It’s been a time but I’m back with a new adventure to share.
This Saturday I took two members of my family with me to Escape Manor in Brisbane. I visited these escape rooms a few weeks ago with colleagues, taking on the room called ‘The Covenant’. I was very impressed with the variety of puzzles that were implemented in this room, especially compared with my very first escacpe room experience at another location. In that instance, all the puzzles were maths-based (not my forte) and took you on an exciting journey from one padlock to another (boring!). In ‘The Covenant’, there was room for all kinds of thinking, so the person who was great at communicating was just as valuable as the person who could manage time effectively.
Sadly, my poor winning streak (0 wins so far, to my eternal shame) continued that night, but I’ve been determined to head back with a smaller group and try again. This time we picked ‘The Asylum’, your standard ‘You’ve been locked in a spooky room, get out within 45 minutes or you’ll be the subject of some gruesome experiments’ plot set-up.
Much like the other room, the Asylum calls for a variety of skills and on my team I had a scrabble-pro, an analyst and myself, rather good at finding hidden objects and secret compartments, if I say so myself. All of these skills came into play and, for the first time, winning was really within my sights. We lost the game simply because we ran out of time to deduce the final puzzle. If we had continued for just five minutes more sweet victory would have been mine!
I’m not an Escape Room expert but I think that the Escape Manor can definitely go head-to-head with the more established franchises elsewhere in Brisbane, such as the Cryptology and Playtime locations. Escape Manor has a very attractively-designed lobby which really helps players to get into the mood of these horror-themed rooms. It features dark leather couches (very comfortable), atmospheric lighting and a variety of board games to pass the time before your host comes along. There are other escape rooms in Brisbane which don’t have this set-up, and you just have to wait in a loud arcade surrounded by screaming kids before your host comes along to take you to the room. Escape Manor absolutely has an edge when it comes to thoughtful design of both the rooms and the lobby.
Another positive for the Manor is the fact that the staff and hosts are all friendly, attentive and really get into character. They really make you feel welcome as soon as you step out of the elevator. The crew want players to have a satisfying experience and so they’ll often give you a small nudge with no penalties if you get well and truly stuck. Unlike other locations you are only given 45 minutes to solve these rooms, as opposed to the hour you frequently get elsewhere. I don’t know whether this reflects the lower-difficulty of the rooms at the Manor or just the fact they are booked to capacity most of the time and need the extra fifteen minutes for set-up and pack-down.
Lastly, although the price is attractive at a $33AUD per person rate, there is the possibility that you will be thrown in with others who have booked in on the same date and room if your group is under five people. The amount of slots available for a given room at a given time are clearly listed on the website; I would think someone who willingly booked in with a group of three people they don’t know would be a rare individual but you never know, and so if you’re really looking for a guaranteed private experience with your buddies you may have to buy extra slots or just take the risk. You can read more about this policy on the Escape Manor site. Since these rooms are all horror-themed, I’d like to in future see them ramp up this concept by handcuffing players, turning off the lights and introducing more chills.
All in all, I have no complaints and I’ll definitely be back to take on the Wine Cellar and Death Row soon enough. If you’re a casual or newbie player you could definitely do worse than these excellently appointed Escape Rooms.
Images via Escape Manor