Presented by Offending Shadows Productions
Reviewed on 24 February 2017
The premise of escape rooms is simple: a group of people is willingly locked in a room and told that they have 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles that will lead to their release. The result is usually a gripping hour that becomes increasingly tense as the deadline approaches.
If you’ve tried one, there’s a pretty good chance you’re hooked on the concept and it’s big news when a new one comes to town. Here for the Fringe, Escape Room Treasure Hunt – Escape The Past has a few key differences to the rooms based in Adelaide.
Firstly, it’s a mobile set-up and the room is necessarily less sturdy than it’s permanent counterparts. To solve the puzzles, it’s necessary to thoroughly search the room and as a result there’s a danger of tearing it apart in the frantic hunt for clues.
Our games master patiently watched over us to make sure we didn’t break anything but it was nevertheless a consideration throughout. Some features of the room are quite delicate because of their electronics, but the innovative use of wi-fi is a worthy pay-off.
Different elements of the puzzles are able to remotely communicate with each other and this feature is ingeniously implemented. Our session saw a few small technical problems that are still being ironed out, but they didn’t disrupt the experience.
The other twist is the booking of individual tickets rather than an entire session. Where usually a pre-existing group will enter an escape room, Escape Room Treasure Hunt brings together strangers from smaller groups, and the interaction adds a different element. It’s certainly a good way to break down barriers in a hurry, and helps to foster an inclusive group dynamic.
As for the puzzle, the scenario is a little far-fetched –we are time travellers trying to unlock a portal back to our timelines – but this is often the case, and the detail of the recreation is meticulous. It makes it difficult to determine what is a clue and what is merely setting the scene, and some of the more difficult puzzles make this unquestionably the most challenging escape room I’ve done.
If you’ve tried a few other escape rooms and are looking for a more testing experience, this is exactly what you’re after. Even with gentle help from the games master, the success rate of 15% is testament to this. Whether you make it out or not, Escape Room Treasure Hunt – Escape The Past is thoroughly engaging and is ingeniously designed.
Reviewed by Alexis Buxton-Collins
Rating out of 5: 4
Season: until 19 March
Duration: 90 minutes
Tickets: $38-40, Cheap Tuesday $26