Where: 13 Cambridge St, The Rocks
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.
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.
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.
My favourite room to date. Exceptional puzzles and immersive theming, everything about this experience was exactly what I want from an escape room!