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April 11, 2017

Escape Hunt: Treachery at the Racetrack (Brisbane, Australia)

A family outing to the escape room

Today's submission comes in the form of a guest blog post from one of Randy's regular partners-in-crime, Mio. Being an Aussie and being back home on vacation from my normal residence in California, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place when my Dad's 70th birthday outing went awry. And what does one do when one needs a birthday present in a pinch?  An escape room of course!  So off I went with the parents for their first ever escape room.

I was initially concerned that we were only a party of 3 with 2 first-timers but when we got into the room, I can see why Escape Hunt sets a maximum of 5. The room (and especially the subsequent rooms) would have struggled to hold 5. Perhaps it was because there was only 3 of us and the parents had no prior experience, but I found lots of the clues a little hard to follow and even when we got the answers, not particularly logical. It didn't help that we had 2 people in their 60s when we had to listen to a 20 year-old answering machine's speakers for clues. Either way, enough to do for 3 people most of time time but 2 experienced people could probably have done it fine.

The room's horse racing theme was quite fun, especially as it was made to represent a local track - so for locals, it brings back memories of shenanigans at the races in your late teens (drinking and betting age in Australia is 18+) and betting willy-nilly having no idea of what you're doing. There was also an additional challenge in solving a murder, as well as getting out of the room. Props were great but the room wasn't super immersive. The room was generally fairly low-tech, although it wasn't all padlocks so the puzzles were quite creative.  Dad didn't know what was going on most of the time but was very proud of himself when he got us a major breakthrough with some keen magnet and rope-pulling skills.

Overall, we were given 6 extra minutes and did make it out of the room in 66 minutes. We were kept busy escaping the room so we totally forgot to track who the murderer was! Step-mum was super duper excited the whole time and thought the whole escape room thing was amazing - so we've converted a few more people (Dad will just do whatever makes her happy).
And possibly the part that Step-mum liked the most? Dressing up in Sherlock Holmes get-up for the after-escape photo.
  • Set/room design: Fairly basic but some nice props
  • Technology/automation: Gen-1 (low tech)
  • Difficulty: Not too difficult, but a little hard to follow sometimes
  • Price: $32-38/person, depending on size of party (2-5 people)
  • Number of players: 2-5 (we recommend 3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes (66 if they let you cheat a bit)
  • Overall Rating: ★★★
Wanna try it out? Read about the room and book here

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