|Room(s) visited||Trapped In a Room With a Zombie|
||There isn’t much more thematic to a zombie-themed room than having a zombie in it. The puzzles and storyline aren’t thematic.|
|Would I go back?
||They only have the one room. It’s different enough that I don’t regret going. I used a groupon style deal, and I don’t think I’d have been comfortable paying full price for it though.|
Room Escape Adventures
37 Bulwer Street
Toronto, ON M5T 1A1
Cross Street: Queen St. W and Spadina Ave.
Group Size: 2-12
Game Time: 60 minutes
Phone number: None Listed
Room Escape Adventures! Otherwise known as the one with the live zombie. They are a franchise with 16(!) locations in the states, with Toronto being the sole Canadian location. The zombie is chained up to a wall and gains an extension of chain every 5 minutes. If the zombie manages to touch a player, they are considered eaten. They have to sit out from the game. They can still speak with other players, but cannot interact with the room anymore. Presumably at the end of 60 minutes, the chain gets long enough such that the zombie can eat everyone
Like the other ‘big group’ places (Lockquest, REG Vol 1 and 2), players are grouped together randomly with other small groups. I’ve played with strangers before, but this experience was different. This is the first time I’ve been recognized as EscapistTO!! It caught me off guard at first, but I’ve always known that I’ve been leaving a trail of pictures that can identify me. For the record, my identity isn’t a secret, so much as something I don’t advertise. It doesn’t actually make too much of a difference and a great number of escape room proprietors know who I am. Anyhow, big shout out to the gentlemen who decided to out me pre-game – It’s always nice to meet readers!
As to playing with strangers.. The first thing that comes to mind is how much more considerate and careful you have to be. You don’t really know how well people will communicate with one another or if they’re conducive to teamwork at all. There’s also a good chance that part of your team will comprise of first-timers (4 of our 9 in this case). I didn’t want to be domineering either! It’s probably not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be; I’ve gotten very accustomed to playing with the same groups of friends.
I’m a little torn on what group size might actualy be best. When I signed up with a friend, only two other slots were taken. I hoped for a smaller group, but by game time we were up to 9, and that’s with 2 others not showing up. At 9 players, the room definitely felt crowded. The room itself is large enough for 9 people, but part of the room remains inaccessible because of the zombie!
So, I think I might have preferred a smaller group. On the other hand, it might not have been such a big deal if everyone wasn’t so adamant on staying alive. It’s counter intuitive because everyone wants to live, but halfway through the game I considered just taking the hit for the team and sacrificing myself to the zombie! You’ve had a chance to interact with the game at that point, you get to still play and solve, you don’t have to worry about the zombie anymore, and you need people to manage the ‘big picture’ anyways. I regret not being eaten. Overall, I can see a lot of numbers working out if people are willing to die.
In terms of problems with the game, there was definitely one reoccurring issue that made the experience more confusing than it had to be. Apparently the previous host/zombie staff for a previous game didn’t reset the room properly. Certain clues were out of place. The host made the (correct) decision to have us follow the steps to unlock the clues we inadvertently knew, but it ultimately made the whole situation very confusing. Things would be unlocked and solved, but it would be empty – whatever clue that was removed from there should probably have been placed by the host as we unlocked those items, if only to let us know what we should have gotten. This issue was compounded when a certain puzzle was solved and we didn’t know whether there was anymore to it. We assumed it was just another case of unlocking a clue we already had, but there was more work to be done. Our host did what he could and can’t really be blamed. Hopefully this isn’t representative of what future players will experience.
The puzzles in the game were fairly standard. They weren’t particularly good or bad. It’s really the live zombie aspect that makes the game interesting. Our Australian zombie did a great job of staying in character for the hour. No one wanted to be bitten, things stayed tense, and there were a few good spots of dramatic timing. It must not be easy to have to crawl around on the floor for hours at a time. Or maybe the host and the zombie take turns. I wonder if anything interesting enough has happened for the zombie to break character.
Overall, it’s an interesting twist to the usual escape room stuff. I wouldn’t pick this place as a first experience.