Mystic Clue review: The Bat

Mystic Clue Escape Room logoIn brief

Location: Cannington, Perth
Date played: 30 December 2014
Players: 3 (Mystic Clue recommends 3-10)
Hints: Unlimited via walkie-talkie (we used two hints)
Escaped: Yes!

Our rating: Review 3 locks
Has ‘wow’ factor but seriously rough around the edges.

Into the bat cave…

Credit Flickr user Kevin Dooley
Batman by Kevin Dooley /CC

Batman thought the Joker was safely locked in the bat cave, but alas, he has escaped. Even worse, he has sabotaged the Batmobile – your mission is to recover the missing parts and capture the Joker before he wreaks mayhem on Gotham City.

We were intrigued by Mystic Clue’s description of The Bat as it sounded like we’d have a completely new experience. In their words:

The Bat is our newest most creative room ever! It is the first fully mechanized escape room with our next generation designs. No lock, no safe and no password inside this room. It is all about gears, sensors and mechanized puzzles. You will start a journey with dark knight and help him saving the city!

The layout of the room immediately had us salivating at where The Bat would take us. Clues took the form of riddles, which fit nicely with the Batman/Joker theme. We poked around for a while trying to solve the first clue before asking for a hint, and were initially impressed where we were headed. The element of surprise quickly dissolved as we examined the surroundings of the second clue: wires and electronics dangled from exposed beams. The door in front of us was unpainted and unfinished with the locking mechanism exposed and hand-drawn outlines of desired attachment points still clearly visible.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t all. One space was separated from the central corridor on one side by a sheet of fabric, while the other side had a timber partition which stopped short of the back wall. I went to see if the partition hid a clue to be greeted by tools: drills, clamps, saws, power cords and more. The ingenuity of the room designers in revealing different elements was ruined by the finish of the room: it’s not that it lacked polish, it looked as if they didn’t care. You could argue that the room had opened only a few weeks earlier, but in our opinion, if you are going to open a room to paying customers, make it looked finished and safe.

The breakdown

Puzzles:  Review 4 locks

The Bat was very linear, requiring one puzzle to be solved before you could reach and complete the next. This format works well in that you know what it is you are meant to do, but if you had a large group, most would find themselves twiddling their thumbs. Mystic Clue have made this 3-10 players – 2 would be sufficient but they don’t let you book that few. Difficultly is well pitched, and it is certainly conceivable that you could solve it without any hints.

Their pitch, however, sets them up for a fall. As they say, “No lock, no safe and no password inside this room”. While there were some great reveals and a fantastic puzzle that isn’t a lock, but all clues bar two, involve a lock or password. Our rating is in spite of this misleading description.

Atmosphere: Review 2 locks

As mentioned above, the room needed some final touches to make the experience better. Having exposed wires, warning signs falling off, and the host needing to enter mid-way to check that a mechanism had worked properly distracts from the elegance of the room. There was no background music and due to the room reusing the former prison break room, when we were in the final space anyone in the corridor, waiting room or reception could clearly be heard (and vice versa). Luckily there was no one else in the waiting room or we might have spoilt some of the puzzles.

Customer service: Review 3 locks

Our host was lovely and assisted when we needed hints. We had to wait for our room to be reset (despite being the first booking for the day), though the puzzle games they had in the waiting area helped us pass the time. They weren’t very keen to engage with us after we finished, as we had to ask if we could have a photo and we had to remind them one of our team still needed to pay.

About Mystic Clue

Mystic Clue opened in October 2013 in suburban Perth, Western Australia and from all accounts were the first live escape room in Australia. While Mystic Clue currently offer three different rooms, they have already changed over their puzzles and scenarios since they flung open their doors, showing their desire to offer new challenges and encourage escapees to return for more. Their latest rooms are Sherlock 2: London CaseInception and The Bat, each with intriguing blurbs sure to pique your interest.

Unit 7/ 1451 Albany Highway, Cannington WA 6107

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