Apr 22

Welcome back to the next issue of Escape Rooms Australia.

Congratulations to Leanne from Next Level Escape for her Novel being picked up by a Publisher. Who would have thought you would have time to write a Novel and design, build and run a wonderful escape room business as well.

It’s also great to see so many customers out doing escape rooms again and supporting such a wonderful industry. Thank you.

We are always open to feedback to help improve this magazine feel free to email us at:


Enthusiasts and GamesMasters feel free to send us your stories, we would love to hear about them.

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La Rébellion

La Rébellion is set in a dystopian future in France, where a despotic leader is in power. You are part of a brave resistance group known as the Rebelles. 

The Rebelles have heard about a secret bunker owned by the evil leader. Inside this bunker is something that may help your rebellion, and ultimately bring down the presidency. Your mission is to locate it. And fast.

Can you infiltrate the bunker without being detected? What lengths will the other rebels go to, to assist you in your mission?

Suitable for 2-8 people. Difficulty: 4/5 Recommended for players of all ages. Some loud noises in the game, so parental discretion is advised.

Duration: 60 minutes

31-35 May Street, St Peters NSW 2044


Underground lies a serum that can cure a deadly virus that decimated our world as we know it. Your search party comes across what appears to be a secret vault. Little do you know, entering this passage, means you’ll be taking on this mission that could save the human race. Please don’t come out empty handed!

Players : 2 – 8 (min 4 on weekends)
Recommended minimum players : 4
Difficulty : Hard
Time : 60 mins
Suitable for all ages, large group size and experienced teams

Pharoah’s Tomb

There are many treasures and artefacts to uncover in the ancient tombs of Egypt. The most impressive treasures belonged to the Pharaoh. Can you outsmart the Ancient Egyptian’s tricks to steal their treasures?

Clues: Unlimited

This room is best suited to groups of 2-6 players.

240 Church Street, Parramatta 2150 (Level 1)

Puddington’s Toy Shop


At precisely midday, every single day, the Puddington family close their toy shop at 22 Mystery Lane for exactly one hour.

Yesterday, as regular as clockwork, the family toy shop closed but has not reopened since.

Mystery Lane Police have managed to gain access to the toy shop but the trail of clues has left everyone baffled.

It’s time for some outside help.

Have you got what it takes to follow in the footsteps of the Puddington family and find out what is really going on at 22 Mystery Lane!


Click Image for Answer

Congratulations to our winners.

Reshma and Sarah

Check your emails on how to claim your prize.

Hinting at the Final Problem

Escape Rooms all have the same foundations: solve the set problems within a set time.
If for whatever reason, your group cannot solve these set problems within the set time, how much assistance are you comfortable with being given?

It brings to mind a certain misquotation:

To escape, or not to escape: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the alarms and closed doors of proud independence, or to take hints against a sea of combination locks
and by getting assistance solve them?

I have just been Games Master for a group who… didn’t progress as fast as any of us would have liked. In fact, it’s possible they might still be in there. Hang on, I’ll go check- yeah, all good now, where was I? Oh yes, giving hints.

Unfortunately some parts of a room just won’t be a style of puzzle that someone “gets”, and in a small group especially this can really affect your progression. We have a timeframe for our puzzles that we think groups should have solved by a certain point, allowing time for searching and an average number of minutes per puzzle. If your team starts falling too far behind this, we start prompting things forward by giving hints. The further past the time, the stronger a hint will be.

This timeframe approach can be tricky in rooms that have concurrent puzzles that can be solved, and a team might fly through most puzzles but get stuck on just one (basic counting seems to be my personal kryptonite). A team might request minimal or no hints or prompting due to their experience level. They might choose (internally) to all members needing to agree before requesting a hint.

With this slower group I had the opportunity (several times) to give hints. Normally our first applicable hint is enough to direct people in the right direction, and the strongest pre-prepared hint is about the 6th or 7th slide that we would send on to the TV screen in the room. But when this isn’t enough, what else is there a Host can do? Running a kids’ party from within the room lets me point to things physically, but when conveying information via a screen there was a point where more experienced Hosts advised to just type out the code solution and hope for the best. Fortunately the brave players were okay with the increased assistance, and although they did not escape the room (even with bonus time), their inquisitiveness was infectious and they had plenty of questions we were only too happy to answer afterwards.

To hint: perchance to solve. A bit of an uncomfortable time for me trying to determine how much to help, but just part of the experience of being a Games Master.
Next time: more behind the scenes!

Vigenère Cipher

Let’s mix up the Code Column for this edition and go big. Look out mobile users! This is a step up from the more basic substitution ciphers we’ve looked at over the past year.
Blaise de Vigenère developed this table (or square) using alternate alphabets to create coordinates for shifting letters into a code, one which needed insider knowledge to decipher (without great effort anyway).

Putting codes on the table
To play with this cipher we need three things:
Firstly, a Message. This is the really important stuff. In fact, let’s use that.
Old mate Blaise was also one of the first code-fiends to come up with one of our favourite things – a secret Key! So that’s our second piece:
Then we go to our big fun Table, with the SIDE letters for our MESSAGE, and the letters along the TOP for our KEYWORD. These give us ‘grid references’ on the TABLE for our ENCODED TEXT.

Squaring things up
We need to get our Message and repeat our Keyword until it is all ‘covered’. (I’ve broken it into groups of five for easier reading).

So our first Message letter ‘R’ has the Key ‘E’. Find ‘E’ in the Top row, then follow this column down until level with our Side reference ‘R’. This gives us ‘V’!

Using the same process from ‘S’ to ‘E’ gets ‘W’.

On and on, and we get a nonsense CIPHERTEXT that we can send to a friend.

Turn the tables
The recipient needs to know the Keyword to be able to decode this Ciphertext. If you don’t have the Keyword, you’re going to need way more than your scheduled hour to break this. But your Escape Room should have the keyword there to be found (keep searching!).

So you have found a Ciphertext (our apparent gibberish) and a Keyword in your Escape Room, now you need to use the Table to find the Message.
Working to decode this, we write out our Keyword once more to ‘cover’ – but this time on top of the Cyphertext.
Working backwards from before, we find ‘E’ on the Top/Key, and go down its column until we find ‘Q’ on the grid, trace across to the Side and hey presto- it’s ‘M’!

Next we follow ‘S’ on the Top down also to ‘Q’, and we get ‘Y’. You can handle the rest!

Flip the Table!
Make this one harder to crack by having a longer Keyword(/s) or mess around with the letter placement on your Table. Just make sure the person you want to decode it is working from the same Table as you are. The Vigenère Cipher is valuable because its randomizing system works against Frequency Analysis (read about this in a future edition of ERA) in that you can’t just pick the most commonly reoccurring letters to be ‘E’.

Where to find this in an Escape Room?
This one may be on the rare side in Escape Rooms, and the grid itself is hard to disguise. Look for it in espionage-based rooms and you can use your practice today to decipher it in seconds, to the amazement of your team!

The Dine & Discover Vouchers and we can accept the Parents Vouchers of 5 x $50 vouchers, if you didn’t know you can use all 5 on one day unlike the Discover vouchers.

Vouchers have been extended to June 2022

  • Dubbo Escape Rooms
  • Elude Escape Rooms
  • Escape Hunt Sydney
  • Escape Rooms Albury
  • Escape Rooms Central Coast
  • Labyrinth Escape Rooms
  • Mission Escape
  • Narrow Escape Rooms
  • Next Level Escape
  • Parapark Sydney
  • Room Eight Escape Rooms
  • Scram Escape Rooms
  • Social Escape Rooms Sydney
  • The Cipher Room

Below is a link to the business finder to see who is registered to accept the vouchers.

Business Finder

Create an Escape Room Meme using one of the pictures below.

Screen shot the image, add your text and email to us at era@eludegames.com.au

Win a prize if we publish your Meme.

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