Lost & Found in Chinatown

8.3 Overall
Pre-Room
Room Quality
Immersion
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
Users (1 vote) 9

Lost & Found in Chinatown

  • Played August 2016
  • Toronto

  • 90 minutes
  • 2-6 players
  • $32 / $36 during prime time

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“Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown” – Chinatown, 1974

The initial greeting from the staff of this escape room set the tone for the entire experience. Our team was met by a big smile and warm welcome from the “office secretary.” The space is open, clean and neat, and definitely adequate for a team waiting for its final member to arrive. Hopefully that team member arrives soon, as there isn’t much to keep you entertained in the meantime. After a concise rundown of the rules and guidelines, we received some background information via video before WOOSH, a door swings open and we are swept into the action. Personally, I love it when the escape room staff take on a character role in the story. Big points for that!

An important note regarding the room quality of Lost & Found in Chinatown: our team decided to evaluate the on-site, interior portion of the experience only. This is due to the fact that the Kensington Market neighbourhood, and all integrated parts therein, has been in existence far longer than this escape room. That being said, the room that has been constructed for this experience is really top-notch. The space was accommodates a team of 6 people without crowding them, and the set design was fantastic. The fixtures included in the room fit in with the theme, and the choice of colour and lighting gave everything a sleek and clean look.

Knowing that part of this escape room included wandering through a city neighbourhood, I wasn’t expecting too much when it came to immersion. And aside from what we experienced with some finicky technology, what we experienced was a pleasant surprise! A few of the highlights include: the method of communication used during the excursion, which allowed us to maintain constant contact with the staff at the base location; the varying levels of excursion difficulty based on how well the team is doing; and how the story incorporates the team not knowing what to expect with the memory-loss premise. Also, we did learn a fair bit about Chinatown!

This escape room definitely requires teams to exercise their observation skills, but while observation played a large role, the puzzles that then needed to be solved were diverse and engaging. The layout is non-linear, though we were cautioned against splitting up our team during the excursion (and were glad we didn’t!), and the final few puzzles really depend on how well the team communicates. All-in-all, our team enjoyed the puzzles, and everyone had the opportunity to contribute.

Lost & Found in Chinatown is fun! The mixture of a classic escape room and a neighbourhood excursion was different from any other room I’ve experienced. Each team member is given a chance to shine, but the team element is very important to completing this escape room. I know that cardio may not be everybody’s favourite thing, but exercise is important! So get off the couch (or office chair), gather your team, and get Lost & Found in Chinatown!

Final Verdict:

8.3/10

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2 responses

  1. Kevin Parnell says:

    Thanks so much for coming out to play and for the review! I’m one of the game designers of this. Always great to hear that people had a blast!

  2. JMKU says:

    Overall, the “room” was incredibly fun. They divide the experience into 80 minutes outside, with basic puzzle solving and scavenger hunting, and 10 minutes in the room with a variety of puzzles. The outdoor portion is by far the more fun experience. You get to explore parts of Chinatown and Kensington market while learning about some of the history. A lot of tasks make you feel like you’re in an old spy movie and it’s such a blast.

    My only gripe with the mission seems to be a tendency with Company & Co. where they like to make the final puzzle(s) significantly more difficult to substantially bring down the success rate of their rooms. Even at a walking pace we finished the outdoor portion with plenty of time to spare, but you only get 10 minutes in the final room regardless. Half of our group were pretty seasoned at escape rooms and we fell a bit short on time. The 10 minute time limit is very tight and there’s very little room for error so I can only imagine how much a less experienced group might struggle.

    I’m honestly a bit confused by the last room portion. It’s a neat way to show off some technology that isn’t normally incorporated in escape rooms, and if it were expanded it could be a really neat room on its own. The outdoor portion is so laid-back and enjoyable until the atmosphere in the last room completely changes to a more rushed and frantic state. It feels like it’s only included to make you fail and tests how efficiently you can organize your group in a short amount of time rather than testing your problem solving skills.

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