Sick of being a passive bystander in a movie theatre? Perhaps it’s time to become the lead in your own story. Because a good night out is no longer about hitting a bar for a quiet one, oh no. Why not get that adrenaline pumping by heading to one of Auckland’s escape rooms?
There’s plenty of adventures to be had—find da Vinci’s last invention, drown in the rabbit hole and rescue Alice, or battle cybercrime.
You’ll be locked in a room and pushed to capacity to bring out all your smarts, teamwork and physical prowess. With just 60 minutes you’ll wanna work hard and fast to beat the clock.
For all you adventurous folk, here’s our roundup of Auckland’s escape rooms... if you dare.
Break and Escape
Break and Escape’s slogan reads: “Bring movies into real life.” And, this experience does just that. Auckland’s first fully mechanical escape room combines sound, lights, physical and light sensors, electronic mechanisms and interactive props to immerse you in an adrenaline-fueled adventure. Work your way through a series of rooms as you attempt to escape the confines of a maze-like system. Transform into a character as every team member is assigned their own role. Team work makes the dream work, so cooperation is key. With puzzles drawing on a range of topics from physics and mathematics to history and music theory, everyone will have a part to play. Beat an ancient Egyptian curse in Temple Escape: Curse of the Pharaoh, explore an abandoned psych ward in Evil Hospital or investigate the truth behind an old Atlantic legend in Prisoners of the Dark—each storyline has its own difficulty level so choose carefully or you may not make it out…
The Escape Hunt Experience
World leaders in the field of escape rooms, The Escape Hunt Experience, have landed in Auckland and made a home on the North Shore. One of the few companies that allow for teams of two people, this is a good one to test your date’s common sense and ability to work under pressure. Use your analytical skills and compete against friends or family as both teams race against the clock for bragging rights. Search for food and water as you try to make your way out of the Milford Track in Lost Forest or search for the stolen rugby trophy in another rugby-themed adventure.
Auckland CBD and Manukau
With a focus on intelligence rather than physical prowess, Escape Masters is the perfect adventure for all the brainiacs who didn’t necessarily nail gym class. Since their launch in 2014 as the first real-life escape game in New Zealand, Escape Masters have grown to provide nine adrenaline-inducing adventures between their two Auckland locations. The CBD offers a choice of seven storylines, including cybercrime, alien abduction and wrongful imprisonment, among others. And with another two themes on offer in Manukau, there’s plenty to keep your heart racing and your mind ticking.
Escapade focuses on Kiwi-themed experiences, with rooms such as The Bach, The Shed, The Tavern and The Boathouse. Use your observational skills, problem solving and common sense to escape the room as you learn about Kiwi culture in the process. The challenges are more common sense oriented rather than trivia or school smarts, with physical aspects too. Follow your gran’s clues to solve an old mystery, search for treasure as you stumble upon an abandoned gold mining shed, save the city from approaching darkness as you escape from an old mystical tavern or, save yourself as you discover your racing boathouse has been tampered with by a competitor's team.
Escape Rooms NZ
It’s not just about the adults at Takapuna’s Escape Rooms, because the sprogs have their own dedicated room. Live every kid's dream—being locked in a candy shop after hours—we reckon they won’t want to escape. For the adults, there’s the Da Vinci Escape Room, which will have you searching for the genius’ last ever invention; The Mad Hatter, where you attempt to rescue Alice from her wild adventures; The Asylum, where you are a part of a human experiment; Mystery Boudoir, in which you solve a murder mystery; or Zombie Apocalypse (self-explanatory, right?). And, in case you find yourself struggling, you can ask for clues (but don’t, because who doesn’t want the satisfaction of escaping all on their own?)
Dream Constructor Escape Room
Located in a residential neighbourhood in Mt. Roskill, you really wouldn’t be able to guess that nearby was one of the best escape rooms our city has to offer. Dream Constructor Escape Room is highly mechanical and has some of the best technology and resources. The whole experience is automated and the puzzles here are actually challenging. So chuck on your thinking hat because you’ll have to think outside the box to escape out of this one.
You have found yourself in a trap and it’s time to employ your wits and creativity to get out alive. Working in groups of three to six, teamwork takes centre stage at Great Escape. Break out of a maximum-security prison to avoid a life sentence in Prison Break, run away before getting thrown in the looney bin in Psych Ward, escape crazy dream-land before you get stuck in it forever in Dreams of Alice or sneak out of Nazi Germany as you play an allied spy gathering intelligence whose identity has been compromised. Will you make it out in time?
Keep the adrenalin pumping with a visit to Archie Brothers' Cirque Electriq.
Image credit: Alexander Popov, Escapade