Sunday, 11 October 2015

Review of Break the Code Plus - Indiana Jones Journey to the Secret Chamber

My group of friends (4 adults) checked out Break the Code Plus' Indiana Jones - Journey to the Secret Chamber in October 2015, about a month or so after they opened.  This was our nineteenth escape room in Sydney (so far!).  In doing this room, my group had now tried at least one room at all 12 escape room outfits in Sydney!!!

We found the place very easily - they are hidden at the end of a short alley way (take a right before you come to the shop at the end of the alley way and go to level 1 in the lifts).  There is plenty of signage so you shouldn't have any problems.

They currently have 6 rooms (one of which is an outdoors escape).  We did a second room there straight after this room (see my separate review on their Mission Stealth room).  

First off, I'll say what I enjoyed most about the Indiana Jones room at Break the Code Plus:
  1. Their front of house and online booking system were excellent.
  2. The theming was great.  I love the Indiana Jones series (well, the first 3 anyway...).  Of all of their rooms, this was the theme that I was most looking forward to and it didn't disappoint.  The theming was up there with the best in Sydney.
  3. All of their puzzles were hand-made and all worked perfectly.  Some of the puzzles required an element of skill (so you can't get through on your brain alone), but I really liked this aspect because it was quite different from most other escape rooms in Sydney.  That being said, it was certainly frustrating for my team at times and I can see how it could annoy a lot of players.  My tip here is to think outside the box...  
  4. The room design is great - some of their mechanisms were unlike any we have seen in Sydney (and they brought a smile to each of our faces).  They definitely had the wow factor.
  5. I think they had a really good mix of high tech and low tech puzzles.  They didn't rely too much on hunt and seek.
  6. There is a heck of a lot of attention to detail in all of the puzzles and props.
  7. We were handed a photo of our team after our escape - this is a nice touch and by memory, Mission Sydney is the only other room that hands out photos after the escape.
  8. Overall, my team had a lot of fun, which is always the measure of a great room.
And now for what I think can be improved:
  1. They need to provide more of a back story upon entering the room.  We were walked into the room, given a couple of directions and that was it.  I think a 30 second summary of the theme would have helped to set the scene.
  2. They have a really bad communication system.  We were given a token with a button on it and were told that we only get 3 clues per room.  When you hit the button, the game master then enters the room and speaks with you in person.  This really ruins the immersion aspect and detracts from the flow of the game.
  3. Whilst I love home-made puzzles, they need to tweak their home-made puzzles (as currently, you can break them).  And by break I don't mean destroy - I instead mean solve the puzzle in a way other than was intended by the game designer (I can't really say any more without spoilers).
  4. Whilst I really liked this room, there definitely aren't enough puzzles to fill out a full 60 minutes.  They need at least 2 or 3 more puzzles (and preferably one more entire room within the Indy experience). We managed to escape in 33 minutes (which incidentally put us in first place on the hall of fame leader board, at least for now).  Apparently we took the top spot from one of the actors in Twilight who had been through recently.  In my view, if people are escaping from your room in half the allocated time, then there aren't enough puzzles in your room.  In fact, this room has significantly less puzzles than most other good escape rooms in the market, which was the major downside for me in this room.
After having read some "not so glowing" comments on this blog from others who had tried out Break the Code, I went into this room with pretty low expectations.  Those expectations were greatly exceeded - I REALLY enjoyed this room.  So much so that if they had 2 or 3 extra puzzles and fixed the other problems outlined above (which are very easy to fix), this room would be in my top 3 rooms in Sydney.  Unfortunately, the lack of puzzles puts it down the list a little further, but I still really enjoyed it.  I should say here that Andy (a frequent commenter here on my blog) had mentioned that the owners give a little too much by way of directions at the start, so I specifically asked for no information at the start - I think this helped a lot. 

I liked this room more than the rest of my team - but hey, I am a sucker for Indy.  Now if only someone would do a Goonies inspired room...

Where:                   Level 1, 741 George Street, Haymarket, NSW

Duration:                60 minutes

6 themes (which will apparently change often)

Cost:                       $180 (for a team of 4) (although we had a Groupon for $80)

Overall Rating:      4.25 out of 5 stars

More details: 


  1. Nice review. Very much agree re the mechanisms/features part, impressive for sure.

    Personally, I would only give it 3.25 max but I believe a major factor in this is because we did the room with 6 people... Like you mentioned, there just are just not enough puzzles/areas to search for everyone to feel engaged. The usual adrenalin rush barely registered. To think they recommend >8 people just frustrates me!

    A good positive is the majority of gripes can be easily remedied, provided they listen...

    1. Hey Andy

      Yes, definitely 4 people maximum! As I've said before on here, of all 20 rooms we have done to date, 4 people has been the best number. That being said, you would have had a real advantage in the largest puzzle in this room with a team of 8 (imagine doing that with 4 people!)

      As with all of my reviews, they are pretty subjective (my team and I usually disagree with my reviews and scoring). It also depends greatly on your individual experience, how much you like the theme, etc. For example, we had a broken puzzle in Mission Stealth, so I'm obviously rating that room lower than someone would if they didn't encounter the same problem.

      Break the Code Plus is frustrating in that they are really close to having a superb room, but they do the simple things poorly.

      Hopefully they listen to feedback.

    2. Haha...very true. That puzzle definiely requires a few pairs of hands on deck.

      Oh I very much agree & I believe my enjoyment would have definitely been helped with a smaller group. The actual themes at BreakTheCode are all very good but they just need to tweak a few errors to make them more immesive & involved.

      I will be very interested to hear your Lost review once you've been. There are some excellent positives about this room but also one huge error/mistake imo.

  2. Is there a ES room where you think over 4 people is good with the escape rooms you have done? I generally 4 should be max otherwise you stand around doing nothing

    1. I haven't found any escape rooms where I wanted more than 4 people in my team. Standing around watching is never fun (and even with 4 people in my team, we have sometimes escaped a room and I have had to go back in and look at puzzles that were solved without me).

  3. I think Dr M @ Mission Sydney is definitely able to accommodate more than 4 people without reducing the enjoyment factor, say 5-6. This was actually my 1st escape room & did it with 8 people, which is too many but still highly enjoyable. I also finally did Supercell @ Paniq room yesterday (Excellent room) & did that with 5 people, which I found a good number.

  4. Overall I agree though, 4 is the optimum number I think.

  5. Thanks for the reply guys

  6. I only got out with 5 minutes to go,I think that shows your advanced skill level as more puzzles would mean having no chance for my group to escape! This is my 7th ES room ever

  7. I agree with the frustrating comment,I want to like this place more but I can't!

  8. Hi Scott, I know that this room is minimum 4 people, but do you think it can be solved in time with just 2? I have one more 2ppl voucher to use and was thinking of asking Break The Code whether they'll let us play the room with less people.