Expedition Escape Rooms
Time Out says
You’ve got to be quick on your feet to unravel this eerie outback puzzle
The first challenge you face at Expedition Escape Rooms is figuring out if you’re in the right place. The entrance to the recently opened Redfern venue sits below a sign for a linen factory outlet (we don’t think it’s part of the theme), and you’ll need to push through an internal gate to walk up the dimly lit stairs.
You’ll meet your gamesmaster in the tidy lobby – the pictures of colonial ships and old manuscripts don’t give too much away – and get nitty gritty release forms out of the way before the theatrics begin. Our group of five brave code crackers is led, blindfolded, into the first section of ‘the Forgotten Son’, which is the first of three rooms being planned for the venue.
It begins with an ominous debrief: we are lost travellers in outback Australia who have stumbled upon a shack, drawn there by the sound of childlike sobs. We’re tasked with finding a way inside the locked door to investigate, and also escape the encroaching dark (make use of the torches as night rolls in). The time period? Definitely pre-internet but we’ve got electricity down pat. We’re told the gods are watching over us, and if we require assistance, we should simply look to the heavens and pray (for a clue).
The puzzles are an intriguing mix of traditional mechanical and word-based codes, along with electrical and magnetic mysteries – we’re glad we have an engineer in tow for the tricky electrical current switcheroo. There are plenty of padlocks to open, and as you make your way from the shack’s front gate to multiple interior rooms, you’ll find more chilling, interconnected items that’ll lead you to freedom. But beware: it’s easy to get distracted thinking a particular pot or pipe is integral to the game, when you should really be focused on the fire and the spooky childlike voice that seems to be floating in the air. You really need to keep your ears pricked in this escape room, as there's the unusual addition of ghostly interactivity.
The highlight of the 60-minute experience has got to be the grand finale (fingers crossed you get there) which requires synchronised teamwork and just a tad of cardio fitness. After this mad dash finish, you can do a post-game review with the gamesmaster (who is the hilarious Lindsey on our visit), walking through each space to break down clues you missed and crown the MVP.
If you like Expedition’s dramatised, storyline-oriented style, look out for the next two rooms they’re developing at the same site. They’re going for one with a medieval theme and another nuclear disaster situation.
Creativity of puzzles: ✮✮✮✮✮
Best quote: “You got it right, but the wrong way.”
Our tip: Trust your teammates, and follow the light...