Part of a global chain of escape rooms conceived by UK expat Paul Bart, who is based in Thailand, the Escape Hunt Experience is a well-oiled machine that caters for team building events, parties and walk-ins. In the reception area there are large leather sofas, iPads for checking in and signing the Ts & Cs, and shelves of merchandise should you wish to dress up like Baker Street’s famous detective.
They’ve tailored the themes to attract Sydney’s tourists, with rooms based on crime-riddled stories of the city. There’s Robbery in the Cottage, set in the Rocks during the 1900s; there’s Murder in the Pub, a nod to the historic hotels around the city; and Extortion in the Dockyard, the story of an adulterous captain who wants to protect his reputation. We opt to set sail into the latter.
As we enter the room, it’s dark, but not scary. Ropes, boxes and wooden crates fill the space and there’s an intercom system right next to the light switch should we need tips. Our games master hints that we should search through the hessian sacks to get going – but it’s not long before we call him back to help us out with some mental arithmetic. Having the games master in the room each time is a mood-killer, and did nothing to ignite any fire in our bellies to proceed any further.
Our pace is slowed even more when we come across a second room filled with clues, and we’re baffled. Where do we start? The big red timer on the wall is blinking back at us. We make it through to the final room, deflated but too embarrassed to ask for more help. Fingers scramble to unlock combinations in time, but we’re too slow. The final key is in our hands, but victory will have to wait for another day.
Creativity of puzzles: ✮✮✮✮
Best quote: “I’m not sure I’m morally down with helping out this cheating scoundrel”
Our tip: Look at everything. Then look again.