The Forgotten Cathedral is one of the best escape rooms around Montreal, Canada. Here are our recommendations for great escape rooms in the Montreal area.
La Cathédrale Oubliée
Location: Laval, Québec, Canada
Date Played: May 6, 2023
Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5
Duration: 90 minutes
Price: $59.99 CAD per player
Accessibility Consideration: To fully experience the game, all players need to climb a ladder and climb through a small opening.
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Over the last few years, Escaparium has leveled up their craft. With each new escape game, they have pushed deeper into the theme park world. They’ve incorporated practical effects, lighting and sound, animation, motion, and more to make their players feel the stories of the adventures.
They’ve certainly accomplished these aims with Rain Corp, The Lost Island of the Voodoo Queen, and Wardrobe for Sale, establishing themselves as the only venue in the world where you can play three 2022 TERPECA winning games under the same roof. For us, however, The Forgotten Cathedral ushered in a new level of their realization of this ambition. They are succeeding at building some of the biggest and most bombastic escape rooms in the world.
Escaparium’s multi-year ascension to the top of the North American escape room scene has been accomplished by being present. The Forgotten Cathedral was clearly designed by those who are continuously engaged with our community and the conversations in this industry: by reading, listening, conversing, networking, and most of all, playing.
The Forgotten Cathedral was made up of scenes, puzzles, and moments that each had a purpose to drive the adventure forward by telling a story. As players, we couldn’t help but connect with the story as we explored, interacted with, solved, and appreciated the world of this escape game. I was completely transported. I loved this game.
Near as we can tell, the reason to dislike this escape room, or to opt out, is the theme: whether it’s the occult aspect or the darker tones. But for everyone else, play The Forgotten Cathedral.
When you discover escape rooms of the caliber at Escaparium, individuals will disagree about which one is their favorite. But there is no question that this is one of the finest games in North America. There are few companies who can rival this level of escape room craft.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Thriller fans
- Any experience level
- Best appreciated by players with at least some experience
- Breathtaking sets
- Memorable moments… that drive the plot forward
- Set-driven interactions and puzzles
We’d arrived at Escaparium to tour an ancient cathedral hidden within their massive escape room complex. Excavation and restoration were underway. The work had demonstrated that the cathedral had been a sanctuary for a now extinct cult, and further investigation into the cult rituals would be warranted. We eagerly followed our tour guide to the cathedral to learn more about it.
After walking by a workshop area where we saw some of the drawings and learned about the restoration currently underway, we entered a small museum space. The walls were unadorned. Our focus was directed to the beautiful artifacts on pedestals in the center of the room.
The cathedral itself was magnificent. It towered above us, with detailed stone work, classic gargoyles, and an imposing wooden door.
Escaparium’s The Forgotten Cathedral was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Escaparium stages this as a tour of a cathedral, but it is an escape room. It leans into theatricality by way of the set, technology, and characters.
Core gameplay revolved around observing the immense and detailed environment, making connections, and solving puzzles.
➕ The onboarding was fully in world. We learned the terms of engagement, complete with a safety briefing, without ever being read rules. The dual purpose introduction scene served to further build the mystique of the place.
➕ The opening scene was magnificent. Escaparium used a thrilling technique in a novel way. We’ve previously discouraged anything like this early in an escape room, but Escaparium used their characters and story to shatter this boundary that we’d previously drawn in escape room design. This subtle orchestration was impressive to us, but to most, I expect a different moment from this scene to be one of the most memorable of the game.
➕ The cathedral structure contributed to the theatricality of the experience. The doors punctuated scenes brilliantly. The stained glass reflected the narrative. Escaparium used a subwoofer expertly to enhance the cathedral setting and bring the space to life. They also relied on lighting cues to direct our attention where it belonged to further our objectives or experience the story.
➖ As Escaparium continues to polish every aspect of game design, they can mask the sound of internal mechanisms more thoroughly. There was also an opportunity to lean more into directional sound.
➕ Escaparium used projections to bring the spirits of this ancient space to life. We loved the interplay between digital and physical, with the projected characters affecting the physical world.
➕ The Forgotten Cathedral included some jump scares, but they were purposely built to tell the story of this place. Fear wasn’t the end goal, and thus, we never felt on edge. Rather, these scares added dramatic effect and emphasis at key moments. As players, we were always safe. In fact, Escaparium seamlessly incorporated a certain ritual into the gameplay to ensure that all players were always in the right place when it mattered.
➕ For one bold player, a thrilling solo moment beckons. Note to the cautious players: it will be abundantly clear that someone is opting in to this solo moment.
➖ There was a missed opportunity for the end of the solo moment. Because of what becomes available to the other players during this scene, the re-emergence of the separated player lacked drama. This could be rebalanced just slightly to further wow.
➕ The varied puzzles made use of the space, often requiring communication and coordination between teammates.
➕ In The Forgotten Cathedral, each reveal upstaged the previous one. Doors opened, but not-doors opened too. It’s rare when we don’t see the cracks.
➖ As dramatic as the final scene was (truly!), it was undercut by the gameplay. The first interaction made a splash, but lacked some clue structure. The final boss battle lacked feedback, and we ended up repeating the interaction a lot, long after the aha moment, which made the gameplay drag at an especially inopportune time. Furthermore, the longer we spent in this space, and the more carefully we explored it, the less dynamic and impressive it felt. The conclusion would be more of a rush if these interactions moved more swiftly.
➕ The gamemastering was superb. With a narrative conceit for who our gamemaster was and their relation to us and the space, it felt natural if they reached out to us with a hint. They most definitely had a reason to want to talk to us, and even a reason to have a perspective that differed from ours.
➕ We appreciated the end credits. We got to relive a few exciting moments and glimpse behind the scenes, while appreciating the crew that built the escape game.
Tips For Visiting
- The Forgotten Cathedral is located at Escaparium’s Laval location.
- There is a parking lot.
- This game is entirely bilingual (French and English).
- The theming is demonic.
Book your hour with Escaparium’s The Forgotten Cathedral, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Escaparium comped our tickets for this game.