|Game experience: GOOD
|The hint QR system
A fairly convincing immersion
|Lots of padlocks|
Escape Masters is this venue in Griffintown, located in an impressive industrial building, where we had been playing already ‘Italian mafia restaurant’ and ‘De-composed’ (as well as ‘The spy’, which I have yet to review). As usual, your first challenge will be to find the venue inside the labyrinthic structure (though honestly, if you don’t find it, I’m not sure escape games are made for you).
As usual at ‘Escape masters’, the welcome was very friendly, with access to a nicely decorated lounge where you can play a couple of light board games while waiting for your adventure to begin.
We went there for our final adventure here: the Zombie Apocalypse! We are some of the few survivors and have heard about a professor in Montreal who might have found a cure, so we now have 60 minutes to try to find it.
Compared to ‘Italian mafia restaurant’ and ‘The spy’, the atmosphere is here not only (obviously) more fantastic, but also more elaborate. Creating a really convincing zombie atmosphere is always a bit difficult, but ‘Escape masters’ did a very decent job here – in particular with the sound immersion. There is even some zombie humor in the room! Some elements of the scenario will unfold during your adventure.
The puzzle structure is, like in the other games at ‘Escape masters’, not too sequential, though maybe a bit more than in ‘Italian mafia restaurant’ or ‘The Spy’. There are a bit too many padlocks to my taste, but there were a couple of manipulations using more advanced technology that were nice surprises.
It is difficult to evaluate the gamemastering, for two reasons. The first is that we did not need any hint to escape the room. The second is that even if we had needed any, the presence of the gamemaster during the game is not anymore required. Indeed, ‘Escape masters’ has now implemented a new system of clues: you are given at the start of the game a smartphone that you can use to scan QR codes placed next to each puzzle element, bringing up a hint. This is an ingenious system, better than their former one, in which the gamemaster would either enter the room, or pass you a written hint below the door. Of course, this is adequate because all scenarios at ‘Escape Masters’ are set in contemporary times; it would be less fitting if they had, for example, a medieval- or Egypt-themed room.
We exited after 48:30, without having used any clues. Not too bad for a room with 10% success rate, but still a long way from the record of 35 minutes!
There were six of us; you can play up to a team of seven, but I would not recommend it, and five or six players seems like a more reasonable number. Of the three classical escape games at ‘Escape masters’, I would say that ‘Zombie apocalypse’ is my favorite one, for its slightly more sophisticated immersion. But all three are good choices of adventure, so you’d better chose your room by its level of difficulty: ‘Italian mafia’ for beginners, ‘The Spy’ for intermediate, and ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ for experienced players. And above all, do not miss their very good virtual game ‘De-composed’!
Game tested in April 2018
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