EGR: Year One
For the “Too Long; Didn’t Read” (tl;dr) version
Thank you for emailing, tweeting and most importantly reading! Its been a fun ride and we are glad to share it with everyone!
Hi everyone I’m Mike (the one that’s squinting really hard) and with my wife Ruby, we began our adventures at ESC-IT in Richmond Hill. I drove by it everyday after work and decided to check it out. Our first room was the Cursed Library and in retrospect it wasn’t a great room, but we had fun. Bringing friends with us only fueled our want to do more. At the time ESC-IT only had 5 rooms, so with the help of Google and an addiction fueling us we found MORE escapes and decided to explore it.
After a few bad rooms we were desperately looking for reviews, opinions or anything. We didn’t find any, so EGR started off as an “Angry-Rant-Page-About-Escape-Rooms” (and sometimes we go back to that format) because we wanted people to know that we had a bad experience at certain places.
At the time we came across EscapistTO who at the time was the only blogger. He showed us the ropes and it was nice to chat with someone who was as enthusiastic as we were. He was always on top of the latest openings and had a hard nose on the ‘broken’ games he came across.
After enough chats we decided to try to find a way to add objectivity into our chaotic reviews, which lead to our current Theme, Tech, Puzzles scoring system. As we did more rooms, more people heard about us and invited us to beta test. It seemed that the rooms were never-ending and we never seemed to catch up.
The part where we thank everyone under the sun
Our photo at REG – Escape From the Time Travel Lab (with Gamemaster Scott)
Credit goes to Tomas Urbina for this photo
We were fortunate to get interviewed by CBC Radio , met the Gaming Guru Scott Nicholson (who also wrote a very detailed white paper on Escape Rooms), and made many great friends along the way: Errol, Manda and Matt from ERA (who have been our partners in crime on many projects like PuzzleHunt, Canadian Caper with the EGT Team and filling the void of doing all the crappy rooms), Will, Jen, Jo, Yuri and the rest of the EGT team (who are all Lawyers!), Mike from Team Undefeated (who taught us how to hack locks… Just kidding.. it might have been the other way around), The Wright Brothers of Escape Reviewer (who gave us advice on our Ottawa Trip), CodeGreen and the girls of E4G (who dominated the Casa Loma Escape), EscapistTO (who we’ve butted heads on more times that I’d like. ) and many more people through emails, tweets, Facebook and everything.
We also want to do a quick shoutout to the tireless work of some great gamemasters who have really put their heart and soul into not only making great rooms, but great experiences: Marina, Shaun, Ken, Ada, Duncan, Peter, Steven, Crystal, Marco, Mark, Ryan, Thomas, Andrew, Kenny, Phil, Jeff, Shawn, Vicky, Mandi, Selina and many more.
A final thanks goes to our EGR team who we yell at in every room, but depend on the most to make sure we go through everything thoroughly and to escape: Team MARDI (my sister and brother-in-law.. who have been there since the beginning), Team KAYPHEN (our ace puzzlers and secret weapon), Team MALAN (longtime friends and also the ones crazy enough to go to Niagara with us) and the rest (Chewy, “-1” and any others I forgot).
Where do we go from here?
Our biggest project coming up is our Canadian Caper Event – A Night at the Speakeasy, which was a fun project Will from EGT suggested and we knew we wanted to be on-board. We are eager to meet more enthusiasts like us and hopefully they can appreciate what we’ve done.
At our last count we did over 120 rooms (before our trips to Ottawa, London and Kitchener.. so we might be closer to 140), which we get alot of emails on recommendations (from players) and advice (from gamemasters) so we hope to find a way get all of that down here on the blog through a series of helpful posts.
We also plan to make a trip or two over the border (We’ve heard alot of great things about 5 Wits)
Most Importantly …
Thank you for emailing, tweeting and most importantly reading! Its been a fun ride and we are glad to share it with everyone! The first time we saw our daily hits reach the 500 mark, we were shocked that people actually read our stuff.. so whether you are a 14-year old kid clicking on ‘refresh’ or artificial hits from a server farm in China (or the unlikely case of actual readers)..
Thank you! We hope you keep following us.
As always.. Happy Escaping!
Mike From the EGR Team.