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Escapism: The Night We Valiantly Tried to Escape from a Butcher's Burrow

Melbourne's escape room craze has arrived in Sydney.
By Erina Starkey
November 18, 2014

Escapism: The Night We Valiantly Tried to Escape from a Butcher's Burrow

Melbourne's escape room craze has arrived in Sydney.
By Erina Starkey
November 18, 2014

There are a staggering array of activities you can do at Strike Bowling Bar these days, aside from the company's namesake attraction. Sure, you can throw a heavy ball down an alley, over and over again — highly recommended if it's your birthday and you're turning ten. You can sing Christmas Karoleoke, a great way to meet like-minded individuals that also find this kind of behaviour acceptable. Or, you can be locked up in a murderer's dungeon with 50 minutes to make an escape. Way to up the ante, Strike.

Escapism is an interactive real life game where you and your team need to find hidden objects and solve riddles to escape a locked room. There are three puzzle rooms to choose from: The Garden, Butcher's Burrow and Forensic, depending on your age, interest and perceived skill level.

Check out the creepy-as-all-blazes trailer:

Our team signs up for Butcher's Burrow (difficulty 8) because we consider ourselves a pretty bright bunch, an assessment which later proves incorrect. Another Concrete Playground team went for Forensic — a Se7en-meets-Zodiac style of investigator set-up, where you're trying to identify a serial killer before they find you. Pitched at difficulty 9, if you're good at code-breaking you'll love this one; logic and ability with numbers will be your best allies.

But we signed up for the Saw-like scenario, of course. Let's set the scene:

For Butcher's Barrow, "You've been kidnapped and chained up. You can smell the fear in the room. How did this happen? Why did you end up here? There's a severed hand on a plate. You might be next. Now is not the time to be afraid. Now is the time to make your escape."

I'm personally feeling quite confident, I've broken into my house without keys a number of times, so I've got this guys. Before we go in, we're frisked with a metal detector and our mobile phones are confiscated and locked away in a box. We're then blindfolded and led to our creepy prison. When the blindfold is removed it's still dark, we're alone, there's blood on the walls and the sound of our evil captor who's just next door.

An intense 49 minutes later (we wouldn't spoil the whole thing would we?) and we're on the final puzzle, trying to figure out the passcode to unlock the door, secure our freedom and save our dignity. We fail our challenge; in fact we're told that 80 percent of teams fail, which is kind of consoling. Kind of. What happens if you don't make it? Our creepy captor, who is also a Strike staff member, does decide to let us go after all — and we get to keep all our limbs too. He's also nice enough to let us know where we went wrong. That final clue! It was right in front of us! You'll kill yourself for missing it.

Escapism runs out of Strike Bowling Bar King Street Wharf, 22 The Promenade. Prices are $100 per team Monday — Thursday or $150 per team Friday - Sunday.

Choose your escape scenario:

The Garden (Difficulty 7, players 2 - 8)
Butcher's Burrow (Difficulty 8, players 2-6)
Forensic (Difficulty 9, players 2-6)

Book online here before you go.

Published on November 18, 2014 by Erina Starkey

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