Update June 12, 2022: If you want to hear more about Below Zero, back us on Patreon at the “Search Win!” level to get access to a Spoiler’s Club Episode about this game. Reality Escape Pod co-host David talks all about it with the creators, spoilers and all.
Location: Newmarket, Ontario
Date Played: May 26, 2019
Team size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $25 CAD per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Below Zero was a standout game with high quality gameplay, narrative, and puzzling. Crypto Escape Rooms has really jumped out into the forefront of where escape rooms ought to be heading.
Newmarket may be a hike from Downtown Toronto, but it’s well worth the trip. When people ask me why I haven’t gotten bored of room escapes, it’s because of gems like Below Zero. Lisa didn’t play this one with me because I was traveling without her, but I am already trying to figure out how to get back there just so that she can play it too.
Below Zero brought me a lot of joy. If you can play it, you ought to.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Sci-fi fans
- Players with at least some experience
- Wonderful character
- Fantastic set
- Great puzzles
- Lots of humor
- All around strong game
We were among the last surviving humans, cryogenically frozen to protect us from a calamity. The good news was that the deep freeze had worked. The bad news was that we had been thawed hundreds of years early.
We had to figure out how to restore ourselves to cryo-freeze.
Below Zero was set in a sci-fi cryogenics lab overseen by a charming artificial intelligence. The set was gorgeous, with puzzles and effects deeply integrated into the environment.
Crypto Escape Rooms’ Below Zero was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around puzzling, making connections, and interacting with a character.
➕ Bert, the AI, was a wonderful and unique character. His influences were clear, but he proved himself to be far more than just another GLaDOS clone.
➕ Below Zero was a strikingly well-written escape game. I have nothing but praise for the narrative structure, character development, and humor of this game.
➕ Crypto Escape Rooms made excellent use of choice in Below Zero. With clear options, we made a knowing decision and faced the consequences of our selection.
➕ The set was fantastic.
➖ There were a number of moments that were too loud. On the one hand, this added to the ambiance. On the other hand, it happened a bit too often and the impact diminished.
➕/➖ There was a clever take on the laser maze. I loved what Crypto Escape Rooms did with this mechanic. Unfortunately, it was a little too easy to bypass one of the coolest parts of this interaction.
➕/❓ Over the course of Below Zero, there were a few occasions where we encountered increasingly challenging renditions of same puzzle concept. I loved the way that this played. I can, however, imagine teams that don’t quite gel with this puzzle type diving deeper into demoralization with each subsequent iteration.
➖ A few props that get handled a lot were showing some wear and could benefit from another coat of paint.
➕ I’m a sucker for a strong interface where you know that you’ve done something when you interact with it. Give me some good buttons and my enjoyment of a game will jump immediately. Below Zero had great button-y buttons.
Tips For Visiting
- Parking: Crypto Escape Rooms has a parking lot.
Book your hour with Crypto Escape Rooms’ Below Zero, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Crypto Escape Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.