Sep 20

We hope you enjoy the first issue of the Escape Rooms Australia e-Magazine. 

Darren and I have run  Elude Escape Rooms, for the past 3 years.  Having completed over 160 physical escape rooms plus numerous online and paper based/board games, we are passionate about Escape Rooms and the Industry in Australia.

Escape Rooms are a unique industry where we believe no other business is competition.  As you know, once you have done a room, you tend not to do it again, so we refer our customers to other escape room companies who in return do they same for us.

We look forward to bringing you the latest information about Escape Rooms and most importantly NEW rooms opening.

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.

We look forward to bringing you the next issue of Escape Rooms Australia, if you would like to be featured send in your submissions now.

Who are we?

The Scram Escape Rooms Story

Our story began in October 2016. Our names are Daniel, Jessica and Walid. At the time we were three wide eyed 24 year olds, working as full-time managers at McDonald’s. We were searching for an opportunity to create a business for ourselves and the idea of an escape room appealed to us. It allowed us to start small, be creative and bring some fun to Western Sydney. We had done all the activities the Western suburbs had to offer. Our closest city was Parramatta and the only things to do there were eat, shop, go to the movies or drink. 

The day we decided on an escape room business we set up a cork board in Jessica’s bedroom. We drew furniture in blue pen on ripped up paper from an old schoolbook, found some string and pins and went to work connecting the dots of our first game. It was an absolute mess, but it worked.

That’s how our most successful game was born!

The biggest step we faced was actually finding our first location. Commercial spaces were expensive and oh, boy were some of them ugly. Then came the challenge of acquiring a lease. We were young, inexperienced, and had to explain to doubtful real estate agents what exactly our business was.

We lock people in rooms and they have to try and solve tasks to escape!

That went down well. Our first agent told us point blank that he thought we had a low chance of success. Do you know that 1 in 3 businesses in Australia fail in their first year? Those comments were the fire to our desire to ‘make it’!

Finally, we found a two-storey unit in a business centre that fit the budget and had enough space to create the games. The agent was confused, as they all were, but she was so excited by the idea. She decided to give us a chance. The mysterious walled in courtyard of the business centre seemed fitting for the theme of our first game. That was sign enough for us!

We opened in Parramatta with the ‘The Wizard Chambers’ in February 2017. We are privileged to say we now have two locations in Parramatta and offer six exceptional games to the public with another three games on the way. 

Scram Escape Rooms Mission

Our mission: to inspire fun, magic and thrill in our players – one game at a time.

Why ‘Scram’?

Our name is inspired by the saying “Now, scram!”. Usually verbalised by a grumpy old person and followed by “Get out of here!”. It seemed fitting for a business whose sole intention is to lock people in rooms and set them the task of escaping for fun. 

Why we love the Escape Game industry

There are two reasons we love being a part of the escape game industry. Firstly, the customers. We initially thought our target market was 18-30-year old’s, predominantly university students. Wrong! Our mornings and days are full of kids and families, our nights are young and middle-aged adults, and on occasion we have hosted teams of grandparents. Our range of customer interactions was so unexpected. All of these teams are so different, but they all come out of our games laughing, panting, and stressed out the exact same!

Bringing that kind of happiness to all different age groups is one of the purest joys of running escape rooms.

The second reason we love this industry is that it comes with an extremely supportive community. Once you play an escape room you are unlikely to play the same room again. This means that the majority of escape game businesses recommend their players to other businesses in hopes that it keeps the customers enthusiastic about playing! It also encourages groups to return once you have a new room to offer. This community has been extremely supportive in sharing ideas to overcome common problems we face. It has definitely helped grow our confidence as a business.

Our goals for the future

Our goal is to turn our Church Street location into a venue for more than just escape rooms – alternative gaming, functions, and much more. We also aim to set up our games in other locations throughout Australia.

For more information on Scram  or to book into one of their rooms go to

Who are we?

Some say we’re hilarious: ‘full of laugh-out-loud, tongue-in-cheek humour’. Others would rather pack their weapons and come after us after enduring rickrolls, snarky narrators, and one too many terrible puns.

Founded in 2016, Next Level Escape has spent the past four years developing and creating humorous experiences with games masters getting involved as various characters in every adventure. Whether it’s a snarky storybook narrator, a smart-ass AI, a TV game show host, or a hapless assistant stage manager in an upcoming game, our staff love giving every group their own unique experience as they laugh their way through!  Not that we would ever ask players to do anything ridiculous. Never crossed our minds.

With every game we try to experiment with something slightly different, whether that’s breaking the fourth wall in an amusing way, having two teams compete in the same space, or in an exclusive sneak peek, merge audio theatre with escape rooms.

We’re also a small team of two who design and build everything ourselves. Aaron is a former economist turned tech whiz with a gigantic laser cutter in his garage (who doesn’t have one?), while Leanne is a puzzle game tragic and an author represented by a New York agent.

For more information on Next Level Escape visit

New Games

The Witch’s Curse

Difficulty level: Medium – Hard

A Witch needs your help in retrieving the pieces of her soul that have been trapped in objects around the castle. She has become very unwell and you only have an hour to save her.


Difficulty level: Hard

The Mad Hatter has lost the Queen’s Heart. She is punishing him by taking three objects that are precious to him. You must help the Hatter find the heart to get his belongings back.

Toy Rescue

Difficulty level: Easy

It’s your kids 8th birthday and you are his toys. Unfortunately, one of his presents has been stolen and you must try and return it before he gets home from school.

The Game

There’s a few simple steps to succeeding in our newest game, where you compete against your friends in the same space!

