Review: Wrecked - an interactive ghost story

Curls of fog drifted across the full moon as we made our way... somewhere.  I won't tell you where, because part of the Hunted Interactive experience is the mystery: you don't know where you're going until the last minute, who - or what - will be there to greet you.

I can tell you we were unravelling the tale of the Timber Wolf, a 16th century shipwreck that dumped a handful of survivors into the hands of an even worse fate ashore.  

We spent the short but intense night on foot, following our guide and some other... entities... through a series of checkpoints and puzzles that garnered us clues towards the survivors' fate.  The puzzles hit a good balance between being challenging enough to give an intelligent adult something to ponder, but possible while balancing your notepad on your knee by moonlight with one eye on the shadows and whatever might be lurking there.

The horror elements of the show similarly respected the audience's intelligence.  The gruesome doings were implied rather than explicit, giving us space to use our imaginations and consequently more chilling and lingeringly disturbing than any jump scare or bucket of fake gore would have been.

The length of the show worked well for the space and the active nature of our adventures.  The organisers do warn you that you'll need a reasonable level of fitness and mobility to take part, but even with a dodgy knee I was able to keep up, and the cast are excellent judges of when to loom in with the next development, and when to ease back and wait for us to catch up, physically or mentally.

The story was responsive to our puzzle solutions and our decisions as an audience, making it feel truly interactive rather than ticking off clues towards a foregone conclusion.  The actors hit a perfect pitch, with characters large enough to be heard against to the wild surroundings without becoming cartoonish or melodramatic.

Your last chance to see the show in the Rockhampton region is Saturday, June 30, before they head to Mackay, Townsville and Toowoomba.  Rug up warmly, dress for walking outdoors at night, and follow the cast's instructions.  And maybe, just maybe - you'll make it out alive.