What if I told you that for less than $40, you could get locked in a room with your best friends (or worst enemies) with nothing but your intellect and keen eye for detail to get you out? Sound too good to be true? Okay… well what if I also told you that at the end of your journey, you would get a free alcoholic beverage and the opportunity to win a Cadbury block?
Yeah, now you’re on board, hey?
This dreamy scenario can be reality if you hit up the Mystery Rooms in Fitzroy- where it’s perfectly acceptable for adults to embrace their childlike sense of wonder and curiosity. In fact, the Mystery Rooms encourages such play to (as the website states) “awaken the senses and ignite those dormant brain cells”.
The wool factory-turned interactive puzzle centre currently contains four themed zones. Tomb Raider (complete with piles of real sand), Outlaw (an homage to Ned Kelley) and Medieval (allegedly Melbourne’s largest escape room) are open to anyone willing to try them.
Only once you have successfully completed all zones can you then attempt the fourth room, Polar Adventure (“by invitation only”).
All the spaces are innovative journeys which provide you with entertainment the whole way through. Don’t expect minimalistic, maths-focused rooms like you might find at other similar venues. Instead, the Mystery Rooms use mind tricks, word play, secret codes and sensory stimulation to engage the user and set the scene.
Disclosing too many details would obviously spoil the experience for first-time escapees, but let’s just say that perception is key when it comes to solving a mystery. One must look up, down, around and to others if they want to crack the code, or at least get one step further towards that end goal.
If you do an escape room with friends, you might hate each other by the end. If you go with colleagues, they might become the best buds that you never knew you needed. These mystery rooms are all about teamwork, so you’ve got to drop the ego if you want to beat the clock.
In the end, all is rehashed and reflected upon, so don’t worry if you get into a scuffle with teammates. Post-escape is the time that you get to hunker down with a drink, complete one last puzzle, and talk out how you might do better next time around.
Because trust us- if you like fantasy worlds then you will likely be back. Escape rooms are not simply an opportunity for escapism; they’re a chance to travel to another world but then incorporate that experience (and whatever came along with it) back into your daily existence.
The Mystery Rooms are located at 303 Napier Street in Fitzroy. They accept teams of four to six players on Wednesday through Sunday.
Feature Image Credit: Facebook