Spy on Soviet agents at this Cold War-themed escape room
As far as escape room themes go, we can hardly believe that it’s taken this long for one of Melbourne’s many puzzle-masters to head back in time to the Cold War. With its double-agents, impenetrable codes and the constant threat of mutually assured destruction, this period makes for a nail-bitingly thrilling theme.
Our team of four steps into Trapt’s underground ‘Espionage’ room with trepidation. We find ourselves in an office, and are informed that tensions between the US and the Soviet Union have never been higher, and that as US counter-intelligence agents, it is up to us to uncover a Soviet double agent before it’s too late. International clocks line the walls, a desk is covered in newspapers and a bookshelf is filled with folders that scream ‘highly classified’. The overall effect is one Martini short of a Sean Connery-era James Bond film. Quickly, we’re sucked into a plot that involves decoding a Russian dictionary, finding fake passports and discovering who are allies really are. Many of the best escape rooms offer exciting reveals and secret rooms; and not only does ‘Espionage’ deliver on that front, but it also keeps some of its biggest surprises for the very end. This is a pleasingly plot-driven room with a storyline that thickens with each new puzzle; some of which will require the combined brain-power of your entire team (and in all likelihood, the help of a staff member more than once).
With just seconds to spare, our team cracks the code and makes it out to fight another battle. And at Trapt, the biggest incentive for beating the clock is getting to the cocktails in the adjoining bar. The low-lit basement bar is a speakeasy-style den; all exposed brick walls, dark wooden columns and leather couches. Cocktails are sorted by each escape room theme, so ‘Espionage’ escapees can enjoy a Behind the Red Curtain, made with Four Pillars gin, Plymouth sloe gin and Dubonnet. Take your time when deciding what to order; the menu offers page after page of classic cocktails, as well as an impressive selection of whiskies and a mostly local range of craft beer and wine. Sticking around for a meal? While Trapt doesn’t do food, they’ll let you order a Crust pizza from upstairs to eat in the bar.
Creativity of puzzles: 4/5
Best quote: “This dead guy’s jacket is super comfy!”
Our tip: Don’t slow down when you suspect you’ve almost solved the puzzle – the hardest challenge is yet to come.
|Venue name:||TRAPT Bar and Escape Room|
377 Lonsdale St
|Opening hours:||Mon 2-10pm; Thu noon-10pm; Fri noon-1am; Sat 10am-1am; Sun 10am-10pm|
|Price:||$34-$40 per person|