Are you trying to decide what you and your friends should do around Canberra this weekend? Maybe hanging out at your favourite café is getting a bit tired, or you can’t quite agree on which movie to see. If you’re looking for something fun to do that isn’t the same old routine, consider giving an escape room a try.
Escape rooms are puzzle-solving games where you and your team are locked in a room and try to put together clues, solve the mystery and escape before the time runs out. It’s a great bonding exercise – perfect for when you need to break the ice with some new friends, or you’re organising this for a party where not everyone knows each other.
As the popularity of escape rooms in Canberra continues to grow, more and more rooms have opened – so how should you go about deciding which one will be best for you? In this article, we’ll give you a list of some key factors to consider when choosing an escape room, as well as a helpful guide to some of Canberra’s best.
What makes a great escape room?
So, what should you be looking for in your next escape room experience?
- Complexity and cleverness. As entertainment technology continues to develop and improve, escape rooms have begun to include puzzles that require you to play with everything from light, sound, weights, and lasers, to physics, gravity, or even time through Virtual Reality. Look for a room that is not only entertaining, but is also thinking outside the box to give you the most exciting and interesting experience possible!
- Variety. Venues should offer a diverse range of escape rooms to cater for different types of teams – some want a hardcore challenge with really difficult puzzles, others are after a more chilled experience they can just hang out with friends in. Whatever you’re after, a good escape room venue should be able to provide.
- Welcoming experience. Escape rooms can seem like a daunting challenge – interacting with the venue itself shouldn’t be! The staff need to be friendly and able to clearly explain what is going on and how the rooms work, the venue should be nicely lit and welcoming, the aesthetic and art of the rooms should be interesting and high-quality.
- Fun. Above all else, an escape room should be a fun time for you and your friends. Getting into a critical thinking challenge can get stressful, so the venue needs to make sure that the experience is entertaining and fun the whole way through – look for escape rooms with a good story, a sense of adventure and mystery about them to make the whole experience that little bit more entertaining!
The best escape rooms in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.
Metaphysica is the latest escape room venue to hit Canberra. Founded by 4 lifelong Canberra locals and friends, the team at Metaphysica are passionate about providing an interactive, exciting and fun escape room experience. With unique VR tech, players can try out entirely new experiences in Metaphysica's escape rooms such as breaking things, playing with fire and electricity, and altering time and perspective to help solve puzzles.
As Facebook user Damo Troy writes in their review, “Really enjoyed my experience at Metaphysica. Escape room was fantastic, graphics are unbelievable and I love that its not a sit down game. Highly recommended and the staff were brilliant to deal with.”
Kingpin is one of the newest additions to the Canberra Centre, a large entertainment venue with something for everyone. But Kingpin is about more than just bowling – as well as bars, laser tag, karaoke, and many more fun activities, Kingpin also boasts numerous escape rooms. The rooms have a minimum team requirement of 4 people and super affordable pricing, and Kingpin prides themselves on the difficulty and scare-factor of their rooms. Be sure to consult their “Cryptofactor” difficulty guide to find the room that’s best for you!
As Google reviewer Rosie writes in their review, “Me and a group of friends went for the night and came out all very pleased! The escape rooms were the highlight of the night as they made us puzzled and were very enjoyable. (…) The food was good for the price and the experience was all round great!”
Escape Rooms Canberra boasts three rooms with intricate and challenging storylines - be prepared to really challenge yourself here with puzzles using linguistic, visual, mathematic, spatial and physical tools to be solved. And if after your 70-minute game you and your friends need to relax, head to the Garden Party lounge and cocktail bar for some well-earned down time!
As Google reviewer Jhon Kesby writes in their review, “I loved the escape room the staff are really helpful and the rooms are a great mix of challenging without being so easy or hard it is no longer fun.”
Revelation Puzzle Rooms has three rooms, each with a mystery and story connected to the others – you may have completed one of their puzzles, but the story still continues! Offering collectable pins for completing rooms and beating records, and detailed analytics at the end of your game so that you can challenge other teams, Revelation Puzzle Rooms takes the idea of an escape room to the next level.
George Brenan wrote a glowing review on RiotACT saying, "Revelation [Puzzle] Rooms in Fyshwick were great. We did one of the more difficult ones set as a 1940s crime scene. It was great. Well set up, tricky clues, and well managed."
Riddle Room is one of Canberra’s most highly-rated escape room venues. Currently boasting 4 rooms and more to come, each with its own unique and entertaining puzzles, Riddle Room offers deals for groups as small as 2 and as large as 18+. With affordable pricing, a 60 minute timer, and even the option to customise some puzzles for special occasions, Riddle Rom has something for everyone.
As Daniel Clear writes in their Google review, “Was great fun with the family aged from 13 to 44 will do more rooms. Host was Cecelia and was great really friendly best customer service I have had in a long time.”
If you’re looking for more party ideas, check out our article on the best kids birthday party ideas in Canberra. Or, if it’s just the school holidays and you’ve run out of ideas to occupy the kids with, our articles on the best school holiday programs and activities in Canberra, or the best swimming pools in Canberra might help.
Your experience with escape rooms in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Love going to escape rooms in Canberra? Share your favourite venues in the comments section below, so our readers can check them out for themselves!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an escape room?
Escape rooms are puzzle-based games that require you and a team of people to go into a room and, using the props and clues you are given, solve the mystery before time runs out so that you can leave the room. Rooms are themed and the mysteries are based around fictional stories, and the individual puzzles can range in difficulty and style.
How long does it take to complete an escape room?
A standard escape room takes around an hour to complete, but this can change depending on difficulty. Maybe a venue will make it harder by giving you less time, or maybe the room is hard enough that you need more time. In either case, once the time runs out, it's game over!
Are escape rooms scary?
Because of their appeal to younger groups, no, although some venues do have scarier rooms for those looking for something like that. Most venues supply a difficulty rating chart with their rooms that will also tell you how scary they are, so keep an eye out for that.
How many people do you need in a team for an escape room?
Rooms will come with a recommended team size, but if you have a particularly large group then call ahead and see what kind of options they can give you. Likewise, some places can adjust the difficulty for smaller groups if you need, so it's worth asking ahead of time.