Sep 21

Well I hope you are all making lists of all those escape rooms you want to complete as soon as everyone is out of lockdown again.  I personally need the borders to open as I have completed nearly all the rooms in Sydney, I need some new rooms so I can’t wait to hit the other states as soon as we can travel.

Looking for things to do?

TERPECA have a list off the top online games in the world

Escape the Review also have a list of online games to choose from.

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New Room—Darkness

You are a group of patients at a psychiatric hospital. One of the doctors is convinced your mental illness is a sign that demons have possessed your body and the only way to save you, is to separate your mind from your soul.

The experiment has already been performed but luckily something went wrong and you were able to reconnect with your body.

All that is left is to escape the hospital but unfortunately the reconnection process didn’t quite work and you loss you sight. With only your other senses to guide you, you only have 60 minutes to escape the hospital.

Difficulty – Medium

Players – 2-4

Duration – 60 minutes

This room is set in pitch black for the entire game and all players will be blindfolded. It is not suitable for players who suffer from claustrophobia or are afraid of the dark.

Recommended for players aged 18+

Wanted: Experienced Australian escape room enthusiasts

Lee-Fay Low, Top Escape Rooms Project Ambassador for Australia

The top escape room project attempts to find the very best escape rooms in the world with the help of the most experienced escape room enthusiasts. Being nominated provides recognition for exceptional escape rooms and the rankings are a great list of the best rooms to play for us enthusiasts.

The 2021 round of nominations will open shortly, last year there was only one nominator and 4 voters from Australia. This means that there was not much opportunity for Australian rooms to be nominated. To qualify for the voting round a room needs to be nominated by at least three people (no Australian room qualified last year, though some did in 2019).

If you are an enthusiast who has played 200 escape rooms (in person and online) you qualify to nominate. In 2020, enthusiasts who have played at least 50 rooms qualified to vote, though this minimum room count might be increased for 2021.

I personally believe that Australian rooms are world-class. So I really hope that we can find more Australian nominators!

If you’re interested in becoming a nominator, or a voter you can do so through the TERPECA voter portal once nominations open.

For more information please contact Lee-Fay Low (

Exit the Game have released a NEW product.

A new kind of Exit Game, now with jigsaw puzzle components!

Exit the Game Lost Temple, is an exciting race through the jungle begins on a small island in the Indian Ocean, but before the players can explore the mysterious temple, they have to solve tricky puzzles and assemble four puzzles.
Everyone on the team must do everything they can to achieve the goal while shaking off annoying treasure hunters.

For Ages 12+

For 1-4 Players

• solo or multi-player
• part game, part puzzle
• storytelling
• Replay able

Bringing you the magic of EXIT games with the delight of puzzles.

Start the game with a puzzle bag containing unmarked puzzle pieces and a decoder disk. Assemble the puzzle to create an image that
shows you what you need to find in the game and what each room looks like.

The beacon of the lonely lighthouse has gone out, and without this, an approaching ship is at risk of shattering on the rocks in the raging

In Exit the Game Lonely Lighthouse (Jigsaw Puzzle and Game), players have to work together as a team to solve the lighthouse
puzzles as quickly as possible to avoid an disaster of epic proportions.

For Ages 12+

For 1-4 Players

• solo or multi-player
• part game, part puzzle
• storytelling
• replay able

The game slightly differs from other types of at-home escape room games I’ve played in the past, that usually involve a deck of informative and instructive cards blended with and driven by a story or adventure theme, or games that are time-limited and focus on puzzles, similar to physical escape rooms. I found the focus on investigation and analysis that is at the core of Murder Mystery Case Files unique in this way and is yet another interesting branch of at-home escape room experiences.

Unsealing the realistic and genuine feeling evidence parcel instantly saw us reacting with hastened excitement and anticipation of what we were about to delve into.At first glance, the abundance and diversity of the provided various evidence seems overwhelming (as with most escape room games when you’re trying to figure out what’s what) but when you start to sift through all the provided materials you slowly find clues, links and focal points that deepen a gradually unfolding and developing mystery that gets more intriguing as it unfolds

Once we then finally analysed and categorised the various types of evidence available, we started to find ourselves overly emersed and tunnel-visioned (to an unanticipated degreethat is comparable to what is often induced by a stress-inducing, heart-pumping countdown/timed game), on our objectives and what mysteries were really at play here.

Unlike some escape room games that inevitably constrain you to work as individuals or groups as the only option, WE were not restricted in that sense with this investigation soIt was then time to decide our game plan which, would either be better suited if we split up and focused on individual pieces of evidence individually/separately while announcing inconsistencies and similarities or decide to work closely together on specific materials of evidence, chatting, probing and analysing aloud all of our file.

