Thursday, 15 April 2021

Riddle Room - The Hotel Review

Hi everyone

The fourth and final room at Riddle Room that my team played during our March 2021 long weekend was The Hotel.  

The summary of The Hotel is as follows:

 

In an old abandoned Hotel lies a treasured stone. Tasked with the job of retrieving it, you enter the Hotel, but soon find that you might be an unwelcomed guest.

 

Players: 4 - 7

Recommended Players: 4 - 6

Difficulty: 3 / 5

Scare Factor: 2.5 / 5

The Hotel was our 7th room in Canberra and our 174th room to date.  Here’s what we thought:

·           this room was brilliant and easily our favourite room in Canberra;

·           Hotel is a scary room, both thematically and in terms of lighting.  There are also a couple of jump scares, but they are all pretty tame.  For this reason, I don’t think it would suit younger children (but it would obviously depend on the kid);

·           there were a lot of puzzles in Hotel and they came in all types.  The variety was brilliant and it included both tech and more old school-type observation puzzles;

·           the theming in Hotel is off the charts.  Enthusiasts often talk about Cipher Room in Sydney as being the leading escape room company when it comes to theming (and it is).  I think the quality of the theming in Hotel is the closest we have seen to Cipher Room.  We all absolutely felt like we had been transported to another place and another time.  The props all made sense in the space, the sounds and lighting were perfect, as were the wall and floor treatments.  It took Riddle Room over 6 months to construct this room (and that was following at least 6 months of room design) and it shows;

·           the room design was also excellent.  All of the spaces in the experience are well considered and well designed.  I would describe the room as non-linear, but with definite points of convergence which bring all players back together;

·           the back story to the room is fantastic and it continues throughout the experience.  The puzzles all link to that back story flawlessly;

·           there is so much well-concealed tech in Hotel, but none of it seems out of place or forced at all.  Again, as with their other rooms, my absolute favourite puzzle in Hotel is a low tech puzzle (I can’t think of a way to describe this subtly, other than to say that it was a pattern recognition puzzle).  It was brilliant and as clever as it was simple;

·           I think there is a little more hunt and seek fun in Hotel than in some of the other Riddle Room rooms.  In fact, the only time that we were stuck was because we couldn’t see what was right in front of us…;

·           as always, the customer service side of things was flawless.  We had a dedicated game master watching our every move – she was friendly and helpful.  One of the owners Chris spent time with us after we escaped not only taking us through the puzzles in Hotel, but he also showed us behind the scenes in their game masters room, their workshop and their expansion space.  This was excellent (and it’s always fun chatting with other enthusiasts); and

·           Chris showed us the software that Riddle Room has designed to communicate with players and to identify when they have solved each of the puzzles in their rooms.  This was really impressive.

Hotel is a fantastic room.  It is an escape room enthusiast’s room.  It ticks all of the boxes that enthusiasts are looking for – off the charts theming and immersion, strong storyline and unique, kick arse puzzles.  It’s not often these days that my team walks away from a room completely blown away. 

I realised when we got back to our hotel later that evening that we actually broke the monthly record for Hotel, with a time of 37 minutes 5 seconds.  But far more importantly, we loved every minute of our time in the Hotel. 

Hotel is so good, it alone is worth the long drive down to Canberra.  It’s that good.

Where:                         8 / 160 Lysaght Street, Mitchell ACT

Duration:                      60 minutes

Themes:                      4 themes (with plenty of space for more rooms)

Price:                           $40 per person

Overall Thoughts:        The best room in Canberra (and one of the best in the country)

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

 

Riddle Room - The Hideaway Review

Hi everyone

The third room at Riddle Room that my team played during our March 2021 long weekend was The Hideaway. 

The summary of The Hideaway is as follows:

 

While investigating an elusive criminal, a police detective has gone missing without a trace. We need your help to find her before it's too late.

 

Players: 3 - 6

Recommended Players: 3 - 5

Difficulty: 4 / 5

Scare Factor: 0 / 5

Hideaway was our 6th room in Canberra and our 173rd room to date.  Here’s what we thought:

·           Hideaway is one of the latest rooms at Riddle Room (together with Hotel) and it contains a heck of a lot of well-concealed tech;

·           Hideaway is a reasonably large sized escape room.  There were lots of puzzles to solve, with varying levels of difficulty.  As always, the puzzles that slowed our team down were the hunt and seek elements (we often don’t see what is right in front of us, and that was no different in Hideaway);

·           Hideaway is really well-themed.  It is clear that a lot of hard work has gone into the presentation of the room, the props, etc.  There is also a strong storyline that continues throughout the experience;

·           there are no dark areas or scary elements to Hideaway at all, so it is a room that would suit families;

·           my team found Hideaway probably the most challenging of all of the rooms that we played at Riddle Room.  That was in part due to our inability to see what was in front of us, and in part because some the puzzles were quite challenging;

·           as always, the customer service side of things was excellent in Hideaway.  We had a dedicated game master watching our every move.  Chris, one of the owners of Riddle Room, also took us through each of the puzzles in the room after we escaped, which was really great; and

·           I am pretty sure Riddle Room uses the Voice of God system in their rooms.  We did ask for a hint at the end of Hideaway, but I don’t remember for sure whether it was the Voice of God or another method for communicating.

