Looking for a way to escape the cold, miserable weather? Or is it school holidays and you’re a parent with whiny children to entertain? If a sunny getaway for a weekend or a week is not in the budget then a way to get a break, even for just an hour, is to do a room escape.
I should add the disclaimer, that now having done a couple, I am a bit addicted to room escapes. But then again I am a puzzle loving nerd so it is right up my alley. For those of you not familiar with a room escape, basically you are ‘locked’ in a room set up with a theme and littered with puzzles. You have one hour to solve the puzzles and escape the room. (Don’t worry, if you don’t solve the puzzles in time, you won’t be left there to rot). The staff watch you through a camera and feed you clues via a television screen as you go (if they think you need a helping hand).
In Adelaide, the two companies running these activities are Adventure Rooms and Escape Hunt Adelaide. Adventure Rooms also runs in Melbourne and New Zealand. Escape Hunt has centres all over Australia and we have taken advantage of doing one on a recent trip to Brisbane when we found ourselves needing to do something on a rainy morning. They have become very popular for corporate ‘team building activities’ but are also a helluva lot of fun to do with a group of keen witted friends.
Having done room escapes with both companies this is what we can tell you:
Adventure Rooms – http://www.adventurerooms.com.au
The puzzles here are hard. We’ve been here on two occasions – once as a corporate team building activity and the second time as a team of two just for fun. Both times were HARD. There are three escape puzzles to choose from.
With the corporate team building day, as we had 14 people we split into teams of 7 and it was a race to catch each other. Team A did the first half and Team B did the second half of the escape. With half an hour on the clock, Team A was racing to catch Team B while Team B did their best to escape the room before Team A caught up with them. At the half hour mark we swapped around.
At one point the puzzles involved solving maths or physics equations (who knows, I tuned out at that point as it was too hard for my mere grey cells and went off to solve something else). Did we say yet that the puzzles are hard?
For the ‘romantic’ day out, the Captain and I attempted a different escape challenge with just the two of us. Although we didn’t escape within the hour, we did get pretty close and were chuffed given how hard the puzzles were. Again, so as not to reveal any spoilers, I won’t tell you what escape puzzles we did but at one point we were having to decode music pages. Not being the slightest bit musical proved to be a handicap but we still had a helluva lot of fun.
Escape Hunt Adelaide – http://adelaide.escapehunt.com
Again, with three escape puzzles to choose from, we selected a medium level puzzle for our first challenge and were a couple of minutes shy of the buzzer. We improved on our second and third attempts (different puzzles and one was in a different city) and on our third attempt nailed one of the harder puzzles almost setting a record! *fist pump* (yes, we know we don’t get out much and when we do we end up doing room escapes).
The puzzles in this one were more to our liking (i.e. easier for my mere grey matter to get the hang of) and after the experience we chilled out (or more accurately, warmed up) with a cup of tea and a cookie. We also took the opportunity to dress up in the costume gear on display and tried to stand in various detective-looking poses while we had our photo snapped away.
Having been to Escape Hunt now three times, and enjoying every single time, we can say with confidence that we will definitely be back. As the puzzles have about a 6-12 month rotation we will have to wait until a new set of puzzles are in.
If you’re in Adelaide, both room escape venues are conveniently located in Rundle Mall. Cost is $30ish pp (it gets cheaper per person as the number increases in the booking). Teams are recommended of no more than 7 but check all these details when you book. In short – an hour of fun not in the sun.