Saturday, 12 November 2022

ELUDE Escape Rooms - Torquay Review

Hi all

Back in January 2022, our team of 4 adults returned to ELUDE to play their fourth room, Torquay.  We have been to ELUDE 4 times before to play each of their other rooms (including a pop up room at Rhodes) and we have always had a great time. 

Julia and Darren are awesome owners.  They are enthusiasts themselves (and have played more rooms than I have) and it absolutely shows in their room design and puzzles. 

Torquay was my 209th escape room experience.  The theme of the room is as follows:

Travel to the English Riviera to help Emma find her grandfather’s fortune.  The eccentric Major Gowen used to take his granddaughter to Torquay beach, he has set up a treasure hunt for her to find the gold bar.  The only clue you have is a photo of Major Gowen taken at the beachside location of Torquay.

Here’s what I thought about Torquay:

·        my initial thoughts upon entering the room were that it was a truly beautiful space.  From a theming perspective, we felt like we were on the other side of the world.  The colours and props used are all beautiful and it absolutely made for a wow factor when we opened our eyes;

·        there are so many puzzles in Torquay!  And there is such a huge variety of puzzles, many of which were truly unique – some of my favourite puzzles are where designers uses common items that you would expect to see in the space and turn them into puzzle elements.  Julia and Darren did this in so many different ways – the puzzles were challenging, unique, varied and fun.  More than once, we saw puzzle elements that we had not seen used anywhere else, which is so rare these days after having played so many rooms;

·        the backstory was well-executed and made sense and again, the puzzle elements all felt like they belonged (which really is a rare thing in escape rooms in my experience);

·        the room design was brilliant.  The room is largely non-linear, with some points where players converge.  There is plenty of subtle signposting though that this all felt seamless.  And did I mention there were a lot of puzzles?

·        Torquay is 100% family-friendly.  There are no jump scares or even mildly scary elements – although on the challenging end, this is a great family-friendly experience.

My team LOVED this room.  It is easily up there with the best rooms in the country.  I can’t think of many other rooms where we had as much fun as we did in Torquay.  As always, Darren and Julia were kind enough to take us through every puzzle after we escaped, showing us all of the easter eggs and talking to us about design elements and how they came up with different ideas.  This part is as much fun as playing the room itself ;-)

Where:                       ELUDE, 11e Mid Dural Road, Galston

Duration:                    60 minutes

Themes:                     4 real life rooms

Cost:                           $50 per player

Overall Rating:           A visually spectacular, awesome room packed full of unique puzzles!

More details:      

Monday, 10 October 2022

Locurio - The Vanishing Act (Live Avatar)


Hi all

Back in October 2021, I played Locurio’s Vanishing Act room with a number of escape room enthusiast friends of mine.  Vanishing Act was voted the 5th best online room in the 2020 TERPECA awards, so I had high expectations.

Vanishing Act was my 200th escape room experience.  The theme of the room is as follows:

The Great Noximillian, world-renowned magician, is hiding more than just tricks up his sleeve. His past five assistants have mysteriously gone missing, each after their 13th performance with Noximillian. Now his latest assistant, Casey, is desperate to uncover the truth behind these disturbing disappearances.

Casey’s roommate, Sam, plans to investigate The Great Noximillian’s private dressing room while Casey and the magician are busy on stage…but Sam needs your help. Find out what Noximillian has been hiding and solve the mystery before the show is over and Casey’s time is up!

Here’s what I thought about Vanishing Act:

·        this was a great online escape room experience.  The gameplay was excellent and we had a great game master/avatar who provided a great experience and the right level of assistance;

 ·        the theming was very strong.  All of the props and puzzle elements made sense in the space;

 ·        the experience uses a great online inventory system that was seamless;

 ·        the puzzles were all interesting and challenging; and

 ·        Vanishing Act is a little expensive, at $40-$50USD per player.  However, it is a 90 minute experience and the quality justifies the higher-than-average price point I think.


Vanishing Act is an award-winning game.  Our team really enjoyed the online experience – great puzzles and theming and a fantastic live avatar.  The inventory system was well designed and there was clever use of video as well.  It was a great experience – definitely highly recommended.

Where:                        Virtual room (online)

Virtual Room Type:    Live Avatar

Duration:                    90 minutes

Themes:                     1 live avatar rooms

Cost:                           $40-$50USD per player (depending on group size)

Overall Rating:           A great live-avatar room with great puzzles and interaction

More details: