Mar 21

Great to see the economy starting to pick back up again recovering from COVID.

Thank you to our enthusiasts for supporting each and every one of our businesses.

Another new group that we have created is an Escape Rooms Australia Facebook Group—with all the changes to Facebook it doesn’t matter if you follow the company page or not, you will not necessarily see all the posts where as a group you won’t miss anything.  

This group will be great for owners to be able to advertise and promote new rooms, special promos or competitions.

As enthusiasts you won’t have to wait till this eMag comes out, if something exciting is happening in between we can let you know about it.

The link for this is

The difference between the Enthusiasts Group and Escape Rooms Australia (ERA) group is that owners will be allowed to and encouraged to advertise or promote any special offers to you in the ERA Group.

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.

Owners, please keep us updated on any new rooms you have opening, we would love to promote them for you.

Please feel free to share this magazine to fellow Escape Room Enthusiasts by clicking on the share icon on the bottom tool bar.

The same button will allow you to bookmark and save to favourites.


If you would like to advertise in the magazine email us at and we will send you an information pack.

Most of you would be aware by now that the NSW Government is about to release Dine & Discover.

Every person in NSW over the age of 18 will receive 4 x $25 Vouchers to use in the Dine & Discover promotion.

Your vouchers will appear in your services NSW app on your phone.

The GREAT NEWS is that Escape Rooms qualify for the Discover portion of which you can use 2 of your vouchers at, to help you out we have started a list of participating Escape Rooms that will accept vouchers.

  • Dubbo Escape Rooms
  • Elude Escape Rooms
  • Escape Rooms Albury
  • Escape Rooms Central Coast
  • Mission Escape
  • Narrow Escape Rooms
  • Next Level Escape
  • Social Escape Rooms Sydney
  • The Cipher Rooms

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

Congratulations to our winners.

Trianah Tumbridge & Josh Hardimon

Check your emails on how to claim your prize.

New Game—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?

2-6 players

Click anywhere on the map to take to you an active Map of all the Escape Rooms in Australia

My name is Luke Willis. I’m sixteen years old and would most certainly consider myself to be an Escape Room enthusiast.

This all happened after doing my first room at thirteen years old with my family at The Riddle Room, Cairns in January 2018. Soon after that, we quickly started looking for many more rooms to do across Sydney, before spanning out locations such as Canberra, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Now we have currently completed over 100 rooms across the country. In addition to this have also designed several rooms for my family within our garage.

My inspiration to do such was that I’ve always enjoyed creating puzzles and challenges for others to participate. Doing this whilst captivating an immersive movie-like story and environment motivated me to get designing.

The first room I made was heavily basic, consisting of mostly paper cut-outs from online and had a duration of about half an hour. Over the three years I’ve been designing Escape Rooms for my family, I began diving deeper into audio/visual effects: such as music, lighting and fog (all controlled by a remote) and constructing my own props and puzzles from scratch all to help integrate a more in-depth narrative/ experience.

My puzzle designs have also become a lot more elaborate. I soon began to source puzzle ideas from just about anything I encountered; movies, game shows and online sources. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas, and in doing this, I believe the experiences as their whole have become far more tangible and significantly more vivified. The last room I created for my family during the January School Holidays was titled “Operation United.” Its narrative consisted of participants being a team of investigators hired by the UN to investigate the office of a former United Nations worker who had stolen some highly confidential files. Of course, like many stories, there was a rather dramatic twist at the end.

Overall the planning, designing, and construction processes took about five weeks in total, with the final experience going for over four hours, featuring over seventy padlocks/safes, four rooms (One of which was created by a homemade cardboard wall) and overall, about ninety different puzzles. The room took a lot of planning, building and a fair amount of money to construct, but working to make a simple plan come to life, was something gratifying. The entire process to me is about having a vision and working hard to bring it alive.

One of the most important things that I believe makes a good Escape Room is not only the quality of the puzzles, but rather clear thought of how the puzzles fit within the chosen theme. This is what makes an Escape Room more than a bunch of puzzles thrown together.

