Having mentioned escaping in Montreal in my last post, I want to talk more in depth about my escape experience in Montreal. I’ve done more rooms than I can count with my fingers and toes (and yours as well) in Toronto.
I had the opportunity to go to Montreal for work-related reasons and I couldn’t resist the lure of the escape rooms. It seems that there are 4 major escape companies in Montreal:
3. Find the Key
I managed to go to the first 2, but it turns out that escape rooms are mostly closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Go figure. It’s not as popular as it is in Toronto, so that’s completely understandable. The folks at Obsidem actually made an exception for me, which was very kind of them. Now let’s get to the fun stuff.
I managed to do all 3 of their current scenarios. Guy mentioned when we were chatting about escape rooms that they’re working on “Project X” which will be available this summer. Obsidem uses a mix of props and tech (dollar store, DIY tech, etc) in The Trap and The Study.
1. The first room that I did at Obsidem was The Dynamic Duo. This was by far the most interesting and fun room I did in Montreal. It was a unique experience and had me really curious from the moment I read the description on their website. It’s a 20-minute escape scenario for 2 people which has no lockboxes and no puzzles. It’s meant to test you creatively as if you were in a real-life escape situation. If you only have time to do one room in Montreal (if you’re visiting like I was), I would recommend this one. It’s really fun and I’m surprised no one has tried to do this kind of thing here in Toronto yet.
2. I then proceeded to do The Study with 2 people and I can tell you that having one more person with us would have probably made a huge difference. It’s the searching that really took up our time. They had some interesting puzzles that I have not seen in Toronto before, so I liked the freshness they offered.
3. I did The Trap on another day with a group of 3 and that was probably a good idea. They give you an iPhone before you go in as your method of communication with the staff, which is a new one. I’ve seen intercoms, walkie talkies and even been told to knock on the door for help, but never an iPhone. Again, they had some interesting puzzles and gadgets, but I found that this room didn’t flow as well as The Study. We definitely got a little frustrated a certain points and I found that they used the same resource for more than one solution, which isn’t typical of escape rooms to do.
A/Maze’s room designs and props were definitely the better of the two companies I checked out while in Montreal. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try The Prisoner, which is their most popular room (it also feels like every room escape company has a prison room in their portfolio).
I’ve been thinking recently that a few companies in Toronto are starting to drop the ball on weaving a good story. A/Maze has story alright. The boy (seemed to be in high school) who gave us the story to both the rooms we did here went on and on. I think that my partner probably phased him out at some point during the story. Not sure if It was a language thing or because they wanted to be super detailed, but I definitely think they could make the story a little briefer (Nothing satisfies these escapees, does it? Not enough story… too much story… come on!). Anyway, I digress…
1. The first room we did was Lost Temple. I don’t know what it was, but we made silly mistakes and did not observe properly. I blame it on the rain that we ran through to get to this place. Actually, I can’t really. It was genuinely our own noobness that caused our demise in this ancient temple. They had some pretty neat gadgets and triggers set up. I was impressed with the design even if I wasn’t able to get out.
2. We did the Mad Scientists Lab immediately after and I definitely liked this room better. There were a few spots where I thought the puzzles could have been better put together, but overall a very enjoyable room. They even had a live mouse running on a wheel in its cage in the room! Again, it would have been easier with 3 people, but we managed to solve the puzzles and get out of this one even with 2 people. The only thing I didn’t like too much was that they kept coming in the room to check on us. We were the last customer of the night though, so I guess they wanted to close up and go home before the rain started coming down hard again.