Xscape Zone is located in Markham in a new complex that includes a T&T and a condo. My wife (who has been quite the escape room detective lately) discovered them on facebook but had a hardtime confirming their address. Word of mouth also pointed us in their direction, so we booked them for a sunday-night adventure.
Reviewed rooms: Prison Break
Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level): – Was it inventive ? Did it fit the theme?
Score : 1.0 of 5.0
In the first room of Prison Break we were initially impressed and then equally disappointed. You walk in blindfolded and find yourself separated in a prison, the only catch is the prison bars are made of wood. If the theme was meant for a remote-rural-jungle-type prison then that’s perfect, but it gets worse. Members of our team were able to easily squeeze through the bars and make their way out. (Spoiler alert) Without ruining the rest, 2 rooms later there is a laser room, which as mentioned above doesn’t fit any profile.
Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score: 1.0 of 5.0
Old Windows XP Laptop (which froze on us and it was in a mando OS) + Taobao.com lasers = Nothing to mention.
Intuitive (aka Frustration Level): Was it solvable? or Did you have to be inside the creators mind to solve it?
Score: 1.0 of 5.0 (SPOILER ALERTS)
The most frustrating part of the experience was the puzzles. Only one of us actually figured out the puzzle to escape our individual cells. The other members either brute forced it, or asked for multiple clues. According to my brother-in-law, his puzzle required him to know that there is a Disney in Canada (give that one a second thought). There was a colour related puzzle that made us question whether or not we were colour blind. The final room required us to hit a number of switches simultaneously, but it felt it should have been 5 players instead of 4 players. One of us had to channel our inner Yogi to stretch our way to the exit.
Staff Support/Price : Were they friendly? Were they helpful? What was the Damage?
Score: 1.0 of 5.0
The staff was friendly, however they didn’t seem knowledgeable. When we initially booked, the person at the desk acknowledged that we had enough people. When we returned we were greeted by a new person who was our gamemaster of the night. She admitted she had only been working there for a month and brought us to the room. When we asked for a hint, she stuck to her script and couldn’t really go beyond that (which we usually explain everything we know and hopefully get a more informed hint). The final straw was on the laser room which she insisted it was doable with 4 people, but couldn’t demonstrate or explain how it was possible. We don’t think it was any fault on the staff, but the management for not providing proper training or material.
Their current price is $20/person or $25 / person which includes a bubble tea and a snack. This is mid range for the other offerings in Markham.
Overall: There are places that people pour their blood, sweat and tears into and even without polish you can recognize the effort. Then there are places that pour money into a room and hope for the best. We generally try to find the potential in all places, but all we can say to Xscape Zone is good luck.
For more information check out:
8333 Kennedy Road, Unit 1055
Markham ON, L3R 1J5