June 23

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Freeing Canada – Unmask

Freeing Canada is located in Richmond Hill between Major Mackenzie and 16th Ave, on top of a T&T Supermarket.  Freeing Canada is a franchise that has locations all over Asia and also in Richmond, BC.  We were anxious to see if they would be the next Omescape, or (on the other side of the scale) the next Lost Canada.  We teamed up with ERA’s Errol and Manda (you can catch their review here: ERA’s Unmask review ) and EGR’s Team Malan.  We walked up the stairs and noticed the stylized graffiti on the wall and it lead to a large and impressive lobby.  We were greeted by Gamemasters Ken and Ada (a Husband and Wife duo) who checked us in and brought us to one of their most difficult rooms Unmask.

*Sidenote – we did Unmask on opening day so its possible there may have been some changes.

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

Unmask starts you off in a library/study which the set and props sell the story well, albeit being a bit small for 6 people.  As the story/room progresses the tone shifts significantly and there were a few things that caught us off guard (which is rare after seeing so many of the same tricks).  At the end of the day, the props felt real, solid and you can tell there was significant effort put into the construction (which we found out later Gamemaster Ken put everything together himself).

Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score:  4.5 of 5.0

Unmask didn’t have much tech, but used it in ways that helped the theming.  Freeing does an awesome job of hiding components where in other venues similar components would be flimsy or rigid.  At one point we actually missed one of these components and Errol picked up a stray prop and knocked on the trap door (which released itself and gave us the clue).  The proper way to do it was to find a switch, which we missed (if you’d like the dramatic retelling of this story please email us).  We also had a minor issue with one component, but with a quick knock on the component it seemed to fix itself.  To be fair these were probably opening day hiccups so it wasn’t a big concern.

Intuitive
(aka Frustration Level):  Was it solvable? or Did you have to be inside the creators mind to solve it?
Score:  3.5 of 5.0

For the most part the puzzles in the Unmask were fun.  In the first half of the room there was a puzzle that required assumed knowledge.  However assuming you had all the required parts you could guessed the answer with a 1 in 6 chance of getting it right.  There was also a slight opening day hiccup that kind of lead us on a tangent, but once that was corrected we were back on track.  A few times there were also cases of too-much-info-not-enough-direction where we didn’t know if a code should be used on one of many locks.

The hint system uses the doorbell system where the gamemasters come into the room to give you hints, which we had no issues with.

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

Gamemasters Ada and Ken definitely have a passion for this.  Ken is very proud of his work, which he has put together a very solid room.  Ada was very humble and accommodating, she was very eager to hear any feedback to the room.  Together Ada and Ken make a great team and we hope they continue to make great rooms.

The price is $28 / person but is offering a 25% discount if you LIKE them on facebook (until August).  We were fortunate to also get a 50% discount after playing on opening day.

Overall:  Freeing Canada Toronto is a breath of fresh air for Richmond Hill (my hometown).  Keep in mind our review reflects an Opening Day room, which with any other company has never been perfect.  We look forward to revisiting Freeing Canada to what else Ken and Ada have cooked up.

For more information check out:

http://freeingcanada.com/
9625 Yonge street, 2F,
Richmond Hill, ON, L4C 5T2
647.800.7622

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