This post is a little different to my usual escape room review posts. Earlier in the year I saw a post on a Facebook group I'm a member of asking for experienced players who would be interested in beta testing a pop-up room that would be opening later in the year.
The details were all pretty vague but we thought why not, let's check it out. It was our 93rd escape room experience in Sydney and 141st experience to date.
We went to a studio in the inner west one Saturday morning in early April. We were the first group of beta testers for the day. A sound guy put microphones on us all and off we went into a little old sound stage/warehouse.
The experience was really interesting. The "escape" consisted of 2 separate rooms. The puzzles were relatively straight forward, but all centred around a common theme which only became apparent after we had finished. One puzzle contained wire inside shoe laces, which made it difficult to untie the shoes (to retrieve a key). Another required a pipe to be filled with water via a teapot of cold water, but the teapot was attached to a thick elastic (so that it took some effort to stretch the elastic as required). Another puzzle used a computer but all of the keys when typed in were incorrect.
At the end of the 20 minute experience, we opened a door that explained that the experience was not a beta test for a pop up escape room, but was instead part of an awareness campaign for Parkinsons NSW. Each of the puzzles were designed to replicate challenges faced every day by those suffering from Parkinsons, many of whom we learned were quite young.
Our team was then interviewed after the experience about the escape and our knowledge generally of Parkinsons.
You can check out the final video used as part of the marketing campaign here. Interestingly, the first time I saw the video online was from someone who posted it on an international escape room enthusiasts Facebook group, so the marketing campaign obviously got some traction beyond Australia.
This was a really interesting experience. It was the last physical escape room-type experience that my team did prior to the 2020 Covid lockdown.