So, it’s supposed to be a James Bond related style room. You’re after a certain 00 agent and have to break into his place to steal something he stole. Now normally that’d be cool but this didn’t really feel like a spy room. There were parts and elements which felt like it was trying to be, but lacked coherence with the story and everything else in the room. One puzzle in particular used an outside element (like literally looking out the window) and had a clue to a 3-digit lock, but contained four digits and you just happened to only need 3/4 of the numbers. The hint in the story (again, left on a sheet in the room for you read after the clock starts) was that he liked fancy things, but the things and objects you go on to find aren’t really spy related, or that fancy. We ended up watching an intro video on a dvd in the room that kinda looks like it was premade as a theme and that was purchased. One giveaway was the video said we had 60 mins to solve the case, but we only had 45 mins, like the majority of rooms in Edmonton. If they made the video they wouldn’t have left that in. One hint was burned as we couldn’t find the 4th part of something, so they just GAVE us the answer (which is usually a big no-no). It also didn’t help cause a later puzzle required us to physically have that item as it had something written on it. I also spent the majority of my time separating four decks of cards for nothing even though we gradually kept finding cards and there were a couple that WERE missing. While some of the elements were neat, there was a lot missing given the story we had and the overall theme of the room that this guy was suppose to be a 00 agent. I believe it was the final puzzle that required us to use a laptop (which was locked in a chest on the floor, and not in, say, a hidden safe!) which took forever to start up and tried to update itself the whole time as it seems a bit dated and pre-used!
The theme of this room was that a double agent has infiltrated the organization, we have our suspicions as to who it is and we need to build a case against him. When I first entered the room it felt a little under whelming. For a 007 themed room I expected it to look a little more luxurious. We watched a video at the beginning, but luckily the timer didn’t start until after it was done. There were multiple puzzles that didn’t seem to flow very well, or wouldn’t work properly if other aspects that didn’t seem like they could control didn’t line up. There were a few items that we couldn’t find, and when we mentioned that at the end, they never let us know where that item was supposed to be, they just looked a little confused. We asked for clues a couple of times, and the hints were pretty vague and not very helpful. The fact that they were giving clues though a monitor, but not actually paying attention to our game made it really frustrating. It seemed like we would ask for a clue, and they would then check the monitor and pick randomly which puzzle they would give a hint for. At one point, instead of trying to help us figure something out they just gave us the answer. The person who got us started wasn’t the same person who ended our game and there was minimal staff engagement.
Escape Emporium was our first stop on our Edmonton road trip, after finishing the Swamp with frustrating results we were quickly escorted into the 007 themed room. I have to give the customer service some props here as they let us play in advance of our booking without random’s. Walking into the room the immersion was underwhelming for a spy themed room, it felt very bare to me. A lot more could have been done to make it feel a bit more true to the theme. The props in the room were standard props but nothing really felt like it belonged in a 007 themed room. For the puzzle system it had no real connection which lead to no direction on what to do next. We skipped a few key puzzles which in the end halted any progression we had in the room. One puzzle is completely reliant to the outside as it’s an actual business, this could prove tricky during business hours. The hint system at Escape Emporium was one of the most frustrating aspects of both rooms that we did. With it being solely a visual system with no audio feedback the front staff had no idea where we were in the room and gave us clues for things we already solved. We have done some rooms that pulled off this system but you need a dedicated game master who can hear into the room. I would have much rather have our gamemaster come in and actually talk to us, it breaks the immersion a bit but that’s a small price to pay for having them get a sense of where we are over guessing our progress.
- Poor hint system
- Puzzle set to outside elements
- Clunky puzzles