Room Review: Sen3es @ Paniq Room

***Recommended***

Where: 13 Cambridge St, The Rocks

Contact: info@paniqroom.com.au

Website: http://paniqroom.com.au/

How Much?: Sliding Scale $30-$40 p.p depending on group numbers

How Many?: Billed as suitable for 2-6 people (I’d suggest 2-4)

Difficulty: House rates it 4/5 difficulty with a 40% escape rate.

First-Timer Friendly?: I’d suggest at least 1 experienced player

Kid Friendly?: No. There are a couple of spooky elements and some dark sections that may scare small children. Puzzles are complex.

Required: At least one member of the group with full mobility and a reasonable level of fitness. Wear appropriate footwear.

How we did: Completed April 2018. Team of 3. Escaped with 1:30 on the clock.

The Brief:

You enter the mysterious place of a famous magician, in search of his secrets.

As you continue through the rooms of the house, the doors close behind you and there doesn’t seem to be a way back. 

Is the magician still around? Don’t let yourself be tricked or let him screw with your mind. You need to overcome the magician’s tricks and escape using your senses. 

You may lose your sense of time, but remember that you only have 60 minutes to get out! If you don’t, the magician will be stuck in your mind forever.

 

The Experience

This was my 6th room in Sydney.

I’ve read great things about Paniq Room, and I was really excited about doing their rooms, but also a little apprehensive. Paniq Room would mark a few ‘firsts’ for me – it would be the first time I’d ever done two rooms in one day, and also the first time I’d ever done escape rooms with people I’d never met in person! I wasn’t sure what to expect on either front.

For the first room, Sen3es, I was joined by two experienced escapers from a meetup group – one who had done many rooms overseas and another who, in her own words, has done so many rooms she’s lost count! So I was feeling pretty confident that as long as we could get the teamwork element down, we’d do all right in the room!

We met in the foyer a few minutes before we were due to go into our room – one of the team members found the building a little difficult to locate due to a lack of signage. We were greeted warmly and given a verbal brief that included backstory about the mysterious Magician, before being led into the room itself (in an adjoining building).

Once we took off our blindfolds, we found ourselves in a strange room, and got down to the business of solving puzzles. I usually like to make mention of the theming of the rooms at this point and it definitely is worth mentioning, mostly because I felt quite ambivalent about the theming. Even a month after playing these rooms, I still can’t decide if I liked it or not. The rooms are strangely shaped, slightly ominous, and deliberately made to be off-putting and weird, with a strange nightmarish quality I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Unlike usual themed rooms that invite you to immerse yourself in a safe, consistent theme (you are in a vampire’s castle, you are in a dungeon, you are in a hotel room), Sen3es felt surprising and uncomfortable for much of the time (at least to me), overwhelming and underwhelming my senses in turn, and to that end, I can understand that some people will really love this room as something different from the norm.

As the name Sen3es suggests, you will need to use your senses –at least 4 out of your 5 of them – there’s no tasting in this game due to hygiene reasons, but we were advised we could lick the walls if we felt like it (we didn’t!) You’ll also probably want to pack your sense of humor, especially for the second room that featured some sweaty, sweaty moments!

The puzzles are mostly padlock style, with a few lock and key and a couple of more high-tech / physical puzzles scattered throughout. I found the puzzles on the whole enjoyable, although there were several that were a little arduous (one early on, and one towards the end) – the one at the end became a bit frustrating for our group. Time felt stretched out in this room experience (was it the magician playing tricks on my mind?) I felt like we’d been in the room for well more than an hour, even when we had 15 mins to go. As there’s only one counter, once you’ve left the first room, you’ve no idea how you’re going for time.

For me, there were several things about the flow-through of the rooms that felt like a bit of an arm-wrestle – you move through the rooms closing doors behind you and taking nothing, but we were advised we’d need to take a couple of items back after we’d finished the third room, and it wasn’t very clear what to take, so we ended up having to ask the games master. There were a few puzzles that I didn’t feel were very logical or obvious, even when done correctly, and a couple of things that were just very difficult by their nature. We also felt the second room had a red herring which wasted time. I also would have liked the ‘senses’ element to be more immersive in the gameplay.

We escaped with about 90 seconds on the clock. I’ve heard people rave about this room which of course raises expectations before going in. I enjoyed the room, although not immensely. I was disquieted by it, found it frustrating at times – it felt like hard work! For people who’ve done several rooms, I think they’d enjoy the strangeness and difference of this room. I wouldn’t recommend it for first-timers. Not every room is going to be for everyone. I can see why many people love this room, but it is not one of my favourites for the reasons I’ve stated.

Location / Outside the Room

Paniq Room is located in the Rocks, on Cambridge St. It can be a little tricky to locate as Cambridge St looks like an alley and there’s not a great deal of signage. The best way to locate it is to head up from Argyle St. Being so close to the city, public transport is your best bet, but there is parking on Argyle St. It’s worth going on the weekend so that you can enjoy the Rocks Markets. Also be sure to grab a cup of coffee and a cake from the delightful French patisserie just down the road.

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Overall Verdict

A fun, strange room, with some really unusual/original puzzles. Will definitely appeal to those who have done a few rooms and want something a little different!

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