Saturday, 4 August 2018

ELUDE Escape Rooms - Framed Review

Hi everyone

My team first went to Elude in December 2017 soon after they first opened.  You can check out my review of their first room, Perpetual Motion, here.

My team had been really looking forward to returning to Elude ever since we tried their Perpetual Motion room, which we really enjoyed.  We returned in June to try our luck at their second room, Framed. 

As a warm up to Framed, we checked out Elude’s Beat the Box challenge.  You can read all about it in my separate review, here.

The room summary from their website for Framed is as follows:
A world famous Private Investigator has been called in to help police solve a mysterious murder, which so far has not revealed any suspects. The private investigator is renowned for finding evidence that has Eluded all other crime scene investigators. Having followed the private investigators success in the media, you have become suspicious of their investigation methods and decide to try to uncover the truth
Duration of game: 75 minutes

Framed was our 97th escape room in Australia and our 67th escape room in Sydney.

Here’s what we really liked about Framed:
  • there are so many puzzles packed into this room!  We were kept very busy for the entire escape room experience – there is no time to sit on your hands in Framed!  In fact, at the time that we tried Framed, owners Julia and Darren weren’t sure what time limit the room should have.  After we escaped in a little over 60 minutes, we gave them our feedback that the room as it currently stands should have a time limit of 75 minutes.  Julia and Darren agree and the room is now a 75 minute room; 
  • so many aspects of this room remind me of a more traditional Hungarian-style room (as does their Perpetual Motion room in some respects).  Whilst there are clever tech elements in the room, the star element of both rooms is simply the room design and the quality of the puzzles therein.  Framed is not a gimmicky room with nothing but electronic locks and high tech puzzles (which more and more rooms seem to be in recent times).  Instead, with Framed you get a really well-designed space and a heap of clever and unique puzzles; 
  • as with Perpetual Motion, Framed is a family-friendly escape room – there is nothing scary or dark at all about the room.  The room itself is large and could accommodate larger teams of maybe 6 or so (although as always, my personal view is that all escape rooms I have tried have been best suited to a team of 4 – Framed is no different); 
  • the room design in Framed is quite different to Perpetual Motion.  I do not want to go into too much detail for fear of spoilers, but let’s say the room design itself is kind of its own puzzle.  This particular “puzzle” was probably what slowed up my team the most.  At its core, it is a communication puzzle which requires focus and collaboration and unfortunately, we didn’t attack it as well as we could have.  We got there in the end though and we then started to gain some momentum, but this is certainly a challenging room.  I can’t remember for sure, but I don’t think we asked for any (or many) hints – we generally prefer to persevere and to try and solve things ourselves (although not in a blindly stubborn way).  But we did scratch our heads at times trying to figure out some of the trickier puzzles; 
  • the room is non-linear (in that teams can break up and do different puzzles separately).  There are points of convergence where players have to come together to progress to different stages and then again non-linear aspects where players can split up again.  This kind of non-linear room really suits our team (and more experienced players generally); 
  • there were some puzzle elements in this room that we had never seen before.  It is really nice to see some creative puzzles, which is increasingly rare for my team given the number of rooms we have now been to; 
  • as always, my measure of a room is how much fun my team had. I am really pleased to report that as with Perpetual Motion, my team all really loved Framed.   

Julia and Darren are true escape room enthusiasts.  They have travelled through Europe and have tried about as many rooms as I have tried here, so they bring a large amount of experience and new ideas to the Sydney market.  We again sat down with Julia and Darren afterwards and spent a lot of time discussing their room, providing our feedback and escape rooms generally.

Julia and Darren have already begun constructing their third room, which sounds completely different to any escape room I have seen before.  You can read more about it here.

At the time of (finally) writing up this review, I have now been to 100 escape rooms across Australia.  I am so very pleased to report that both Framed and Perpetual Motion from Elude rank up there among some of my favourite rooms.  

Don’t be put off by the location – Galston is not that long a drive and you and you can now do both rooms back to back.  Given the quality of both rooms, it is ABSOLUTELY worth the time investment.

Where:                        11e Mid Dural Road, Galston, NSW

Duration:                    60 minutes

Themes:                      2 (and 1 other under construction)

Cost:                           $45pp for a team of 4 (but we played at the kind invitation of the owners)

Overall Rating:           Brilliant room design and a heap of unique and very clever puzzles!

More details:    

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