Codex – The Reflection of Madness [Review]

Tentacle Time

Location:  Laval, Quebec, Canada

Date Played: February 2, 2020

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 28,99 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Codex’s approach to designing a Lovecraftian horror adventure in The Reflection of Madness was poetic. With a few pieces of Lovecraft’s deep lore and unusual aesthetic, they built an exciting and surprising world.

The escape game was fairly large, with delightful puzzles that felt at home in this strange universe.

In-game: A portal splitting open reality, a tenticle is vaguely visible beyond the gap.
Image via Codex

Codex built a cohesive experience through neat puzzle artifacts, which we adored. While we enjoyed The Reflection of Madness immensely, there were a few details that felt unfinished, including the conclusion.

Codex is one of Montreal’s must-play companies, and in our opinion, The Reflection of Madness is their premier game. Go play it. The horror isn’t overly intense, so long as you’re ok with the idea of battling evil elder gods from the deep.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Lovecraft fans
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Fantastic flow and progression
  • Wonderful set design and art direction
  • Incredible, thematic interactions

Story

Our team had been dispatched to a magical dimension. An occultist professor’s work had ripped a breach into the fabric of reality and it threatened to consume not only that dimension, but all others.

In-game: A large tenticle coming from the ceiling of a study.
Image via Codex

Setting

Codex used a large amount of space to create The Reflection of Madness. They were also clever in how they used it.

What began as a fairly mundane, study-like environment spiraled out into wonderful Lovecraftian madness.

In-game: Wide view of a study.
Image via Codex

Gameplay

Codex’s The Reflection of Madness was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game: closeup of a globe in a study.
Image via Codex

Analysis

➕ Whereas at first glance The Reflection of Madness looked competent but banal, as the escape game progressed, revealing Codex’s vision, the intentionality became clear. Each set was decorated completely, from floor to ceiling. As we transitioned through the game, we moved into increasingly chaotic sets that added intrigue and punctuated the story. The final set was especially outrageous.

➕ The gameplay in The Reflection of Madness can be summed up by the phrase “neat puzzle artifacts.” In each act, the gameplay revolved around unique props that we manipulated to unusual ends. These were fascinating, fun, and tactile. The solves were immensely satisfying.

➖ There was room to optimize a few of the puzzles with small tweaks. One process puzzle – built into a neat puzzle artifact – needed additional intermittent feedback. We almost abandoned the correct idea before seeing it through to the solve. Another neat puzzle artifact was located such that it was challenging for the entire team to engage with it. Since it had appeal even to onlookers, it would have been even more exciting if everyone could have been on the same wavelength.

➖ The game’s biggest reveal needed to better mask the technology that was doing the heavy lifting.

➕ Momentum built throughout The Reflection of Madness. From the major reveal, on through the next discovery and the scenic twists, the energy level only intensified as we played.

➖ We wanted more from the conclusion. There was so much tension and it begged for a stronger resolution.

➕ The set and gameplay together supported the story of The Reflection of Madness. Players will appreciate the narrative arc whether or not they know the Lovecraftian lore of Cthulhu. Codex crafted this escape room with a level of cohesion that few can rival.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is parking in the back of the building near the entrance to the escape rooms.
  • This game is entirely bilingual (French and English).

Book your hour with Codex’s The Reflection of Madness, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Codex comped our tickets for this game.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.