Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Scram Escape Rooms - The Doll House Review

Hi all

My usual team of 4 checked out Scram Escape Rooms' second room, The Doll House, in early December 2017.  We had previously been to Scram to try their first room, The Wizard Chambers, back when it opened around Easter 2017.  You can read my separate review of The Wizard Chambers here.

The Doll House at Scram was our 52nd room in Sydney and our 65th room in Australia.  Here’s what we liked about The Doll House:

  • they have some nice tech in the room - there are a number of electro-magnets used so that when puzzles are solved, things magically open or are revealed;  
  • I think they have a simple voice of God hint system (they did with their other room when we were there last time - I don't think we asked for any hints this time though);
  •  the start of the room is quite interesting and a little different to most (but not all) escape rooms (sorry for being cryptic but I'm trying to avoid spoilers);
  •  they have a dedicated game master watching each players’ every move, which is fantastic;
  • there are a couple of well-timed jump scares that added to the dark and scary theming of the room, as well as some gross props ;-)
  • after our escape, the game master stepped us through each puzzle in the room, which was a nice touch (particularly when certain puzzles were solved by my team members before I had even seen them);
  • it’s really impressive that the owners designed the rooms and all of the puzzles themselves.  This is no easy feat (with more and more escape room companies in Sydney opting to purchase room designs or puzzle elements).  Scram has done a great job on this front;
  • they have a great location – they are close to Westfield and the train station, which is really convenient;
  • I think this room is of an intermediate difficulty level.  We managed to break the current record - we got out in a little under 40 minutes (and to be honest, we weren't rushing like crazy, so I suspect the record won't last long).  None of the puzzles are impossibly hard – I think this room would suit newer players or players of any experience level who like a scarier theme; 
  •  there are some jump scares in this room and it is quite dark, so I wouldn't recommend it for children or immature teens.  However, on their website Scram states that they can make the room child-friendly, so that could be an option for some groups;
  •  they have recently increased their pricing to around $38 per person (for a team of 4), but this is about on par with the average cost of an escape room in Sydney.

Even though it is a strong room, I didn't enjoy this room as much as I enjoyed their Wizard Chambers room.  I think this was in part due to the fact that my team are are all Harry Potter fans, so the theme of the other room appealed to us all much more than the theme of The Doll House.  I also think the Wizard Chambers has better room flow, a larger variety of high and low tech puzzles and more interesting puzzles generally.  They had some really novel ideas and puzzle design in The Wizard Chambers, whereas the puzzles in The Doll House were not, at least in my view, as creative.  

And at the risk of sounding like an old fogie, I honestly think that The Doll House is too dark (and I mean that literally rather than figuratively).  I get that they are trying to create a scary atmosphere, but it was too dark to see what we were doing and to differentiate colours (which was necessary in solving some puzzles).  

The Doll House is a blending of an escape room and a jump scare room.  I can see (mature) teens in particular loving this

Where:                   48/2 O’Connell Street, Parramatta

Duration:               60 minutes

2 currently

$38 each (4 players)

Overall Rating:      A "dark" escape room with jump scares - best suited to adults or mature teens

More details:

1 comment:

  1. I just completed this room yesterday! I enjoyed it but not as much as Wizard Chambers. I also thought the puzzles did not flow as nicely as Wizard Chambers and didn't have as much direction too.