Escaparium – The Final Stop [Review]

The fastest route between St. Louis, New York, & London

Location:  Laval, Quebec, Canada

Date Played: February 2, 2020

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 32.99 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Escaparium’s The Final Stop was purchased from St. Louis Escape and heavily modified at the gameplay level with only 3 of the original 12 puzzles remaining in this version. (Interestingly enough, I was able to successfully guess which 3 puzzles were kept exactly as is from the original game.)

In-game: Seating a strap handles for an old, heavily worn subway car.

The Final Stop looked and played like an improved St. Louis Escape game. It was aesthetically pleasing, with some weaker puzzles (especially a pair of original puzzles in the first act). The new gameplay additions were smooth, but still felt like traditional escape room puzzles without much of a cohesive narrative tying it all together.

This is not my style of game, but I can easily imagine plenty of people loving this The Final Stop, especially those that heavily value set design over novel gameplay. This was a far better game that I was expecting when I learned of its origins. Escaparium did good work making The Final Stop their own, but it still doesn’t feel like an Escaparium game.

If you’re in Montreal and looking for a set-driven adventure, The Final Stop offers quite a bit to look at. That said, I don’t think that it comes close to rivaling some of Escaparium’s top offerings like The Lost Island of the Voodoo Queen or either of their Wizard Four games (Wands or Gloves)

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The set is impressive
  • There are some fantastic effects and interactions

Story

After a long day of work, we boarded a dingy St. Louis subway. As the ride progressed, a voice boomed over the PA system to inform us that our lap belts had been locked, and that the train was loaded with explosives and was barreling towards the City Center. We were about to become victims of a New World Order uprising… unless we could stop the train ourselves.

In-game: seats of an old, rundown subway.

Setting

The Final Stop’s environmental design was fantastic. It had a compelling rundown and decrepit look. At times the set felt like it was moving, which was a pretty cool detail.

In the mid- and late-game there were some strong set-based interactions that were just fun to look at.

In-game: The ceiling of an old, worn subway car.

My biggest gripe with the set design was that for all of the weathering and intense detailing, this train had no idea where it was from. The PA told us that we were in St. Louis, the iconography and train stops were from New York City, and the system’s insignia was that of London’s Underground. I know that the game was purchased this way, so it’s a struggle for me to understand how a designer can patina a ceiling but not keep logical consistency in the train’s location.

Gameplay

Escaparium’s The Final Stop was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

In-game: a heavily worn gate protecting the train engineer's booth.

Analysis

The Final Stop looked outstanding. The early set evoked a certain stereotypical subway aesthetic; it was weathered and gritty.

➕ Escaparium added motion to this set. Through video as well as actual motion, it felt as if our subway car was moving.

➖ The set was a bit too dark. We struggled to differentiate colors… and none of us were colorblind.

➕ The puzzles worked cleanly… even when we weren’t sure if they would.

➖ It felt like there might have been a few ghost puzzles hiding about the set. Additionally, the gameplay lacked cohesion. Each puzzle stood on its own rather than coming together to give this ride some momentum.

❓ The gameplay style was search, connect, and input. It offered us few meaty puzzles. If you find everything you need, this train will reach its destination quickly.

➖ While the final stop concluded with an explosive prop, the late-game gameplay lacked a matching energy. The Final Stop needed a larger, more integrated conclusion that unified the experience and left a lasting impression.

➕ In the end, The Final Stop felt infinitely larger than it actually was.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • Note that Escaparium has multiple venues around Montreal. The Final Stop is in Laval at the Boul. Rossignols location.
  • This game is entirely bilingual (French and English).
  • There is some motion in this game.

Book your hour with Escaparium’s The Final Stop, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escaparium comped our tickets for this game.

2 thoughts on “Escaparium – The Final Stop [Review]

  1. That photo of the operator’s cage area brings back an awkward memory from my experience playing this game when it was in St. Louis. Two of us were playing the game and while in the operator’s cage I tried to make some room by moving the open door to the near closed position. Well, it closed and guess what, it locked! The gamemaster had to come into the set to free us after a short serenade of our shouts. This was the first but not the last time I have been inadvertently locked into a portion of a set. I really don’t like those experiences!!!!!!!!!!! After learning of the Poland tragedy I will probably like it even less in the future. I Hope that unintended possibility has been engineered out of the game.

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