Mr. Escape

Mr. Escape is located at the North-West corner of Woodbine and John.  A little hard to find as it is in the back of that building complex, but its easy to catch the sign.

Rooms: 5
Reviewed rooms:  Kitchen of Hell, Ancient Egypt

Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level): – Was it inventive ? Did it fit the theme?

Score : 3.0 of 5.0

The set design for the Kitchen of Hell did contain some elements that would remind someone of a kitchen (complete with a fridge and stove) but also some elements also felt out of place.  The room is also partitioned in two parts but with no particular reason other than for the function of the room.

The set design for Ancient Egypt was wallpapered to feel like you were in a pyramid, but looking at the details some of it felt random and out of place for the theme.

Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score: 3.0 of 5.0

Mr. Escape did rely on a number of lockboxes.  Kitchen of Hell’s selling point is that the group is divided to start, but after that everything else is cookie cutter and dull.  The one negative highlight I want to point out was the usage of a Chinese-character-lockbox (which is probably my new nemesis).  Was there anything else note worthy of the room? not really.

Ancient Egypt was a multi-room that used 3 interesting elements, a magnetic lock, an obstacle course (which involved lasers) and what i’ll refer to as a web.  It was definitely an improvement over Kitchen of Hell, but it felt at times that the puzzles or finishing touches were about 80% of where they were supposed to be (switches and buttons left hanging on the wall).  To their credit I noticed that the lasers were properly mounted, (which I hope that someone at Xscaper Arts takes note of) and they actually had warning signs about the lasers too, which makes me concerned that they had the intensity set too high.

Intuitive (aka Frustration Level):  Was it solvable? or Did you have to be inside the creators mind to solve it?
Score: 1.5 of 5.0

I think the bulk of the time spent on Kitchen of Hell was trying to decipher chinese characters.  The staff gave us a hint that the other part of the group would be the key to solving it, but between the few of us you could try to read it, and the others who couldn’t we were puzzled why there was chinese in the puzzle (but it became obvious after, please read above on my new nemesis).  The final puzzle wasn’t working properly as well (or wasn’t set correctly) which set us on a tangent for a while.

They warned us that Ancient Egypt was their hardest room, and we definitely agree it took a lot of brainpower, efforts and hints to get through it.  To start off there is a lot of reading, but all I can say is that reading everything from the start will definitely help you.  The gamemaster starts off saying that not all the clues at the beginning will necessarily be for right away, but a lot of our time was spent wondering what we were supposed to use.  (We didn’t figure out until the end that there was a more efficient way to solve everything).

Were we frustrated? Definitely.  Some of the puzzles were solvable, but only with hints.

Staff Support/Price : Were they friendly? Were they helpful? What was the Damage?
Score: 3.0 of 5.0

The staff was friendly to start.  According to the gamemaster they are planning on changing a few of their rooms at the end of the year , which they have called ‘seasons’.  So the current rooms you see on the website could be different next season. They were prompt when giving us hints, and were also prompt to kick us out.  We also felt rushed going in as they forgot to give us the background story.

The current price is $23.99 , if you check in via facebook they will charge you $19 per person.  However as we were leaving they gave each of us a $10 coupon for our next visit.  The Price is definitely on the higher side of these rooms, and given the quality and experience i can’t say i can justify the price at this time.

Overall:  Mr. Escape seems to fit the norm of these escape rooms in the GTA.  A very standard experience if you want to shell out a few extra dollars.  However because they will be changing some of the rooms at the end of the year, i look forward to seeing improvements, but we’ll probably not jump into their harder rooms.

For more information check out:
7500 Woodbine Ave Unit 108
Markham, ON L3R 1AB