Room: House on the Hill
Location: Escape Rooms Canberra 2/24 Dundas Court Phillip
Cost: $111 for 3 players
Escaped: Yes, with about six minutes to spare
Overall rating: 34/40
A creepy, atmospheric room that’s a lot of fun to play.Sound familiar?
There’s been talk of witchcraft ever since a mysterious illness struck the town of Salem. Hysteria is setting in and fingers are itching to be pointed. Margret Coulter-Rose has been seldom seen since the death of her husband and daughter It’s said that an evil presence pervades the House on the Hill. It’s said that the devil has crept in. The town elders have sent you into the house to find enough evidence of witchcraft to bring Margret to trial.
Be warned though; Margret doesn’t take too kindly to visitors anymore, and the old house, with it’s creaks and groans, is said to be even less accommodating.
I have a confession for you. I’ve been keeping something from you all and it’s time I came clean: I hate horror. I’m easily scared and anything even vaguely frightening gives me nightmares for days. When I was younger I used to try to force myself through it, but as I’ve grown up I’ve become comfortable with my cowardice and have no problems just avoiding things that might scare me. So why, you may ask, would I choose to do an escape room involving haunted houses and witches? Well, the answer is simple – it just sounded so good I couldn’t resist. In fact, all of my team were eager to play despite the fact that we all have a tendency to get easily freaked out, which says something about our expectations, and I’m happy to report that this room more than lived up to them.
As with Mr. Keller’s Magic Emporium, our gamemaster could see what we were doing but we had to communicate by walkie talkie. I’m not sure how well she could see us as there was one part where I asked for a hint but we figured out the answer almost immediately and by the time she’d finished explaining what to do we’d already completed that puzzle and moved on. This room was definitely more challenging and we did need a few hints along the way, but all in all I was very proud of our performance, particularly considering it was our second escape room of the day.
This room was every bit as creepy as you’d expect from the description of a haunted house that doesn’t like visitors. Everything fit well with the theme and like all high quality rooms it was thoroughly immersive. I felt as though I was really in a haunted house, which didn’t do anything to make me feel less creeped out, but it definitely added to the whole escape room experience. Everything in this room was atmospheric, from the choice of props to the sound effects and lighting.
Okay, first off without giving anything away there was one part of this room that made me literally clap my hands with glee while we were playing it. In fact, I was so delighted I even forgot to be terrified for a few brief moments. The types of locks in this room worked really well with the theme, but it was the high tech elements that really made this room unique. On the surface it doesn’t seem as though high tech elements would work so well in a room loosely based off the Crucible, but of course in a room like this it’s easy for anything more high tech to be explained away as witchcraft. As with Mr. Keller’s Magic Emporium the puzzles were largely intuitive in a way that worked well for my brain and there was a really interesting mix of puzzles to work through.
I found this room to be a lot of fun. I expected to be a little too scared to enjoy myself, but the fear quickly wore off as I got down to business solving puzzles – and there were a lot of them! There were a couple of puzzles that really didn’t make sense to us and I appreciated that our game master gave us the answers when we needed them. I’ve played rooms before where you’re given hint after hint to try to gently nudge you towards an answer, which can sometimes get frustrating when you’re completely over a puzzle and just want to move on. In this room, our game master did provide hints when we needed them, but when we were really stuck she gladly gave us the answer which didn’t interrupt our game flow and allowed us to continue. This room was a little less linear than Mr. Keller’s Magic Emporium which meant there was always something for the three of us to do. Escape Rooms Canberra recommends this room for 4-7 and I agree that 4 or 5 would be a perfect number, although it’s fine for 3 if you’re a little more experienced.
I really have nothing to add here that I didn’t say in my other review. The staff are wonderful and the games are high quality and well worth a visit if you happen to find yourself in Canberra.
Overall rating: 34/40
A wonderfully creepy room with some unexpected moments.