escapeXperience – Burlesque

Room: Burlesque
Location: Level 1, 38-40 Eaton Mall, Oakleigh, Melbourne
Date: 27/11/2016
Participants: 2
Cost: $84 for 2 people
Escaped: No
Difficulty: 5

Overall rating: 39/40

An incredibly well themed room with puzzles you won’t find anywhere else.

Strange things are happening at the Burlesque. You’re going in undercover to investigate a series of mysterious disappearances. Behind the glamour and mystery lies a dark secret that someone is desperate to keep hidden. Can you solve the mystery and escape before its too late?

I’m a huge fan of burlesque. I’ve even done burlesque classes before, so a burlesque themed escape room seemed right up my alley – and the fact that it had excellent reviews didn’t hurt either. So off we went to Oakleigh for an escape room experience like none other.

Although the room was incredibly challenging and we didn’t really come that close to finishing in time, that didn’t lessen my enjoyment at all. I’d say Burlesque is really too difficult for just two people and the way the room is designed you could easily have four or five people working independently to solve puzzles. Our gamemaster kept a close eye on us and tried to guide us along and the hint system worked well with the theme – a senior detective was supervising us and sometimes had to drop in and give us a hand when we were particularly stuck. I’ve mentioned before that I find non-linear rooms a little trickier and I thought this one was very clever in that there were multiple puzzles you could solve in any order, but it was still easy to know what you were looking for. It really did strike the perfect balance for me.

Theming: 10/10
Wow. Just, wow. In fact, I could probably limit my review of the theming of this room to just that single word. There was so much detail in the Burlesque room and all of it was perfect, but it didn’t feel too cluttered or like there were too many superfluous items that had nothing to do with the puzzles. As we went on, the theming only got better and better and I really wish I’d had the time to stop and admire everything rather than rushing around to try and solve puzzles.

Creativity: 10/10
This room was incredibly original, with a variety of challenging puzzles. It’s the first room I’ve played where the puzzles began before I even stepped foot inside the room! There was an interactive element that was so fabulous I wish I could say more, but I can’t spoil what was probably my favourite thing, so just believe me when I say you have to experience it for yourself. There were a lot of puzzles, which was part of the reason we failed to finish the room in time – every time we thought we were making good progress, suddenly a whole new set of puzzles appeared! Generally, a large number of challenging puzzles would be enough to make me want to cry, but in this room they were structured in a way that made perfect sense and I always knew what I needed to do, even if I sometimes needed some help to actually arrive at the answer. We were absolutely limited by only having two players, but then on the other hand having only two people made some other aspects of the room better, so it all balanced out in the end.

Fun: 10/10
What a fantastic room, and although the puzzles were challenging I didn’t feel frustrated. There was a lot of support from our head detective, who had to come in a few times to check we were on the right track. Sadly, that wasn’t enough for us to finish the room and I am genuinely disappointed about that, mostly because we had so much fun I would have loved to have seen the last few puzzles we didn’t get to. We had the option to stay and keep playing the room, but we had back-to-back bookings for two of their rooms and opted to start our second room on time instead. In hindsight Burlesque was by far my favourite of the two rooms and I wish I’d chosen to take some extra time to finish it, but of course I had no way of knowing at the time which room I’d like better.

Atmosphere 9/10:
The staff were very welcoming and friendly, and trying on the props before we went into the room was a highlight for me. I demanded we go into the room in costume, which the friend I was playing with reluctantly agreed to. I also really appreciated that they gave us the option to keep playing once we ran out of time. Although this was one of the more difficult rooms I’ve played, the atmosphere as well as the excellent hint system means it would be a great room for inexperienced players as well as regular escape room devotees.

Overall rating: 39/40

If you’re in Melbourne you simply must play this room. You won’t regret it!

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