Julia and Darren, the owners of Elude Escape Rooms told us a little while ago that they were running a pop-up 20 minute escape room experience at Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre during the July school holidays.
When tickets were released, we jumped on them. In fact, we booked tickets to coincide with our eldest daughter's 7th birthday (at 7 years of age she has been to more "adventure rooms" as she calls them than the vast majority of adults)...
The theme of the room was "Magician's Lair" - it was an homage to magicians of all eras. Each of the puzzles in the room were designed around the central theme of magic. Elude had created the room twice, so that players could go head to head in teams for bragging rights.
My family of 4 split up into separate teams - I took the 7 year old and my wife took the 2 year old. Magician's Lair was our 122nd escape room to date (worldwide) and our 79th escape room in (or around) Sydney.
Here's what we liked about Magician's Lair:
- we enjoyed everything about this experience;
- the room design was incredibly clever. They had designed a mechanism to ensure that the room was largely linear, which is great for newer players, as it provides focus and a logical order in which to solve puzzles;
- there was a great variety of interesting puzzles. None of the puzzles were incredibly difficult (although the spacial awareness puzzles had us scratching our heads for a few minutes). I think the difficulty level of the puzzles was perfect for the experience, which was largely aimed at newer players; and
- the quality of the craftmanship in the puzzles and room design was exceptional (and consistent with what we have come to expect from Elude over the past couple of years).
I am told that our 2 teams were neck and neck the whole way. Certain puzzles that tripped us up weren't a problem for my wife and youngest daughter, and with other puzzles the reverse was true.
And it's really not important who won. What's important is that we all had fun and that our 7 year old daughter enjoyed this special birthday experience, which she absolutely did. But for the record, the birthday girl was on the winning team ;-)
Magician's Lair is not currently running. Darren did tell me that he thinks it will be up and running again in the future at another Sydney shopping centre. I'll report back here when the location and dates are confirmed.
If you have the opportunity to check out Magician's Lair, you ABSOLUTELY should. The variety of puzzles, craftmanship and room design were exceptional.
As always, the test of a great room is whether my team had fun. Every one of us, from the 2 year old to the adults, absolutely loved this room. Our 7yo couldn't stop talking about the experience for days!
Where: Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre
Duration: 20 minutes
Themes: 3 rooms (plus corporate and pop up experiences)
Cost: $10 per room (for up to 4 people)
Overall Rating: An exceptional pop-up escape room experience
More details: http://www.eludegames.com/