Captive is located in Downtown Toronto right near one or our favorites Trapped! , near Yonge and Dundas (on Elm St.).  When we were driving by, we were trying to find street parking but should have known better and found a lot on Bay St.  Walking up to Captive you can see the sign on the wall and walking in you immediately notice the bright red door.  We were greeted by Shaun and Marina who are very passionate about escaping.  As we talked more with them we found they really understood the intricacies and difficulties of getting the right combination of theming and puzzles, because they are still going out there to try other escapes.

This time around we teamed up with our friends at Escape Room Addict.  Manda who joined us in iEscaped’s Defuse and Errol who was sporting a new Totoro hoodie and smile to match (if you’ve seen “My Neighbor Totoro” you’ll know what i mean).  To sum up the experience the combined ERA/EGR “Team Mashup” not only beat two records, but also managed not to kill each other (which i would say sets us up for a future team-up).  You can read Errol and Manda’s reviews on Dracula’s Library and Charlotte.

On to the review!

Rooms: 2, soon to be 4
Reviewed Room: Charlotte, Dracula’s Library

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

Immersive pretty much sums up the Captive experience.  The attention to detail that Shaun and Marina put into things like the furniture, the props and even to the padlocks show the research and money they spent on their rooms.  In short, dollar store items and hanging wires weren’t an issues here.  Dracula’s Library contained many interesting components, one of which Errol was very fixated on.  Charlotte was a very fitting experience because they utilized an old attic that seemed to fit the murder mystery theme very well.  We all agreed that to date it was the best vampire theme room.  I would also extend to say that Charlotte was one of the most haunting rooms EGR has done, without any elaborate tech.

Score breakdown

Set Design/Theming – 2.5 (out of 2.5) – Large and small props didn’t feel out of place, especially for Charlotte they made use of their real estate.

Effort / Polish  – 2.5 (out of 2.5) – Clean design, no dollar store items in sight.

Bells and Whistles:
Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score: 4.5 of 5.0 for Dracula’s Library ;  3.5 of 5.0 for Charlotte

So here’s the part of the review that I struggle a little bit with.  Given the theme, there was definitely no expectation to have a laser grid array or brightly coloured buttons.  Dracula’s Library does a better job of being creative and having fun puzzles that are more immersive of the experience.  Charlotte on the other hand was beautiful and utilized more observational based skills, but we wish it was a little more like Dracula’s Library in the ‘fun’ department.  To be fair it actually fit the theme of a murder mystery well and finished off strong in this category.

Score breakdown

Inventive Tech  – 2.5 (out of 2.5) for Dracula’s Library and 1.0 (out of 2.5) for Charlotte.

Technical/Safety Issues – 2.0 (out of 2.5) for Dracula’s Library and 2.5 (out of 2.5) for Charlotte. –  No issues at all with Charlotte.  There was one particular component in Dracula’s Library that we suggested they put a little elbow grease into, but otherwise no other issues.

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

Captive did a great job with their puzzles, especially for their opening week.  None of us felt they were overly difficult or too simple in that we understood them in a first glance.  To be fair though we had Errol, Manda and EGR’s Team Kayphen, so it may have been overkill to start out with.  Dracula’s Library focused more on analytical skills whereas Charlotte was more focused on observational skills, and both were fun.  We actually didn’t use a hint on either room, but they had your standard door-bell system.

Score breakdown

Logical Leaps – 2.0 (out of 2.0) – Straightforward, no problems solving the puzzles.

Puzzle-Flow – 2.0 (out of 2.0) – The games were fairly linear and it was clear where to jump from and to.

Hint System – 1.0 (out of 1.0) – We actually didn’t use a hint on either room, but they had your standard door-bell system.

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

Staff – 2.5 (out of 2.5) – Marina and Shaun were great.  They were accommodating and friendly.

Price – 2.5 (out of 2.5) -The current price is $27 per person.  You can get a $5 discount if you check in on facebook and at $22 per person, its a reasonable cost for a similar experience in the downtown core.

Overall: Captive was a great experience.  Fun and Immersive without any fancy tech.  What’s even better is what they have planned for their next room, which we will definitely be revisiting.

For more information check out:
43 Elm St. Suite 200
Toronto, ON