Xscaper Arts – Scarborough

Xscaper Arts’ second location is located in Scarborough just around Sheppard and Midland. After having a great experience on our re-visit of Inception, we were invited to try out their General’s Tomb on grand opening night. The lobby is definitely a little more cramped compared to their Markham location, but Gamemaster Marco assured us that the space went into their rooms, and he did not disappoint.

Rooms: 3
Reviewed rooms: General’s Tomb, Saw

Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level): – Was it inventive ? Did it fit the theme?
Score : 4.0 of 5.0

The General’s Tomb has you navigate through their 9 rooms (yes 9 rooms) to find the General’s sword and escape with it.  The overall room layout feels like a labyrinth and there are definitely enough skeletons and coffins to give it that tomb feel.  We feel that they should have full marks, but miss out on the small details that we’ve seen with other locations (because those places hired professional set designers).  Otherwise it was well put together.

We walked into the Saw room with high expectations because of the movies.  There are some nice design and puzzle related touches that give it the gory and scary feel.  We won’t give it away but there was one technological/design piece that scared some of our group members.  Overall it was good, we wished there was more because of the associations with the movies.

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

Xscaper Arts which is known for their high-tech usage, marriages it well with the General’s Tomb theme.  The gamemasters have worked hard to hide it in very subtle ways that don’t detract from the theme.  It has the perfect balance of that  ‘coolness’ factor while not exploring the abstract for the sake of having cool tech (like having a laser room in a prison).  Our only worry is the potential hazards of using walkie talkie communication for hints, but we didn’t experience any issues on our visit.

Saw has some interesting puzzles that we haven’t experience in other locations.  There are 2 interesting pieces of tech that make the Saw room unique and exciting but again, measuring up to the Saw movies we were expecting some more.  But in terms of a room escape itself, it was pretty well done.

Intuitive (aka Frustration Level):  Was it solvable? or Did you have to be inside the creators mind to solve it?
Score: 4.5 of 5.0

The General’s Tomb feels like an already polished game.  For a grand opening we were expecting flow problems, technical issues and headaches all around, but this wasn’t the case.  The puzzles had good logical flow and definitely kept the entire team (of 5) engaged.  In our trial we were only only supposed to be given 1 hint, but we only used it to confirm our own findings.  Tech-wise we didn’t experience any problems, but I could see that some people might find one of the final puzzles slightly overwhelming (if they don’t pay attention to details).  I would definitely advise that any future players bring a larger team to deal with the multiple puzzles as you make your way through the maze.

Overall we didn’t experience any puzzle related issues with Saw, it was relatively polished, but there was 1 instance of “Too-much-info-not-enough-direction”.  The refreshing part was that they had some unique puzzles that we haven’t come across before, so we hope to see more of these in the next room of their 2.0 location.

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

The staff and Gamemaster Marco were very friendly and accommodating.  They took their time to go over the rules, story and made sure to hear our feedback immediately after.  As we mentioned the lobby is a little smaller than the Markham location, but makes up for it in the General’s Tomb room size.

The current price structure is $25/person, which is mid range compared to some of their competitors in the area.

Overall:  Xscaper Arts – Scarborough (aka Xscaper Arts v2.0) is really the type of business we like to see grow.  From The Lab to Inception to the General’s Tomb, our experiences with them have only been getting better and better.  With new updates to their Markham location on the way, we only have more to look forward to.  As long as Xscaper Arts keeps making rooms we’ll keep escaping them.

Special thanks to Malan and Kayphen/2 for coming along to help us retrieve the General’s Sword.

For more information check out:
25 Glen Watford Dr. Unit 17
Scarborough, ON, M1S 2B7