1. Split your group into two teams, red or blue.

2. Solve enough puzzles to get through the first stage and into your team’s room.

3. Get nervous because the game host announces the opposing team has solved a puzzle

4.  Spy on the opposing team until they shove you out of their room, curse at you, or threaten to end you for good.

5.  Solve more puzzles to be the first into the Hall of Fame!

6.  ???

7.  PROFIT (and fame, and glory…)

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

Hello readers of Elude’s new escape room e-magazine!  My name is Scott and like many of you, I am an escape room enthusiast.  I am based in Sydney and run an escape room review blog where, for the past almost 6 years I have reviewed every escape room that my team and I have been to.  Julia and Darren kindly asked me to write a little something about my blog for this e-magazine, so here goes… 

I originally called my blog (rather creatively) the “Escape Rooms in Sydney” blog.  Unfortunately, that title has proven to be a little limiting given I have now been to rooms in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, California and more recently throughout the wider USA and Europe via online escape rooms.  So earlier this year I changed the name of my blog to accommodate the above geographic expansion (rather creatively again) to the “Escape Rooms in Sydney (and Beyond)” blog.  Problem solved. 

I am utterly addicted to escape rooms.  I loved PC adventure games in the late 80s (King’s Quest and anything by Sierra) and 90s (Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max Hit the Road, Monkey Island, MYST, Riven, Grim Fandango) and when I heard a radio advert in November 2014 about a new “escape room” concept coming to Sydney, I booked to go and check it out on their opening day.  In those days, new escape room businesses were opening up every other week.  I quickly realised that some escape rooms were certainly better than others, and so the blog was born…

Along with my team, I have now played a little over 150 rooms to date (almost 100 of which are in or around Sydney).  I have really enjoyed being a part of the Australian escape room community, together with other enthusiasts, designers and business owners.  It’s a really friendly, inviting community full of great people! 

Hopefully some of you find my blog helpful in deciding which rooms to try next.  I am also very happy to receive emails with specific requests for room recommendations, so please feel free to check out my blog or email me at



Book Ciphers

One of the most exciting elements about an escape room experience is that it introduces people to the world of cryptography. After all, solving an escape room challenge is more than just about finding clues and hidden switches.

Ciphers and secret codes also play major, if not pivotal, roles! In fact, whether you’ve encountered them in live escape rooms or played with them in escape room video games, the use of various ciphers is incredible.

That’s why for each month, we will be covering just some of the most popular ciphers used in escape room games. Our first entry will be one that many are already quite familiar with: Book ciphers.

Older than Sherlock

Book ciphers have been around for at least as far back as the American Revolution (and it is no coincidence that one played a part in the film National Treasure). Cryptography historians trace the method to Jacobus Silvestri and, like all ciphers, it was initially used to send coded messages. But since then, this cipher has featured many times in the mystery genre of popular fiction.

Among the most well-known examples of this is the Sherlock Holmes novel The Valley of Fear. In it, a book cipher becomes a key instigator in the story’s plot and demonstrates a lot of its defining features as a puzzle. A lot of these features can still be found today in escape rooms and puzzles! 

Cracking the Book

In an escape room setting, book ciphers generally comprise a list of coded ‘coordinates’ and the book itself. The list would use sets of three numbers, each one corresponding to a page number, line and then a number corresponding to a letter.

These two components (list and book) are often intertwined with other puzzles, but they can also be used to reveal a final answer to the last room. And in all cases, there are a couple important things to keep in mind when deciphering them.

The first is that the book you’ll need is surprisingly specific. It is not always enough to vaguely deduce the title. A room can even state that the cipher uses a dictionary. It can actually mean a very specific edition of a dictionary that is inconspicuously placed among other dictionaries on the shelf.

The second thing to remember is that the decoding process can be pretty tedious in itself. Even if you already have both pieces of the puzzle. You will need to be very precise, and that can be challenging if there is not a lot of time left in the escape room challenge.

On the bright side, book ciphers are fairly recognisable once you stumble upon the list of coordinates. And once you find the book, you just need to start counting and writing down the letters as fast as you can.

It is highly advisable to first focus on identifying the book as soon as the code is found. And while you assign one or two people in the group to find it, make sure there is already someone at the ready to start writing the message down.

Incidentally, this is very similar to how historical codebreakers would work on intercepting book ciphers. Their main challenge was to identify the specific book that both the receiver and the sender of the code had public access to. This, however, can be quite a daunting task given that they had to dig through a number of books that could have been used.

Fortunately for escape room enthusiasts, you need not think that far. The book you need to find is just in the room and you just have to crack it open to break the code!

Unlock Board Games

A few months ago my family bought our first ‘Unlock!’ escape room game.

Since then we have bought 4 more games and have become immersed in the world of escape rooms.

They are a great game for the whole family and really got us thinking. The way the games are made is absolutely incredible and the puzzles are so clever!

My favourite adventure was ’Squeek & Sausage’ because the theme was the most exciting and I found the puzzles in it were engaging and perfectly matched to the theme. It also wasn’t too hard, but was challenging at times. The designers have done such a great job in making the game just as exciting and intense as an actual escape room. We loved that each game had unique puzzles and style, which made sure that the games didn’t become boring and the online app made our game run much smoother.

Overall, the ‘Unlock!’ games are so simple to play, but are amazingly clever. They never cease to entertain and we are really looking forward to playing the next few games!

Hannah Choi 

If you would like to purchase any  board games click on the link below.

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

Valid till 30th September 2020.

Add your best escape room meme to one of the pictures below, screen shot the image, add you text and send in your submissions to us at if your Meme is published you will win a prize.

Coming Soon

Watch The trailer

Out now

Watch the trailer

Click on the images below for more details;

Where to find useful links and information.


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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