January 16

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Seven Rooms

Seven Rooms is located on the edge of Markham in a commercial area.  They are one of the new entries into the Markham area since November.  The interesting thing is that they also promote Bubble Tea, Mahjong and a sneaker display (imagine a small corner of the building dedicated to just showing shiny sneakers).

When we walked in, within a minute or two they walked us into the room (with a vague story, no instructions) said good luck and left us in their room.Rooms: 3
Reviewed rooms: SAW

Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level): – Was it inventive ? Did it fit the theme?
Score : 1.5 of 5.0  MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

When we think of SAW we think of inventive traps, interesting backstory and gory designs.  This SAW missed the mark on all of those.  The backstory was weak, the only thing gory about it was the dollar store props and  the only thing close to inventive was a laser room (which our team argued whether or not it would be a suitable SAW trap).

Score breakdown

Set Design/Theming – 0.5 (out of 2.5) – Only one room somewhat had that SAW feel, but many of props and tech felt out of place or lacked the quality that we’ve come to expect.  It was a mixture of a haunted house meeting an obstacle course with a carnival game or two thrown in for good measure.

Effort / Polish  – 1.0 (out of 2.5) – There was some effort in constructing to make the rooms feel different and unique.  We didn’t notice any hanging wires, but the overall experience felt messy and roughly constructed.


Bells and Whistles:
Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score: 2.5 of 5.0

SAW had some Taobao.com tech (such as the infamous Taobao.com lasers) and 1 or 2 interesting custom built puzzles.  The custom puzzles were simple in design, but added a fun element to the room.  We feel that if their room contained more of these elements SAW would have been more successful.

Score breakdown
Inventive Tech  – 2.5 (out of 2.5) – Had some custom elements, and if we were first time escapers the laser room would be equally impressive.

Technical/Safety Issues – 0 (out of 2.5) – There were 3 instances where we questioned the safety of the room.  The first was attaching some loose wires into a ‘generator’.  After running the generator for a short period of time the wires flew out, which my engineering friend and I agreed that this could have been implemented better.  The second was the lack of “do not touch” signs and stickers that caused another player to burn their hand on a fog machine.  The third was a “path” that was open to take, but as one of our players made it halfway through we were told that this wasn’t allowed, but again no indications otherwise.  3 strikes and you’re out!

Intuitive (aka Frustration Level):  Was it solvable? or Did you have to be inside the creators mind to solve it?
Score: 4.0 of 5.0

SAW’s puzzles were mostly straight forward.  The puzzles focused on observational skills and some logical puzzles.  There was some confusion when multiple puzzles made references to similar items, so we needed a hint to clarify this.

Score breakdown

Logical Leaps – 2.0 (out of 2.0) – For the most part the tech and puzzles made sense and we were able to tackle the puzzles one by one.

Puzzle-Flow – 1.5 (out of 2.0) – They reused some symbols in the room which put us on the wrong train of thought before we realized it was a different puzzle entirely.

Hint System – 0.5 (out of 1.0) – Our only point of contact was to wave at the cameras, which would prompt the gamemaster to pop in.  There were 2 other cases where the gamemaster suddenly appeared to tell us something was out of bounds or explain the rules (like when we went into the laser room).  The hints themselves were very vague but they did eventually lead us to the clues.


Staff Support/Price :
Were they friendly? Were they helpful? What was the Damage?
Score: 2.5 of 5.0

Staff – 1.5 (out of 2.5) –  The staff was courteous and polite.  They didn’t speak much english so they tried to communicate as best they could.  We don’t know if this may have been the reason for the lack of instructions at the beginning (or maybe it was their lack of experience) but if this had been handled properly we might have avoided a lot of our problems.

Price – 1.0 (out of 2.5) -The current price $25 per person (plus tax) and $20 per person for their “7 Deadly Signs room”. For this SAW experience we felt this was overpriced.

Overall: Seven Rooms has the space and tech to make a great room, but between Bubble Tea, Mahjong and Sneakers, we think somewhere along the way the polish got used somewhere else.

For more information check out:
http://www.7room.ca/
684 Denison St.
Markham, ON L3R 1C1
905-604-8771

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