- Played November 2015
- London, ON
- 60 minutes
- 4-10 players
- What People Say
During Esc Room Addict’s trip to London, ON we were given the chance to review some of the rooms at Exodus Escapes. Unfortunately one of our review team members was unexpectedly delayed last minute leaving us with only three people to tackle the Nursery and prove once and for all escape rooms are merely child’s play. Ba dum dum. (Ok, ok, we admit humour isn’t our strong point, let’s forget this joke ever happened and get on with the review).
Exodus Escapes is easily found in downtown London and just minutes away from the University of Western Ontario. The staff were incredibly friendly, helpful, and attentive. One thing particularly impressive was the amount of staff ready and waiting for anything that might be needed (which came in handy as our room needed some quick cleaning and repairs after a group of young ladies who obviously had some liquid courage in their systems tried out The Nursery for a bachelorette party). Although the staff and owners were incredible, there’s room for it to get to the next level by adding a bit more to the pre-room experience.
Room quality is where this room has its greatest strength. All you needed for the realism to be complete was a few toddlers, a couple teachers, and you would’ve had an actual daycare centre! Not only was the set design professional, but we also felt the props and furnishings were appropriate. The room did lack any of the big budget bells & whistles that are becoming more commonplace in big budget companies, but in comparison to most rooms out there you won’t find too many that beat The Nursery for room quality.
The Nursery’s immersive qualities were decent but left us wanting more. Because of the puzzle difficulty and complexity in this room, it was easy for us to feel disengaged with the overall story and lose motivation to discover what happens next. Instead of being engaged in the moment with what was happening, we found ourselves more focused on trying to solve puzzles and ignoring the overall atmosphere around us (which is a shame considering the impressive room quality). This of course leads us to the puzzles…
The puzzles here were difficult, numerous and often complex. It’s important to note that we’re not saying these are bad puzzles (in fact we enjoyed some of them very much), but we definitely felt as if we were constantly moving against a strong current keeping us from a sense of achievement… For those who love escape rooms exclusively for the purposes of solving puzzles this wouldn’t be an issue and may in fact be a strength. For the rest of us who tend to prefer a balanced approach that doesn’t require non-stop attention on solving challenging puzzles, make sure you don’t follow our lead of tackling this room with three players. On the plus side, many of the puzzles were inclusive and consistently in theme with the surroundings. There also wasn’t any outside knowledge beyond reasonable memory, observation, and problem solving skills needed.
So what can be said overall of the Nursery? Our feelings on this one are mixed. As experienced escape room enthusiasts we appreciate Exodus Escapes didn’t skimp on the puzzles, or the design quality of the room. We also can’t say speak highly enough about their staff and owners. The impressive level of attention put toward their customers was a nice change from some of the companies we’ve seen. At the same time we felt the rooms are ideally designed for large groups of expert puzzle solvers, which ironically excludes most of us on the ERA team. So would we recommend this room? Yes, but you’d really need a large group of puzzle enthusiasts to feel good about the challenges awaiting you in this room.
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