LockQuest (Escape the Book Club Killer)

Room(s) visited Escape the Book Club Killer
Decor You’re in a serial killer’s apartment. The decor looks appropriately like an apartment, with subtler creepy parts to the game.
Theming Good. One of the best I’ve done so far
Puzzle Design Good
Customer    Service
Great!
Overall I’m a fan of this room. The inclusion of Easter Eggs is something that’s unique, and that I wish other places would do as well. I think the more subtle ‘serial killer’ partsof the decor are a nice touch for those paying attention.

LockQuest
1204a Yonge Street (Directly across from Summerhill subway station)
Toronto, ON, Canada M4T 1W1
Rooms: 1
Group Size: 2-12 (Escape From the Book Club Killer)
Game Time: 60 minutes
Price: $28.00/Player
Site:  http://lockquest.com/
Phone Number: 416-256-3045

When I consider escape rooms as a whole, I divide them into three classifications:

  • The 45 minute rooms – They tend to be smaller rooms, with less room capacity and a cheaper price to match.
  • The 60 minute rooms – They tend to be bigger. They can comprise of multiple rooms, so it would probably make more sense to call them themes. They tend to be more expensive than the 45 minute rooms, though there are plenty that break that rule.
  • The 60 minute ‘corporate’ rooms – Although the time limit is the same, these rooms tend to be bigger with higher room capacity. Their larger capacity makes them more appropriate for team-outings at work, although you can still sign up with friends. If your time slot isn’t filled up, strangers can sign up for the remaining time slots. They tend to be the priciest (although not per minute), but also have hired staff on hand.

LockQuest falls under the last classification. There are really 3 other examples in this category: Real Escape Room Volume 1 and 2, and Room Escape Adventures (with the zombie).

I’ve only been to Real Escape Room Vol 1 so far. I’m visiting Volume 2 at the end of the week. LockQuest was a better experience than Vol 1 in most regards.

Disclaimer: I got to preview Escape From the Book Club Killer for free. The most stark difference between LockQuest and existing escape rooms have been theming.  By and far, they have done a better job than most places. There are facets to the game that match the theme. Those same props are involved in the puzzles as well. That’s definitely something places should aim for. Make no mistake, there is still suspension of disbelief as to why certain things are the way they are – But LockQuest has made a more concerted effort than most.
There are also Easter Eggs in the game! My team missed many of them in the hubbub of trying to get out, but it’s definitely something I appreciate.

A teammate of mine also commented that the phone system in LockQuest being less obtrusive and more thematic than having staff in the room with you, like with Real Escape Room Vol 1 (although to be fair, LockQuest staff can still see/hear you on their video cameras).

LockQuest isn’t a franchise, while the Real Escape Game/Room is. I think of franchising as a double-edged sword.  It’s a staple formula that’s worked well before, but it isn’t very adaptable. With LockQuest, things can be fixed and improved. It seems like REG Vol 1 is the same in different countries (although there are some language differences) with the same frustrating end puzzles with a leap in logic.

In terms of overall design, the game is split into two rooms. Communication and teamwork are very key to victory. In that regard, I think it’s a good choice as a team building exercise. There were definitely some aspects I’d have changed or moved around. I’ve let the proprietor know, so it’s possible your game experience might be slightly different from mine.
Although I’m sure my experience with other escape rooms gives me a net advantage, I think this was uniquely the only time where I think some of my experience actually hurt me.

Overall, my whole team had a lot of fun. I’d give it a strong recommendation, especially for big groups like a team event or birthday. I think the optimal team size might be around 6-8.

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5 comments

  1. Teeeeechnically, I believe SCRAP refers to their escape rooms as “Real Escape Room” (vol 1 is “Escape from the Mysterious Room” and vol 2 is “Escape from the Time Travel Lab”), and uses “Real Escape Game” to refer to the many-teams-at-once puzzle solving events (such as “Escape from the Auction House”; they also have an escape theme, though you don’t actually exit anywhere, and usually you’re in a hotel ballroom or the like along with all the other teams). Somewhat confusingly both are hosted on “realescapegame.com”, and both have their own “volume” numbering (1, 2, 3, …).

    I point this out only because SCRAP themselves have kindly corrected me when I’ve referred to them differently in the past!

    (“SCRAP” is the organization that puts both of these things on, and owns the domain realescapegame.com.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My friends and I tried LockQuest today and loved it. Definitely agree that this is one of the best in the city. If you want, email me to let me know about some of the suggestions you made and I can tell you if they implemented them or not – they did mention that some things had been moved based on feedback from past players.

    Like

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