When the authorities track down the laboratory of the evil genius behind a deadly virus outbreak, they call on the best and brightest to locate the antidote to save the world …. your family. Wait, what?
Hidden behind an unassuming door on Hunter Street is Unexpected Exit Escape Rooms which gives your family the chance to work together to crack the code and save the world.
For the uninitiated, an escape room is a team adventure game. Your team is “locked” in the specially designed room, and you must solve a series of puzzles to earn your escape. While the puzzles are tricky, you won’t need any special skills or tools – just a bit of logic and ingenuity – plus the ability to think outside the square, and a sense of fun.
Unexpected Exit is currently home to four escape rooms, each with a different theme and level of difficulty. Guided by the helpful staff, we booked the Deranged Scientist Room as a fun treat for my son and two friends to celebrate his tenth birthday.
The Deranged Scientist Room is the perfect starting point for new escapists and is available for teams of between two and ten players. Just right for our band of intrepid investigators which included two adults, three ten-year-olds and one seven year old.
Working together, we searched the lab for clues, eliminated red herrings and used keys and codes to unlock a series of safes and cupboards. All the while, a large foreboding timer counted down to our impending doom.
The Deranged Scientist Room was just the right blend of challenging and tense fun for the kids. It wasn’t scary or stressful, but the excitement levels were high throughout. It was great to watch the team working together and share in the high-fives and satisfaction that followed each time we successfully cracked a safe or decoded a clue.
We loved the challenges and became immersed in the experience – it was a great bonding experience for our small group and we were still debriefing about it hours later!
The team at Unexpected Exit were spot on with their recommendation for our group. The boys loved investigating the room and uncovering the clues, but needed adult guidance to solve some of the harder puzzles. For that reason, I’d recommend it as an activity for ages 10-15 years with adult supervision, or for older teens without assistance.
Despite our best efforts, and even with help from the ‘outside’ (you can request up to three hints by slipping a note under the ‘Door of Shame’), I’m sad to say that we didn’t find the antidote (sorry humanity, enjoy the virus). But it’s all part of the fun – and we are definitely keen to try it again!
With only one rate for children and adults and no ‘family’ rate, it’s a little bit dearer than other activities like bowling or laser tag, so I’d recommend it for a special occasion (such as a birthday) or bonding activity for adults. Gift vouchers are also available and would make a great gift for the tween, teen or adult that loves experiences over things and is looking for a challenge.
Unexpected Exit is Newcastle’s only escape rooms. Bookings are essential and can be made online – the website also outlines all of the rooms, or the friendly staff are on hand to help you choose the right room for your escape crew.
Getting there: Unexpected Exit is located on Hunter Street Newcastle West (between Spotlight and the Newcastle Interchange). Depending on the time of day, there is usually plenty of parking nearby, or do what we did and grab Opal Cards to take advantage of its proximity to the Newcastle Interchange.
Hot tip: Have your team name ready and be sure to grab a snap of your team for the wall of fame (you might even find us over near the couch!)
Good to know: Each room has a time limit of 50 minutes to make your escape. You’ll also need to complete waiver forms and have a run down of what to expect, so allow one hour and arrive 15 minutes before your booking time.
For more information including room guide and bookings, check out the Unexpected Exit website.
A born and bred Novocastrian, Kim loves exploring the area and finding fun things to see and do with her family. When she’s not out having adventures with her two cheeky boys, she’ll usually be found working her day job as a public servant, or banging on about her kid’s school (she handles communications for the Parents & Citizens Association). Kim is a self-confessed word nerd, 90s music tragic and hopes to be a writer when she grows up (whenever that will be).