Can you escape from this haunted house?
Escape games are becoming increasingly popular because of the range of settings they offer. All escape games imprison participants in a room where they must solve puzzles and find clues to escape. They are becoming a trend because of the many themes they offer, whether it’s a jewel heist, a zombie apocalypse, a serial killer’s basement, or a doctor’s office; they appeal to everyone.
At first I was skeptical about the concept because it did not seem that interesting to me, but I was convinced by my friends to try at least one room before deciding to never go to one. Thus, we booked the room ‘Haunting of Noriko’ at Escape Games Canada. Although I’m not a fan of horror, we thought it would be interesting and thrilling to complete a horror-themed escape room instead of a regular one. The room accommodates 4–12 players and you are provided 45 minutes to escape with two hints from staff if you are stuck.
The story is of a house haunted by spirits in Japan trapped in the house from a horrific murder which occurred years ago. A beautiful girl named Noriko, who was brutally murdered by her father and since that event, other members of the family have also gone missing. Participants had to follow the clues to solve puzzles and bring peace to the spirits tormenting the house.
The waiting area was quite large and could accommodate many people. Moreover, it was well-decorated with skeletons, hooded figures, and even cardboard cut-outs of Superman and Batman. They also had a large shelf filled with board games for those who arrived early, which was a nice touch. There was a single washroom there which also had a smaller sized skeleton, and safe to say, we were sort of afraid of going in there.
In the room itself, most of the puzzles didn’t have any technological aspect to them, except for one. There was an electronic piano located in the upstairs bedroom, where the keys were laser beam projections. In order to play the key you would have to place your finger under the laser, and the purpose of this electronic piano was to match the notes played from a recording that was playing downstairs. This was probably the most frustrating part of the room because many of the notes sounded similar, but it was a very cool concept.
The décor of the room was very well thought out. There were alcohol bottles with intricate Japanese writing and designs. The blood stains and background music also enhanced the experience and added to the eerie feeling of the room. Moreover, the staff was very friendly and welcoming, which added to the experience.
One way I think the experience could be improved is if there was a live actor and more rooms to go into. There were essentially two rooms; upstairs and downstairs, but more rooms would be interesting and more realistic for a house. I’ve done another escape room at this facility where they had a live actor, and although it was terrifying, it added to the design and theme. I was anticipating a live actor depicting Noriko and was slightly disappointed there was no one, but I understand it might be something a bit too scary for some.
As someone who was first skeptical about the concept of escape rooms, I can say it’s an activity I really enjoy with my friends. Even if you don’t want to do a scary room, Escape Games Canada offers many other rooms which are just as interesting. I think everyone should definitely try an escape room at least once!
15 Kodiak Crescent, Toronto — Unit 5