Sauve Qui Peut – The Underground Bar [Review]

Putain and other French wordplay.

Location:  Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada

Date Played: April 8, 2019

Team size: 3-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Underground Bar was all about sex, drugs, and booze… and let’s just say… it didn’t beat around the bush.

What opened as a fairly traditional puzzle-focused escape room in a bar transitioned into something considerably more outlandish. It was a great time… until the final minutes.

In-game: a back-alley behind a bar.

The quality of the closing set and puzzle were well beneath the rest of the game, causing an otherwise wild ride to fizzle.

Did it ruin the game? Not at all.

Would it have been way better if the closing of this game were on the level of everything else that we played at Sauve Qui Peut? Absolutely.

If you’re over 18, near Montreal, into playing an adult game, and you’re with a group of people whom you’re open to playing this kind of game with… then you absolutely should.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Strip club goers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Beautiful and detailed set
  • Unexpected reveal
  • It’s 18+ for alcohol, drug, and sexual content

Story

Our department had suspected this Manhattan bar of being an epicenter for crime. We were dispatched to investigate it and learn what kind of criminal was calling this bar home.

In-game: an electrical box in a back-alley.

Setting

We began The Underground Bar outside of the bar before progressing inside. It was a good-looking space that made use of wall-sized murals that actually added depth and character to the environment.

From there, things got a bit seedy… which was how it was supposed to get.

In-game: a grafitti's dead face.

Gameplay

Sauve Qui Peut’s The Underground Bar was a standard escape room with a section that had 18+ theming. It had a moderate level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕ The opening scene of The Underground Bar set the tone for a clandestine operation. The puzzle flow worked elegantly.

➕ The wall art in The Underground Bar was phenomenal. It was beautiful and gave the set some depth without ever creating red herrings. We’re not usually big on murals, but this one worked.

➕ The puzzles were well themed for the setting.

➖ The final act was a letdown. The gamespace was crowded and uninteresting. The gameplay felt dry, especially considering the previous act. Our momentum ground to a halt.

➖ While most of the clue structure was built into the set, one complex, layered puzzle relied almost entirely on a journal. While not exactly a runbook, it had a lot of the same problems. It was too compact to engage the entire team in the only available puzzle. The game bottlenecked at this point.

➕ One puzzle initially posed a stiff challenge, but after trying a few different angles we quickly came to a satisfying conclusion.

➕ Sauve Qui Peut hid its secrets well. The Underground Bar included some phenomenal opens.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is metered street parking.
  • You can most of this game in English. You will need French (or hints) for 2 puzzles.
  • You must be 18 years old to play this game. The theming is sexual. Choose your teammates wisely.

Book your hour with Sauve Qui Peut’s The Underground Bar, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Sauve Qui Peut comped our tickets for this game.

Sauve Qui Peut – Final Exam [Review]

No more teachers; no more books

Location:  Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada

Date Played: April 8, 2019

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock *

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Sauve Qui Peut’s Final Exam was surprising. We had been told that it would be more physical and it absolutely delivered. This escape game was all about agility, dexterity, and teamwork.

This was a truly different game that asked us to take some risks as we explored its eccentric gameplay. We had to climb a ladder and crawl… and there were confined spaces. Not everyone had to crawl or enter tight spaces, but everyone needed to climb and the tight crawlspaces were where Final Exam was most interesting.

In-game: A schoolyard fence with with a bookbag hanging from it.

Along with this experimental gameplay came some frustrations. One core mechanism was particularly quirky. Another key moment was muddied up by a bit of unnecessary confusion.

All in all, this was a nutty game. While we were a bit dubious of it in the opening act, we grew to love it. We recommend it to anyone near Montreal with the willingness to explore this strange maze to its fullest.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Agile players
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • To experience a crazy puzzle construct
  • Unusual design elements
  • Playfulness

Story

We had all aced our final geography examination, but our teacher suspected that we had cheated. We’d earned our grades fair and square, but he’d failed us anyway.

To avoid summer school, we’d plotted to break into school, hack his computer, and clear our records. Failure of any kind was not an option.

In-game: A hopscotch with each tile bearing a piece of sporting equipment shot through the gate of a schoolyard.

Setting

Sauve Qui Peut’s Final Exam opened up in a schoolyard at night. It was a fenced-in play area beside a brick wall. It wasn’t the most elegant of sets, but it absolutely conveyed schoolyard.

From there, we climbed our way into our classroom… and beyond that, well… spoilers… really strange… really fun spoilers.

In-game: A view into a classroom from the outside of the school.

