- 45 minutes
- 2-6 players
- 1 hint
- Xtreme Escape Adventures
- Dixie Airport Centre, 1515 Britannia Road East, Suite 251, Mississauga, ON
- What People Say
Pre-Room & Customer Service:
They say some people like to write reviews because it’s in their blood. For others it might simply be a means of communication. For me however, I write these reviews in the hopes that people will see the differences between companies who care about the value of your money, and those who don’t.
Let’s start with the location of Xtreme Escape Adventures. They are listed as an address on Britannia Rd, but after much trial and error we soon realized this is false. Although their street address is on Britannia, the entrance to their office complex is about a football field’s distance North of Britannia on Dixie!
Then there’s the issue of signage. What does one do when there’s a 3-story office building at the listed address, but no signs outside indicating where the company actually is? We circled the building about 3 times then assumed it must be inside the office building…voila! Now it’s up to the 2nd floor?!! Wow, we’ve started an adventure and haven’t even paid for it yet!
So we made our way through the office building hallways checking the door numbers of doctors, dentists, marketing companies, until… aha! There it is, Xtreme Escape Adventures…but wait, this can’t be right. It’s an actual office with no lobby just an office with a white board, a conference table, a partitioned wall, and office chairs! Did I forget to mention the group of 12 people trying to exit the office as we were trying to come into it? What a mess!
While we were sitting on office chairs with our knees bent into our bodies to make space for the others who are trying to move through we were told we could go in. Ummm… “Go in where?” Oh, behind the partitioned wall to office room #2. So in we go wondering if maybe we’re being videotaped for a prank-show.
The only reason the pre-room preparation wasn’t given under 10% was that our narrator Reggie was welcoming, friendly, and thankfully skilled at explaining the backstory as to why we’re now locked inside an airport security office. As good as he was in explaining this, he did fail to explain how things like a directional lock worked (which I was only person on our team familiar with one but couldn’t remember how to reset it)… Again, what a mess.
The setting of an airport security was authentic and yes, I admit it was consistently thematic. The irony of course being that the company’s location is right behind Pearson International Airport which added to its authenticity.
On the other side of the ledger was the large amount of ”do not touch” objects which has always bothered me about some rooms. Why put something into a room (let alone many things) where the participants are told not to interact with it? And let there be no doubt, this room was pretty confined and crammed with stuff so it was pretty annoying keeping track of all the ”touch” and ”do not touch” objects in the room.
The room was also quite small and I think had we any more than 4 people entering it, we would’ve been dealing with some serious claustrophobia or personal space issues. Putting that aside, the theme wasn’t merely pasted on, which is always good to see.
A series of combination locks which is nothing new.
To be honest, I’m not totally sure what I disliked more about this whole experience, the pre-room preparation or the puzzles themselves. Amongst our team we even had a debate as to which aspect was worse and would stick in our memories longer.
The puzzles were random and required some very awkward leaps in logic. They also made no sense as to why they were presented the way they were (e.g. why was there a chain wrapped around a suitcase with multiple locks?!)
The real shame of it all was that there was an incredible story line that went unnoticed because we were too focused on the random nonsensical puzzles. I wish I could bring myself to share the backstory and ongoing storyline, but I don’t want to violate the sanctity of an escape room’s secrets even if it was horrible. Believe me when I say however that the story was far more entertaining than the room itself.
Let me take a break from the negative and talk about what I did like aside from the hidden storyline. I really enjoyed how they presented puzzle hints! There’s a box in which all the puzzle answers are contained – it’s up to you to decide whether you want to open that box or not. Reggie definitely built the temptation of the ”garden of Eden – knowledge of good & evil” within us! We desperately wanted to look inside, but we knew we shouldn’t! I also liked that background noise was included in the room to simulate an airport experience. Yes it was presented in a cheap way (a plugged in desktop computer with speakers) but at least it was something.
So what can I say about Airport Explosion? Well… it’s probably not a good sign when you see posted on the white board out front that the highest success rate of their 3 rooms is only 17% (and that’s in Airport Explosion)! If your best chance of successfully escaping a room is about 1 in 6, you know you’ve come to the wrong company. The other two rooms each posted success rates of less than 10%! Ouch. You’d think this might have alerted them to the leaps in logic required and they would have adjusted the manner in which they present their puzzles.
Another sore point was the lack of acknowledgement on their poor location and signage. When asked if they were aware of how difficult it was to find their company, the response was ”Yeah we feel it adds to the mystery of being an escape room company.” Sigh – I admit I have no witty remark that can outdo a response which assumes me being that level of a fool. It doesn’t take a genius to see the focus of a company with a higher than average cost, a 45-minute time limit (instead of 60min), and a very substandard experience. You got my money once, I can reassure you it won’t happen again.
Although I’d usually conclude my reviews with a recognition that these are only my opinions and say ”Enjoy your escape!” I can’t in good conscience do so this time. Even a discounted rate at Xtreme Escape Adventures is a poor investment of your entertainment dollar and I would encourage you to choose one of the many other escape room companies here in the GTA.