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Rush Escape Game

Things to do, Games and hobbies South Yarra
Rush Escape Game Da Vinci room
Photograph: Supplied

More enigmatic than Mona Lisa’s smile

If you think about it, escape rooms and Dan Brown’s detective thriller The Da Vinci Code were made for each other. The puzzle possibilities are endless, and fetching Renaissance paintings, Vitruvian men and eerie Illuminati eyes immediately incite curiosity. Each of the three escape rooms at Rush are loosely based on fictional stories (Lost, Mission Impossible and The Da Vinci Code) and require logic, teamwork and lateral thinking to escape before time runs out.

The wooden door slams behind us, and our eyes begin to adjust to a low-lit room lined with dusty tomes, sketches and paintings. A letter on the table reveals that this is the studio of Leonardo da Vinci himself, and that we have one hour to recover a map to the location of his secret inventions before a super-villain beats us to it.

The pressure is on. As a team of four, the first thing we realise is that some of us are better at different aspects of puzzle-solving than others: some of polymath Leo’s puzzles require a more mathematical brain; others call for left-field ideas. Together, we’re decoding hidden clues in paintings, unlocking chests and (when we’re really stuck) calling on our gamemasters for clues through a walkie-talkie, which they offer in hushed and mysterious tones. Minutes fly by as we bend our minds to these Renaissance riddles. Unfortunately, the secret map storyline has more or less fallen to the wayside; a few more references or plot revelations would’ve made the experience even more gripping. Still, by the time we’re placing the last few letters into a lock with white-knuckled anticipation, there’s no question that Rush has done da Vinci proud. We make it with just seconds to spare, satisfied that the secret map is safe.

Outcome: Success!
Atmosphere: 5/5
Creativity of puzzles: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Fun: 5/5
Best quote: “I feel like I’m in the Da Vinci code but with more UV torches.”
Our tip: Case the joint carefully – one small oversight could cost you precious minutes.

Venue name: Rush Escape Game
Address: Suite 4
230 Toorak Rd
South Yarra
Opening hours: Daily 10am-11pm
Price: $32-$40pp
Static map showing venue location