Roundabout (Final Destination, Butcher’s Basement, Back to the Mummy)

https://i2.wp.com/i.imgur.com/xugjE3y.jpg

Room(s) visited Final Destination, Butcher’s Basement, Back to the Mummy
Aesthetic Everything looks pretty nice!
Theming Some puzzles were very well themed
Puzzle Design Poor.
Customer Service Terrible. Explanation at the end of the review.
Overall  Nice decor and aesthetic. First time players will be impressed. In my opinion, most experienced players will find the price too high for the experience delivered.


Roundabout
330 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor Toronto, ON M5B 1R8
Cross Street: Yonge St. and Elm St.
Rooms: 4 Group Size: Final Destination (2-6), Back to the Mummy (2-5), The Butcher’s Basement (2-6), Diamond Creed (2-5), The Prisoner (2-6)
Game Time: 45 minutes Price: $25.00/person
Site: http://roundaboutcanada.com/
Phone number: 647-712-2688

The Final Destination room looks great. The background of the room is that you’re in a plane who’s engines have cut out. You have 45 minutes to find the parachutes and to open up the door to jump out.  It looks very much like a (small) plane, and Roundabout certainly didn’t cheap out on decor or props. The puzzles are themed well to the subject matter, but I don’t like the overall design of the puzzles. The game felt very scatterbrained, and much of it felt unintuitive. For example, at some point in the game, we had derived a 4-digit code, but we had three locks to test it on. Despite having solved the ‘trick’ of the puzzle, the order of the code we derived was wrong because the puzzle designer picked the most obtuse option possible, making the inputting of a puzzle that was mostly solved incredibly tedious. Another example of the ‘scatterbrained’ impression we got from the game was that there were two ‘puzzles’ that gave the same solution its next step. This is very strange, and only served as a red herring to my group. If you solve one, you don’t need the other, but it isn’t obvious that they are for the same next step. Another problem I had with the room was its use of space. The main cabin area is not particularly large, and that’s where most of the game takes place. Since the props are certainly a hilight to the room, this makes some sense, but the pilot’s area and the area in the back are mostly underutilized space. I didn’t enjoy being crammed into the main passenger area, as the chairs really hamper mobility if you have more than 3 players.

The Butcher’s Basement is my favourite room at this location. It doesn’t quite make it on my recommended list for a few reasons, but if you’re definitely going to visit Roundabout, I’d suggest this room over the other two I’ve visited. This game feels much more linear than the others I’ve experienced at Roundabout, which certainly made it inadvertently easier to not mess anything up. The decor and props are once again top notch (though the walk-in freezer should probably look icy). The themed puzzles are great, and I wish there were more of them. It definitely feels like they ran out of ideas for thematic puzzles half-way in. It’s not the end of the world though, and most places have less thematic puzzles than this. Like the Final Destination room, once again there were two seperate puzzles that led to the next step, which made things much more confusing than they had to be. It felt less obtrusive in this case, but I definitely wasted time trying to combine different parts of the two puzzles.

Return to the Mummy reminded me of the Final Destination room. The decor and aesthetic, once again, are nice. Most egyptian themed rooms are decorated similarly, though. The overall design of the room, once again, was confusing and unintuitive. Much of the game felt tedious, and unnecessarily so. The search components were tedious. One puzzle had 10+ combinations, and no real definitive solution to extracting the code you need. Brute-force combination testing – That is not what I want in any game, least of all a shorter 45 minute one.

Onto the explanation for the poor customer service! I played the Final Destination during their opening weekend, where they had a promotion that if you escaped from one of their rooms, it would be free. We lost on (what we learned was) the last step. For whatever reason, the owner would not share the solution to the final puzzle. The owner offered us another game for free (I imagine because we were visibly upset). We beat the Butcher’s basement, and went for lunch. As it so happens, I happen to be in email correspondence with a large number of the contestants for their beta testing contest, so I asked a relevant party what the solution was. As it turns out, the owner/staff had left out a key item from our game that was relevant to solving the last step. We felt cheated. I emailed Roundabout, but no reply. I emailed them with my ‘civilian’ identity. I don’t expect or want to be treated any differently. Anyhow, I returned with a friend to play Back to the Mummy. I questioned the staff after playing about the missing prop/tool in the Final Destination room, and one of them did admit that it was omitted from the game (accidentally, supposedly). The staff were very nice, and assured me that the owner would email me. Anyways, it’s been almost a month now since the original email, and no reply yet. I’ve had numerous discussions about whether this was actually a scummy act or not. On the one hand, they certainly didn’t need to give us a free game. This is certainly the only point working in their favour. I don’t actually know if the free game was related to the missing prop or not, though. It could just have been that they didn’t want customers to leave with a bad impression. Another point is that if we had just beaten the Final Destination, we would have left for lunch with a free game. So something was taken from us. Instead, we were left with the choice of just ending our trip there with one 100% costing game (that was actually unbeatable) or effectively two 50% off games. I also have to take it on faith that this wasn’t malicious. After all, they were running a promotion where if you beat the game, it was free – And coincidently (or not?), the only thing missing is the vital prop that lets you finish the game? And the worst offender of all is just that I hate being lied to. If they did mess up, then they should have just owned up to it. I asked myself… Am I responsible in any way for this happening? The thing about customer service is that the customer is half of the people involved. However, any way I shake it, I don’t think I did anything wrong. The only difference between me and another customer is that I had the ability to detect this deception, whereas most would never have looked twice. This really bugs me because it’s a very bad sign when a facility lies to customers when they don’t think the customer will ever find out.

EDIT: As anyone who was following along the posts would know,  this review was responded to by further harassment from the owner of Roundabout. He not-so-subtlely alluded to finding me at my home for “coffee”. I posted the emails publicly, but have since then set them to private. I’ve kept the review as is, since that was the experience I had, but have added this little excerpt to say that my interactions with the Roundabout owner were the absolute worst I’ve experienced, and that I had previously not ever even heard of someone reacting so absurdly before.

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2 comments

  1. I also have to take it on faith that this wasn’t malicious. After all, they were running a promotion where if you beat the game, it was free – And coincidently (or not?), the only thing missing is the vital prop that lets you finish the game?

    …ouch. Not good.

    Like

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