The Hour

The Hour is located in the heart of downtown St. Catharines.  When we walked onto the 4th floor we noticed a huge hallway where they had a chalkboard showing messages from previous players.  We walked further inside and were greeted by Gamemasters Selina and Marcy.  They told us that they were big fans of Adventure games growing up as kids and decided to start up a business.  They first were looking at spots in Niagara but instead decided to take part of the now blooming downtown St. Catharines.

Rooms: 2, soon to be 3
Reviewed Room: Emma’s Disappearance, Prison Break

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

Score : 5.0 of 5.0

Playing through their rooms felt like playing through a real-life adventure game.  Elements didn’t feel out of place, but it was obvious where certain elements needed to go.  There wasn’t any furniture that was out of place and definitely no dollar-store items.  They even had a metal door for the prison, so that definitely ranks it up there as one of the better prison themes we have done.

Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score:  4.0 of to 5.0

The rooms were well designed and really didn’t need any fancy tech.  However the majority of the rooms had lockboxes, with the upside that none of the same type of lock were overused.  The hints were given over walkie-talkie but fortunately we didn’t experience any technical issues

Score breakdown

Inventive Tech  – 1.5 (out of 2.5) – mainly lockboxes, but there were some fun pieces as well
Technical/Safety Issues – 2.5 (out of 2.5)  – no technical 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

Both rooms do a great job on keeping the game linear.  There are many visual clues in Prison Break that lead you from one part to the next.  Emma’s Disappearance required strong observational skills so we were fortunate to have that team with us. Overall the Hour has polished puzzle design, which in the GTA is actually a rare occurrence.  The Hint system was straightforward (call via walkie talkie for unlimited hints), however because the puzzles were clear we didn’t need any hints.

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

Marcy and Selina were great hosts and very friendly.  Its always a pleasure to meet real enthusiasts and it really showed in their games.  The current price is $20 per person.  Which a very reasonable price for the 60 min experience.

Overall: For our first out of town experience The Hour really set the bar high with their polished and more importantly FUN games.  They’ll be releasing a new theme in the near future which has us very excited.  So if you’re passing through St. Catharines don’t hesitate to pop by The Hour
4 Queen St, 4th Floor
St. Catharines , ON