Hideaway is a really strong room.  Some of the theming elements were excellent.  There was a really nice mix of puzzles, of varying degrees of difficulty. We had a chat with Chris, one of the owners of Riddle Room, after we escaped.  We had some ideas for how to improve a couple of puzzles (minor things like changing up some of the iconography to make things clearer in the final puzzle, or having a certain element locked away until later in the game to avoid confusion).  These were all minor in the grand scheme of things (and whilst they would have been useful changes for our teams, perhaps not so much for other teams).

Again, I forgot to write down how long it took us to escape from Hideaway, but I think it was somewhere around the 45-50 minute mark.  I think Hideaway, at least for our team, was the most difficult room at Riddle Room.  And it was also a lot of fun.

Where:                         8 / 160 Lysaght Street, Mitchell ACT

Duration:                      60 minutes

Themes:                      4 themes (with plenty of space for more rooms)

Price:                           $40 per person

Overall Thoughts:        A high-tech, challenging room with great theming

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

 

Riddle Room - The Dungeon Review


Hi everyone

The second room at Riddle Room that my team played during our March 2021 long weekend was The Dungeon. 

The summary of The Dungeon is as follows:

 

Gone mad with power, the old King decided he only wants the greatest minds to dwell within his kingdom. Will you pass his tests, or will you be banished forever?

 

Players: 3 - 7

Recommended players: 4 - 6

Difficulty: 4.5 / 5

Scare factor: 0 / 5

The Dungeon was our 5th room in Canberra and our 172nd room to date.  Here’s what we thought:

·           Dungeon is a poorly lit space but I would not describe it as scary. For that reason, I think the room would be suited to families and younger kids, provided they were ok with dark spaces;

·           the room flow and design in Dungeon is really interesting (and a little unlike any other room we have been to).  The room is designed with 2 paths that players must take (each of which is linear, but both paths can be progressed simultaneously).  So I think then I would describe the room as multi-linear, rather than non-linear?  Either way, it was really well designed.  To assist players in understanding the order, the game includes iconography on a wall which signposts each step along the way for both paths, with a convergence point towards the end.  We hadn’t seen this done before and it was really cool;

·           the puzzles in Dungeon are truly varied.  Some of the puzzles involved hunt and seek fun (which held us up for a few minutes), others use spatial awareness, pattern recognition, the works.  It was a great room for enthusiasts like my team, as we really enjoyed the diversity of challenging puzzles;

·           the theming in Dungeon was excellent.  You can really tell that Riddle Room has spent a lot of time and expense in fitting out their rooms.  Dungeon is quite a large space and given the multi-linear paths in the room, I think this room could probably handle up to say 5 or even 6 players;

·           we escaped Dungeon in 32 mins and 22 seconds, which was the monthly record.  Despite escaping so quickly, I still felt that the room had a heap of puzzles and we were all kept very busy throughout.  My team always does better in non-linear rooms, as we can break up and each attack different puzzles at the same time.  The same was true in Dungeon.  The downside to this is that at the end of the room, we then need to walk back through each of the puzzles and see what our team mates solved without us;

·           as with their other rooms, there is a lot of well-concealed tech in Nightmare.  But again, one of my favourite puzzles in Dungeon was a simple, low-tech puzzle that relied on coloured rope.  It was really nicely done.  I also really liked the last minute hunt and seek puzzle thrown in for good measure (which now that I think of it, was a common element in the other RR rooms as well);

·           as far as theming goes, all of the props were of a high quality and both the props and puzzles all made sense in the space.  There was also a strong storyline that continued throughout the experience and brought everything together nicely;

·           again, we had great customer service in Dungeon.  Our dedicated game master watched our every move – she was friendly and helpful and she offered to take us back through all of the puzzles at the end of our experience; and

·           I am pretty sure Riddle Room uses the Voice of God system in their rooms (although we didn’t ask for a hint in Dungeon so I’m not 100% sure).

My team loved Dungeon.  It was themed really well, there were a heap of challenging and varied puzzles and the multi-linear room design was something we hadn’t seen before. 

Where:                         8 / 160 Lysaght Street, Mitchell ACT

Duration:                      60 minutes

Themes:                      4 themes (with plenty of space for more rooms)

Price:                           $40 per person

Overall Thoughts:        Awesome theming and challenging, varied puzzles.

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