Mr. Escape (Bloody Midnight, Stringer Requiem, Ancient Egypt)

https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/okmSsgE.jpg

Room(s) visited Bloody Midnight, Stringer Requiem, Ancient Egypt
Decor Acceptable. It’s not great for most rooms.
Theming Inconsistent. Depends on the room.
Puzzle Design Overall, acceptable. This drops to Poor with the translated text portions of the game. I don’t understand why they didn’t have the person who translated their site to do it
Customer Service Acceptable. No major complaints so far.
Overall
It’s fairly unlikely I’ll be back. I am still scratching my head as to why they would get someone to translate the room descriptions on their site, and not have the same person fix their in-game text.

Mr. Escape
7500 Woodbine Ave Unit 108
Markham, ON L3R 1AB
Cross Street: John St. and Woodbine Ave.
Rooms: 4
Group Size: Bloody Moonlight (2-6), The Kitchen of Hell (4-8), Stringer Requiem (2-6), Ancient Egypt (4-10)
Game Time: 60 minutes
Price: $23.99/ Person (10% discount for paying with cash, 20% discount for checking in on facebook)
Site: http://www.mrescaperoom.ca/
Phone Number: 905-415-9361

The first room I visited at Mr. Escape was Bloody Moonlight, which I think was decent. The puzzles were okay. There was a Twilight-adjacent storyline about a starcrossed relationship between a vampire and a werewolf. There was even a little more plot thrown in. The main problem with the story (and certain puzzles) is the English. There’s a reading component to the game where the story is expressed to you, and it’s clear that English was not the primary language of the writer. It’s not really an impossible fix, but I don’t get the impression that it was fixed. More on that later. The decor of the room is acceptable, and feels vaguely like what you’d expect out of a vampire related theme.

I visited Stringer Requiem a month or so after that. There’s no particular theme to the room or the puzzles. The story is an existential (transcendental?) one. It might be about a man who dies and is in some sort of limbo. I wouldn’t mind it, but once again, the English was poor for the reading components! At this point, I had more or less written off the possibility that they would fix the writing. Again, it’s not that tough of a fix, and I consider the fact that they weren’t doing it to be a lack of foresight in their approach to handling the business. It’s really just a factor that’s alienating to English speakers.
The puzzles were completely random, but I actually liked the variety of them. My other complaint about the room is that the game is just too short for a 60 minute room. It’s really easy to blow through it. There is a musical component to the game. They flat out tell you in the description, and ultimately I couldn’t get past that puzzle. The CD player also had some issues during the musical component, which really added to the difficulty.

Months after that, I visited the Ancient Egypt room. Why did I comeback? Well, the information on their website was updated (http://www.mrescaperoom.ca/). The description of the rooms had marked improvement over the fractured English prior to that. So naturally, I think it’s possible that they may have had the same person look over their in-game text – Of course, they didn’t. There’s also a significant gameplay problem when the writing is particularly poor at an escape room. You just can’t tell necessarily what’s a clue or what might just be the product of ‘Google Translate Broken Telephone’.
Anyhow, onto the game itself. Ancient Egypt is described to be their most difficult room. I didn’t enjoy some of the puzzles at the time, but I can objectively say that some of them were fairly interesting. Other puzzles felt very difficult in the sense that it wasn’t easy to relate to the designer’s intentions/mindset. One aspect I didn’t like about Ancient Egypt, that I think many rooms in Scarborough/Markham/Unionville are guilty of, is throwing whatever random tech they have into a room, whether it fits or not. I felt that strong impression during a portion of the game, and it detracted from the overall experience.

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One comment

  1. Mr. Escape was the first escape room that my friends and I ever did, and at the time – having nothing to compare it to – we loved it. Now that we’ve experienced a few more places, it’s a bit easier to look back and see the flaws.

    The first room we did was Ancient Egypt, which was incredibly complex. Some of the written clues were faded and yes as you indicated in rather poor English. I ended up accidentally solving the final puzzle by trial and error long before solving any of the other puzzles in the final stage – so we got out, but the staff said “Well, you didn’t *really* solve it…” Whoops.

    The second one we did was Bloody Midnight, where I loved the first stage but the second stage seemed like it belonged to a completely different theme. It actually really didn’t make sense, and seemed kind of tacked on, like “we need something for when they get into this part, let’s throw some stuff in.” It definitely did again suffer from poor English, both in the written clues but also in the initial instructions given by the staff member. And one thing that kind of put me off was: If you are in a scenario where you are going to be handcuffed or shackled in some way, there really needs to be a staff member who can do so without seeming to be incredibly embarrassed to do so. It kind of kills the mood and the realism, and she ended up putting them on so loosely that we could have slipped out quite easily if we wanted to.

    We haven’t done Stringer Requiem yet because the staff warned us that we need at least one person on the team who can read music, which nobody in my group does.

    One thing I do appreciate at Mr. Escape though is that they do use multi-stage/multi-room scenarios. Given that this was my first room, I was actually disappointed to later find that it’s not the norm everywhere, and that many/most places are just a single room.

    Like

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