Melbourne has no shortage of escape rooms, but if you're after the horror variety, Lost has three rooms that are sure to scare your socks off. As you descend the stairs into the dimly lit basement, faint screams from other hopeful escapees echo off the walls, serving as the first clue that you're in for one hell of a ride.
The rooms are rated based on difficulty, level of physical activity involved and fear factor. We did Survivor, which is considered the least terrifying of the bunch, but that's not saying much. The year is 2024, and a deadly zombie virus has spread rapidly across the globe, decimating much of the world's population. But there's good news: a doctor has successfully developed a vaccine to fight the virus.
Of course, there's a catch. The hospital he works in was attacked and he was killed, leaving the cure trapped within the hospital's zombie-infested halls. You and your friends are among the world's few survivors, and you've bravely decided to help track down the cure and help save what remains of the human race.
Before you begin, one member of your team will be asked to volunteer as a prisoner who starts the game chained to the wall. Don't worry, it won't be long before he rejoins you — as long as you remember to set him free. You start the game in the back entrance to the hospital, and from this point forward, it's a race against the clock. Unlike most escape rooms where the entire game basically takes place in one space, Survivor spans multiple areas, each with its own set of challenges.
While it's not an unfamiliar story — in fact, it sounds a whole lot like the plot of I Am Legend — it remains exciting thanks to a frequent change in environment and a range of unusual puzzles. Thanks to eerie soundscapes, unsettling décor and a few well-timed jump scares, you and your mates are likely to be those same faint screams that the next group hears on its way in. It's also a very approachable room for beginners, and our team managed to escape with nearly a half-hour left to spare.
And if you really want to up the ante and try something nightmare-inducing, opt for the creepy Shanghai murder mystery 'Before Midnight' room or the Annabelle storyline, oft-considered the scariest escape room in Melbourne.
Creativity of puzzles: 4/5
Best quote: "....Guys?" "Oh, I forgot we had to set you free."
Our tip: If you want to race against the clock — and potentially beat the room's record for the fastest escape — don't be afraid to split up and try to solve multiple puzzles simultaneously.