Thursday, 19 January 2017

Social Escape Rooms - Baker Street Mystery Review

Hi all

My team checked out Social Escape Rooms in early January 2017 and we did both their Paris Escape and Baker Street rooms back to back.  You can check out my solo review of Paris here.  

For Baker Street, it was the “lite” version of my usual team (ie just 3 of us, instead of the usual 4).  I wasn’t nearly as nervous going into Baker Street as I was with Paris, mainly because I had other team members with me in Baker Street (and could of course blame them if we didn’t escape in time ;-) 

Baker Street was my 36th room in Sydney and my 48th room in Australia.  As always, I'll start off with what I liked most about Baker Street:

·        the room theme is a nice twist on the traditional Sherlock Holmes room theme.  I won’t go into the detail too much, but you all play the role of Sherlock who is caught up in a murder mystery involving the notorious Baker Street Five.  We all really liked the theme – the intro/briefing to the room and the storyline throughout are really logical and well considered;

·        the theming of this room is really well done.  All of the props work well and are very thematic.  There is a high attention to detail in all of the puzzles and room flow.  As with their Paris room, all of the puzzles worked first time and there was no ambiguity at all as to their solutions.  There was also a good amount of hunt and seek fun;

·        compared with their Paris room, Baker Street is certainly the more difficult of the 2 rooms.  I think Baker Street also has less high tech compared to Paris and relies more on old school, bespoke puzzles (which we really liked and which I think work best for a Sherlock Holmes themed room).  Our team of 3 managed to escape in about 42 minutes, which was the record (but no doubt will be broken soon, if it hasn’t been broken already!).  We found it to be a challenging room but not impossibly difficult, so I think it really would suit beginners through to experienced players;

·        Mark is an excellent game master.  He is really engaging and enthusiastic about his rooms.  He watches players’ every move via camera and can help to guide players through the rooms and to ensure that they have a great time.  His hint system is among the best I have seen – you simply speak and the God-like voice responds over a speaker; and

·        at the end of the escape, we were given a photograph as a souvenir and a really detailed graph which showed how quickly we had solved every single puzzle in the room compared to the average time of all teams to date. This was really cool and it’s something that no other escape room owners provide (that I am aware of).

On the negative side, I really have nothing to report.  There was one puzzle in Baker Street that I was able to brute force (ie solve in a short cut kind of way that wasn’t intended).  This was my fault (I knew what I was doing but couldn’t stop myself).  It was a shame because it meant that we deprived ourselves of experiencing a really cool puzzle reveal.  I had a chat with Mark about this and he’s going to slightly change the puzzle (if he hasn’t already) to ensure that other competitive players like me won’t brute force their way through. 

As always, the main determining factor in how I review a room is the enjoyment factor.  We had a heap of fun with this room.  It was really engaging and there were a number of puzzles that we had never seen before (which is getting rarer and rarer these days). 

I’d recommend this room to all group types, newer players and experienced players alike.  It’s also one of the few rooms in Sydney that is not scary at all and is therefore suitable for families too.

Where:                   Level 1, 62 Wyndham Street, Alexandria

Duration:               60 minutes

2 different themes (but 8 rooms planned in total)

$31 to $36 each (for 4 players, depending on time of week) (We played at the kind invitation of the owner)

Overall Rating:      Well-themed, fun, family-friendly and challenging room for all levels

More details:

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