Thursday 2 November 2017

Next Level Escape - Review of Aquaman Room

Hi everyone

It has been such a LONG(!) time between drinks.  I played my last escape room back in July and I have been jonesing ever since.  I have pretty much tried all of the escape rooms in Sydney, so there aren't too many left to do. 

I was on a family holiday a couple of weeks ago up near Port Macquarie when I learned that Next Level Escape had designed 2 different 15 minute escape rooms for Oz Comic Con, based on the new Marvel Justice League movie.  I loved their Blitz and Ex Libris rooms (see my reviews of those rooms here and here), so I REALLY wanted to somehow get to the Con to check out their new rooms.  The problem was that I was due back in Sydney on the last day of the Con…

So I managed to convince my wife that we should drive back in the morning and then head straight to the Con.  I had bought my girls Supergirl outfits beforehand for Halloween, so they were in!  So after an almost 5 hour drive, we arrived at the Con.  Leanne, one of the owners of Next Level Escape, had kindly booked us a time slot for late in the day.

Out of interest, before we took on the room, we got to chatting with Leanne about how Next Level came to design the Justice League rooms.  Leanne mentioned that they were contacted by the company that was putting together the Con and asked whether they could put together some rooms.  It was a pretty enormous task to design 2 rooms in a very tight timeline (something like only a month or two).  But unexpectedly, the guys at Next Level were up to the task.

We started with their Aquaman Room.  We weren’t our usual team of 4 adults for these escapes, but we were instead my wife and I and our 5yo and almost 1yo daughters. 

This was our 46th escape room in Sydney and our 59th escape room in Australia.

A summary from Next Level of their Aquaman Room is below:

Aquaman was last seen in this Atlanteanstructure.  Aquaman, also known as Arthur Curry, has used an Atlantean artefact to conceal a message to Queen Mera.  Activiate it to reveal his location and unlock the trident blocking your escape. 

Queen Mera will be back in twelve minutes.  She looked pissed after reading his message, so get out before she returns!

Here’s what I really liked about the room:

·        firstly, this was the very first room we have tried when we were combined with other people.  This was a function of the rooms being fully booked out during the Con, so to get more people through Next Level combined different groups;

·        it was really cool to do a room with people we didn’t know.  It’s very different though to our normal experiences, where the 4 of us have known each other for ~25 years (so we can yell at each other and be quite “honest” with each other);

·        the other couple in our group were lovely and we kind of split up and each worked on different puzzles – this worked well as we escaped in a time that we were told was about 20 seconds off the record for the Con;

·        the puzzles were all awesome.  They were of the very high quality that I expected from Next Level, based on their other rooms we had tried in the past;

·        the theme was really cool too.  I understand from Leanne at Next Level that aspects of this room will be used in their new Artefact room, which is due to open this month.  My team are actually going to beta test the new room next week, so watch this space for my review shortly;

·        I think the room was really cleverly designed to introduce new people to the world of escape rooms.  The puzzles were challenging but not incredibly difficult – I am sure that many people who have been wondering what this escape room thing is about would have tried this room at the Con and would be booking in a full 1 hour experience in no time.

I have nothing to report on the negative side at all.  Next Level are a great outfit who really care about providing immersive and well-designed experiences.  It is truly impressive that they managed to put together such immersive experiences in such a short period of time for the Con.

I truly hope that the amount of word of mouth generated from their hard work really pays off for them (and that hard work will no doubt spill over into great benefits for the whole escape room industry). 

Where:                   Oz Comic Con (Darling Harbour)

15 minutes


Included in purchase price of Oz Comic Con entry tickets

Overall Rating:
       A second brilliant 15 minute room from Next Level!

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