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Ahh, this takes me back. ERM was the first ever (at least, as far as I'm aware) escape room to open in Melbourne and it was also the place that set off my obsession with escape rooms to begin with! Me and my sister were the first ever teen-aged team to make it out of Disappearance on time, and recalling the experience is a delight. Disappearance is one of the best examples of a gold-standard escape room I could think of, and it would definitely stand against many of the more modern and technologically-reliant rooms of today. My mother also participated in the Mine Escape room, and gave it huge kudos for its environment, if that's anything to go by at all.
Okay, if you haven't heard of these guys or are looking for a platinum-standard escape room to do, I couldn't recommend them any higher. I went in there with really high expectations (seeing that they'd been rated a 4.9/5 on Google), and even then I was quite literally blown out of the water. I can confidently say that Deep Space was one of the, if not the best escape room I've ever played in. The immersion, technology and story was on a level that I couldn't even possibly imagine, to the point where I was legitimately panicking towards the room's climax. I'm looking to get in a booking for The Crumbling Prince soon because it's supposedly even better than Deep Space, with multiple chapters and an over-arching story. Plus, with a Deep Space sequel on the horizon, I would recommend keeping an eye on Ukiyo more than any other venue in the country and I can't say that with any more sincerity.
At the time of writing, Torx has 2 new rooms on the way to accompany the Green Hospital as their "Season 2" rooms, so keep your eyes peeled!
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If you'd be interested at all, RUSH is running a haunted house event from 28 October 2019 - 3 November 2019 called The Exorcist with some puzzle solving elements, but it'll be retired after the Halloween season is over. No info on whether it'll come back, so definitely check it out if you're a horror buff like myself!
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While I haven't attended this venue yet, they advertise this thing called a Duel Adventure which seems like good fun. According to their website: "The Duel Adventure format is designed for larger groups. It allows teams to compete against each other in a cat-and-mouse style game. This way Team A has to escape while Team B has to try to catch them before they are able to escape. After 30 minutes the roles are reversed. There is a 10-15 minute break to reset the game."
While these games are presented in a very specific order to be played in to present the story (which, if you couldn't tell by now, I absolutely LOVE rooms that are able to incorporate a good story into themselves), Chapters 1-3 can be played in any order. However! To qualify to play A Grimm Finale, the hardest of all the rooms, you must complete all of the previous chapters and be ready for a challenge. Let's hope that you're up to it. >;)
There are some really special things to note about Doctor Q's rooms. Namely, Biohazard and We Are Detectives, in that they're not the typical escape room experiences. We Are Detectives is more of a murder-mystery game with 8 players, 8 scenes and 1 murderer hidden amongst the group. Almost like a real life version of ONUW or Town of Salem. Biohazard on the other hand is a seemingly stupidly immersive escape room, that comes with a 2 hour game time and even NPCs that you can interact with and branch choices around in the game. I'll be trying this one soon and I'm really excited for it!
Another venue with multiple rooms containing one continuous story (in the order listed above), Operation Mindfall shuts down in 10 days as of writing, so grab some tickets quickly if an outdoor open-world escape room sounds fun! Note also that these chapters don't have to be played in order, but should be if you're a stickler for storytelling like me.
LOST AUS is my most commonly visited venue, as you can probably tell by my completion rates, and it's for good reason. While none of the rooms are extraordinarily outstanding in my opinion, they're still lots of good fun and offer plenty of variety as my silver-standard to gold-standard of escape rooms. Aokigahara is the last room I plan to play through here though, as it's the hardest one they have (with only a 3% clear rate according to the website) and the Exodus room doesn't seem very interesting to me with a 70% clear rate and weirdly biblical theme.
Another venue I'd never caught breeze of before compiling this list, LOST in MELBOURNE also has a 4.9/5 rating on Google, putting it on-par with Ukiyo as far as reviews go. This place is definitely on top of my hot-list now and I'll be sure to edit this post with my review of the place after a room or two.
Another unheard of venue! This one looks kinda promising as well. It's kinda crazy seeing just how many of these places go unnoticed unless you literally scroll through the pages at the bottom of your Google search.
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MORE UNDISCOVERED ROOMS! THIS IS A DAMN CRIME AT THIS POINT! >:(
You won't find Alien Invaders at any Strike venue, except up in Surfer's Paradise, but the reason I put it here is because all of the above games are distributed by the same company called Cubescape. There is another venue called Red Herring which has opened recently at Crown Casino that has Alien Invaders, Shutdown and The Old Haunt available to play, so if you wanna try that one, head up to Red Herring instead of buying a plane ticket to Queensland.
It genuinely makes me sad that these more underground escape room businesses don't get that much public attention, I know I'd personally hate it if I put so much into a business that I enjoy so much and it wasn't exposed to the mainstream public… :(
This one seems really highly rated, it might be worth a look sometime!
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