Sunday, 1 May 2016

Paniq Room - SEN3ES Review

Hi everyone!  My usual fellow escape room buddies and I (4 adults in total) tried this room in April 2016.  This was our 28th room in Sydney (and our 38th room in Australia) so far…

It’s no surprise to anyone who has read this blog that I love Paniq Room’s rooms. Supercell 117 is my favourite room in Sydney when it comes to truly genius room design and I really enjoyed the sheer number of puzzles on offer in Abandoned Military Bunker on The Rocks.

Akos, one of the owners of Paniq Room Sydney, first told me about SEN3ES last year, but it took my team ages to find a babysitter and a night that suited us all to check it out.  We finally did so in April 2016. 

The theme of the room is that you and your friends are entering the mysterious house of a famous magician, in search of his lost secrets.  As you continue through the rooms of the house, the doors close behind you and there doesn't seem to be a way back. Is the magician still around? Don't let yourself be tricked or let him screw with your mind. You need to overcome the magician's tricks and escape using your senses. You may lose your sense of time, but remember that you only have 60 minutes to get out! If you don't, the magician will be stuck in your mind forever!

As always, I will start with what I liked about Paniq Room’s SEN3ES:

1.    It was a truly excellent room that lived up to our very high expectations.  It was very different to either Bunker or Supercell - I really like that Paniq Room offers 3 very different rooms.

2.    Paniq Room do not make easy rooms!  I think Military Bunker has the most individual puzzle elements of any room in Sydney (at least it did at the time that we tried it) and anyone who has tried Supercell knows that it is a really challenging room (for beginners and experienced players alike). SEN3ES is no exception – it was really challenging, but unlike Military Bunker or Supercell, it really does require you to use your other senses to escape, which was awesome.

3.    As always, Paniq Room has designed a room with a really good mix of hunt and seek fun and puzzle solving.  The puzzles are challenging but definitely solvable.  Our team went pretty well – I think we escaped in about 48 minutes, without any hints.  I understand some teams have managed to escape in as little as 40 minutes, but we hold the record for escaping in the fastest time with no hints at all (which we all know is what really counts ;-)

4.    The communications system is truly perfect.  A dark voice simply speaks to you.  Unlike many other escape room operators, Paniq Room always has a dedicated game master who is watching your every move, ready to provide hints to ensure you have a fun experience.  Akos, our game master also added his own element of magic to our experience, which really helped to set the scene (and still has us wondering how he did it ;-)

5.    This room was so much fun.  All parts of the escape were different, often requiring a different way of thinking compared to most other escape rooms. 

6.    The room design is excellent.  There are some elements that really do play with your mind – from sensory overload to sensory deprivation. 

7.    As always, the theming was great.  A benefit of having a theme situated in the home of an eccentric (or crazy) magician is that you can have fun with designing the room and can include all kinds of props, which will all fit the theme. 

As for the parts that we didn’t like so much with the room, I have nothing at all to report here. 

We loved this room!  All of the puzzles were great and some were completely unlike anything we have seen before in Australia.  SEN3ES is challenging, at times confusing, it will make you work up a sweat, but you will definitely have a great time. 

These guys really know how to design and operate an escape room.

PS – Congratulations in advance to Akos and Martina on the impending arrival of Sydney’s newest (and youngest) escape room game master.  I’m looking forward to trying your fourth, fifth, sixth, etc rooms under the guidance of Akos Junior ;-)

40 Gloucester Street, The Rocks (entry Cambridge Street)

Duration:                    60 minutes

Themes:                     3 themes

Cost:                           $140 for 4 adults (but we played at the kind invitation of Akos and

Overall Summary:     A truly excellent room that tests all of your senses!

More details:    


  1. Definitely my favourite of Paniq Room's. We played as a team of two and managed to escape with 10mins left on the clock. We were given a couple of nudges along the way but very happy nonetheless. Lots of clever puzzles, but would prefer less locks as it becomes a rather repetitive mechanism. Theme and props were all really well done.

  2. Yo team! Are there any jump scares in this bad boy?
    Keen as a bean to check it out but mindful of cheeky heart problems.

    1. Hi Gus

      No, there are no jump scares. There are dark sections but really nothing scary at all (other maybe for some young children who don't like the dark).

      You're good to go.


  3. Hi Scott,
    Having played The Cipher Rooms recently, I found Sen3es disappointing in terms of theme and narrative. It felt like a series of disjointed puzzles and at some point, we forgot what our mission was? Maybe escape rooms are evolving now to more immersive play. Had I played this as my first room, I would have enjoyed it I think. :)

    1. Hi Carol

      I think in part escape rooms are evolving, but in part Sen3es is purposefully themed (in some spaces) to be quite clean and clinical, or very dark. The purpose is to try and make players use all of their senses rather than just sight and touch.

      We didn't have the same experience as you - we found the flow to be logical and enjoyable. I completely appreciate though that every single experience in an escape room is different.

      I know what you mean about Cipher's level of immersion and theming - I think their rooms are the best themed rooms in Sydney (particularly The Cabin, which is off the charts).

      In hindsight, I think it probably is best to not go to the best themed room first up, as other rooms will seem less thematic. That being said, other rooms in Sydney have their own areas in which they are the best - like Paniq Room's Supercell 117, which I think has the simplest (and one of the absolute best) room layouts.


  4. Hi Scott,

    I'm looking to organise this room with my work but with six people, which is bit bigger than my usual. Would this room comfortably work 6 people?

    1. Hi Andy

      I think the room could fit 6, but that would be the absolute max. I think 4 is better (some spaces would be a little tight for 6) and some spaces just don't have enough puzzles to keep 6 people engaged. Perhaps you could get away with it if there are some newbs in your team who would be excited just to watch and learn the ropes?