Escape Room Melbourne review: Kellar’s Magic Emporium

In briefEscape Room Melbourne logo

Location: South Melbourne, Melbourne
Date played: 4 October 2015
Players: 5 (Escape Room Melbourne recommends 2 – 5)
Hints: Unlimited, delivered by walkie talkie
Escaped: Yes!

Our rating: Review 4 and a half locks
Get ready to feel the magic with Kellar’s clever puzzles.

Falling under a magician’s spell…

IMG_2076“You have been short-listed for the role of Magician’s Assistant. Arriving at Kellar’s Magic Emporium, you are tasked with solving a series of puzzles and riddles in order to prove your skills. You’ll need to pay close attention to pass this test, as things may not always be what they seem…”

Escape Room Melbourne has a lot to answer for. In October 2014, we rocked up to a house in Flemington, where we were welcomed to our first escape room experience. It ignited our escape room addiction and we’ve been seeking a better room since. With Escape Room Melbourne’s expansion into South Melbourne, we knew we’d be in for a high-quality experience.

Most escape room venues go for polished (or at least semi-polished) premises in commercial spaces with reception desks, couches and storage lockers. Escape Room Melbourne take a different route: their original room was in a granny flat in a Flemington backyard, while their two South Melbourne rooms (Kellar’s Magic Emporium and Mine Escape) are built in a warehouse. And when you visit, it’s clear it’s a warehouse: you duck under an ‘X’ brace holding the walls up as you head towards the ‘reception’ area and toilets are accessed by making a dash across an open warehouse floor. What the venue lacks in polish, though, it makes up for in character, with shelves crammed full of props, signs and curios that you may one day find in one of their rooms.

Much like the venue, the game masters are full of character too. Our briefing was relaxed, informative and with a touch of humour.

The rough-around-the-edges vibe disappears once you step into the room. Inside, you easily forget you are in a warehouse as you launch into finding clues and solving puzzles. Kellar’s Magic Emporium is a clever room that inspires wonder and, at time, leave you in awe of the puzzles they’ve set. It can, however, get a little cramped: our team of five was the biggest we’ve ever played with, and at times it was difficult to move around and figure out the puzzles in front of us. While you can have up to five in the room, we’d recommend sticking two or three. The linear nature of the puzzles also meant that at times one or two members of the group felt like they were not involved in game play.

Escape Room Melbourne have again shown why they are so highly regarded, and why they are so incredibly popular. Kellar’s Magic Emporium is simply brilliant: go and learn from the masters.

The breakdown

Super-sized Escape Room Hunters @ Escape Room Melbourne in South Melbourne
Super-sized Escape Room Hunters @ Escape Room Melbourne in South Melbourne

Puzzles: Review 4 and a half locks 

Escape Room Melbourne have created some amazingly brilliant puzzles that will leave you wondering how they did it. We would desperately love to expand on this, but we won’t for fear of giving it away. There was one puzzle in particular that left us stunned: we have no doubt that you’ll figure out which one we are so smitten with.

Some of the puzzles in Kellar’s Magic Emporium are a little challenging and may soak up a bit of time. You have a walkie-talkie so can call if you get stuck, but with a bit of perseverance you’ll get through ok.

Speaking of the walkie-talkie, we did need to use it to double-check we were doing the right thing. On one instance we were, but unfortunately were let down a little by some temperamental technology. We have seen other rooms use similar technology without difficulty, so with a bit of tweaking, the issue we face could be easily be avoided.

Welcome sign at Escape Room Melbourne
Look for the sign…

Atmosphere: Review 4 locks

Having built the entire room from scratch in a large warehouse meant that the restrictions of other escape rooms based in pre-existing buildings could be avoided. While most of the theme was well presented, some of Kellar’s Magic Emporium looked like it needed a touch more finesse. Escape Room Melbourne have again done a great job dressing the rooms to fit the theme and surprising interaction from the game master added another level to the room’s atmosphere. Sound effects helped build an appropriate mood.

Customer service: Review 5 locks

Escape Room Melbourne’s game masters are always friendly, always do a great job making players feel welcome and explain the rules of the game well to new players. This time was no exception.

Want another opinion? Read another review from Escape Rooms in Melbourne.

Want more from Escape Room Melbourne? Check out our review of Escape Room Flemington

About Escape Room Melbourne

The first live escape room to be built in Melbourne, Escape Room Melbourne currently have three rooms, Escape Room and Surveillance: Division 5 in Flemington plus Mine Escape and Keller’s Magic Emporium in South Melbourne. With 70 minutes, you have ample time to try to escape these rooms.

Escape Room Melbourne’s owners Owen and Ali also designed Amnesia and Burlesque for escapeXperience in Oakleigh, Victoria.

Escape Room Melbourne
Flemington and South Melbourne VIC
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  1. Pingback: Escape Room Melbourne (ERM): Kellar’s Magic Emporium [Review] – Lock Me If You Can

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