Room Review: SuperCell 117 @ Paniq Room

***Highly 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 3-6 people (I’d suggest 4 minimum and up to the maximum 6. This is a great room for a bigger group).

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

First-Timer Friendly?: At least 2 experienced players.

Kid Friendly?: No. Puzzles are too complex, and the theme isn’t suitable for children.

How we did: Completed April 2018. Team of 4. Escaped with 30 seconds on the clock.

 

The Brief:

You find yourselves in a cell hand-cuffed and blindfolded, with stifling smoke. You have no idea how you got there. You are locked away from each other at the beginning in 2 separate neighbouring cells, and the situation is not looking good at all.  One thing you know for sure: you have to get out in 60 min! Would you save your own life only, or would you care for your TEAM as well? If you wanna make it you should work as one TEAM! The choice is yours, but time is running out, and the guards are arriving soon.

 

The Experience

This was my 7th room in Sydney.

If you’ve read my review of Paniq Room’s Sen3es, you’ll know that this was my second room for the day. After a quick coffee, I headed back to Paniq Room with one of the players from Sen3es, and was met in the Paniq Room foyer by two other members of the Sydney Escape Room Meetup group. I was a bit worried about mental fatigue going into this room, but was bolstered by the fact that all four of us entering SuperCell 117 were experienced roomers. We just hoped we could get out in time!

The fun started straight away – our games master was enthusiastic and funny, and had us all laughing. She explained the backstory and theme (you’ve got an hour to get out before the guards come and torture you!) and also the ingenious hint system (hints are delivered in the form of hand-written notes, lowered in by a clanking metal bucket). This really added to the immersion of the gameplay, as I’ll discuss later in my review. We were also told we were going to be split up into two teams and put into two cells. We’d need to escape our cells, and escape the prison, but first we’d need to escape our handcuffs! Yes, we were put in real metal handcuffs and blindfolded before being led in to the darkness of our prison cells!

When the timer started, we removed our blindfolds to pitch blackness and billowing smoke. This really felt like a matter of survival – find a light switch! Get the lights on! Find everyone else! Our early searching was hampered by the handcuffs (although it is amazing just how much you can do in handcuffs!) until we finally located the key.

The necessity for communication was paramount in this room, as well as teamwork. Most tasks could only be performed if people in both cells talked and listened to the other. To that end, it was a really fun, enjoyable room, with people calling ‘I’ve got a _____. Does that make any sense to you?’ ‘I’ve got a picture of _____.’ ‘Any chance you’ve got the other half of______?’ and so forth, back and forth. There was also lots of search and find fun.

The theming was absolutely spot on, the dark atmosphere of the cells, the ominous clanking of the clue bucket, the small, claustrophobic space. There were padlocks, oh, so many padlocks, but again, it fitted so perfectly with the theme.

We got stuck a couple of times and needed a few hints, but the games master was quick to lead us in the right direction and get us back on track. Usually it was because we hadn’t looked hard enough! We got the last clue with less than a minute on the clock, and you’ve never seen four grown adults run around like such headless chickens trying to solve the final puzzle! We got out with only thirty seconds to spare. There was jubilation and hi-fives all round!

I cannot recommend this room highly enough, it was just so much darn fun. Even writing about it puts a smile on my face. Everything about this room was perfect, from the handcuffs and theming to the flow of the puzzles. It never mattered that you didn’t go from room to room because it was such a great concept, and defeating the room felt like a feat you’d only accomplished because of teamwork. If you haven’t attempted SuperCell 117, get a group together and go book it right now!

 

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

My favourite room to date. Exceptional puzzles and immersive theming, everything about this experience was exactly what I want from an escape room!

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.

1441895489202_393ME436MJWPYLFUCTRY3777JL4TMWJ9_1000_424 (1)

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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