Gamemaster Spotlight – Captive

If there is anyone who loves Escape Rooms more than we do its Gamemasters Marina and Shaun.  In our first chat we probably spent 20 minutes talking about other rooms before trying theirs.  After trying Dracula’s Library and Charlotte we were blown away by the great props and puzzles design.  Captive’s rooms are a product of love for the game and it shows.  We could go on but Gamemaster Shaun tells it better.

IMG_0765 EGR: Simple room? No.. There is more than meets the eye.

Why did you get involved in the Escape Room business?
We got involved because we were overwhelmed by our first escape room experiences. We would talk about them for days as well as what we would do if we were the designers.  We have had very few bad experiences. They seem to be like pizza for us, even when they aren’t great we still really like them. Our team right now is just Marina, myself and our web designer Roman. We have had tremendous help and support  from all our friends and family especially Marina’s parents who if it wasn’t for them, we would be standing in an empty room holding a few hammers with a dumb look on our faces!

IMG_0764EGR: This is how Charlotte starts, and it only gets creepier

What do you think makes your facility standout in the city?
We don’t know or care where we rank or how we stand out . All we know is that almost everyone leaves with a smile on their face. We are shocked at the wide ranging appeal of the product. We host everyone from 13 yr old birthday parties to couples in their 60’s looking to try something new on a Friday night as well as every possible demographic in between.It turns every person into a little kid again ! Escape rooms may have started out in Toronto as a niche entertainment experience but the cat is out of the bag!  If we have one or two elements that we seem to focus on it would be that we be able to provide an amazing experience for beginners, who make up 80% of our clientele, as well as  seasoned gamers. We also attempt to thrust our clients into the environment and the story to the best of our ability as well as  provide a puzzle that is immersive and consistent throughout. There are a lot of incredible escape rooms in Toronto and we are huge fans

IMG_0762EGR:  Happy escapers = good time!.. Ask Shaun for the story behind that kickass staff.

Do you have any Interesting stories about any players/Teams?

hahahahah!  great question   we have had a few  interesting interactions in almost 6 months of being open.

A. A corporate group from a prominent downtown law firm removed the wall paper from every room in “Cabinet of Curiosities” Marina was particularly not impressed!

B. A group of university students from Japan disassembled the furniture in Charlotte with tools that they had brought with them. It was actually awesome.!

C. Our favorite customer, we will call him “Victor” to protect the innocent. He has played Charlotte four times , each time with a different date. We have become his go to first date spot!  Victor looks like a genius to his new friends and we get the repeat customers that are a unicorn in our business.  lol

What are some places people are more likely to visit before/after your rooms?

We fortunately are surrounded by more restaurants and pre or post game bars and pubs than we can count. The restaurant that occupies our first floor the Elm Tree restaurant has a great patio, as well as amazing food and staff. Captive customers also receive a 10% discount on all liquor. Two of the best escape rooms(Trapped! and Roundabout ) in the city are also a two min walk from our front door.

EGR:  They have a separate room to take great group photos like these.  HBD Becca!

Do players have a favourite room?
We have done almost the exact same amount of people through Dracula’s Library and Charlotte and the reaction seems to be very similar as well. 75% of people who play one of them return to play the other. Its almost like chocolate and vanilla some people like Charlotte and some Dracula. It’s also reflected in their performance. Some groups do better in one and some in the other. We have put about 45 groups through Cabinet of Curiosities and we have worked out some major kinks and it seems to be flowing in a way that is even better than we had hoped. It has truly become a team and psychological experiment  built around the premise of an escape room.

IMG_0761EGR:  Gamemaster Shaun, an all-around cool guy. Doesn’t usually wear a Toga

ny other cool or interesting things you want your players/potential players to know?

We want people who are fans of escape rooms or are just curious about this new thing that they have heard people at work talking about to come by, have a coffee and let us lock you up! We will also probably try to talk your ear off about how much we love puzzles and escape rooms until you run out the front door. You’ll be back , you won’t be able to help yourself!


Great people making Great Rooms, is the simplest way I can describe Gamemasters Shaun and Marina.  As long as they are at the helm we will keep visiting!

unnamedEGR:Opening weekend at Captive (and our first teamup with Errol and Manda)

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