Gameplay

Sauve Qui Peut’s Final Exam was a standard escape room that required more physical prowess than most escape rooms. It had a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, puzzling, communicating, and maneuvering around tight spaces for significant periods of time.

Analysis

Final Exam had a playful premise that made returning to school fun.

➕ Final Exam incorporated physical solves including dexterity and agility. We especially liked how these solves required teamwork. One physically skilled person couldn’t solve these puzzles alone.

➖ In one instance, different clue paths jumped over one another, resulting in unnecessary confusion.

➕ While Sauve Qui Peut telegraphed some of the early gameplay, they surprised us with a reveal that changed the nature of the game. It was elegant and exciting.

Final Exam felt video game-y… in a fun way. This entire aspect of the game was unexpected.

➖ While many of the puzzles made sense in the schoolyard and classroom theming, others felt arbitrary and oddly out of place, given that theming.

➖ We solved one puzzle correctly, but the solve didn’t trigger because our choice of tool was correct, but off by a fraction of an inch. This slowed the roll of our momentum.

➖/➕ Final Exam ended anticlimactically. Because of the teamwork aspect of the final puzzle, we weren’t all together when we freed ourselves from the classroom, having cleared our names. One person stepped into freedom triumphantly without the rest of the team. That said, the exit was designed such that everyone who wished to experience the unusual element of Final Exam had the opportunity to explore this.

❓ *The entrance door to Final Exam was never locked. There was also an emergency exit door at a particular juncture. That said, Final Exam required at least some players to spend time in confined spaces. Not everyone will be comfortable with these spaces or their emergency exit options.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is metered street parking.
  • This game is more physical than most escape rooms. Everyone needs to be able to climb a ladder. At least 2 people need to be able to crawl.
  • You can play this game in English or French.

Book your hour with Sauve Qui Peut’s Final Exam, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Sauve Qui Peut comped our tickets for this game.

Sauve Qui Peut – Wrath Of Poseidon [Review]

9 out of 10 gods recommend Trident.

Location:  Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada

Date Played: April 8, 2019

Team size: 3-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Sauve Qui Peut had a style unto themselves. Their games were unusual and quirky. Wrath Of Poseidon was our favorite of the 3 games that we played with them. (They had 9 games at the location we visited.)

The second half of this game was vibrant. Wrath Of Poseidon was uneven in many ways. This unevenness paid off in the end, however, even adding to our experience.

If you’re in Montreal, Sauve Qui Peut is a bit outside the city. If you have a car, I highly recommend visiting them. Wrath Of Poseidon made us feel happy.

In-game: A periscope in a submarine.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • The second act
  • The details

Story

Poseidon, the vengeful god of the seas, was furious with humanity for polluting his kingdom. In retaliation, he intended to flood the lands. The only way to save humanity would be to steal his legendary trident spear.

In-game: A sealed door in a submarine.

Setting

Wrath of Poseidon was a game in 2 acts. It began in a submarine. Then we experienced a transition of mythic proportions.

The submarine setting was great. It had a bronze sort of steampunk aesthetic that made it feel different from your more traditional naval vessel escape game.

The second act… well, if I spoiled it for you, I’d be a jerk. Rest assured, it was awesome and I would love to talk about it.

In-game: piping and pressure gauges in a submarine.

Gameplay

Sauve Qui Peut’s Wrath Of Poseidon was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕ The premise of Wrath Of Poseidon was fantastical, but meaningful. The story was light but certainly present.

➕ We especially liked the puzzle that asked us to remember the why of this escape room and act according to that premise.

➖ While some later puzzles integrated seamlessly, many of the early puzzles lacked inspiration. They didn’t make a ton of sense in the world. We had to dive deep in this dark submarine to find the threads of gameplay.

➖ Although Sauve Qui Peut built a polished world for Wrath Of Poseidon, at times the clue structure felt slapped on. For example, handwritten numbers on objects felt unrefined given the level of detail in other parts of the experience.

➕ Sauve Qui Peut designed mechanisms brilliantly so that one solve enabled a later one to work properly. The gating worked well and the second solve blew us away.

➖ We tripped up on ghost puzzles. This added some unnecessary confusion… but I also think that it would be difficult to fully remove this.

Wrath Of Poseidon was a beautiful escape room. Every set was carefully crafted and artistically detailed.

➕ Wrath Of Poseidon delivered a spectacular reveal. We stopped playing to take it in.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is metered street parking.
  • You can play this game in English or French. However, if you don’t read French, there is one important instruction that you may miss.

Book your hour with Sauve Qui Peut’s Wrath Of Poseidon, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Sauve Qui Peut comped our tickets for this game.