Monday, 30 April 2018

Labyrinth Escape Rooms - Japanese Horror Review


Hey all

My group of friends (4 adults) checked out Labyrinth Escape Rooms’ Japanese Horror room in April 2018.  We hadn’t been to Labyrinth since September 2015, soon after they opened, when we tried their Insane Asylum room (you can read my review of that room here).

The summary of Japanese Horror is below (taken from their website):

Many moons ago, it is rumoured that four Japanese Kogal girls were kidnapped and murdered in the home of a depraved and sinister ghost. Decades later and the girl’s bodies remain, overcome by the evil spirit who captured them and tormenting all who enter.

As darkness takes over, it’s up to your team to brave the house of horrors. Outsmart the wicked and release the girl’s bodies from evil before you too are trapped inside. The Kogal are waiting, will you deliver them to peaceful slumber?

Labyrinth has now been open for more than two and a half years.  They previously had a Mad Scientist room, which we didn’t manage to check out before they replaced the room.  They currently have three rooms open – Insane Asylum, Japanese Horror and Mexican Cartel. 

Japanese Horror was our 92nd room in Australia and our 62nd room in Sydney.

First off, I'll say what I enjoyed most about Japanese Horror at Labyrinth Escape Rooms:

a)     we had a lot of fun in Japanese Horror;
b)     the room design is well-considered.  They have managed to fit a lot of puzzles into a relatively small space;
c)     the theming is strong – the props all look good in the space and lighting/audio all help to set the scene.  I would describe Japanese Horror as spooky or eerie, rather than incredibly scary.  For those who are worried about rooms being too scary for them, I can report that there are no jump scares in this room.  By contrast, I have been to some truly scary rooms (one in particular in Melbourne comes to mind) – I can report that Japanese Horror will not make you need a change of underwear.  However, it is definitely not suited to young kids;
d)     I think Labyrinth are very clever at including a great mix of high tech and low tech puzzles.  Some are fiendishly simple – the type that make you want to give yourself a forehead slap when you figure out the solution.  Others require more than one step. Some of the puzzles in Japanese Horror (and in all of the Labyrinth rooms) have elements that remind me of more traditional Hungarian escape room style puzzles – these are typically lower tech puzzles that are quite manual and visual.  They were a lot of fun and there were a couple of elements that we had not seen used in escape rooms before, which was cool; and
e)     Labyrinth use the voice of God system for communications between players and the game master.  We didn’t ask for any hints during our game play, but the voice of God system is the best form of communications in escape rooms in my view (except perhaps for those few rooms where the game master is an actor inside the room with you, but these are currently very rare).

As for some of the improvements that could be made to Japanese Horror, there isn’t much to report here.  There was some automated audio that we couldn’t quite understand at one point (it was a little muffled) but it didn’t affect our game in any way (we guessed what was being said and we were right). 

We managed to escape in around 37 mins 20 secs, which meant that we broke the then current record by about 11 minutes.  I understand from Labyrinth that this is their hardest room with a very low escape rate and I can see that it is a harder room than most escape rooms in Australia.   I especially enjoyed reading all of the comments on a Facebook from Labyrinth about our beating the record – so many players who hadn’t been able to escape didn’t believe our time (or said that it must have been our second attempt).  Even though the time was good, I didn’t feel like we rushed our way through. We enjoyed the puzzles and plodded along.  I expect that the record will be broken again in the future – I can absolutely see a team rushing through and escaping in around 30 minutes. 

Japanese Horror is a great room.  I am often asked for room recommendations and Japanese Horror ticks many of the boxes that most people are looking for – dark/eerie theme, great puzzles, good storyline and challenging puzzles.  Go and check it out and see if you can beat our record!

Where:                    Suite 3/85-93 Victoria Road, Parramatta

Duration:                60 minutes

Themes:                 
3 themes

Cost:                       
$38pp (or $152 for a team of 4)

Overall Rating:      An eerie room with great puzzles

More details:          http://labyrinthescaperooms.com.au/ 

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