Casa Loma Escape Series – King of the Bootleggers
King of the Bootleggers is located on the eastern tower entrance at Casa Loma (which was surprisingly hard to find at night). We had booked this room months in advance with 12 tickets for our team. The game is meant to be played with 16 people, but the 4 other players accidentally booked the wrong game (according to the GM).
The GM reassured us that we wouldn’t need the other 4, and that the actors would help us. We were brought in for a brief intro video, guided through the tunnels and finally brought to the speakeasy.
Just like Escape from the Tower we were introduced to one of the main actors from the get-go.
Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level): – Was it inventive ? Did it fit the theme?
Score : 5.0 of 5.0
The set design is brilliant and the actors help highlight the era of the theme. Our team was broken into 3 groups and each room was equally impressive with the decor that fit the function of the room. This is definitely something unique to see if you appreciate good set design (my personal favourite was the distillery room).
Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score: 3.0 of 5.0
One thing that was more obvious this time around (vs the Tower) was the lack of actual tech. There were interesting story elements in each of the rooms, that were manually triggered by the actors once we reached a certain objective (and sometimes too soon). For example in the distillery once 2 of the 3 objects were on the appropriate place, the actor triggered the story element before the last component was in place. Our other teams reported similar stories in the other rooms.
In a tech lover’s point of view, this was a bit disappointing, however if you can ignore it and experience it in a theatrical point of view, it was entertaining.
Intuitive (aka Frustration Level): Did you have to be in the designers mind to escape?
Score: 3.0 of 5.0
You could tell this was a trademark Company & Co game (the company that produces the puzzles for the Casa Loma escapes, and launches the REG games). Each of the rooms start off in an open-concept format with quite a number of puzzles to solve.
Our 3 groups had a mix of experienced and new players. The experienced players didn’t have many issues with the puzzles, however without the help of the actors the new players struggled.
The puzzles did tie in nicely with the overall theme, however in the final act of the room, the room got chaotic with 10 minutes left to solve the last puzzle. This pretty much fits the bill of all their games, however if we had another 10 minutes, or more direction we probably could have escaped.
Another quirk we noticed was there was at least 1 puzzles that required you to ‘brute force’ (meaning to guess and check) the answer. In general we don’t like puzzles like this, especially when there are so many to solve and less than the expected number of hands.
Staff Support/Price : Were they friendly? Were they helpful? What was the Damage?
The staff was friendly and the actors did a phenomenal job.
The price is $36 / person for weeknight and $42 / person on weekend (plus tax). This is by far the most expensive escape in the city.
Overall: King of the Bootleggers is an interesting take on the speakeasy theme, with brilliant actors and great set design. However the cost is pretty high for a somewhat frustrating room.
For more information check out:
1 Austin Terrace,
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