Cheap Thrills: Escapism at Strike Bowling
Disclaimer: My friends and I attended Escapism as guests of Strike Bowling, but all opinions are my own.
I’m going to call it! Escapism at Strike Bowling might just be the greatest new way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
That’s how much fun I had and I’m already planning my next visit!
My only problem? How to explain Escapism to you without gushing OR giving away how the whole thing works, because the mystery of it is half the fun.
Not even the trailer on the website gave us much to go on:
T, M, RP and I showed up, completely unaware of what we’d signed ourselves up for. All we knew is that we were going to be locked in a room and had 50 minutes and a pile of clues that would help us escape. We chilled out with a couple of little puzzles and some drinks while we waited.
Our guide for the evening, Alison, confiscated our mobile phones and cameras, locking them in a box before we entered, so I have no photos of our adventures – but honestly, the photos would give away everything and I don’t want to ruin this for you. We were then blindfolded in a small room, taken on a journey and found ourselves inside a locked room with grass, vines and an odd assortment of props.
We were in The Garden and we were instructed to touch and open everything – because everything around us was a potential clue. Everything. We tore apart the room in an effort to look for everything and came up with a whole lot of half clues that weren’t quite leading us anywhere. Then we cracked one and we thought it was the big one, we were done and we were disappointed: “Wow, that was fast.”
That wasn’t even half of it. What we thought was the end was just the beginning, as more clues made themselves apparent and we found ourselves surprised over and over again by what revealed itself each time we unlocked a new clue.
We were out in a record 31 minutes, which the staff were incredibly surprised by, but I wouldn’t say we found it easy by any stretch. It tested all of us and I was grateful to have taken such a diverse group of friends who brought different skills to the table. The puzzles were definitely challenging and the fact that they didn’t cater to the lowest common denominator made it something I would recommend to anyone looking to push themselves.
The Garden is the ‘easiest’ of the three rooms, with Alison and the team at Strike informing me that Butcher’s Burrow being the next most difficult and scary and Forensic being for those who really want a challenge and aren’t afraid of a little gore. I think I might have to work my way towards Forensic… I definitely want to play, as I loved The Garden so much, but I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary movies so being inside of one isn’t exactly my ideal weekend.
Afterwards, we were fed and watered by the wonderful staff – the nachos went down a treat but unfortunately there were a few too many vegetarians for the fish and chips to be appreciated as much, although we did enjoy drowning the salty chips in vinegar – the best way to eat hot chips!
Escapism at Strike Bowling is $100 for 2 to 6 players on Monday through Thursday, but that price jumps up to $150 on Friday, Saturday and Sundays – so of course, the price per person varies wildly depending on day and number of mates. I thought four was a great number and I wouldn’t want less, as some of the clues can be solved simultaneously if you split up into pairs.
I thoroughly recommend this as an excellent, cheap (if you bring mates) night out, I could not have enjoyed myself more and it seems I’m not the only one! Jacqui, Strike’s marketing manager, said she had a blogger show up to play alone and didn’t want to leave, despite not completing all the tasks in the 50 minutes.
It’s not just great for groups of friend’s looking for something new or who love games, it’d also make an excellent night-starter for hen’s or buck’s nights, is the perfect place to drop off teenagers in the school holidays and workplace team building activities – in fact, I may have suggested that to my boss the very next day! Order a few pizzas off the menu and a couple of cocktails and you’ve got a great night sorted, I promise.
Run, don’t walk, to get yourself locked up at Escapism and test your puzzle solving skills.
Escapism at Strike Bowling is located at King St Wharf in Sydney and QV in Melbourne, with more locations in the pipeline. Bookings can be made online or over the phone.