Room: Baker Street Mystery
Location: 62 Wyndham St, Alexandria
Cost: $38 per person (but pricing varies depending on number of players and day of the week)
Escaped: Yes, right in the nick of time
Overall rating: 38/40
If you’ve ever wanted to be Sherlock Holmes, this fiendishly difficult room will have you scratching your head while you live out your dreams.
Baker Street Mystery challenges players to solve a murder mystery while attempting to dismantle the notorious Baker Street Five, a high-profile gang that has been terrorizing Victorian London.
Can you carefully observe your surroundings, pick up on the subtlest of clues, and correctly piece together the information to identify the members of the Baker Street Five before the trail grows cold?
When I heard a new room had opened up in Alexandria I was really excited to give it a try. I desperately wanted it to be good and I’m pleased to report that Mark, the owner, did not let me down. With more and more high quality rooms opening up, you really have to think of ways to stand out from the group. One of the ways Mark has done that is by analysing your performance in the room, providing you with a printout once you finish that shows you how long you took to complete different puzzles and how that compares with other people playing. It was really interesting to see how we actually went, versus how we thought we went, in what was arguably a very challenging room.
The hint system was my favourite kind of system – the kind where you don’t have to bother with walkie talkies or phones and don’t have to explain exactly where you’re up to before asking for help. We told Mark ahead of time that we’d rather have hints and finish the room than be left to puzzle things out for ourselves, and he was really good at giving us enough time to figure things out but also pointing us in the right direction when everything took us a little too long. And oh, there were definitely moments when we needed help!
This room’s theming is flawless, from the soundtrack down to the smallest details in furniture. In fact, it’s such a beautiful room that when I first entered I had to take a moment to stop and appreciate everything before I could focus on the puzzles. I had certain expectations about what the theming would be like and this room definitely lived up to them. Everything in the room made sense and worked well together and the puzzles were appropriate for the era, but also for the room itself.
As I mentioned, the puzzles worked well within the theme’s context and many of them used items in the room in really creative ways. There were some puzzles I’d never seen before and a mix of different types of puzzles, requiring different types of thinking. All four of us found the room challenging and I did find elements a little too difficult at times. They were the kind of puzzles that were perfectly logical, but only after I knew the answer. However, some of the most difficult elements were my favourite, just because of how beautifully they were put together. Mark was kind enough to walk through the room with us afterwards, explaining where we’d managed to get ourselves lost and why he’d designed things in a certain way. Everything in the room comes together in a really impressive way, although when you’re in the middle of it, it’s difficult to see the end goal.
I thoroughly enjoyed this room and am only rating it a 9 because of the few moments of frustration when I just did not get a puzzle. For most people, I think the room would be a solid 10/10. We were able to work as a team but also break away into pairs quite a lot, and there was plenty to do so there always seemed to be another puzzle if we got too frustrated with what we were working on. Everything flowed well and there weren’t too many moments when we weren’t sure what to do next. The puzzles themselves were also enjoyable to solve and the overall mystery was intriguing.
Mark was a wonderful host who made sure to cater our experience to our group. I prefer to be given hints and clues if it means I’ll finish the room and I trusted him to do just that. He let us know when we were on the wrong track without interfering too much and the balance was perfect. He was also really fun to chat with and obviously loved what he was doing! His second room, Paris Escape, is designed so that it can be completed by a solo player and I’ve been trying to find an opportunity to go back and play it. I’m sure it’ll be just as fun as Baker Street.
Overall rating: 38/40
Just a short train ride from the city or a 15 minute walk from Redfern Station, Social Escape Rooms has created a beautifully themed and very challenging room that’s guaranteed to have you enjoying yourself.