In comparison to other forms of at-home escape room games and experiences, I found this Murder Mystery Case File game to be much more absorbing and intriguing, which I was surprised by given that I am not and have never been one of those people you tend to find that have an (often over) obsession with murder mystery.

I particularly enjoyed that the investigation gave you this authentic sense that you were trying to solve a legitimate criminal case mystery and, in my opinion, did not seem too far-removed from how a legitimate case may be undertaken and unpacked in factual investigations.


Congratulations to our winners.

Jason and Emma

Check your emails on how to claim your prize.

The Dine & Discover Vouchers have been extended to June 2022

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 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

Episode 2

A study in stuffing up room resets

So here I am. Newest employee at Elude.

My employment would start with a day of behind the scenes work during the week before seeing the customers roll in at the weekend. On a big property like this there is always stuff to be done. The “highlight” of the maintenance side of things was literally that: hanging lights up high for guiding players down to the rooms when it came to night bookings.

But in between these tasks I had several opportunities to reset the most popular room here, and began my memorisation of where every lock, prop and apparel needed to be returned to after each booking.

The more escape rooms you do, the more you can get an appreciation for how every item in the room has its own designated spot. This is based on hours of playtesting and having a piece put back anywhere, except a precise location could potentially ruin a group’s whole experience. So let’s see how many times I can stuff up resetting this room. The answer is many. Many times.

Your escape room company will probably have dozens of photos or written descriptions of where things go and why, all of which they can probably now do with their eyes closed. Fortunately I had these experts watching over my shoulder so I managed to avoid leaving locks open at step one.

And then came Saturday: show time!

I would be shadowing Emma today on our #1 room. First up was a family doing only their second ever escape room.
Emma showed me how the hint system worked with the list of slides with carefully chosen photographs, sometimes with accompanying text, designed to nudge players in the right direction. (I’ll talk about hint giving in a later edition!)

The second and third groups were more family bookings but here on their first times at an escape room. While Emma did the pre-game briefings again it was my turn to sit at the hint screen.
We have a time sheet to mark progress in a linear escape room like this, and this would be my guide to knowing when is best to prompt for a hint to help the team move forward.

The fourth booking was a birthday party for a group of 12 year old boys. As our party bookings includes having a staff member in the room, it was decided this time it would be me thrown into the deep end. Join me in the next edition for my baptism of fire!


Pigpen Cipher

This popular cipher is a great one to hide in escape rooms as its grid-based system can be disguised in a number of ways.

A Long History of Pigs.
But before we get into its applications, let’s have a little look at where it came from.
History shows that versions of the cipher have been used to encode messages by groups such as Hebrew rabbis, Crusader Knights, pirates and members of the Freemasons and the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, both of whom have lent their name as alternative titles to ‘pigpen’.

A Pen full of Pigs
Pigpen is a simple swap-out-your-alphabet cipher, with four grids showing locations for the letters in boxes, triangles and dots.
The first nine letters (A-I) are paired up to cells in an open grid, and the second nine (J-R) in the same setup but with a dot in each cell to make it different to the first nine.

Letters S, T, U and V sit around the spokes of a blank X-shape, with W, X, Y and Z all getting their own dots within their X-shape.

When a single character is drawn out, it takes just the lines that correspond to its place.
For example, using the letter S gives a large V shape, while using the letter V is represented by an upside-down V.
But with this being the most confusing substitution, the rest is a walk in the mud!

Hiding in plain sight
The versatility of Pigpen is that the basic geometric ‘text’ lends itself to a variety of ways to use it.
At first look, this word might pass for an alphabet code system, when for us this time it is the Pigpen for ‘chess’.

Our grid pieces and their dots could pass for an Alien language communication when transcribed in bright neon.

But what makes this more fun than other ciphers is putting actual pigs in their pens.
Swapping the grids for a set of fences can bring you down to the farm, with the part of the dots played by the best-drawn pigs your escape room staff can muster.

While this code could be simple enough for you to memorise in its basic format, your escape room designer will likely have provided the key for deciphering it somewhere in the room.
They may even have twisted it a little (extra dots, different shaped grids, diabolically mixing up the letters, etc) so as always, explore your surroundings!

Piggy Punctuation Problems
There are a couple of setbacks when using our creature code. While the format lends itself to covering the 26 English letters just fine, it does not allow for anything beyond that.
You will have to spell out all your numbers or find a way to involve them if you are making your own puzzle with pigpen.
A version has been made with a larger X grid containing the numbers, but this hasn’t gained much popularity.

The Barnyard sampler
Have a go at translating these examples, and come up with your own way to use this fun cipher.

You’ll be as happy as a pig in the mud. Well, in the pen anyway.

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Where to find useful links and information.


Escape Rooms Australia Group

Escape Room Enthusiasts Group

Blog Reviews on Rooms

Room Reviews by Scott Monin

Map of Escape Rooms

Map of Escape Rooms in Australia.

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