Saturday, 4 August 2018

Kingp!n Bowling/Cryptology - Review of Hunter's Cabin

Hey all

After having checked out Kingpin’s Sweet Secrets room (you can check out my review here), we moved straight on to checking out Kingpin’s Hunter’s Cabin room.  Here is the summary of Hunter’s Cabin from their website:
Sheltering from a storm, deep in the woods you chance across a warm, lit cabin. Is this deliverance, or have you walked into the hunters trap? Can you figure out an escape before you become his trophy? Available at Kingpin North Strathfield. Cryptofactor: 8/10 (trickily difficult)

Kingpin’s Hunter’s Cabin was our 100th (!!!) room in Australia and our 70th room in Sydney. 

Here are my thoughts on Hunter’s Cabin:
a)     as with Sweet Secrets, I was really pleased with the production value of the props and theming in this room.  This room did not look like a typical commercial office space with some op shop items thrown in – the props were of a really high quality, the lighting was well considered and the theming generally was great;
b)     the room theme is not as novel as Sweet Secrets (in that I have now probably been to over 2 dozen rooms where the bad guy is going to return to kill us within 60 minutes if we don’t escape), but it is well done;
c)     as outlined in my Sweet Secrets review, Kingpin’s clue system is one of the better automated clue systems I have used because they use sensors to track where players are up to (which greatly increases the accuracy and usefulness of the clues given).  As with Sweet Secrets, this room is very linear in design (which typically suits newer players);
d)     I am happy to report that we had a dedicated game master for our room.  The game master needed to get in contact with us at one point and it was nice to know that she was following our every move – this is something that many other escape rooms do not do and it always has a direct impact on the overall quality and enjoyment of the room;
e)     I thought this room was more difficult than Sweet Secrets (even though they both have the same “Cryptofactor” difficulty rating according to Kingpin).  Funnily enough, we escaped this room faster than the other room (we were out of this room in 27 minutes and 24 seconds, compared to about 30 minutes for Sweet Secrets).  However, this was the more complicated room with trickier puzzles;
f)       I think all of the puzzles in Hunter’s Cabin were pretty well done.  There were a couple of puzzles of a type that we had not seen anywhere before (which is something that is very rare these days).  There was one puzzle (a cupboard combination) that didn’t make sense to us (which we ultimately brute forced), but otherwise all of the puzzles worked;
g)     lastly, there is a puzzle that I really like, but which I have concerns about from a safety perspective, particularly for children and drunk people.  I’ll feed my comments back to Kingpin on this particular puzzle. 

Given that as a team of 3 we escaped in less than half of the permitted time (a new record we were told), I think the room would benefit from an additional 2 or 3 puzzles (to make it more suitable to experienced players).  Given the theme, I do not think this room is aimed at families or children, but there is nothing particularly scary in the room so kids should be fine in the room.

As noted in my Sweet Secrets review, I had doubts going to Kingpin, given my poor experiences in the past at their main competitor, Strike Bowling.  But I am pleased to say that whilst we had awful customer service at Strike Bowling, we had great customer service at Kingpin Bowling.  The staff members were really enthusiastic and accommodating.

As always, the biggest test of a good escape room for me is whether or not we had fun.  Although we were out very quickly, Hunter’s Cabin was a challenging room with really high production value.  My team of 3 really enjoyed ourselves. 

Where:                                    3-5 George Street, North Strathfield

Duration:                                60 minutes

Themes:                                 2 themes

Cost:                                       $100/$150 per room (depending on time of week)

Overall Summary:                 A quick but challenging room with high production value

More details:                


  1. Hey Scott, we also tried this escape room and I know what you about the puzzle with safety issues. Funnily enough we thought one part of the puzzle was for something else so we almost didn't have enough of it when it came to time use it. I'm curious about the puzzle that didn't make sense to you?
    Also, I'm wondering if you heard of The Switch (live mystery game), and if you're going to try it out.

    1. Hi Tash

      Thanks for getting in contact. The puzzle that didn't make sense was the combination on the large wardrobe doors. That just did not work for us (but we brute forced it because we had all but one of the numbers/letters for the dials).

      I have heard about The Switch - it sounds more like an Amazing Race style game than an escape room (although I could be wrong). For some reason it didn't quite appeal to me (which could be in part due to other larger scale productions like this in the past having been scams/shams).

      If you're going to check out The Switch, drop me a note and let me know how it goes.


  2. Hi Scott,

    I can't remember now what the puzzle was that was for the large wardrobe doors.

    We (team of 8), did the Switch on Friday night, and we competed against 4 other teams made up of 2-6 players. It was really fun, and the beginning was a little bit like an Amazing Race style of game, but at the end we were in the same location competing against the other teams. Unfortunately we didn't win at the end, but we were leading all the way through.

    It was a lot of fun, but quite different to an escape room. But I'd still recommend it for a slightly different experience. We used a Scoopon voucher for this, so it worked out to be just over $17/person, so not bad for 1.5 hours of fun.

    Let me know if you decide to try it out.