Make a deal with the devil in a paranormal adventure
Hungarian expats Noemi and Laszlo Agocs have set up one outstanding escape room in the business and industrial zones of Mac Park. It’s the only exit room north of the bridge, and they’re giving Sydney’s more established companies a run for their money with the expertise and backing of ParaPark – a global network of puzzle rooms that started in Budapest.
There’s just the one theme, but the couple have plans to develop two more rooms that will book-end the experience: one for newbies or families, and one for experienced gamers. We’re a little nervous about the paranormal edge of Passage no. 9, which requires a minimum of three players, but our games masters prepare us with one radio, a torch and a notepad and pen. Our first, untimed challenge is to locate the key to open the door – hidden in a wall of key shapes. Success! We’re off, scurrying around the dimly lit space for unusual objects or padlocks.
Horrifying sounds echo through the room. Four pairs of eyes dart to the bookshelf, the mirror, the strange basket in the centre – why is that there? As we collect clues it creates a breadcrumb trail and for the most part every member of the team is engaged in a different activity. One navigates a map of symbols, one is on hands and knees searching for a monkey wrench, another pieces wooden blocks together and the final player toys with a remote controlled car. It’s all hands on deck, but we’re solving brain-teasers faster than Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang.
To be clear, this room isn’t easy. Tokens, numbers, pictures, nuts and bolts all pile up, seemingly unconnected. We shriek with joy when the wildest ideas give us the result we need. As we get closer to unlocking the final safe, we don’t want to leave – we’re having too much fun. An alarm is triggered, ramping up the tension. There’s nine minutes to spare but our hearts don't stop beating any faster. Shaky hands fumble at the last lock… and we’re out! We're exhausted, exhilarated and totally hooked on the escape room phenomenon. Bring on the next one.
Creativity of puzzles: ✮✮✮✮
Best quote: “Tell me that doll didn’t just move!”
Our tip: If you find something that doesn’t seem to fit, it’ll probably come in handy later.
|Venue name:||ParaPark Sydney|
2/119 Wicks Road
|Opening hours:||Various times|