|Game experience: VERY GOOD
|High quality decors, both inside and outside the cabin.
Smart puzzles with few padlocks.
|The TV screen in the woods.
Only 45 minutes playing time.
A spooky cabin in the woods is definitely one of the horror movie archetype – and therefore, a very fitting theme for an escape game. I went to play ‘Cabin in the woods’ at ‘Find the key’ with three friends who had only played a couple of escape games before. The venue offers a very unique special bonus in the form of a serum that they ‘inject’ to you (actually just a stamp) before the game. The red will provide you between 1 and 10 additional minutes (randomly selected); the green will give you an additional pre-selected hint; the blue will afford all members of your team a quick virtual reality peek of the room before you enter it. We chose the last one, which was quite fun, although to be honest it didn’t help us at all – I would rather recommend to take the additional time.
It all started like the adventure of our life. This forest is known as being haunted… what better place to spend Halloween? Everything was going well… all gathered around the fire telling scary stories and eating marshmallows… Until, out of nowhere, a storm broke loose. The rain was falling down so badly that we could barely see anything. A voice suddenly broke through the storm… “In here, hurry!” he said. We followed the voice to a small cave in the mountain where an old man had shelter. But not all of us made it to safety. Two of our friends got lost in the storm.
The old man offered us some warm tea and dry blankets. Around the fire, he told us about this old cabin close by, that used to be the house of a woman whose parents were accused of witchcraft. Now the place is empty, but many say it’s haunted by evil spirits. Many people have disappeared, never to be found in this forest.
If our friends are still out there, that could be the first place to start searching… maybe they found shelter at the old cabin…
As you can guess from the story, we entered the game space in two separate groups, which sets up the tension from the very start. The immersion is successful thanks to very well made decors – reproducing both the inside and the outside of the cabin convincingly, which is a good achievement (it is not easy to reproduce an outside environment in a room). The only weakness in the decors was the large screen outside the cabin – the gamemaster’s communication channel – which does not fit at all in this environment; a gamemastering by walkie-talkie (maybe impersonating the old man from the story?) would have fit better the theme.
There was a nice variety of puzzles, overall good ones. This was a second generation room with only few padlocks and a nice use of high-tech in the room, and fun manipulations. The searching was also interestingly challenging at times – be sure to bring some friend with eagle eyes there!
As in many Northern American rooms, you have to ask for hints to the gamemaster, and you can ask only for three of them. This makes it more challenging than many European rooms where the gamemaster help is adaptive to your team. Unfortunately, the gamemaster did not remind us the story mentioned above before our game – it could have improved the immersion further.
This is a difficult game, like often – if not always – at Find the Key, so I would recommend it to people who already have some escape experience. Four players seem like a good team size: the space is not that big, but I would not recommend to go there at three or two players, because of the team division at the start of the adventure, and the overall difficulty of the game. Note also that you have only 45 minutes to escape (plus a few minutes if you take the red serum) – but given the number of puzzles and the overall complexity of the room, it could have been justified to give the players instead a regular one hour length. Anyway, this is overall a very good room, and my favorite so far in Montreal, ex-aeco with Bloody Mary at Missions Morpheus and the virtual game De-composed at Escape masters!
Game played in August 2017 (Photos: Find The Key)
(let me know if you reviewed this room so that I can list you here)