I also really like to ensure that there is almost always multiple things to do at once in the room to create a less-linear format, where some participants get left out of the puzzle solving.

Overall, I believe the Escape Room Industry is one of a kind industry, as none other of the conventional family entertainment

Listen to the Mission Brief

Many escape room designers have gone to great lengths to create a story to help you become immersed in the whole escape room experience.  

The Mission Brief is a good way of setting the scene and heightening your anticipation for the challenge ahead.  Many rooms require a specific task to be completed or the recovery of an object in order to be successful.  This information is normally explained in the brief which may also contain some helpful clues.

Search, Search and Search Again

When first entering the escape room it is not always clear where to start.  Searching the entire area will help determine what needs to be solved or opened.  Searching also identifies objects that could be part of a puzzle or used to assist in some way.

(Have you ever lost your car keys and in desperation looked in the most bizarre places?  Then found yourself looking in the same places again just in case.)

Split your team to search as thoroughly and quickly as possible.  Do not be afraid to re-check areas as you may look at it from a different angle the second time around.  One technique that you could adopt is for part of the team to search in a clockwise direction and the other in an anticlockwise direction.  This way both parts of the team search the whole room from different perspectives.  It is also a good technique to call out to others what you think is relevant to help activate the thought process.

Combination Cipher

For code makers and puzzle designers, sometimes it is not enough to use a single cipher. This isn’t even because today’s technologies can easily spot what kind of cipher is being used at any given time. It is also because many individual ciphers are so well-known and recognisable that even the average escape room player can instantly identify them. (You can certainly thank the internet for that!)

There is no doubt this has led many designers to consider bolder, more complicated and ambitious systems of code making. Today, it may not even be enough to use fancy symbol-based codes (which are really just letter-substitution ciphers with homemade glyphs).

That is why the most challenging puzzles in escape rooms and games are often combination ciphers.

A Complex Chain of Systems

Combination ciphers are essentially what a code maker has to resort to short of becoming a cybersecurity engineer. It takes all the well-known ciphers that have existed and combines them into a sort of chain that a codebreaker must try to follow through in order to see the real message.

For example, you could start out with a pigpen cipher but its resulting letters still don’t make sense unless you further put them through a book cipher. And in an escape room challenge, that certainly sets up players to really think harder and be more observant about the connections between clues.

While on the side of the puzzle designers, it really challenges them to broaden the way they want to build the entire experience. What mechanisms can be used to have one cipher transition into the other? What form will the clues take? What kind of hint could be dropped without giving the whole thing away too early in the challenge?

Breaking the Chain

Without a doubt, you will need to have a considerable stock knowledge of individual ciphers to quickly overcome a combination of them. However, another important skill to have is being quick to act.

A common mistake is to find one clue to the combination (say, a key book for the first part) but then delay because you think the deciphered message doesn’t make sense. Oftentimes teams would assume they didn’t follow the cipher right and try again.

The more effective thing to do is immediately have someone look around for additional clues. It so happens that the strength of combination ciphers is also their weakness. Knowing that you still have more ciphers to uncover means less time wasted working on what is really just one piece of the whole puzzle.

A True Test of Observation

On a final note, with escape rooms becoming ever more exciting and challenging with each passing year, players should always be prepared to see growing varieties of combination ciphers.

This will really require you to pay more attention to every room and for a longer period of time. It is no longer safe to assume that once you have found one clue, you can just set it aside after its corresponding code has been broken.

Be prepared to see each and every important item to have some connection with the next phase of the escape room challenge. Combining ciphers opens so many possibilities and the same applies to discovering their solution!

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

Screen shot the image, add your text and email to us at 

Win a prize if we publish your Meme.

Solve the puzzle, click button below to check your answer. Correct answers win a FREE Mystery Mail.

Valid till 31st March 2021.

Where to find useful links and information.


Escape Rooms Australia Group

Escape Room Enthusiasts—Australia and New Zealand.

Blog Reviews on Rooms

Sydney and Beyond Escape Room blog post by Scott Monin.

Map of Escape Rooms

Click the image to take you to a full map of Escape Rooms in Australia.

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