You have 60 minutes to solve a series of challenges! Are you up to the task of “breaking out” of an escape room? You’ll now have the opportunity with Escape Reality, a new escape room attraction in Newcastle. With four different experiences including one suitable for kids aged 6+, this is one to add to your family’s experiences list.
For those unfamiliar with escape rooms, these are a fully immersive experience where teams of 2 to 6 players are “locked” in a room and must solve a series of challenging puzzles to escape a movie-themed set in just 60 minutes. Whether you want to rob a bank, break out of prison or escape a serial killer’s lair, Escape Reality provides a memorable experience.
There’s also a special family-friendly pirate-themed escape room suitable for players as young as 6. Tortuga Pirates is the room that Newy with Kids tested out when we recently visited. Each movie-themed room has a back story.
Before we started our escape room adventure, our host Robin recounted the background story.
For this escape room, participants are in the Caribbean in 1718. You are the Captain of the famous Mariposa ship. Your crew has formed a mutiny and locked you and some of your friends in the prison of your ship. But you can’t stay there, you need to complete the mission you were undertaking: to find Derdrake’s treasure buried somewhere in Tortuga Island. You need the treasure to get rid of a terrible curse that will transform you into a spectre. You need to hurry, the prophecy will come true with the First Moon.
With this story in mind, we embarked on the Tortuga Pirates escape room at Escape Reality. Armed with an iPad that could provide clues if we got stumped, we found ourselves in a locked room with only a pirate skeleton, some bones and fishing rods. Now what?
After some head-scratching, we finally figured out what to do and how to get to the next room. There, more challenges awaited.
Without telling you too much, these challenges required searching the room for clues and then using these to solve a series of different puzzles. Some involved counting, entering a pattern or deciphering a puzzle or map. We managed to solve these with the help of teamwork, trial and error, some wild guesses and a couple of hints via the iPad and Robin, our Escape Reality host.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot of thinking to be done as your team tries to wrap your brains around the different puzzles. Some challenges were easier than others, but they all were fun. And there’s a real sense of accomplishment when we finally cracked a complex challenge.
We soon learned to look carefully at everything in the room as many items played a part in solving the challenges. Don’t be afraid to make a mess as you pick things up, and try to determine if they have a role in solving the challenges.
Tortuga Pirates was a perfect introduction to escape rooms for kids. The escape room is visually appealing with all the pirate paraphernalia, and the kids even squeezed in time for a quick duel with the pistols.
In terms of age suitability for kids, Escape Reality advises that Tortuga Pirates is suitable for kids 6 and up with accompanying adults. While there are some puzzles that these younger kids could solve, you would definitely need the skillset of older kids and adults to decipher clues of harder puzzles.
We visited with two 11-year olds and thought it was an ideal age for the challenge of the Tortuga Pirates escape room. Together, our four-member team managed to solve all the puzzles and find the treasure within the 60-minute time limit.
From our experience, we’ve come up with some helpful hints for your family’s escape room adventure:
- Brainstorm some team names before you arrive.
- Familiarise kids with the background story as it creates a sense of adventure.
- When you enter the room, look at everything. Don’t be afraid to pick things up or look closely at something. It might just be a clue.
- When you find the clues, put them all together. Sometimes, seeing them all arranged in a particular way makes you notice the connections between them.
- Get the kids involved with searching for clues, solving puzzles and opening locks. Let the kids try to solve the different challenges. They surprised us a few times as they quickly understood a puzzle and how to solve it, while us adults were stumped.
- If you need help, use the iPad to get a hint or ask the Escape Reality host for a hint.
- Have fun!
There are three other escape rooms that are suitable for teenagers and adults. These are the ones to choose if you’re going out with a group of friends or want something for date night.
- Bank Job – An elite team of highly skilled and experienced bank robbers has been assembled. Assigned with the task of infiltrating the security at one of world’s most secure bank vaults, you must steal the world’s most valuable diamond.
- Alcatraz – The year is 1934 and the world-famous Alcatraz has transformed into a maximum high-security prison housing the most infamous and dangerous criminals. With the help of your team, your task is to break out of the world’s most secure prison!
- Enigmista – A Saw inspired horror room where you must escape a serial killer’s lair. You have suddenly awoken to discover that you have been locked and shackled inside a dark, dank room with no recollection of how you found yourself there. Your captor has devised a series of games to test how much strength you have in order to save your own life. This room is not for the faint-hearted!
Good to Know
Website: Escape Reality website. Escape Reality opened its doors on October 29 and bookings are filling up fast. Head over to their website to secure your adventure now.
Cost: $39 per person. Same rate for adults and children. Gift vouchers are also available.
Location: Escape Reality is located at 4 Crown Street in Newcastle. It’s conveniently located next to the Crown Street Light Rail stop.
COVID-19: Escape Reality has implemented enhanced health and safety measures including regular cleaning and disinfecting, complimentary facemasks and gloves, temperature scanning and increased time between games to allow for cleaning procedures.
Disclosure: Newy with Kids received complimentary admission to Escape Reality for review purposes. However, all opinions are our own.
In 2012, Reena founded Newy with Kids to share information about family-friendly Newcastle. Originally from Canada, she had no idea about what to do with her toddler and after searching unsuccessfully for a local family guide, decided to start her own. Since that time, both the toddler and Newy with Kids have grown keeping Reena busy. If you see her out and about, say hi.