Real Escape Games – Escape from the Bank

Escape From the Bank is the first large format game we’ve played in Toronto.  The games is hosted by the great team at Real Escape Games with their trademark style of puzzles.  The concept with the large format games is that you are gathered in a large area with different groups (10+ teams of 6 people) and you solve puzzles to escape.  Located at the Great Hall on Queen Street, we walked in and were greeted by staff members in their 1920’s (ish) costumes.  After registration they guided us down to the ‘basement level’ where there were barstools, tables and puzzles ready for us.  10-20 minutes later an intro from the head gamemaster, a short movie played and away we went.

Rooms: 1
Rooms Reviewed: Its a limited time event, we played on April 25, 2015

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

One big difference between this event and previous escapes is that the majority of your puzzles are solved ‘at your table’.  The staff was dressed appropriately for the era, the key clues were decorated as such, but the venue itself was kind of lacking.  For part of the set design they had a vault, but we didn’t get to see it in action (so it could have been nothing at all).  Overall it was hard to be immersed into the experience, (especially when the entire place smelt like burgers on the grill) but again because it was our first large format game it might be that we are being too ‘harsh’ on it.

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

There wasn’t any inventive tech per se, but there were inventive puzzle designs.  No technical issues either, mainly cause all the puzzles were either contained in our start kit or in specific parts of the venue.

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

Escape from the Bank was no exception to REG’s excellent puzzle design.  After speaking to some other escapers one common problem was one particular logical leap.  The general concensus was that if the room had been longer than an hour they would have made that leap.  The hint system has floating gamemasters that will come by and give you hints.  We probably received more than we needed and we still couldn’t get out, but we were close! (which is what I believe is part of the REG experience).

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

The staff at REG was professional. courteous and fun.

The cost was $28 + tax / person.  The other part of this was that because this was a limited time event, we were fighting for tickets on the night of their release.  This price is inline with their other escape rooms however the experience wasn’t as elaborate.

Overall:  Escape from the Bank was a fun experience, but an expensive one.  We think that if we had never experienced Puzzled Pint we would have liked the experience more.  At $28 + tax per person it is pricey but you should try it to judge for yourself.  And if you don’t we’d definitely recommend REG’s Time Travel Lab.

For more information check out:
Black Box Theatre
1087 Queen St W. Toronto