t do this room unless you have first tried at least a handful of other rooms.  See my full review here.

Clock Locked
Click here.
We all really enjoyed Dexter.  The puzzles were all very original, the theming was great and there was a really great atmosphere in the room.  We got stuck on the ‘hunt and seek’ element, which my group always falls down on.

Personally, I was a little disappointed with one aspect of this room (but I can’t say anything more about it here without spoiling the room).  That being said, none of the other 3 people in my group were disappointed by this aspect.

The room is too scary for kids and it is not big enough for groups bigger than 4 people.

I would recommend either room for first timers and advanced players alike (and they are often on Groupon and Scoopon at 50% off).  See my full review here.

Clock Locked
Click here.
Da Vinci
We all really enjoyed Da Vinci, for the most part.  Our only disappointment with this room was that one particular puzzle has an error in it (the issue related to a difference of opinion as to how letters and numbers are written (this seemed to have been a cultural issue as I think European letters and numerals are written differently than here)).  I think this issue might have been rectified now.  Their theming is great and the puzzles are all fun.  The room is too scary for kids and too small for corporate groups.  I would recommend either room for first timers and advanced players alike (and they are often on Groupon and Scoopon at 50% off).  I wouldn’t do this room with a group of more than 5 people maximum.  See my full review here.

Escape Hunt Sydney
(Sydney CBD)
Click here.
Murder in the Pub
I didn’t love this room, despite it being the first escape room that we did in Sydney.  They had some faults in their puzzles, we were given a bad “hint” by the game master and one of the chains came away in our hands (even though we hadn’t yet found a key).  That being said, we went on their opening weekend and hopefully some of the problems and issues we faced have been fixed by now.  However, their biggest issue is theming, which is amongst the worst we have seen in Sydney.   

Their rooms are aimed at corporate groups (as they have 6 rooms in total (ie 3 different rooms each duplicated).  These rooms are suited to first timers, corporate groups and those with kids (but not advanced players or those who appreciate fine theming and a fully immersive experience). See my full review here.

The Mystery Puzzle (Sydney CBD)
Click here.
My group had fun at the Pirate Adventure, but it’s a simple room and it isn’t suited to advanced players.

We escaped in 39 minutes and were told that this was the average escape time for all groups (which confirms my view that the room is too easy).  Pirate Adventure is a big room but it isn’t filled well.  There is too much “hunt and seek” and not enough puzzles. 

Most disappointing is that the theming and props are very poor.  They don’t make sense in the space – it is as though the owners have picked up cheap things at an op shop just to fill the space. 

I would however say that these rooms are suited to kids, first timers and corporate groups.  They are often on Groupon/Scoopon at 50% off. 

Steer clear of this place if you have done an escape room before (because I suspect you will find it far too easy and boring like we did).  And definitely don’t bother doing both rooms. 

See my full review here.

The Mystery Puzzle (Sydney CBD)
Click here.
Casino Revenge Thriller
I really didn’t enjoy this room at all.

It was an ok room, but again the theming and props were very poor and it was just too easy – there weren’t enough puzzles to fill an hour worth of escaping.  The props made no sense at all – lots of items were there just to fill the space.  There were errors in the puzzles too.

But what we found most disappointing about this room was that it was incredibly similar to their other room, Pirate Adventure (which we had already done).  Almost all of the puzzles and the various mechanisms were identical. 

We escaped in 26 minutes and left bored and very underwhelmed. 

Personally, in light of the lazy design between the 2 rooms, I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone.   However, like the Pirate Adventure room, this is geared at first-timers, kids and corporate groups.   And with a groupon or scoopon, I’m sure many people would enjoy this room.

See my full review here.

Escape Club (aka Room Escape) at Kingsford

Also, although I haven’t yet been there, anecdotally I have been informed that Escape Club (based at Kingsford) is nothing special.  I have read a lot of consistently bad reviews on TripAdvisor.  I also know someone who went there who described it to me as dirty, run down and having poor instructions in some of the puzzles (perhaps due to a translation issue).  This person I know had booked to take his children to the Harry Potter room, but when they arrived they were told that there were lots of broken elements in the Harry Potter room so they instead were given a different room to do.  This left me with no confidence at all about this place, which is why I haven’t been there yet.

They often have Scoopons/Groupons for some of their rooms (but not their new rooms).  Although I haven’t been there, I have heard enough bad things about this place that I would not recommend it to anyone.  Read the reviews on TripAdvisor and form your own view though.

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