Words by: Matthew Stephenson
Ever wondered what it would be like to actually be in a video game? Perhaps you watched Apollo 13 and were like “pfft, I could fix all that in like 45 minutes”? Maybe you are a huge fan of Prison Break and always dreamed of escaping from maximum security yourself? If any of the above sound familiar, or if you just enjoy puzzle solving, then we have found just the place for you: EXITUS.
Located in Port Melbourne, EXITUS provides what is known as “a real life escape the room experience”, basically you chose from one of five themed rooms: Prison Break, Casino Heist, Yellow Brick Road, Apollo Mission or CSI Melbourne, then once inside, you have 45 minutes to escape by solving various puzzles littered throughout the space.
We chose the Prison Break themed room; upon entry we were all chained together at the wrists and locked in a dark cell. Our first objective: find a way to remove the padlocks and free ourselves from or shackles. Once that was accomplished, we then moved on to trying to figure out how to open various padlocked boxes and containers in the hope that something, somewhere would eventually give us the code to our cell door.
The puzzles themselves, at least in the Prison themed room, were mainly maths based. Lots of adding and subtracting numbers and deriving codes from scrawls on the prison walls and from documents found throughout the rooms. This was challenging and fun, and was quite thematically consistent with the idea of being in jail – it makes sense that there would be lots of locks and combinations. However, our brief look into the Yellow Brick Road game room suggested that this style of puzzle solving may not be suited to all scenarios.
Our experience with the Prison Break room was very entertaining and worked well in fostering team building and communication, I could see this being an excellent venue for fun corporate exercises and events. The decor of the rooms did leave a little to be desired, but overall our area looked sufficiently like a prison.
The puzzles themselves were quite hard, but never seemed cheap, and there is always the handy “help” button on the wall that can be pushed to summon a staff member who will appear to offer you a helpful hint (and yes, we did need to push it…).
If you are after a unique afternoon of fun with your friends and like to use your brain, EXITUS offers just that and is definitely worth a visit.
EXITUS in Port Melbourne is opened from Monday to Sunday: 9am – 9pm. Each game goes for 45 minutes and cost $38 ($32 for valid concession) for one game and $70 for two games ($60 for valid concession). To ensure a spot bookings are essential.
EXITUS will be launching its second location in Richmond, with doors opening in August.