Adventure Rooms: The Mad Scientist & The Black Queen

When can the ineptitude of a reviewer influence the progression of a show?

When they've been locked in a room peppered with devious puzzles and given an hour to solve them and escape.

Adventure Rooms are essentially the classic LucasArts and Sierra point'n'click adventure video games of the 90s sprung to life; the ingeniously-simple brainchild of a Swiss high school physics teacher. Our Adelaidean branch of the franchise is the twenty-fifth in the world, run by twin siblings: Shannon and Austin. They currently have three rooms available for challenge, with "Jail Break" being the third room as yet experienced.

We just barely beat "The Mad Scientist" on our first run at it, which forms the standardised room across all of the franchises. "The Black Queen", in which some of the puzzles are common but the theme is at the leisure of the franchisee, proved too much for my associate and myself.

The puzzles are ingenious, difficult and require a massive dose of lateral thinking and teamwork. Comparing it to the sole other type of escape room experience I've encountered (Escapology), I found the experience more challenging here, of which the franchise is very proud, touting their international 30% successful escape average. I did feel that a greater devotion to the ambience could have been beneficial, but having up to seven people tearing through one small room for clues must leave little ability to effect such aesthetic decisions.

And that's about it, really. The other inadequacy I have to admit here is that I can't really tell you anything directly about the rooms lest I spoil the fun. The only piece of advice I can give is simultaneously a compliment to the room design. They're not trying to trick you; the puzzles are frustratingly complex, but never insoluble with the materials you have on hand.

Which was catastrophically mortifying upon being walked through the remaining solutions of "The Black Queen".

God, I suck.

★★★★

For show times and to book tickets, see the Fringe guide or Adventure Room's website.