Cabinet Mysteriis – Dream Walkers [Review]

Delightful nightmares

Location:  Québec City, Québec, Canada

Date Played: October 22, 2022

Team size: 3-7; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  Players need to be able to step up and over and duck.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

In Dream Walkers imaginative characters and dream-like logic came to life. One set was particularly delightful in how it played with scale and created magical transformations.

Cabinet Mysteriis excels at character interaction. In Dream Walkers, we quickly came to realize how much their games are built around the character. We couldn’t have solved the puzzles alone, and we wouldn’t have wanted to; this design was hilarious.

We’ve always loved dream themes because they allow creators to stitch together completely disconnected ideas under a single umbrella. Not every scene in Dream Walkers was created equal, in terms of puzzle or fantastical appeal. For instance, there was room to enhance the finale. However, they came together into a cohesive adventure that we very much enjoyed.

A child's bedroom with a yellow bed, bookshelf with toys, a blankey, and a book.
Image via Cabinet Mysteriis

One key, yet fixable note: In late 2022, Dream Walkers was showing a fair amount of wear. It did not look anywhere near as pristine as the photo in this review. It was fine and everything worked, but it really could benefit from some rejuvenation.

If you’re near Québec, Cabinet Mysteriis offers a lineup of unusual and delightful games, and Dream Walkers was arguably their strongest experience. For a more intense scenario, book Screaming Metal. And for the absurd, check out 2002: The Bovine Odyssey (reviews coming soon). Plus, The Reflection of Madness (originally created by Codex in Montreal) is now available at Cabinet Mysteriis, and I can’t think of better venue for it.

For newer players, pick your favorite theme and start there. For experienced, traveling escape room players, give yourself the whole afternoon for a complete sampling of these unique adventures.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • Phenomenal character interactions
  • Some bizarre (and captivating!) set design
  • Big interactions

Story

The Dreamwalkers have sworn to protect the dream world from the characters of human nightmares. There was a child trapped in their nightmares, held hostage by the tormenting characters. As Dreamwalkers, we entered a dream world to save this child.

Setting

We entered a simple child’s bedroom, complete with a bed, bookshelf, and toys. It was an ordinary starting set, but when we entered the dream, it would be anything but ordinary.

Cabinet Mysteriis’ built different dream world spaces beyond this bedroom that ranged from thematic but grounded to delightfully fantastical.

It was a cool and memorable space, even with the wear.

Gameplay

Cabinet Mysteriis’ Dream Walkers was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and solving puzzles.

Analysis

➕ Our gamemaster was a part of our experience. They brought the Dream Walkers characters to life. In each role they were entertaining and fun. Furthermore they were more than a hint system; they were designed into the gameplay.

➕/➖ The role of the characters wasn’t immediately apparent. We enjoy bantering with characters, so we leaned in, but we expect some players do not. As character interactions at Cabinet Mysteriis differ from the industry standard, more onboarding clarity would be helpful.

➕ The story walked a fun line between silly and playfully dark. Moreover, it was clear. Our actions made sense in this strange world and furthered the narrative.

➕ One scene transition woke us up.

➖ One crucial early game prop was too small. A giant implementation (totally viable in the game world) would have made it more fun to engage with, and easier to share.

➕ There’s largest to smallest, heaviest to lightest, darkest to lightest… and then there’s the unusual ordering for a puzzle in Dream Walkers. This just tickled me.

➕ One set that we can only describe as “playful nightmare” was over the top and truly delightful.

➖ Some interactions lacked clarity. In two instances we knew a puzzle solution, but couldn’t immediately intuit how to input it. In another, we spent time on a prop before it was available to us.

➕ Dream Walkers leaned into big interactions. They turned story beats into events with the help subtle environmental effects (for instance, an audio track).

➖ There were opportunities to turn some solves into bigger events, especially when we were staking claim to our victory.

❓/➕ Some interactions took place above head height. We enjoyed this because it was unusual, although we wouldn’t say it was a positive or negative characteristic of the game design. We also appreciated the step stool.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • This game is fully playable in English.

Book your hour with Cabinet Mysteriis’ Dream Walkers, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Cabinet Mysteriis comped our tickets for this game.

2 Comments

  1. We played recently and didn’t see signs of wear so I think it’s been spruced up a bit (unless we weren’t looking close enough). And wow! That scene transition. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Totally agree on the lack of clarity but the set did some heavy lifting to make up for it.

Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: