Kitchen of Hell (retired)
- What People Say
Pre-Room & Customer Service:
After tackling String Requiem (which I’ve also reviewed), we tackled Kitchen of Hell next.
Not much to say that would be different from the pre-room evaluation in my earlier review. If however you’re like me and don’t like reading from your screen for too long, I’ll repost most of what I wrote the first time for pre-room prep.
Thankfully during this visit to Mr. Escape there were no staff standing at the front entrance having a smoke break which is an improvement. We were a bit annoyed by the fact that their receptionists were more interested in their phones, texting and online social activities than attending to us or setting the mood. This seems to be a negative trend that extends to several different escape room companies. One that I hope will be put to an end at Mr.Escape and other companies soon.
The front lobby is small and the walls have pictures of participants who failed or passed each of the rooms. I personally enjoy the way their walls and hallways leading to the various rooms are darkened and designed in theme.
Again our narrator struggled with his English making for a rough start, but when you’ve done enough of these escape rooms and the backstory isn’t central to the experience, you learn to not worry. Still, if this was our first escape room it would be unsettling to not understand what is being said.
This room is made for 2-teams, and you will be split into a group that starts in the Kitchen/Cell, and one that starts in the Outer Room.
Fellow EscRoomAddict.com co-founder Errol & I were handcuffed back to back, blindfolded and thrown into a cell together to start this adventure. Now on the one hand, you might think this sounds like fun (and yes it’s neat to have a long time friend who is equally passionate and skilled at these rooms to be trapped with). On the other hand, might I make one suggestion to everyone reading this before you choose this room. Don’t volunteer to be handcuffed with somebody who can’t stay still or doesn’t remember there’s somebody with them…your wrists, arms & shoulders will pay the price! 😉
Which brings me to my next point. The room we started in was an odd one to say the least. Part cell, part kitchen (this truly was the Kitchen From Hell!) which made for an interesting mish-mash of scenery. Again, I’d probably say there were too many divergent themes taking place for it to truly feel like a well designed set.
None the less, there were some interesting things to capture our attention while we waited for our team to make their way over to us. The room was far from barren and there were opportunities to visually gather clues. Without going too much into depth, I did enjoy the creepiness of the room, which at the time was one of the few escape rooms I knew of that tried to engage my imagination and fear, (since that point in time there have been several escape rooms at many different companies that have gone with a haunted or possessed house atmosphere, so Kitchen of Hell pales a little in comparison).
To put things into perspective, this room isn’t thematically as consistent or well designed as Bloody Moonlight, but it is much better than Stringer Requiem.
Again, one of the reasons we break down our escape room reviews into different components is for rooms like this. The Pre-Room was fairly unimpressive, the room itself wasn’t too bad….and the puzzles themselves? Disappointing!
I wish I could give hints or spoilers here to save you the trouble of some huge leaps in logic that are required in this room. Two puzzles in particular are very obscure and require somebody to stumble upon the right observation/process instead of being lead into them by means of logic, reason, storyline, or observation. You can imagine how our team felt having spent most of the time on these particular puzzles wondering what it is we could have missed, only to realize it wasn’t something we missed but rather something we didn’t try because it would involve randomly trying something obscure. This never leaves a good impression.
So why 50% then? In fairness there were one or two puzzles at the beginning that had a neat ”Aha!” moment when we solved them which is good. Overall the impression we got was this room was pretty weak in the puzzle offerings.
I would recommend avoiding this room if possible. Mr.Escape offers a better selection of puzzles in their Stringer Requiem room and a better set design and role play experience in their Bloody Moonlight room. This in combination with the dozens of other escape room companies in the GTA means that you don’t have to worry about running out of options on where to spend your entertainment dollars.
Mr.Escape as a whole seems to focus a bit less on the participant experience which is why I hesitate to say go check them out. If they are willing to offer a great deal, by all means, go and book a room or two, but don’t let Kitchen Of Hell be one of those rooms.
Enjoy your escape!