Qube Entertainment Emporium – Grandpa’s Study [Review]

Grandpa

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Date played: January 22, 2017

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 25 CAD per ticket

Story & setting

We were sneaking around Grandpa’s study and found some enciphered letters. We had to crack his code and uncover their meaning before we were caught by Mom.

The setup was simple and adorable. The office looked fairly compelling… even though it was just an old office.

The story and many of the props came from creator’s actual family. I learned this detail post-game, but I wish we had known it going in because it added more heft to the story.

In-game: an office with a large red chair at the desk. A fireplace, and a portrait of a young soldier hanging over it.
Image via Qube Entertainment Emporium

Puzzles

There was plenty of puzzling to work through in Grandpa’s Study.

The catch was that a large amount of the game revolved around solving for a single cipher and then applying it to large blocks of text.

Standouts

Period jazz music was a great touch.

The set looked good, especially for an office. The paint job and prop selection was particularly noteworthy.

The use of actual family history and a number of small details made the story feel considerably more real than your average escape room narrative.

Shortcomings

Grandpa’s cipher overstayed its welcome.

Some of the puzzle cluing was loose and logic-leapy.

Multiple combination locks repeated the same digit structure, which meant we had to continually attempt to input a correct combination before finding the right place for it.

The ceilings were left open in Grandpa’s Study and the other surrounding games. While we weren’t there at a busy time, I imagine that this could become pretty distracting if a sufficiently loud group were nearby.

Should I play Qube Entertainment Emporium’s Grandpa’s Study?

Grandpa’s Study was elegantly low-key. There weren’t big stakes; we weren’t saving the world and our lives weren’t in danger. We were simply learning a family secret. As a result of the small scale, the game felt more real… and it turned out that a lot of it was.

It wasn’t big and bombastic, but it was an intimate experience that is friendly for all levels of player experience. If you’re looking for something intense or otherworldly, then you should seek out a different game. If you’re down for uncovering some family drama by way of puzzles, then look no further.

Additionally, if you’d like to get your blood pumping, you can also buy a little time in Qube Entertainment Emporium’s “rage room” or buy some items to hurl at the wall in their “smash room.”

Book your hour with Qube Entertainment Emporium’s Grandpa’s Study, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Qube Entertainment Emporium comped our tickets for this game.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Niagara Falls, NY from May 1-3, 2017. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Buffalo, New York, Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

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