Immersia: Week-end at the Shack

Game experience: VERY GOOD
Immersion Puzzles Hosting
4,5 stars 4,0 stars 4,5 stars
Plus Minus
A real scenario that unfolds during the adventure. 

The feeling of entrapment and vulnerability

Some puzzles are a bit classical.

Book here

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Immersia was to my knowledge the first escape company to open in Laval, Montreal’s largest suburb. When they started, they had two games, Week-end at the Shack and Picadilly Cabaret (they opened a few more since), and those are the two that we played on this day with Alexandra and Virginie from the blog OWAG.

“Finally the weekend at the shack is upon us. You’ve been invited to spend a few days there for your best friend’s birthday. This is planned to be the party to end all parties. Your arrival means the fun can really start…” (Immersia)

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After a couple of funny introductory videos to explain you the basic rules and the scenario, you can enter the shack and, as you can imagine, this week-end will not run exactly as expected. The immersion is definitely a strong asset of this game, with a variety of sound and light effects, as well as disturbing videos, all contributing to your discovery of a quite troubled psyche. Fortunately, there is an old neighbor – convincingly played by the gamemaster – who can help you as often as you want over the phone. Contrarily to (too) many escape rooms, there is a real scenario here that unfolds during the game, with some difficult decision to make. There were a couple of moderate jump scares, but the emphasis is more on the creepiness than on the horror.

Laval - Immersia - Week-end at the shack - prisoner.jpg

The gameplay was relatively sequential but well-thought. A couple of puzzles were a tad classical and there were quite a few padlocks, but this fits well with the atmosphere. The emphasis was more into the association between perceptual stimuli rather than into solving logical puzzles, which is fine for me (I love solving logical puzzles, but I can browse the internet for that). Finally, this escape game has a somewhat customizable length, which is quite rare and contributes positively to the game structure.

Laval - Immersia - Week-end at the shack - family

The hosting was very friendly, and it was nice to see that it is a family business, rather than a more impersonal company as too often in Northern America.

Playing this room was a tensed and stimulating experience, and we escaped with a few minutes left on the counter, after having received a couple of hints from the gamemaster. Although I would not bring a young child here, the room is less scary than other escape games (e.g. Lost Asylum or The Cursed Crypt in Paris). It was also quite interesting to compare this game to Cabin in the Woods at Find the Key, as both superficially look similar because of the horror/cabin theme, but are in fact quite different: Week-end at the Shack is more realistic, where Cabin in the Woods has more of a supernatural atmosphere. I would say that I preferred the scenario and immersion of the former, and the puzzles of the latter, but both are well worth playing, and rank among my best escape experiences in the Montreal area for different reasons.

Game tested in August 2018 (Photos: Immersia)

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Other reviews: On the World a Game (in French), The Esc Key, Escape rooms Montreal

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