Imagine for one moment that nuclear war has obliterated the world as we know it, leaving only desolation and waste. You are one of the last human survivors. However, there is amongst you a mad man who has found the last nuclear bunker and who is hell bent on launching the final apocalypse. You and your band of heroes must stop him, but you only have one hour to save the world! Can you do it? Welcome to the Vault, one of the most exciting escape room experiences in Canberra.
Jack Skellington and that chick from the Japanese horrror flick, The Ring
What is an escape room? An escape room is an immersive, interactive, physical adventure game where you and other players are placed in a specially designed room. Each room has its own individual theme and storyline, such as a medieval dungeon, a creepy abandoned hotel, an even creepier house owned by a Salem witch, or the post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland of the Vault. The room has clues and puzzles which you need to find and solve together in order to get out. And you are given only one hour to escape.
First created in Japan in 2007, escape rooms can now be found in many cities all over the world. Luckily for us Canberrans, three companies offer escape rooms: Escape Rooms Canberra in Phillip, Riddle Room in Mitchell, and Expedition Escape Rooms in the city. Each company offers three very different escape room experiences:
Escape Rooms Canberra
Next to the Vault, Escape Rooms Canberra also offer Mr Keller's Magic Emporium, set in a strange magic toy shop, and House on the Hill, set in Salem, Massachusetts and rumoured to be the home of a witch. Visit the website here.
Riddle Room has The Nightmare (saving a young girl from her endless nightmare), The Dungeon (you are locked in by a mad king), and The Hotel (it's your task to find a secret hidden treasure inside a creepy abandoned hotel). Visit the website here.
Expedition Escape Rooms offer Da Vinci'S Secrets (set in the great artist's studio), Lost In Paradise (an adventure set in a jungle island) and Mission: Identity (think spies and espionage and betrayal). Visit the website here.
We're getting ready to enter the Bunker and stop the apocalypse!
I've done 7 escape rooms so far in the past year, and although my group of friends and I didn't necessarily complete all of them (each room has been given a difficulty rating so there are rooms that are much more challenging than others), and although we also went way over time with most of them, we've enjoyed every single one.
And we've had plenty of memorable moments along the way, such as relying on a friend's super yoga skills to get us out of a very tricky situation; fumbling in the dark with torches that didn't work (we thought the broken torches were part of the experience, but they weren't, they just didn't work); using the light from my four year old son's toy space gun to help us see what we were doing; and planning our costumes in advance to match the theme of the room. By the way, dressing up in costume is NOT a prerequisite for escape rooms - it's just something my friends and I like to do.
Ultimately an escape room experience is not just about getting out, though it's a pretty good feeling when you actually do. It's also about learning to work together and having fun along the way. Escape rooms get your minds thinking fast and your hearts racing even faster. They can be unpredictable with many unexpected twists and turns. They can be downright creepy, sometimes frustrating and confusing, but they're always lots and lots of fun. So grab your friends, choose a room and get ready to escape.
Go on, I dare you. Before time runs out.
For more information regarding the rooms, costs involved, difficulty ratings, etc, and/or to make a booking, please visit each company's website.