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Image: Tim Bean Photography

Mission Possible? Canberra’s Escape Rooms

Sophie Mateer and Michelle Brotohusodo

The concept of an ‘escape room’ began in Japan in 2007 and has finally spread across the globe to Australia.

If you have no idea what this means, escape rooms are a physical adventure game in which players are placed into specifically designed rooms and, as a team, must use objects and elements to solve a series of puzzles under a strict time limit. By using critical thinking, pattern recognition and problem-solving skills you gather clues in a particular order and will (hopefully) ‘escape’ the room.

Escape rooms are a great way to test your cognitive skills while working with friends to compete against the clock. Here at HerCanberra, we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand the pressure of escape rooms at three different locations.

It’s so simple! Pick the number of participants, choose the escape room experience, select a date and time and enjoy.

Expedition Escape Rooms

Ros, Michelle and Heather

Ros, Michelle and Heather

A few weeks ago, Ros, Heather (aka Agent Helena) and I ventured to Expedition Escape Rooms in Civic to try and solve our way out of their Mission: Identity Room. It was my second escape room and Ros and Heather’s first. Finding it proved to be the first challenge, but once we were locked inside, in the dark, we realised that was the easy part. At one point Agent Helena called over the walkie-talkie for Jason Bourne, Captain America, and James Bond to save us, only to be met with the response “Nothing will save you.” Oh dear. 

I won’t give away too much, but we enjoyed the mix of puzzles, though some of them really required all our brainpower combined. Our advice is work together and solve each puzzle in order—it can be tempting to jump to the next one if you think you’ve figured it out, but believe us when we tell you it can really stuff you up if you skip a step. Bring water, eat enough beforehand (trust me, it’s hard to focus when you’re hungry) and wear comfortable shoes. This was a pretty challenging room, and we were initially disheartened that it took us so long to ‘escape’, until we found out that only a third of groups solve it in less than an hour.

It’s a great experience, so check it out, have fun, and don’t lose heart, even if you get really stuck! 

-Michelle

MISSION IDENTITY DIFFICULTY: 4.5/5

DA VINCI’S SECRETS DIFFICULTY: 5/5

Expedition Escape Rooms | U11, 108 Bunda Street, Civic | (02) 5105 2014 | Monday – Sunday: 10AM – 11PM| $40 (p/p for 2 people), $38 (p/p for 3 people), $36 (p/p for 4 people), $34 (p/p for 5 people), $32 (p/p for 6 people) | www.expeditionescaperooms.com

ESCAPE ROOMS CANBERRA

Image: facebook.com/pg/escaperoomscanberra

Image: facebook.com/pg/escaperoomscanberra

Have you ever wanted to be an employee at a magic emporium or explore a house on the hill being haunted by witchcraft? Well, this may be your cup of tea. The rooms that Escape Rooms Canberra provide are incredible and detrimental to the overall experience, allowing players to have a very realistic and intricate task of escaping the rooms. Many players have reviewed the rooms saying the quality of the rooms matches up to big city competitors such as Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The atmosphere is already very intense but the team members who work here give that little bit extra adding to the creepy experience in all the right ways. From first time ‘escapees’ to more experienced players, Escape Rooms recommend groups of four (with a minimum age of 16 as the rooms might be a little frightening for younger players). I had the pleasure to visit the escape room ‘House on the Hill’ with my family and honestly, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Owners Michael and Andre are incredibly helpful and love what they do. They’re also hoping to open a coffee shop for after the game as you can’t help but discuss what you and your team just encountered. The upcoming addition of a third room is rumoured to be named ‘The Heist’ and involves you having to force an entry into the room rather than escape it…

-Sophie

MR KELLER’S MAGIC EMPORIUM DIFFICULTY: 3.5/5

HOUSE ON THE HILL DIFFICULTY: 4.5/5

Escape Rooms Canberra | 2/24 Dundas Court Phillip | Monday – Sunday: 9AM – 10PM | $39 (p/p for 2 people), $37 (p/p for 3 people), $35 (p/p for 4- 6 people) | www.escaperoomscanberra.com 

THE RIDDLE ROOM

Image: Tim Bean Photography

Image: Tim Bean Photography

The Riddle Room has just announced the creation of a third room titled ‘The Bomb Defusal’ to accompany its original two rooms ‘The Nightmare’ and ‘The Dungeon’. These rooms give players a truly immersive, interactive and inventive experience all while testing the player’s creativity and cognitive skills.

All rooms require players to progress through a narrative, whether that be delving into the subconscious mind, trapped inside a person’s nightmare or locked in the king’s dungeon – and any of these must be completed within 60 minutes in order to escape the room. A ‘clue system’ guides your team through the experience by giving a little push when you seem stuck or take too long on a puzzle.

Alternatively, Riddle Room offers sessions with no clues for those who like a challenge.

Each puzzle is different and requires you to think inventively.

-Sophie

NIGHTMARE ROOM DIFFICULTY: 3.5/5

THE DUNGEON DIFFICULTY: 5/5

Riddle Rooms Canberra | 8B / 160 Lysaght St, Mitchell ACT 2911 | [email protected] | 6174 1137 | $39 (p/p for 2 people), $37 (p/p for 3 people), $35 (p/p for 4- 6 people) | www.riddleroom.com.au

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Sophie Mateer

Sophie Mateer has recently returned from a nine week holiday eating her way around the globe, from the busy streets of Hong Kong to the crystal clear waters of the Amalfi Coast and agrees that there’s no place like home. She is a food fanatic and can’t help herself when it comes to delectable Sunday brunches or indulging in smoothies across the Canberra region. She can’t wait to begin her degree in Marketing Management and Communications in Advertising at the University of Canberra in 2017. More about the Author

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Michelle Brotohusodo

Michelle moved to Canberra vowing to stay for two years, tops. 10 years later, she’s a bona fide Canberra convert. When she’s not working in her day job as a public servant, she’s enjoying Canberra’s culinary delights or finding fun things to do/see in and around town. More about the Author