Sunday, 31 May 2015

Review of Escapism Strike Bowling – Butcher’s Burrow theme

My group of friends (4 adults) checked out Escapism at Strike Bowling at King Street Wharf in May 2015.  This was our third time there, having previously escaped from their most difficult room, Forensic and their much easier room, The Garden.

This time we tried their Butcher’s Burrow room.  This was our fifteenth escape room in Sydney. When you arrive, you hand over your credit card as a deposit (in case of any damage to the room).  

We were blindfolded and were walked down to our room, where our 50 minute countdown clock began with a slam of the door...  

First off, I'll say what I enjoyed most about Escapism's Butcher’s Burrow room:

·                     the theming was excellent - the props and room were very well detailed and suited the theme perfectly;
·                     this room had a good mix of tricky puzzles and "hunt and seek", which I really liked;
·                     the Butcher’s Burrow room is bigger than some of their other rooms - there was ample space for 4 adults and one child to move around without constantly getting in each others' way;
·                     the quality of puzzles and challenges in the room was also excellent.  Although they were all low-tech compared to other escape rooms in Sydney, the quality was very good (everything worked well); and
·                     we all had fun and I think we all felt like we each contributed to the escape.

Now, for what I didn't like so much:

·                     a previous time we were at Strike Bowling, the staff member looking after us was busy with other things (managing other escape rooms and the bar), and I felt that we were neglected (when we phoned for a clue, the phone rang out twice before I managed to speak with them). I'm glad to report that this time, we didn't have that problem (although to be fair, we only asked for one clue this time).  That being said, we escaped the room and nobody seemed to notice – it wasn’t until a few minutes later that I walked around to the bar and waited in line that the bartender/game master realised we were out.  So I’ll make the same comment that I made in my earlier reviews - they need to have dedicated game masters for each room.  The game master also didn’t bother taking our photo for the wall and seemed pretty unenthusiastic, which was disappointing;
·                     there are fewer puzzles in the Butcher’s Burrow room compared with Forensic, but many more than The Garden.  They rate their rooms (in difficulty) at Forensic 8, Butcher’s Burrow 7 and The Garden 6.  Having done all 3 rooms (and 12 others in Sydney), I think more accurate difficulty ratings would be Forensic 9, Butcher’s Burrow 7 and The Garden 3;
·                     you are allowed up to 50 minutes to escape this room.  We escaped in 34 minutes and 19 seconds, which is a reasonable time; and
·                     the price of the Escapism rooms is steep.  You only get 50 minutes instead of the standard 60 and their weekend rate is $150 per room.  This is one of the steepest rates of all escape room outfits in Sydney.  We managed to get to do this room for free (after I had complained about The Garden not being good value for money, given that we escaped that room in less than 19 minutes, they kindly invited us back to do another room). 

The Manager at Strike Bowling has asked for my feedback on the rooms, so I will give it (the good and the bad)…

All 4 people in our group enjoyed ourselves.   I would recommend this escape room to first time players and experienced players, but definitely not for kids (it’s way too scary).  

Where:                    22 The Promenade, King Street Wharf, Sydney

Duration:                50 minutes

3 themes 

$100 per team (Mon to Thurs) or $150 per team (Fri to Sun)
                                [2 to 6 players] (Watch out for deals on their Facebook page)
Overall Rating:       3.75 out of 5 stars

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