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Fringe Review: Escape Room: Treasure Hunt – Escape the Past

As ChronoCops, your mission is complete but your time portal is broken. The backup portal is hidden in a hotel room & you have 1 hour to activate it and escape.

Presented by Offending Shadows Productions
Reviewed 19 February 2017

I have to confess that I’m becoming a bit addicted to escape rooms, with Adelaide’s two ongoing outfits – Adventure Rooms and Escape Hunt, both offering excellent challenges to exercise your brain.

Last year, Adelaide was treated to an extra challenge with the Alchemist’s Lab, a temporary instalment set up just for the 2016 Fringe. That crew is back for another year, with Treasure Hunt, a time-travelling adventure that locks you in an air conditioned demountable for sixty minutes.

With just a 15% success rate, Treasure Hunt is hosted by Richard Maritzer, a member of the comedy troupe, Sound and Fury. He stays in the room with you to offer clues if you get stuck and to ensure the clever technology is functioning properly.

You have sixty minutes to escape the past, having successfully restored history to the correct path. Up to eight people enter the scene – a hotel room – which contains clues to unlock a time portal that will return you to the present day. The complicated mystery prevents the hotel’s regular patrons from accidentally activating the portal but, if you fail, your mission will be undone and you will be trapped in the past forever.

As expected, the clues and tools needed to escape are scattered throughout the room, some easy to find and interpret, and others quite difficult. Mulitple players help ease the burden, so long as everyone talks to each other and works as a team.

The technology in use far exceeds expectation given that the game takes place in a demountable room. It activates light boards, morse code and sound recordings, while hidden keys or puzzles release padlocks or reveal the next step.

Treasure Hunt is a lot of fun, even with a group of strangers, but what didn’t work was the host. Perhaps it was just a bad day, but Maritzer was unprepared, with some elements of the game not reset from the previous players, and some technology not functioning correctly. He grumbled about the participants using too much note paper, and commented sarcastically when one, relatively obvious clue, was finally found after an embarrassingly long time. His demeanour was ungracious, unnecessary and unwelcome right from his introductory welcome. It was only at the end that he became the enthusiastic and personable host that he should have been all along.

Maritzer’s positive interaction with the players at the end of the game would suggest his earlier persona was an anomaly rather than the norm. The game itself is well thought-out and would be worthy of a higher rating if things ran more smoothly. Sadly, the overall experience was sullied significantly by Maritzer’s unpreparedness. For the high ticket price, a participant should be able to expect a lot more professionalism.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Rating out of 5:  2

Venue:  Escape Room Treasure Hunt at Gluttony, Rymill Park/Murlawirrapurka, Cnr East Tce & Rundle Rd, Adelaide
Season:  until 19 March 2017
Duration:  90 minutes
Tickets:  $28 – $40
Bookings:  FringeTix

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