Exode – Defended [Review]

Family Circus

Location:  Québec City, Québec, Canada

Date Played: October 22, 2022

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $31 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  All players needs to be able to climb stairs to experience the entire game. At least one player will need to lie on the ground.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We’ve played a lot of escape rooms set in dubious sheds, but none the felt quite like Defended. Exode gave their characters a circus backstory, and decorated the depths of this set with circus paraphernalia. These unusual props made for fun and memorable interactions.

Defended was a challenging game. There was a lot of layered, puzzle content in a creepy and dark environment. It kept us on edge, but was not especially scary. Go in knowing you’ll need to cooperate and communicate well to succeed.

A display of old theatrical masks, dolls, and costumes surrounded by a string of white lights.
Image via Exode

If you’re in Quebec City, you should check out Defended. It might seem like one of many sheds, but it hid a lot of unexpected charm behind its well constructed doors. Be sure to approach Defended with respect as this game offered a lot of puzzle and search content. As with so many games in Quebec City, this one is tough.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Thriller or light-horror fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A twist on the cabin theme
  • Thriller vibes
  • Solid puzzle design


In this thematic mishmash our grandparents were former circus artists. Now grandma had been acting strangely. We were concerned enough that we’d decided to investigate grandpa’s forbidden cabin. We’d need to understand its secrets in order to save grandma.


We entered a cabin with wood paneled walls and outdoor-activity themed decor. It looked good.

Beyond the cabin walls, things got a bit weird. Circus-themed props decorated dimly lit walls. It was an unusual place.

The interior of a wooden shed with an assortment of antique items strewn about.
Image via Exode


Exode’s Defended was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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


➕ We enjoyed this thematic mashup: grandpa’s shed + circus. It led to distinct, unusual sets that unbelievably made sense in the same universe.

➕ Exode created a creepy (not terrifying) vibe with just a few jump scares, but enough to keep us on edge.

➖ The set was too dark and lacked spotlighting for the locks. Inputting codes was needlessly challenging.

➖ We wanted more out of some of the larger set pieces. In one instance the most intriguing prop was decor.

➕ It was surprisingly satisfying to open up doors in Defended, each in its own way.

➖ There was a lot of searching… for an unspecified amount of the same item. And there was no wiggle room, as only the exact amount were hidden within the set. There was also no bypass. To further complicate matters, we thought we’d solved the collection puzzle (due to another puzzle interacting with the same prop), when in fact we had more to collect.

➖ For a generally well-themed shed, one purchased prop was bizarrely modern and completely out of place.

➕ We appreciated the in-world hinting.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Exode’s Defended, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Exode comped our tickets for this game.

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