The Psychologist’s Wife

8.4 Overall
Pre-Room
Room Quality
Immersion
Puzzle Design
Users (0 votes) 0

The Psychologist's Wife

  • Played January 2016
  • Toronto

  • 60 minutes
  • 3-6 players
  • $26, $24 with Facebook check-in

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The Psychologist’s Wife is what’s known as a ‘pop-up’ escape room – set up for a limited time in a non-permanent location. Now one might worry that that might lead to a sub-par experience if less effort than usual is put into the initial set-up and design, but Red Button Rooms have done an excellent job of picking a good location and using that location’s peculiarities to their advantage.

The venue they’ve chosen in which to set up their room is the BrightLane co-working facility, which during the day is a set of offices for small entrepreneurial businesses. At night and on weekends, Red Button Rooms make use of the building to host The Pyschologist’s Wife. So the experience begins in the very professional-looking reception area, which can be found at the end of a laneway off King Street (look for a big ‘545’ painted on the side of the building). It continues in a very tastefully decorated and furnished meeting room, where the ground rules are established and the story is introduced via a well-produced video. In another example of Red Button Rooms making good use of the location, the room itself is located in a rented office and is decorated to look like… an office. The props and furniture are all very high quality, and right away you feel immersed in the setting.

While the room does contain a few high-tech elements, the puzzles themselves are mostly fairly low-tech. There’s a good variety of different kinds however, with a few that are purely physical and some that will require a very analytical mind. Of course good observational skills are helpful, and there’s a little bit of hide-and-seek to be played as you search for clues (but fortunately not too much).

The room is designed such that at the beginning especially, larger groups can split up and focus on different tasks, although it does get slightly more linear towards the end. There’s a good number of puzzles to be tackled, and our group of five used up almost the entire time getting out. Smaller groups will have to really move quickly to have a chance of getting out in time. For the most part, the puzzles are fairly logical and intuitive, although again there are several that require being able to take several different pieces of information, figure out how they all relate, and put them together to get a solution. But nothing impossibly hard or overly frustrating. Be prepared for a challenge, but an achievable challenge.

In another plus, the puzzles are very well integrated into the story, and as you go about solving some of them you’ll uncover more chunks of story. In some rooms, the story seems simply a thin pretext to put a few puzzles in a room, but here you’re constantly reminded of it from beginning to end.

Overall, The Psychologist’s Wife gets high marks in just about every area. The staff are friendly, the pre-room experience takes place in a very nice reception area and meeting room, the room quality is great, the puzzles are challenging but achievable, and the level of immersion is quite good. Highly recommended.

Final Verdict:

8.4/10

2 responses

  1. Red Button Rooms says:

    Thanks so much for the thorough review!

    To anyone who read this review: We’ve since changed the game up a fair bit, making some of the more difficult logical steps flow more smoothly, as well as alleviating a bottleneck toward the end of the game by adding some more fun puzzles into the mix so larger groups aren’t idling.

    Also, when we say a 3-person minimum, we really mean it! The game in it’s current form is only beatable with a minimum of 3 people.

    Happy escaping, everyone!

  2. Steve says:

    Hey Jeremy!

    Quick heads up that the Psychologist’s Wife has been renamed ‘Psycho’ and is now at Escape Manor Hintonburg in Ottawa! Red Button Rooms dismantled the operation in Toronto and set it up in Ottawa in addition to creating Escape Manor’s new Apocalypse 2.0 ‘Patient Zero’ room!

    Cheers!

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