Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Xcape Sydney - Review of Casino Royal

Hi there

Casino Royal was the third room we tried at Xcape during a single day when we tried 5 of their rooms back to back in December 2017.

The room summary for Casino Royal is as follows, taken from Xcape's website:

Does the word prodigy define you?  Do you seek to challenge the house against all odds?  Have a skill set unmatched by others?  If that is you, then prepare yourself for the ultimate casino royal challenge.  Armed with a full arsenal of state of the art equipment, you will take on the rol of a master in trickery and deception in a quest to unveil the secret within the Casino Royal and obtain the legendary heart of Cirilla.  

We were a 3 person team.  Casino Royal requires 4 players, so again Max from Xcape came along with us for the ride (a silent fourth player).  Casino Royal was our 68th room in Australia (and our 55th room in Sydney). 

So, here's what I thought of Casino Royal at Xcape:
  • this was a fun room.  Each player takes on a different role as part of the mission to break into the casino and to find and remove the prized necklace.  There were some really fun (and funny) moments, particularly at the beginning of the escape;
  • each player has a special "skill" that comes in use at some point during the escape.  Players are equipped with a "smart phone" that is used to provide clues and to use each players' special skill.  I thought this was a really interesting idea (and something that I have not seen done before);
  • again, the production quality of the room is quite strong.  I think the theming is not quite at the same level as the other Xcape rooms, but it is still strong;
  • there is some well-concealed high tech.  One of the puzzles in particular is quite cool tech that requires all players to work together.  This was my favourite puzzle in the room.

There were a few things in Xcape's Casino Royal room that I think could be improved:
  • there was one puzzle that I did not like.  I can't go into too much detail without giving spoilers, but it relates to a dice game.  The instructions didn't make sense and the solution therefore didn't make much sense to us.  In hindsight, we understood the logic behind the puzzle but it was not strong;
  • there is another puzzle, which relates to blackjack, which has a number of possible solutions.  I agree with the solution, but it is not the only solution and it does require a little guessing to get there.  We discussed with the owner that by slightly changing the puzzle, this issue could easily be resolved;
  • we had one tech issue with this room (where one of the mechanisms didn't work straight away) - but this was brief;
  • I think the room is quite expensive at $50 per person on a weekend or evening.  The average price for an escape room in Sydney is around $40 per person (assuming a team of 4 players), so I think $50 is quite steep.  

Overall, I think this is one of Xcape's best 2 rooms.  

Each player having a different role is fun.  The idea of using smart phones for each player to communicate and the use of special player-specific skills is really unique.  There is a nice amount of tech in this room (and it's well concealed).  

I personally don't particularly like casinos as a room theme (it doesn't do much for me and it is probably the least appealing to me of each of the room themes at Xcape).  That being said, I enjoyed myself and had fun in this room.  I think with some tweaks to a couple of puzzles, this could be a solid room.  

Where:                   18 Queen Street, Chippendale 

Duration:               60 minutes

6 currently

$40pp (or $50pp on weekends/evenings) (but we played at the kind invitation of Xcape)

Overall Rating:      A fun room with some nice tech and a different approach

More details:          http://www.xcapes.com.au/

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