Yes, it is yet another one. It’s another one of those escape room games. It’s the newest trend, haven’t you heard? Playing Escape Games counts as my third unique time playing one of these escape game rooms. Each location and each game within each location is different and unique. You know how much I love unique experiences and adventures, so when I saw on the Meetup group that there was going to be a group arranged to play Escape Games (and I hadn’t tried this one yet), I signed up immediately even though it was scheduled to be 9 o’clock at night and I was rushing back uptown from a Summerlicious dinner with friends. Hehe.
So I met up with this group of strangers from the Meetup group at Escape Games and briefly introduced each other. Escape Games is located on the northwest end of town and walking distance to the Downsview Subway Station. Compared to the other two escape room places that I’ve been to thus far (ESC-IT and Great Escape), Escape Games definitely has way more space in both their lobby/hang-out area and their actual puzzle room. Their lobby/hang-out area is so large that they actually have shelves of board games that you can play with if you’re waiting for friends. That’s pretty neat.
The organizer of the group had booked us for the Counter-Ops
room zone and it wasn’t until then that we realized it was the most difficult zone out of the four. NO ONE had ever solved it yet. 0% success rate. Um… that’s not the best idea probably to play such a room! I doubted already that we would be able to solve it, but I was still very excited to see what it was all about.
Escape Games also operated differently in how the game worked because as soon as we had all paid the game fee ($23 per person), we gathered on the couch where one of the staff explained to us the rules of the game and how everything would work. He was very straight to the point of how everything worked. You could tell that this was a no business and no fooling around kind of game. Since we were in Counter-Ops, we had to make sure that we didn’t push the large door behind us that would lock us in because if we accidentally did that, they would have to call the fire department in order to get us out due to it being a cinder block room. It was intense! He also asked us to appoint a leader in the group because we would need to have one and if we were stuck to look in the darkest corners and spaces of the room. Wow, he really meant business and this heightened up the experience of the game.
So, we were then brought inside the room and had under an hour to solve it. Of course I’m not going to tell you what the room was about or how we solved the puzzles but I do have to say that from this experience, I feel that it’s better to play these escape rooms with friends that you already know than with a group of strangers. No offense, but the group of people that I played with weren’t very bright. Only about two in the entire group of eight were critical thinkers. I say this because there were several instances during the game where people just looked at each other and didn’t know how to solve it or what to do. It was really dumb at one point because we had unlocked something and there was an audio tape playing yet NO ONE even noticed it playing out loud except me because they were all too busy talking over each other. If you can’t even notice small details like that in a game where every detail and clue is crucial, how are you going to solve the game? Ugh. Again, no offense, but I felt that if I had played with another group, we would have not had to call for a hint in only 10 minutes of starting the game.
Another thing was how no one even tried to discover things in the large room and I found out about a big clue by following what the staff had told us at the beginning: to look in the darkest spots of the room if we were getting stuck. I found such a big clue by doing this and no one out of the group of eight even tried.
Anyway, that’s my rant about the players that I was with, but in terms of Escape Games, I really loved how difficult and unique the game was. It’s only after unlocking a certain part of the room that you were able to go to the next section. This is much different from ESC-IT and Great Escape where you are literally locked in one room and need to find the final key in order to open up the door to free you and your team. Escape Games was scarier too because there was a loud soundtrack playing in the back that made it sound so threatening and intimidating. It really added to the play experience.
Something else that was different was that after we played the game, we didn’t get invited to take a “fail” or “success” picture. They don’t do Facebook check-in’s here for discounted prices which I find unfortunate because the Facebook check-in’s and pictures really add free advertising to a business like this. Escape Games has only been in business for more than a month now so I figure they’re still working out all the kinks. In any case, I had a lot of fun and loved seeing how this escape room place was like. I’d love to come back to try the other rooms and succeed in escaping from it. 🙂