I have made this blog to provide my opinion on various escape rooms that have opened up in Australia. I have been to all escape room outfits currently open in Sydney and a total of 105 different rooms so far in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns), as well as 14 others in California (for a current total of 119). My aim is to help you to spend your hard-earned money on awesome rooms, not crappy ones...
Monday, 21 May 2018
Labyrinth Escape Rooms - Mexican Cartel Review
My group of friends (4 adults)
checked out Labyrinth Escape Rooms’ Mexican Cartel room in April 2018. After
not having been to Labyrinth since September 2015, soon after they opened, we
came back to do Japanese Horror and Mexican Cartel back to back.You can read my reviews of Insane Asylum and
Japanese Horror here and here.
The summary of Mexican Cartel is
below (taken from their website):
You’re a high ranking member of
the powerful Mexican Cartel but when a deal goes south, the rival Cartel starts
kidnapping your men.Your boss sends you
back to his house to get his passports to move his family and all flee the
As you arrive, you get ambushed
and locked inside. You over hear their leader will get there in an hour to
execute you, so you need to break free from the handcuffs, find your way around
the house to get the passports and escape without getting caught!
Will you outsmart the rival
Cartels before it’s too late?
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.
Mexican Cartel was our 93rd
room in Australia and our 63rd room in Sydney.
First off, I'll say what I
enjoyed most about Mexican Cartel at Labyrinth Escape Rooms:
a)we had a lot of fun.There
were some parts that had us running around like crazy people, and others where
we had to be quite dexterous - all aspects were a lot of fun;
b)the theming is pretty strong – the props look really good.There are some dark spaces in this room and
some aspects which aren’t suitable for young kids (I personally wouldn’t bring
my 5 year old to this room).But I think
this room would suit older kids (say 10+) who are mature, with supervision;
c)as with all Labyrinth rooms, there is 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 and are certainly more detailed;
d)all 3 rooms that I have tried at Labyrinth have elements that
remind me of more traditional Hungarian escape room style puzzles – these typically
involve lower tech puzzles that are quite manual and visual.There are two puzzles in Mexican Cartel in
particular that require players to be quite dexterous.This kind of puzzle might not suit all teams,
but I personally enjoyed them a lot;
e)there were two aspects in Mexican Cartel that I had never seen
used before in an escape room.It’s hard
to talk about them in detail without giving any spoilers, but one related to a
method of finding drugs and another involved using a common kitchen appliance
as a puzzle.The second was a real stand
out for me in this room;
f)Labyrinth use the voice of God system for communications between
players and the game master.We asked
for one hint for the final puzzle and the voice of God system worked very well
for us.I think this system is the best
form of communications in escape rooms (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 Mexican Cartel, there isn’t much to report here.There are a couple of puzzles, which although
being really cool, don’t 100% fit the theme of the room for me.Although they look great and are a lot of
fun, these puzzles really are just puzzles for the sake of puzzles that could
have been used in any room theme (rather than one specifically relating to a
cartel).Don’t get me wrong – I really
enjoyed these puzzles, but they weren't a perfect fit for the room.
I also had feedback from one
of my team members that she felt like there were a couple of bottlenecks in
the room design.There are a couple of
manual tasks in the room that require only 1 or 2 players to complete.This particular player felt like she was
standing around watching others complete those tasks and this detracted from
her enjoyment of the room.
We managed to escape in around 35
minutes and 55 seconds, which was 3 minutes off the record.Based on this time, I think the room could
afford to have an extra puzzle or two (or perhaps a more in depth final puzzle).
Mexican Cartel is a fun
room.It is a little dark for young kids
but the quality of the theming and puzzles is very strong.
3/85-93 Victoria Road, Parramatta
Themes: 3 themes
$38pp (or $152 for a team of 4)
Overall Rating:A very strong room with fun,
dexterous puzzles (but not suitable for young kids)