September 18, 2017

Escape Games Canada: Crossroads & Syndicate (Toronto, ON)

Premier escape room facility in North America

Escape Games Canada was another Toronto escape room company that was highly recommended by escape room enthusiasts. There are two locations somewhat far away from the downtown core: one in Mississauga and one in North York. I was lucky enough to be staying close to their North York location (40 minutes north of downtown) where they have six, soon to be seven, escape rooms. I was expecting to have a great time with a bunch first timers by playing "Crossroads" and Syndicate: Relic Heist.

September 12, 2017

2017 Escape Room Enthusiast Survey

Fellow escape room enthusiasts Errol Elumir and Lee-Fay Low compiled an insightful survey about escape room players and owner. The below are  snippets of the survey and you can see the entire professionally done summary here.

September 10, 2017

Secret City Adventures: The Secret of Station House No. 4 (Toronto, ON)

The Secret of Station House No. 4, one of Toronto's finest escape rooms

Secret City Adventures runs a couple of different escape rooms series ranging from the familiar franchised Real Escape Games rooms (Time Travel Lab) to what I presume to be their own creations, the Casa Loma Escape Series and The Murdoch Mysteries Escape Series.

I heard through word of mouth that the "The Secret of Station House No. 4" was a top escape room in Toronto so I bought my ticket and flew out to the land of hockey and maple syrup. One thing that I noticed was that a LOT of the top rooms in Toronto are geared towards large groups so it makes it difficult for travelers to plan ahead. From their site:

"Solve the Secret of Station House No. 4
Detective Murdoch is missing and as Toronto’s newest constables you’ve been called into action, but the clock is ticking! You only have 60 minutes to save Murdoch. Discover the clues, piece together the evidence, crack the case, and unravel the Secret of Station House No. 4!

Step into a world of intrigue and wonder as Secret City Adventures & Shaftesbury bring the global hit television show Murdoch Mysteries to real life in the Murdoch Mysteries Escape Series, immersive escape games for all ages."

Although I had no idea what the Murdoch Mysteries TV show was all about, that didn't quite matter as the story was self contained and communicated by the actors in game.

September 5, 2017

EscapeX Room: The Attic (Irvine, CA)

Krazy Katz & Bill joined us for a midnight game
While we were in the Orange County area we met up with some other enthusiasts and it was fun to play with people who are just as passionate as we are about escape rooms. Bill and the Krazy Katz joined us for this last minute booking late on a Saturday night. From the EscapeX site:

"Sixty years after the disappearance of the Cain family, prospective residents have come to the manor ... every one of them citing strange behavior in the household. Voices echo from the ceiling and footsteps go pitter-patter across the attic floors.

Though the manor has remained abandoned, those that dare enter the establishment report inexplicable chills that linger in the air and feelings of being followed. Some say the spirit of Master Cain remains trapped in the attic, doomed to stay in the house for all eternity. 

Do you dare explore what lies in the attic?"

August 14, 2017

Mission Escape: Escape The Hydeout (Anaheim, CA)

Caleb was the star in this room!
The Hydeout is the same room that was originally created for the NYC location.  The Anaheim location is smack in the middle of the Anaheim GardenWalk mall beside Disneyland, which is a bit surprising as most rooms are usually in an office building or in some remote industrial area. Judging by the pictures I have seen of the set design, it seems that the Anaheim decor is far superior when compared to the original NYC location. From their site:

"The Hydeout is a Victorian-era mission inspired by the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Be prepared to go into the good doctor’s home but beware of his dark side. Dr Jekyll has been acting strange and gone missing. It’s up to you to find out what has happened to Dr Jekyll before Mr Hyde shows up…"

August 8, 2017

Red Lantern Escape Rooms: Midnight On The Bayou (Anaheim, CA)

Unique and a fun and enjoyable way!
Red Lantern Escape Rooms opened earlier this year and there weren't any enthusiast reviews that we were able to find to help guide us in our research. We were intrigued by the theme so we made a stop here after we played the Hex Room and Funhouse at Crossroads. From their site:

"You haven’t set foot in Bayou High since graduation, but this carnival-themed reunion sounded fun. Though it is a little strange they’re holding the event on the old Boudreau property at the edge of the swamp, where decades ago several students died in a barn fire. And it is odd that all the carnival workers are mysteriously absent, with the exception of your reunion host who keeps nervously glancing at that creepy old chest…"

August 2, 2017

Countdown: Pandorus & Krampus (Los Angeles, CA)

Escaped Pandorus and Krampus
Countdown Live Escape Games has great reviews on many sites and its "Krampus" room is a 2016 Golden Key recipient from EscapeRoomArtist and its "Pandorus" room is a Top 15 LA Escape Room for EscapeRoomTips. While I am personally not a horror fan and never frequent haunted houses, we decided to give it a go when one of our team members really wanted to play Krampus. We were also very excited to play Pandorus as for some reason, there aren't that many spaceship themed escape rooms.

July 19, 2017

Evil Genius: Occam's Apartment & Norcross Art Gallery (Los Angeles, CA)

Chapter One > Chapter Two
Evil Genius created a two chapter adventure that you can book in a single two hour slot. This was the first time we had seen such a scenario and we hoped that there would be a natural transition between the rooms. Chapter One came out a few years ago and they more recently added Chapter Two, so these rooms could also be played separately. When played in one session, teams can bank the extra time from Chapter One and put it toward Chapter Two and that's exactly what we did. The transition between the chapters was fun and the layout of the location also helped make it feel more immersive.