It is so easy to get lost in games on electronic devices and lose time with your family, but what if you were able to take one of those fun games and actually turn it into a physical activity with your family and friends?
Escape Room games have become all the rage. They have traveled all the way from Europe and Asia and your chosen room will revolve around a particular theme with lots of problems to solve along the way. Could you escape?
Jurassic Park - One of 3 Xcape Rooms you can choose from. *Image courtesy of Xcape room website
I took my family to Escape Room in Brunswick to find out if it really was all that it was cracked up to be. I'm not quite sure what we were expecting, although a simple building that appeared to be almost like an office building from the outside made us wonder if we were in the right place. Don't let this put you off. Upon entering there were three rooms, each with a different theme you could choose from Mausoleum Madness, Haunted Prison or Jurassic Lab.
As I had a little girl with me I thought that the Haunted Prison might be a little bit too much and therefore chose the Jurassic Lab.
Now I can't give too much of this away, especially not the clues, but suffice to say when we entered we found ourselves in a room filled with things that looked like clues along with things that were clues but didn't look like it - and we had to work together as a team to solve the puzzles. They are quite sparse and so almost every object is worth looking at.
Just quietly, I really thought that we would work together as a great team and family (hey why not, we usually get along okay and we like lateral thinking) and solve the puzzle at breakneck speed and be out in 10 minutes time.
Well, we discovered we didn't work too well together in the first place and really had to work through a few family moments and grumbles,. However everyone has to work together and after a couple of moments, we got there and everyone had a great time.
It actually took us just over an hour and after a bit of time, over the loudspeaker we did hear "do you actually need a little bit of assistance?" So it's good to know that if you do get stuck there is some assistance and clues available to you, if you want them.
My suggestion would be that if you find something unusual, make sure you look at all of it, as we missed a very obvious clue by not thoroughly checking the item in question.
As Xcape not permitted to tell you all the secrets of the room, the organisers have given this blurb to share with you on what to expect - from their website: "You have received a ticket to see real life dinosaurs at the new Jurassic Park. The ticket includes a tour to the dinosaur experimental laboratory. Michael, Professor X's assistant, leads your group through the lab but halfway through the tour, you fall unconscious. Upon awaking, you discovered the hideous truth behind Professor X's experimental lab. Professor X had been performing human experiments on tour participants by transplanting dinosaur DNA. No one knows that you are trapped but you managed to find a phone. You can only depend on yourselves and there is only one hour for you to escape the lab, otherwise..."
Another group of friends were there at the same time as us doing one of the different Xcape rooms and it really is a great bonding experience to share with friends, family or workmates as a team bonding experience.
We came out as better friends then we went in, having had to work together to solve something. It is a really great experience to do with families and also a group of friends. Afterwards, at a local cafe, we had a lot to talk about and the conversation revolved around how did we miss something or wasn't that a tricky one to get our way through.
The different rooms will take 2 to 4 or 2 to 8 people and prices start from $33 with group discounts available.
If you are looking for somewhere to drop off slightly older kids and have a quiet lunch on your own, this is a perfect experience although, it's so much fun that you would probably want to join them.
Would I do it again? Absolutely, it was great fun - my kids are begging me to take them to see the next one and as one of my children is already 17 years old, this is not just for the little ones. (Players under 16 years old must be accompanied by a paying adult.)
If you are not sure what to purchase a 'difficult to buy for' friend, perhaps you may like to consider a gift voucher here.
You can find Xcape Melbourne at 1 / 306 Albert Street Brunswick