Billiard Room Murder: A billiard room. A crime scene. As detectives we had to solve the murder and close the case.
Treble in the Studio: A rival band locked us in the studio in an effort to prevent us from competing in the music competition. We had to use our musical skills to find our way out.
Pros: The storylines and sets at Escape Zone are truly immersive. I actually felt like a musician (a very bad, high school band geek) trapped in the music studio. Unfortunately, my lack of musical knowledge was below high school level and I found myself of no use in solving the puzzles. Luckily the team picked up the slack and saved the day with their musical abilities. Our detective skills came in handy in the Billiard Room, where (with all group members now contributing equally) we rapidly moved through the puzzles. In both rooms, the puzzles were logical and scaled in complexity. We needed no hints even as we struggled on a few puzzles.
Cons: One or two puzzles could be refined for clarity. But overall the game flow of both rooms was excellent.
The Red Market: Kidnapped and locked away in a cell, we had to find a way out before we found ourselves under the surgeon's knife and the victim of an international organ harvesting syndicate.
Pros: The waiting room at No Way Out was top-notch: comfortable, fun and inviting. We mention this because it is not always the case in most escape rooms and we always appreciate a good waiting room when we encounter one (especially if we have to wait before our game). The staff was likewise welcoming, greeting us warmly and immediately prepping us for our game (alas, also often an anomaly). Once we were prepped and ready, we entered the room and immediately embarked on our escape room adventure. The eerie sound effects, set, and props helped set the mood (a frightened mood). This motivated us to work fast to get out of the room. We moved through the puzzles, all appropriate to the theme, somewhat rapidly. The game moderators helped when we found ourselves completely stuck. The game became more intense as it proceeded. We responded by increasing the pace of our puzzle-solving abilities. We breathed a huge sigh of relief when we successfully escaped, grateful to escape with our organs intact.
Cons: There are a few puzzles that require breaking the rules of the typical escape room. This was not a problem for us, but we do worry that it may encourage such behavior in other escape rooms where the consequences could be dangerous for players. We recommend they change the puzzle for the safety of customers attending other rooms in the future.
We really loved our experience at No Way Out and will be back hopefully in the future to play additional games. We are especially looking forward to playing Catnip. Hope to make it back to Toronto soon!
Graveyard Shift: Trapped in a cemetery, we had to find the key and let ourselves out before the stroke of midnight.
Pros: We love puzzles and escape rooms and this was an escape room with puzzles. The theme was original and definitely had a storyline we had never heard before. The gamemaster was extremely helpful, coming into the room on nearly every puzzle to explain the logic to us and in the end, when we failed, she patiently walked us through the logic of the room.
Cons: Nearly every single puzzle had a major logical fallacy or issue with its execution. Many of the puzzles just did not make sense to even the most seasoned of players and could not be solved without either a lucky guess or help from the gamemaster. The set was basic. The props cheap and hokey (definition: noticeably contrived). The locks worn-out and in need of replacing.
Overall we cannot recommend playing at Xtreme Escape Adventures. The greater Toronto area and Mississauga has so many GREAT escape rooms. We recommend you spend your money and time elsewhere.
The Mutagen Effect: While visiting a mysterious island where a company is taming wild animals, we were bitten and poisoned by a wild animal. We had to find the antidote in time.
Pros: De Code Adventures was kind enough to accommodate our last minute request to play one of their games. They had several choices of games to play and we wished we had time to play more. We really enjoyed the Mutagen Effect from the moment the introductory video told us the story of the mysterious island. The set was decorated to theme and helped keep the storyline consistent as we played through the multiple rooms. We struggled with the first puzzle and were off to a rather late start. We made up for lost time as the game progressed and successfully finished before time was up. Some physicality and communication difficulties caused some struggles that could have been mitigated with the help of at least one additional player. We definitely recommend taking a team of 4 to play this room. The puzzles flowed mostly logically and were uniquely specific to this room.
Cons: We felt that the puzzles could have been better scaled to improve game flow. We found each puzzle to be multi-leveled and quite complex. This is definitely a game recommended for experienced players.
We really loved playing at De Code Adventures and hope to be back again to play the rest of their rooms in the future.
Gold Rush: The lucky loonie was missing and we had to locate it somewhere within the Canadian Hockey team's locker room.
Moonshine Mile: A hidden speakeasy hid the secret to who had poisoned our race horse and was running an illegal operation. We had to discover the culprit and put an end to the illegal shenanigans.
Shortly after arriving in Toronto we arrived at the steps of Mysterious Minds in downtown Toronto. We were anxious to feed our escape room addiction right away. The gamemaster warmly greeted us and quickly led us into our first room. We began by playing the horserace-themed Moonshine Mile. Then moved to the Gold Rush room where our search for the lucky loonie led us to a hockey-themed room that was perfect for a trip to Canada. Although both of the rooms were small, the sets were nicely decorated to help create a sense of immersion in line with the room themes. The puzzle lines were mostly linear and aligned to theme. The puzzles were so logical that we didn't need any hints to get us through either game. We successfully escaped with plenty of time to spare. The puzzles were challenging but not too challenging. Definitely a good escape room for newbies and experts alike.
