Escape Key – Emerald Alert
Escape Key is located in a commercial complex in Brantford. It was our final room on our Hamilton/Brantford trip. The interesting thing with Escape Key is that there were two puzzle paths. The first was related to the main story which we would need to escape, the second was for extra points (which at the end they tally up for the leaderboard).
Creativity and Design (aka its Fancy level): – Was it inventive ? Did it fit the theme?
Score : 4.5 of 5.0
At a first glance, the room wasn’t impressive. When we took a second look around, we noticed nice little details that helped add some order to the chaos of the room. From the overall picture though, the room told an interesting story that has a nice progression. The room could have used more polish on some areas, but overall it was well done.
Bells and Whistles: Was it just lockboxes throughout the Room?
Score: 4.0 of 5.0
There was some very interesting low and high tech solutions in the room. The designers also used a system of pulleys in creative ways that felt very robust and fun. One puzzle uses tech in a very (classic) boardgame-ish method that works well for the story. I would have liked to rated this higher, but we had an issue with this component on a reset. Otherwise in the room there are some more traditional forms of tech that also work well. Overall tech lovers might have some fun with this room.
Intuitive (aka Frustration Level): Did you have to be in the designers mind to escape?
Score: 4.0 of 5.0
The puzzles for the main escape were mostly straightforward and challenging. We wished there was more direction on which puzzles were related to the main escape and which were related to the secondary objectives. The secondary objectives were largely task-based puzzles, some of which were more difficult to put together.. but again they weren’t required to escape. There was also a wall of red herrings which threw us off, but after moving on we had no issues.
The hint system involved communicating with the GM via an ingame (wall mounted) tablet. We had no issues with it.
Staff Support/Price : Were they friendly? Were they helpful? What was the Damage?
The staff at Escape Key were friendly and great to chat with.
The price $25.00 / person which is comparable with their nearest neighbours.
Overall: Escape Key’s Emerald Alert is a diamond in the rough. It had the right amount of (high and low) tech elements that support a fun and engaging room. We would definitely recommend it if you are passing by Brantford, or are looking for something fun to do.
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