11 Progress Ave, Unit 2
Toronto, ON M1P 4S7
Cross Street: Kennedy Rd. and Ellesmere Ave.
Rooms: 3 Themes
Group Size: 3-6
Game Time: 60 minutes
Phone number: 647-350-0188
Triango has been opened for about a month and a half now. I had been meaning to go for a while, but their rooms curiously have a minimum of 3 people, and my spur-of-the-moment room escape partner had to find a third. Our newest member of the Scarborough team had never been to a room escape, and hopefully our experience hasn’t traumatized her from ever doing another.
I love time travel as a theme, but the Castle was what they had available. From the get-go, I suspected it would likely be a hi-tech room, just from the facebook pictures, and it was. Technology is really a double edged sword. When it works, it’s great. It’s instantly impressive! However, there’s an increased chance that some part of the technology won’t work. Just this week, I ended up going back to Mr. Escape to try their Stringer Requiem room, and we had CD player break down. That’s not even particularly hi-tech and it really soured the experience. Anyhow, the Castle indeed did use technology, and it did have parts that weren’t working as intended.
The second thing I wanted to write about actually was safety. I don’t know building codes or fire regulations, and sometimes I see things at room escape locations that make me wonder if its allowed. There was a curiously strong laser in one room. In another room, I guess without spoiling it, had a feature that would be safe if you used it correctly. I definitely don’t think that’s something a business should count on though, and these room escape places should strive to be as idiot-proof (in terms of safety) as possible.
It all started out fine, and it seemed like a regular room escape place. My experience devolved as I began to understand some of their design choices. I’ve written before that I loathe unintentional red herrings, but that wasn’t what was going on here. They had intentional red herrings! Intentional red herrings are generally okay, and it’s often a by-product of room decor anyways. Most rooms have some intentional red herrings. However, in this case, my group had to solve a puzzle to UNLOCK a red herring. On top of that, the red herring looped forever, and there was no indication at all that it was even a red herring.
Excuse my crappy MS Paint drawing. So I’m used to Diagram 1, for intentional red herrings. They put in a time trap in there, but you ultimately realize that this is not relevant, and it’s time to move on! Diagram 2 would still be acceptable. It wastes more of your time, and usually it’s something that players can avoid if they’re attentive and on the ball. What we ended up with was Diagram 3. The red herring loop has no indication that its a red herring. In fact, it actually rewards inattentive players, because if you walked into the room and didn’t even notice the existence of puzzle A, you would actually be better off. It feels like a violation of some unspoken gaming convention to reward players for what would normally be considered bad play.
That was pretty irritating. I thought maybe I misunderstood something, or that maybe something was lost in the translation. However, this design choice was intentional. At a later room, we found a hidden magnetic object. In a hi-tech place, magnets are usually used to activate something. However, it was actually an unnecessary broken part of a puzzle that they decided to just hide somewhere in the room. Why not just remove the object? Just to throw in more fun red herrings, that you couldn’t possibly know are red herrings.
Rooms visited: The Castle
Theming: Very basic, and almost non-existent. It really just feels like a room filled with puzzles.
Puzzle Design: Poor. The overall design with the red herrings was new to me, and something I hated. There were other puzzles that I strongly disliked, but didn’t mention because of the spoiler-ish nature of explaining them in any way. A commonality to all these aspects I disliked is that you couldn’t possibly give the correct answer unless you already knew it. There really isn’t anything to figure out and that’s unfair difficulty.
Customer Service: Acceptable.
Would I go back? Most probably not. It seems like it would be an exercise in futility and frustration.Then again, I guess I’m going to eventually run out of rooms and places to go, and I might head back like a crack addict looking for a fix.