Behind a set of ominous green doors on Pitt Street is one of Sydney’s newest arrivals. It's run by three mates, Matt Lee, Barry Skalrud and Piyush Bedi, who are raising the bar for escape rooms, from production to the technical tricks and locks that keep us all guessing. We were tempted by the dastardly dictator story behind the Dr Disaster room, but we chose to tackle the mind-boggling trip through a patient’s memory bank in the Inception-like room In Memoriam.
The operation is independently run by well-travelled, experienced escapees. Upon entering the reception area we're greeted by Lee, who designed the room. It’s clear from the sizeable grin on his face that he and the team are confident in the standard of the rooms they’ve created here. And justifiably so.
Before entering the room we’re shown a video to set the butterflies off in our stomachs. A doctor tells us that we’re entering the mind of a woman who is in a coma. We must relive her memories to have any hope of saving her future. The clock is ticking. Dressed in white coats, we enter the first room and our first challenge. There are doors, but no padlock and no code.
Like the crack-team of professionals we’re dressed to be, we smash through the first two challenges unaided. We’re moving objects, riffling through magazines and CDs and jumping up and down to try to trigger sensors. It’s by far the most dynamic range of puzzles we’ve come across, and some challenges leave us speechless.
When we reach the final stage of the game it's all too much – we’re on sensory overload. Somehow they’ve managed to send us all on a trip down memory lane, while keeping us immersed in the character’s story as well. We've come so very close to completing the sequence in time – but it doesn’t matter. Every puzzle was as satisfying as the next, and we leave the room feeling inspired to come back and do it all again.
As we leave, we meet the couple who were in the room next to ours. It was their first escape room and he had surprised his beau with an extra clue, with help from the Enigma Room team. It read ‘Will You Marry Me?’ She said yes.
Creativity of puzzles: ✮✮✮✮✮
Best quote: “Be still? My beating heart?”
Our tip: Sometimes the simplest of solutions are the ones that works.