“You and your friends are out exploring the countryside when the storm hits. In search of refuge from the rain, you stumble across a deserted home. Breaking in, you find yourselves in a long-abandoned world of lost love. You may be protected from the rain, but the house has a strange past and an uncertain future… and now you are trapped.”
I’ve completed a variety of Escape Rooms in the last few years (around 30 rooms – yes I’m a nerd) from several different companies. Some have a different hook to try and grab your attention, but often times it’s a novelty that isn’t worth the hype that goes behind it. In the case of the newest Exitus room featured at Strike called “The Old Haunt”, it’s more than just a gimmick, and it’s pretty damn fun.
Escape Rooms, for the uninitiated, are spaces that you and your friends are locked in with one mission: to get out. You do this by solving riddles, puzzles and other tasks that eventually lead you from area to area until you eventually unlock the door and, yes, escape. Normally you have 45 minutes or 1 hour to do this; it’s a fun activity that tests your wits and is incredibly fun with a group of friends – if you haven’t done one before, this is an excellent place to start.
“You hear a ghostly giggle and wonder where it came from… did I just see something moving in the mirror?”
Powered by Cubescape, The Old Haunt uses artificial intelligence technology, in an experience that automatically tailors itself to your skill level throughout the game. The room uses visual and audio clues to let you know if you’re heading in the right direction with your thought process, so experimentation is definitely going to be key to your success if you’re not sure of the solution.
I’ve had many times during an Escape Room where I haven’t been sure of where to go or what to do next, which normally results in an awkward press of a “help” button or communicating to someone via walkie talkie to assist. When that happens, it breaks immersion completely, so it’s refreshing and clever to see technology here that subtly steers you in the right direction, keeping you in the moment and never making you feel dumb when you need assistance.
Aesthetically speaking, The Old Haunt looks great and effectively uses the lighting and audio to full effect. Rain is pouring outside and a loud clap of thunder booms, causing the lights to flicker. You hear a ghostly giggle and wonder where it came from… did I just see something moving in the mirror? As a lover of all things scary and spooky, I am not ashamed to say that the jump scares got me more than once and the overall production values were top notch.
The puzzles also were varied, using different skills from each of us to be able to come to each solution. With five of us in the room (it’s designed for 2-6 people), we all felt like we had contributed a good amount to ultimately escape with just 12 minutes to go.
Cleverly, the time that you take on each section is then calculated into a score so that you can see how you rank compared to others who have attempted the same room. The gamer in me loves this, and while replaying the same room would be lame once you know the answers, it’s cool to discuss bragging rights with your friends.
The Old Haunt, as an Escape Room and as an overall experience comes highly recommended from me. The atmosphere, the challenge, the production values and more made it memorable for my mates and I. As an experienced escaper, I recommend this one quite highly.
Want to experience The Old Haunt for yourself? It’s now open at Glen Waverley and opening soon at Melbourne Central from March 10. Find out more about all of the Exitus Escape Rooms and book now right here.
We are giving three lucky readers the chance to win an Escape Room experience for themselves and 5 friends thanks to Strike – click here to enter!