Hidden Trail – Cherry Meadow Asylum

We are lucky to have Noelle (from the Skeleton Keys) write for us, who is equal parts escape room rockstar and connoisseur. Here is Noelle’s review on one of Windsor’s newest escape.

One of the things I was most concerned about regarding my move from Toronto to Windsor was the distinct lack of escape rooms. It seems that my daily sacrifices to the Escape Gods have paid off, however, as two different facilities have opened up in the city! Hidden Trail was the first one I assembled a team for.

Before our escape experience even began, we had superb customer service from the owner. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get my team count up to the required six, and I was told they would be willing to accommodate if I came with four. When they noticed I made my booking, they sent me a follow up message to ask about my group size. We ended up climbing to six in the end, but I thought this was a nice touch that shows a genuine concern for participant experience.

Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level):
 Was it inventive? Did it fit the theme?
Score: 4.0 of 5.0

The room was called Cherry Meadow Asylum. Before being led to the room, we watched an unsettling introduction video that alluded to the background history of the asylum. I’m a sucker for a good intro video, and this one was a nice touch!

The team is split into two rooms and must work together in order to escape. My half worked in a dark, desolated room with madman writings on the wall. The other group had a clinically stark white room decorated with creepy dolls. They thought we had the “better” room, but I personally enjoyed that the rooms were in stark contrast of each other.

Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the room?
Score: 3.5 of 5.0

I will defend an immersive low-tech room any day of the week over a room that tries too hard to impress with tech. The room was outfitted with standard number and key locks, as anything else would have been sorely out of place. I was told at the end that we had somehow managed to bypass one piece of tech that hadn’t worked correctly, which none of us had even realized! There are some fun puzzle moments and the room does a great job of keeping things engaging throughout.

Intuitive (aka Frustration Level): Was it solvable? Did you have to be inside the creator’s mind to solve it?
Score: 4.5 of 5.0

This is definitely a more challenging room. New escapers should still give it a shot though, as I had a team consisting entirely of first timers and they all had a great time! There was one puzzle toward the end that we felt had a potential red herring (we all fell victim to it), but the actual solution made perfect sense once we figured it out.
The current hint system involves knocking on the door and asking for a clue. The walls are thin so this wasn’t too bad, but I think they could benefit from either a buzzer or a walkie-talkie. The whole group gets two clues, but if one half asks for a clue, the other half gets one as well.

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

Our Gamemaster was enthusiastic, passionate about escapes, and helpful when it came to clues. Our team managed to bypass a few puzzle parts and he was concise in pointing out what we no longer needed to pay attention to in the room. I also shattered glass/an integral puzzle component on the floor and he was quick about cleaning it up and still making sure we had the information we needed to solve the puzzle.

The weekday price is $20 per person, the weekend price is $25 per person. They are currently running a promotion where if you follow them on Facebook, you receive a $2 discount.

Overall: Hidden Trail was a great foray into Windsor Escape Rooms. Our Gamemaster mentioned they’re hoping that their current location is temporary, as they would like to expand to four or five rooms. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.

For more information, check out:

1664 Tecumseh Road East
Windsor, Ontario