Last Friday, we escaped (eh, hint hint) the office to head on down for a game with the Escape Artist! We’ve heard that creativity and ingenuity would help us beat the games, so naturally, we sent our (supposedly) most creative team — Marketing! 6-man strong, and ready to challenge ourselves, we set off to their Harbourfront outlet to meet our match.
Business was good for them, and their outlet was packed even for a work day. Three of their four rooms in the outlet were occupied, leaving us with Last Light. We were warned that this was their most difficult room, but we embraced the challenge, though some more reluctant to do so than others. In addition to creativity and ingenuity, our team boasted the skills of seasoned escape artists, having done multiple rooms before. The Escape Artist adds another element of excitement by having the role play option. This allows players to take on specific roles, but also limits the hints available to them throughout the game. But for the benefit of the majority that saw this attempt as a first, we opted for the basic option, where we were allowed unlimited calls for help. A necessity we thought we didn’t need.
For Last Light, we were allocated an hour to complete the whole game. The staff started off by telling us the context and backstory of the game, immersing us into the gameplay. Last Light starts off with a group of heroes trying to solve what has caused the city power plant to mysteriously shut down. As the brave heroes to save the day, we enthusiastically trooped in, ready to conquer the room. We had the perfect plan — we had no idea where to start.
In the end, spent almost half our time in the first room, making at least three calls, to solve 3 puzzles. We were disheartened being stuck. But with every puzzle solved, it brought us an incomparable source of joy. High fives in the air, as well as sighs of relief. Their puzzles are creative, and requires an observant eye in order to proceed forward. Number locks were the most common form of puzzle, but the difficulty lay in obtaining the correct numbers. Many required logical leaps, and keen observation.
It seemed overwhelming, going into the room with multiple locks and not knowing where to start. Aimless fiddling did not do us any good. Again multiple calls were made before we finally escaped, slightly over the 1 hour mark.
Pumped up, and determined to heal our bruised egos, we tried another room — Flashpoint. This room was rated lower on the difficulty scale, but required more physicality. Quite a bit of climbing was involved and we were surprised at their great use of space, despite the special constraints. Flashpoint fashioned us as members of a bomb squad trying to defuse an explosive planted by a criminal mastermind. Again, we were given one hour, but this time, we finished it within 45 mins. (We didn’t skimp on the calls for hints though.)
Although this was supposed to be the less challenging room, we felt it was a lot more draining. The dark corners made it seem like the wall were closing in on us, and when the lights flashed and flickered, I would be lying to say we weren’t a little scared by it. The last section was a dim, narrow corridor that we spent way too long in. We all wore looks of fear on our faces, and the clues were as messy as the insides of our hearts. The room and atmosphere accurately reflected the anxiety of a bomb squad, bringing our experience to a whole new level.
Overall, The Escape Artist was a great experience. Although our egos were bruised, it is an experience we would recommend! Especially for companies looking to come here for team bonding activities, as well as those who just want a challenge.
Thank you Ivan, and the gracious staff for making our experience a wonderful one!