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Our escape room tour to New Orleans is back for a third time. After two sold out tours, we’re running another, and tickets are going fast. Get yours while you can.

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Niagara Escapement – End of the *Bleeping* World [Review]

Puzzle Preppers

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada

Date Played: May 1, 2022

Team Size: 3-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The word that came to mind when I walked out of End of the Bleeping World was just… classic. Most refreshing was the momentum that carried us through the plot, lining up opportunities for players to score successes in frequent and approachable intervals as we sought solace from catastrophe.

Designed by the same individual who was the mastermind behind Dead Air (a now-closed hallmark of escape rooms in the northeast), End of the Bleeping World was another example of rock-solid game design. This serious scenario with a lighthearted tone was a joy to work through. The puzzles were incredibly fair, the aha moments were particularly delightful, and the non-linear space itself was set up in such a way that enabled players to have their own range of motion, both physically and in discovery moments.

Inside of a brick and metal bunker with a pneumatic tube system.

If you are playing in the Buffalo/ Niagara/ Southern Ontario region and you don’t play this game (alongside the 2-person Easy Bake Coven), you are doing yourself a disservice. Suitable for beginners and entertaining for enthusiasts, End of the Bleeping World was a great example of intelligent, approachable gameplay really hitting a home run.

Continue reading “Niagara Escapement – End of the *Bleeping* World [Review]”

Red Fox Escapes – The Body Shop [Review]

Be prepared… for mayhem

Location:  Cambridge, MA

Date Played: July 10, 2022

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $40 per player for teams of 4 to $36 per player for teams of 6-10

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

With Body Shop, Red Fox Escapes took a previously great game (Outside the Box’s The Body Shop), and enhanced it into a truly stellar experience.

The first act aesthetically remained largely the same, but Red Fox Escapes carefully nested it into their own building, minding details and making thoughtful adjustments. With the second act, the changes were more dramatic.

Red Fox changed the storyline and reworked the puzzle flow to support the new, more coherent narrative. We found the new flow – in both story and gameplay – to be a smooth ride. We especially enjoyed when this game leaned into Girl Scouting, but with a twist.

I spent many years as a Girl Scout, earning badges for my sashes, and it was fun to don one again and solve my way through this strange and humorous Girl Scouts parody.

While the game is lightly horror (and I wouldn’t bring any current Girl Scouts of badge-earning age), it was more funny than scary, and “light horror” is more of a nod to prop content and storyline – nothing terror-inducing.

A body shop interior with a motorcycle being worked on.

In its new home at Red Fox Escapes, Body Shop is accessible for Boston locals and visitors. It’s a must-play addition to any Boston escape room list.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Scouts or former Scouts
  • Fans of light horror
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • An unusual theme
  • The hilarious rebranded girl scout badges
  • A killer reveal

Story

We had been regular Girl Scouts earning our Automotive Engineering badges at the local auto body shop. We didn’t realize that a shadow Girl Scout troop was running their nefarious operations out of this very shop. Now, they wanted us to join their ranks, and they’d invited us there to prove we were worthy of inclusion in their secret society.

An assortment of Girl Scout sashes.
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Field Report: Israeli Escape Rooms

Israel has a thriving, creative escape room scene that includes a bounty of lighthearted themes filled with special moments.

The scene is also fairly insular: as of my visit in May 2022, we were amongst the first non-Hebrew speakers to play extensively in the region, and we were the very first players of the English versions of certain rooms. Many but not all Israelis speak some English, and we were grateful to have Hebrew-speaking teammates and friends who generously accompanied us for much of our trip.

A heart-shaped pizza with a pizza cutter on one side and three tomatoes on the other.

Across the 22 rooms I played in Israel, I observed certain distinctive trends:

  • Unique Theming: Fandoms & Food
  • Family-Friendly
  • Everyone Finishes
  • Nascent Translation
  • Safety & Upkeep
  • The Secret Sauce
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Escape Academy [Hivemind Review]

Escape Academy is a point-and-click escape game. The developer is Coin Crew Games and the publisher is iam8bit, Skybound Games.

Illustrated headmaster character says, "If an escape from the traditional path piques your interest... climb aboard."

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level… but it helps to have experience controlling characters on your platform of choice

Required Equipment: Steam on PC, Xbox, PS4/PS5, or Epic Games

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: 4-8 hours of gameplay. Each level is typically between 15-30 minutes.

Price: $19.99 for base game, additional $14.99 for the season pass with 2 planned DLCs; base game available with subscription on XBox Gamepass

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

A simple jaunt to an escape room turned into an epic quest to join the Escape Academy, pass its tests, and unlock the secrets of its faculty. To do this, we had to complete 11 specific tasks given to us by the faculty, where each task translated into an entire escape room. Each “room” was a self-contained open world where we could travel in all directions, inspect designated hot spots, collect items, and interact with standard and not-so-standard escape room mechanisms like combination locks, keypads, chainsaws, and so forth. Each room had a time “limit” to give urgency to the activity, but you could choose to extend the timer when it expired.

There are both solo and multiplayer options.

Escape Room Waiver, playfully giving controller instructions in a video game.
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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 $40 CAD per player; Friday and Saturday $46 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.
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