Real-life immersive adventures, where you and your teammates will need to figure out how to solve a series of puzzles, challenges and tasks within the allotted time limit.
Originally published on 31 January 2020.
Have you done an escape room yet? Evolo Room Escape is the perfect excuse to bring your friends, family or colleagues together. Hello Hobart chatted with passionate owners Nick & Lauren about their love for escape rooms and how they also managed to lock themselves in their own building!
First up, what is an escape room? A timed scenario where you and a team need to work together to solve a variety of puzzles in order to ‘escape’ the room. Escape rooms started in Budapest and Japan and were an evolution of the haunted house and other games.
“Escape rooms are like a movie, but you actually get to play it out,” said Nick.
Lauren and Nick’s story starts in 2014 when they discovered an escape room on TripAdvisor during a holiday to Sydney. They loved their first experience so much that they went back the following day to do another room!
From here, the couple begun researching other escape rooms and the potential to open one in their home state of Tasmania. They both had big gaming experience; Lauren grew up in a video shop and Nick played a lot, so the two of them had a passion for fun, games and puzzles.
In October 2016, they opened the doors on Evolo Room Escape. The pair continued to work their jobs in Burnie, as an engineer and accountant, whilst also running Evolo. They made the impressive journey down to Hobart each Friday and returned to Burnie on the Sunday. They made the decision to throw themselves fully into the business six months later and it has led them to today.
The journey for these two is only just starting, as they have announced the opening of a second location in Moonah in 2020 with a whole suite of new rooms. These rooms will also be bigger, meaning they can facilitate larger bookings.
“We work on the room designs together and there is lots of back and forth to really build a room that has something in it for everyone.”
“We have different puzzle styles between us. Nick is much more the logic and maths brain, whereas I am the more physical puzzle person,” says Lauren.
The record for the fastest time they have seen? 20 minutes! Lauren tells us that the average time though is 55-70 minutes. Each team is equipped with a walkie talkie so that Lauren and Nick can ‘nudge’ you into the right direction if you get stuck.
“There is absolutely no judgment on anyone’s performance in rooms because you can have a great day and then you can have just an off day, as with anything in life,” says Lauren.
The pair really do their research, travelling where they can to test out and get inspiration from other escape rooms, both here in Australia and overseas. We had to ask what the favourite escape room was for the pair.
“For me, I loved an escape room in Amsterdam where you steal a painting from an art gallery,” tells Nick. “Whilst I really loved one in Berlin where there were heaps of tunnels and innovative puzzles. There was such a level of detail in putting it together,” said Lauren.
These two are true escape room enthusiasts.
Does the idea of escaping a room freak you out a bit? Don’t worry we get you and as it turns out, you do not actually get locked into the room! Nick and Lauren make it very clear that you can leave whenever you need. “We want to make sure people with claustrophobia feel safe,” says Nick.
“The only time we locked someone in the room was when we accidently locked ourselves in reception when we were first renovating the building,” says Nick. Lauren tells us that the door got jammed (which they have since fixed) and they had to use a ruler to unscrew the latch!
“We take great care to maintain our props well. We want people to come back time and time again,” says Nick. They have even coined their Mondays as ‘maintenance Mondays’!
Book your next activity at the escape rooms on the Evolo Room Escape website. And if you are looking for a good gift idea, they have beautiful bamboo gift vouchers, which are a gift in themselves.