Defenders of the Triforce
Defenders of the Triforce
- Played May 2017
- 60 minutes
- 6 players (smaller groups will be merged with others into a team of 6)
- What People Say
“Hey! Listen!” – Navi
I need to be upfront and honest before continuing with this review: I am a BIG Legend of Zelda fan. I’ve got the games (except for Breath of the Wild, mainly because I haven’t convinced myself to purchase the new Nintendo Switch), graphic t-shirts, cell phone cases, hats… the list goes on. This is important because the hype built up around this escape game, both in (social) media and in my head, definitely affected my experience and final thoughts, but luckily I wasn’t in this review process alone. Before you check out Defenders of the Triforce, remember, “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this…” review!
Arriving at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (after a maddening trip through Toronto rush-hour traffic), the first thing I saw was the crowds. Not thousands or hundreds, but a crowd of 40-50 people which, for an escape room, is a LOT. Never having been in the building before, I thought that maybe they had setup a number of different rooms to accommodate 3-4 groups of 12-15 people. A security guard poked his head out of the door about 15 minutes before (scheduled) show time and asked us all to line up. The line moved slowly, but soon my ticket was scanned and I was allowed inside to… line up again. That line progressed slowly until I reached the front where I gave my name and ERA affiliation, at which point I was greeted with a handshake, given a lanyard and table number, and directed inside (within the partitions that had been setup in one area of the otherwise empty building).
30ish tables with six seats each had been setup within the space, with a handful of booths setup around the perimeter. During the next 20 minutes or so before the escape game got started, not much was happening. A few Nintendo Switch stations and a merchandise table was available, but for the most part people sat and waited while additional people filtered into the room, some of whom joined complete strangers at their table. Eventually the show started, with a video and a costumed MC. Unfortunately, only half of the video was viewable from our table, and since it was made up of Legend of Zelda images overlaid by text, our team didn’t get the whole story, but we got the gist. The performance delivered by the actor was somewhat cheesy, and he was laughing through most of it. This was disappointing, as the rooms under the SCRAP umbrella tend to have committed actors who are usually the highlight of their rooms and events. Oh well; acting doesn’t make or break an escape room, right?
Room quality… Not much can be said here. The enclosed space that made up the experience was filled with tables that served as the home base for each team. Five convention style booths were located along two sides of the perimeter. It definitely looked like a portable event. The video and audio was on the low-end, which was surprising when one thinks that this venture was a collaboration between SCRAP and Nintendo. I expected some custom video sequences, or images, or something… but everything I saw wasn’t new, and came from some past production or another. On the flip side, the props were quite good. Anything that was meant to be handled was solid, and while there was a lot of paper, it was thematically designed and aesthetically pleasing.
Most of the SCRAP escape rooms that I have experienced have involved large teams (10-15 people), which I find to really decrease my enjoyment. This time, while there were (a potential of) 200ish people involved, we were broken into teams of six, which is much more manageable, and I find easier to work with when trying to keep everyone involved in the experience. My team worked well together, and everyone contributed to the puzzles, but the crowded environment detracted from our immersion every now and then. This was especially evident when it was necessary to make our way to one of the domains (booths), in which only one team was allowed at a time. The idea for the booths was clever, and they were thematic, but the costumes of the actors could have been of a higher quality. Personally, the theme of the experience was one of the few aspects that kept me involved.
The majority of the puzzles in this experience were paper-based, and when we were sitting at our table I felt more like we were playing an Escape Room Board Game as opposed to attending an escape room event. The design of the experience did get us moving quite a lot, which was a definite plus, and there was usually more than one puzzle that could be worked on at one time. However, as with all of the SCRAP rooms that I have done, the experience bottlenecks towards the end, and that last puzzle is tricky. I enjoyed the puzzles and found them engaging, even though they COMPLETELY missed the opportunity for the chests to make the iconic chest-opening sound. I expected more, but what we got was good enough.
Was Defenders of the Triforce FUN? Yes and no. No: If I wasn’t a fan of the Legend of Zelda series, I would not have enjoyed this escape game; it was underwhelming and overpopulated. Yes: The theme shone through, not only with the story, but also with the puzzles and connections to the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (my favourite game of the series).
So, should you check it out? I would say yes, if you can meet the following criteria:
- Have $50 to spend on the experience.
- Have five friends who are willing to do the same.
- Are a Legend of Zelda fan (honestly the most important factor).