The Cipher Room - Newtown, Sydney, Australia.
Rooms: Espionage, The Cabin and The Marlowe Hotel
Address: 640 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Preface: On the weekend of the 10th/11th of Feb, I did a number of various escape rooms in Sydney. I woke up at 3am in Auckland New Zealand, flew to Sydney and spend all weekend doing rooms and flew back to Auckland on Sunday Evening. I did these rooms with some strangers and some other people who I have done rooms with before.
Disclaimer: One of the owners Marise knew I was coming and offered my group and I a free game at one of the rooms but the other two rooms I paid full retail for.
I have been to so many rooms in the past and I thought I knew what to expect. I had heard from others that I should throw out any pre-conceptions as the rooms where nothing like I had seen before. (Cough.. Cough.. ok. I overdid that bit a little)
Yes, it was a normal entrance (Apart from the road facing window which was upside down) with a normal number of couches and the normal puzzle games on the normal table.
What was not normal was the actual rooms. (Or the wonderful staff who greeted us.). The first room I actually did was their newest one - The Marlowe Hotel. This room is stylised in an (as they say on their website) a "black and white, film noir adventure" and that is exactly what it is and exactly what you get. Imagine a world where you are inside a Film Noir film. All its missing is the Maltese Falcon and Humphrey Bogart (and for the Boys, Rita Hayworth)
People are invited to wear black and white or grey clothing as it immerses you more into the fantastic styling of this room which is as good as you'll get. Any tech was in style unlike a lot of other rooms as they had never thought to themselves.. why.
The Cabin and Espionage (their slightly older rooms) were also great. These where both done on the 2nd day in Sydney after I spent 24 hours awake flying to Sydney and playing games.
I've done so many games in the past and you tend to see the same puzzles starting to repeat themselves but these rooms had very unique puzzles not seen anywhere else. Very large rooms which can accommodate 8 people with ease with enough puzzles that someone has plenty to do the entire time. Don't you hate those overly parallel rooms which most of the people miss out as only one thing can be done at once by one person.
Yes, there are some locks in the rooms but that's because of that is the what they had in the periods that the rooms are set in. There is nothing which is out of place, no laser beams and no silly directional locks because people think they are neat. Every puzzle and lock was thought about. They had asked themselves does it match the theme which they are trying to get across.
Marise and her Partner ( who couldn't be there was he had to do some important Australian things like feeding the rescued drop bears - https://australianmuseum.net.au/drop-bear ) have created a great set of rooms and they are some of the best (if not the best rooms) in Sydney (some may say Australia)
I give them 10 out of 10 for their effort and the result and can't wait until their next rooms.
Note: I'm sorry Shelley but the flying unicorns and baby kittens couldn't be weaved into the review of this escape room.