Crypto Escape Rooms – The Extraction [Review]

Corporate Invasion

Location: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada

Date Played: May 2, 2022

Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30.98 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: If you’re worried about set movement, speak to your gamemaster beforehand.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The beauty of The Extraction was in Crypto Escape Rooms’ restraint.

They created a beautiful and robust world with incredible interactions. They could have allowed us to linger on the details of their world, but instead they showed us glimpses that left us wanting more. Where many creators would have overdone a single idea, they resisted this temptation. The result: even more special and memorable moments.

Whereas in Golden Lock Award-winning Below Zero, a character led us through our adventure, in The Extraction, the characters and narrative were more subtle. We went on a winding journey complete with puzzles that tied the beautiful world to the story.

A long corridor that looks like a cross between a sewer and a machine with various wheels and switches.

While the set and story took unexpected twists and turns, the puzzles leaned heavily on a single style. Although we appreciated the different iterations on a theme, if this is not your type of puzzle, this gameplay could easily feel repetitive and frustrating.

Few companies rival Crypto’s ability to blend narrative, gameplay, and set into a cohesive experience. Crypto Escape Rooms is located outside of Toronto in Newmarket. I guarantee it’s worth going out of your way to visit them.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Beautiful set
  • Fantastic interactions and cutscene moments
  • Strong and interesting puzzles
  • A surprising narrative arc

Story

We entered into an elevator and as we traveled to our floor, it was commandeered by a secret intelligence agency, and we were deputized with a mission: investigate a military weapons manufacturer who had been making dangerous and unfathomable advancements that threatened the existence of humanity.

Setting

The Extraction took us on a journey through a series of strange settings that on the surface didn’t immediately feel like they went together, but as a unit, the progression felt great. Each space was gorgeous, and the game grew in scope and scale with each subsequent new space.

Additionally, Crypto Escape Rooms had some interesting effects in The Extraction, and their sparing use of these moments made them all the more special.

The inside of a decadent elevator with 1960s style advertisements and the letters "R&W" carved into the door.

Gameplay

Crypto Escape Rooms’ The Extraction was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

βž• The puzzles in The Extraction relied on communication and teamwork. They engaged the entire team, either in a lead or a support role. They also made great use of any given gamespace.

βž• The gameplay flowed well. It onboarded us with less complex puzzles that primed us for teamwork, and then ramped up with more complex puzzles that traversed more physical area.

βž– In the later portion of the game, a core puzzle mechanic was repeated through different props and different set ups. The gameplay began to feel repetitive, especially for players who aren’t a fan of this type of puzzle.

βž–/❓ One more physical interaction was over practically before it began. We were excited about the concept, but we solved it so quickly it was barely a blip in our experience. This may be a really cool moment for teams that take more than a few seconds to solve it.

βž• The sets looked great. The lighting was phenomenal. The sets also felt distinct. That said, they all felt like part of the same world.

βž– The Extraction required a lot of reading information off screens. There was opportunity to diversify how information was presented, and further incorporate some of it into the set.

βž• The transition points were well timed and introduced us to new props and story beats.

βž• Crypto Escape Rooms excelled at environmental and experiential storytelling. The narrative arc was strong, and well written.

❓The main character didn’t have as strong a presence as in some of Crypto Escape Rooms’ other games. The storytelling was strong, but some players connected better with stories where a character was a stronger anchor.

βž• The twist. Not only was this surprising and artistically impressive, its presence was physically minimal and emotionally impactful. Crypto Escape Rooms displayed restraint presenting this surprise, and then not overdoing the reveal.

❓/βž– Crypto Escape Rooms had an automated hint system. For the most part it worked well. It would offer a hint if a team fell behind pace, but it was up to the team to choose to reveal the hint. While we liked the timer aspect, we recommend timing hints to the individual puzzles rather than the game as a whole. It’s possible to be way ahead of the average time, but stall out on a meaty puzzle and lose momentum with no hints available. We also appreciated that teams can call a gamemaster at any point if the automated hint isn’t helping. This was critical because the automated hints only work if you have a normal problem. When you have gotten off course with an early mistake and this is causing your later problems, the automated hints can be more frustrating than helpful.

βž•Β At the end of your experience, ask your gamemaster about the Easter eggs in The Extraction. They are subtle and neat.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Crypto Escape Rooms’ The Extraction, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Crypto Escape Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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