Last Stop Hotel: Paranormal activity in a haunted hotel room. What else do we have to say? We had to solve the mystery and get out!
Pros: The set was a basic, single room set-up which in some ways made for faster game play. The puzzles flowed quite logically and were relatively simple single step puzzles. The puzzles were not aligned to the theme or storyline. We flowed through the game quite rapidly coming within seconds of breaking the record. While this always makes us feel especially accomplished, we felt that the room could be slightly improved to add additional challenge for more experienced players. The game masters were very kind and fun with infectious enthusiasm that helped us feel amazing at the end of our game.
Cons: The set design and storyline bored us. Aligning the puzzles to the theme or scaling the puzzles a bit more could help improve the quality of the game play.
We definitely recommend this particular game for escape room beginners due to its simplicity of design and smooth game flow. Experienced players may wish to play a more challenging game. Perhaps the other games at Escape the House would provide more of a challenge.
Diamond Heist: A 250-carat diamond is the prize. All we had to do was break into the auction house and steal it.
Pros: The set immediately immersed us in the storyline and drew us into the game. The technology heightened our experience. We had a great time in this room navigating the physical and mental challenges. The puzzles were all cleverly designed and challenged us in new ways. We enjoyed solving each puzzle and in the end narrowly escaped with the diamond!
Cons: A few mechanical difficulties hindered our progress but the game masters quickly intervened and moved us right along.
Overall a big thumbs up for Trapped. We wish we had time to play more of their games!
The Ward: Stricken with mental illness, we had less than an hour to locate the pill to restore our sanity.
Pros: The game master was very kind and accommodating. She assisted us with our requests for hints even when the answer turned out to be quite obvious. We were having an off day and asked for hints twice on puzzles we should have easily been able to solve. In both cases, we simply overlooked the obvious. We appreciated the very logical and linear puzzle design. Quite challenging and solvable for two people even though a third person could have helped us.
Cons: Extremely simplistic set design that deluded us into underestimating the complexity of the room.
We recommend PanI.Q. for a simple and fun room escape experience. We will visit again next time we happen to be in Mississauga.
Framed: We had been framed for the murder of a cop friend. Our goal was to break out of prison and prove our innocence.
Pros: The puzzles here were easy to solve and left us feeling overly confident in our abilities. The game masters were nearly completely hands-off which we generally prefer since we like to be free to do our own thing. We also enjoyed the photo booth upon the completion of the game.
Cons: The set design was very simple but nothing to write home about. The puzzles were easy and consisted mostly of finding items rather than solving complex puzzles. Flimsy materials and illegible writing made some nearly impossible to figure out. We eventually muddled our way through it and still escaped in record time. We walked out the door only to be greeted by silence and an empty hallway. We wandered into the photo booth and let ourselves out. Fanfare is clearly not their thing. We walked out feeling cheated and wanted our money and time back. This was our least favorite room in Toronto. We recommend you skip it and enjoy some of the AMAZING escape rooms down the road.
Red Room: Red walls. No doors. That is all.
Pros: This room was definitely quite creative with some real "out of the box" thinking required to successfully escape.
Cons: This room was typical of what we have come to expect from playing Real Escape Games (SCRAP) and their affiliates. They break many of the rules of conventional escape rooms. While presenting a good challenge, this is not always a good thing. Don't use excessive force. Don't climb on things. Don't touch things that say "don't touch." Don't mess with electrical outlets. All of those rules go out the window here. Puzzles are rarely logical and typically overly convoluted. Their goal seems to be to make it impossible for you to escape at all and then to make it appear like it was all your fault in the end (instead of poor puzzle design). A less than 1% escape rate means that you need to seriously reflect on what is wrong with your room. If this was our first time playing an escape game we might have attributed our failure to our inexperience. But after 150 escape games we can truly say: don't waste your time or money on Real Escape Games or their affiliates.
Lost and Found in Chinatown: As a scientist in a memory lab we find ourselves suddenly pulled into a complicated mystery where we have lost all of our memories. Retracing our steps is key.
Pros: We liked the idea, in theory, of combining a scavenger hunt with an escape room. This could work well if executed correctly.
Cons: See all of our comments above for the escape room portion of the experience. The scavenger hunt was way too simplistic and added little to the experience. We would stick with escape rooms if we were them. But then again their escape rooms are not good at all. So maybe just don't. Just don't.
Please note: We have heard that their Casa Loma escape games have rave reviews. These were all booked so we could not check them out. We recommend you judge for yourself. But no guarantees based on the above. Location isn't everything.
Cover photo taken at Countdown Live .
We are escape room fanatics who have played over 370 games in the U.S. and Europe. We love the art of escapology and we wanted to share our adventures in playing room escapes with you!
Rooms Played: 370