*** Highly Recommended ***
Where: Suite 202, 332-336 Pitt St, Fortuna House, Sydney and Suite 502, 724 George St, HSBC Building, Sydney
How Much?: $35-$55 p.p depending on group size and room played (some rooms are +60 mins)
How Many?: Recommends 3-5. We completed it with 2 but the rooms are large enough to accommodate 4 comfortably.
Difficulty: 3/5 (Beginner room)
First-Timer Friendly?: Yes
Kid Friendly?: Recommended for 12 up. Brave youngsters would be fine and there are several puzzles and plenty of props for them to help with, but the mood is deliberately ominous and the lighting very low.
How we did: Completed March 2019. Team of 2. Escaped!
Required: Basic Maths, Good English, At least one member of the team with full mobility
It’s a stormy night when you and a friend stumble upon a gloomy castle. You intend to use it as cover from the rain, but after entering, the door behind you creaks closed and can’t be opened. Suddenly, you’re transported to the middle ages and the clock is ticking…can you guys solve the mystery and escape the supernatural castle?
This was my 11th room in Sydney. Having so far only taken Meema to Escape Hunt Sydney, I decided I really needed to show her some of the other Sydney outfits. Mission Escape has long had the reputation as one of the best (their Lost Mine has been on my radar for ages!) and I was really looking forward to seeing a high-tech room done well as I’d not had much luck (or enjoyment) with them to date.
Finding Mission Escape on Pitt St is definitely your first mission – they are inside an arcade near a phone repair shop, up an elevator and spread over two separate levels. Now that they also have rooms on George St, be sure to check out their website and make sure you know where you’re going.
We entered the mood-lit reception area and were greeted by our gamesmaster. She was very friendly, but her English was a little difficult to understand (which we realised might be a problem as Mission Escape still utilises the older walkie-talkie system). After securing our belongings in a locker and being given the obligatory briefing, we entered the room.
Inside the Room:
Being a bit of a chicken, I generally shy away from rooms with a horror theme, and I was very pleased that Vampire Castle is more dark-and-brooding than downright scary. The theming is excellent, and I really liked that each of the rooms grew more and more ominous as the quest continued. I love that ‘ah!’ moment when you step into a new room and it’s so immersive could almost believe its real – I definitely had that in Vampire Castle.
The puzzles were really enjoyable too (of course, I nearly squealed with delight when I found the black-light torch)! This room is considered high-tech, and it is high-tech done well. I never felt like the inputting was as hard as the puzzle, which I’ve sometimes felt in other rooms. For most of the puzzles it was obvious if it was wrong and clear when you’d done it correctly. I thought most of the puzzles in this room were clever, with a good deal of search-and-find (hampered by the low lighting), plenty of puzzles which required combinations of elements (all logical), some physical puzzles (one in particular which really stumped us, but was so obvious after we asked for a hint that we did some serious forehead slapping). There was one physical puzzle in particular that I really enjoyed. The puzzles were all well-integrated into the surroundings and really fitted the theme.
There weren’t a lot of downsides to this room except that the voice-overs were a little difficult to understand over the speakers. We also had a slight miscommunication with our gamesmaster, who we had trouble understanding over the walkie-talkie and it led to her bursting into the room towards the end of the game (I think she thought that maybe she had not set the room up correctly and that we were missing an item we needed even though we had the item).
Our gamesmaster made up for it though with her enthusiasm – she even spent a few minutes with us after the game, going over each of the puzzles, showing us what we’d missed (there was one puzzle we fudged a little bit), and explaining which puzzles other teams are usually stumped by, and which were normally done quickly. We found this really interesting and an added touch to an enjoyable game.
Location / Outside the Room
The waiting room of Mission Escape is fairly small and dimly lit. Mentos and water is available while you wait. The gamesmaster takes a Polaroid of your team after you escape which you can take with you as a memento which is very nice – mine is still on my fridge at home!
This was my favourite ‘high-tech’ room to date. The theming and puzzles were both of an excellent standard and I would definitely come back to Mission Escape to do one of their other rooms. I really loved the level of immersion I felt with this room. Definitely one to check out!