Casa Loma Escape Series by Secret City Adventures – Station M [Review]

The signal at the end of the tunnel

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Played: May 1, 2022

Team Size: up to 12; we recommend 5-7

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: Thursday and Sunday $42 CAD per player; Friday and Saturday $50 CAD per player

Ticketing: Public

Accessibility Consideration: A long walk to access the game includes stairs and a sloped floor.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraint

REA Reaction

Station M delved into the real past of Casa Loma once again, albeit in a less true-to-history fashion than in Escape from the Tower. Players journey through the underbelly of the castle before stepping foot in the game space, possibly dodging caterers and partygoers – and that might have been the most mimetic opening to a spy story I have ever played.

The spy vibe was present throughout the entire game; it’s baked into the set, the props, and the story. There was a heavy reliance on searching, specifically trying to find many parts of multiple puzzles. It didn’t feel entirely onerous, but it nearly did. We were one item short of finishing the mission for what felt like a very long time, but when that final piece came together the conclusion was satisfying. If you’re in Toronto and have a thing for old tunnels and spies, you should stop by and play.

Closeup of an old microphone labeled, "M," beyond is a computer display.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • History fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • An interactive in-game gamemaster that adds to the experience
  • Packed with puzzles from start to finish
  • Detailed sets

Story

Your team has detected a mysterious signal from the long-dormant Station M spy facility. Now you and your team need to investigate the tunnels beneath Casa Loma and get to the bottom of the signal’s origin.

Setting

The spy facility Station M takes place in is well appointed with spycraft items and memorabilia. It was well furnished but not overly cluttered, and the different sections of the game do feel like what a spy base should have. Note that this escape room is played in a real basement in a real castle. The tunnels are naturally chilly and damp, but the game space is more comfortable.

A wall of clocks and strange technology.

Gameplay

Station M is an escape room of medium difficulty that involves puzzling, making connections, searching, and logic/process puzzles.

Analysis

➕ The mission objectives were clearly stated throughout the game and it was easy to figure out which objective a puzzle was working towards.

➕/➖ There were a few puzzle branches to go down, so it’s possible for a large team to divide and conquer – but equally possible to miss out on puzzles.

➖ At least two puzzles relied on searching for items and information, leading to multiple bottlenecks as we tried to find the remaining pieces.

➕ The set decoration was superb. The game space felt partially like a museum of cool spy things without feeling cluttered and – more importantly – without turning props into red herrings.

➖ Visible active dehumidifiers in the room detracted from the overall décor and ambiance, but given the environment were necessary for increased comfort.

❓ The hint system was an in-room gamemaster who also functioned as a character. We loved our gamemaster – they were funny, quick-witted and added to the game, but in-room gamemasters are not to everyone’s liking.

🏰 Have I mentioned this takes place in a castle?

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking on site. Whether it is free or paid depends on whether Casa Loma is hosting an event that night.
  • Restaurants: There are multiple options nearby. We stopped for dinner at Chadwick’s before playing.

Book your hour with Casa Loma – Secret City Adventures’ Station M, tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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