Our Man on Sussex
Our Man on Sussex
- July 2017
- Ottawa, ON
- 60 minutes
- 4-10 players
- What People Say
The open and spacious Unlocked lobby is used for many things: they have their own board games lounge (with quite a selection too!), offer refreshments, and occasionally house trivia nights (their most popular one so far being a Harry Potter themed night). Tall windows and tall curtains line the entire lobby, with plenty of seating (both tables and couches), and props for a quick photo-op.
Unlocked is located just outside of Ottawa on the suburban west end. It’s on the top floor of the office-mall building where parking is freely available, and although we took the stairs, there is probably an elevator for anyone with mobility issues in the building.
Our game master had a lovely & clear speaking voice, although the set up of the story was a bit lacking. Clearly a lot of thought was put into the secret agent storyline: every character had an alliance, every alliance had a backstory, and every backstory had more characters. Our mission was to break into another agent’s condo (no spoilers!). But it was disappointing to be given no props (like spy tools or mission dossiers or costumes) that could’ve integrated the detailed backstory into the room.
One of the biggest immersion deal breaker is always when rooms aren’t sized properly or don’t contain essential items. We’ve seen cabins without beds, washrooms without sinks, and a kitchen with an e-z stove!
But the condo of Our Man on Sussex was so convincingly real that I instinctively tried to take off my shoes upon entering. ( I actually believed for a second we were walking into someone’s home!) The sizes of the rooms were realistically large: there was a living room, a study, coat closet, a key hook, door to the bedroom, and everything was immaculately (almost eerily) clean. But what else is expected of a spy’s home? If it only had a functioning kitchen and bathroom – you could move into this place!
Although the story progression is present and actually pretty intricate, the immersive experience comes from the realism of the room itself. Bits of the story were scattered throughout the room; but mostly in the long pieces of text. Long pieces of text are always hard to absorb if the goal of your experience is to literally do everything as quickly as you can. If you want the full immersive-story experience, consider slowing down to absorb the backstory of the room. This of course, is at your own risk — slowing down too much might cost you your mission success!
Our Man On Sussex is a room that just keeps unpacking and unpacking. All the puzzles were very well integrated into props and furniture that decorated the room too. The larger puzzles can often be split up into smaller components and worked on by many players at once. We were in a group of 5, but everyone was still kept busy by this condo’s meta-puzzles! The puzzles of this game, combined with the spacious setting, can easily accommodate 7+ people, but would be just as fun if you had the minimum group of 4 hardcore-puzzlers.
Compared to Unlocked’s other room, The Krylon Crew, Our Man on Sussex was a complete 180. Never have there been 2 rooms so completely the opposite of each other. If they weren’t 10 meters apart, it would be hard to even believe they created by the same company! (Now that doesn’t mean either of them are bad. In fact, both rooms are quite good — but very different experiences.)
Our Man on Sussex is definitely the “”traditional”” escape room, while The Krylon Crew is a novel idea that may be hit-or-miss depending on the person.
Our Man is in a spacious condo; The Krylon Crew is a cramped alley way.
Our Man is eerily neat and tidy; The Krylon Crew is a sensory overload.
Our Man is a sneaky counter-intelligence mission; The Krylon Crew is an adrenaline-fuelled police chase.
Whichever your cup of tea is (try both, if possible!), if you enjoy escape rooms you will not be disappointed with Our Man on Sussex. It is a tried-and-true escape room in every sense of the word!