Where Dark Things Dwell
Where Dark Things Dwell
- Played July 2017
- 90 minutes
- Up to 6 players; if you have less than 6 others may join your group and if you have more than 6 you will be split up.
- $32 general, $25 student
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With a group of enthusiasts, it’s rare to come out of a room where the response is a unanimous “Wow!”. Where Dark Things Dwell has done just that.
Black Creek Pioneer Village is one of those places in Toronto where all the locals have been to on a school trip at some point in their childhood but for most has faded from their thoughts. As it has with Casa Loma, Secret City Adventures has taken another landmark of the city and transformed it into an escape experience that utilizes the unique surroundings that it offers. Located at the north end of Toronto, the village is a recreation of what an Ontario town may have looked like in the mid-1800s. Carpooling is important since it’s $7 per car, but if you book the earlier time slot you can go during normal business hours and show your ticket to explore the village for $5. You will have to wait in the visitor centre between 5pm (the normal closing time) and 5:45 pm if you go for this option.
The night started with the rules and introduction presented in a meeting room where each team was seated at a thematically decorated table and given their equipment. From there we were lead to the village and it was like being transported back in time. With a cast dressed as villagers and cultists and the wooden buildings and dirt road that make up the main street of Black Creek, it truly felt like we were exploring an old town to uncover its mysteries. As evening turned to night, darkness descended and blanketed everything with an eeriness that had us on edge, not knowing what was lurking in the blackness.
Unlike some other rooms that use actors, we never felt like we were pushed along or guided by the staff, and compared to other large group games there was no possibility that others would overhear our solutions (and we didn’t have to worry about puzzles being spoiled for us) due to the large playing area and a well-designed pathing system. The problems themselves were very balanced between searching and problem solving and required a variety of skills. They also utilized props and ideas that followed the themes of the buildings they were housed in and were presented simultaneously so that every member of our group was always involved. In fact, we believe it would have been very difficult to finish everything unless you employed a divide and conquer strategy as the puzzles were quite demanding with some being especially challenging for non-native English speakers.
There was a lot of walking, and the bugs did come out and start biting, but the strong story, engaging problems, and distinctive setting added up to an incredibly fun and memorable night. If you are deathly afraid of the dark or your group is new to escape rooms, the earlier experience is probably more suitable. However, our group was glad we had the opportunity to experience the village at night since it offers an unforgettable atmosphere and the problems are more challenging in the dark. This is a great way to rediscover Black Creek Pioneer Village or see it for the first time, so grab a group of friends and try to lift the curse!
A group of us did the late Black Creek Escape Game this past Sunday. It was a wonderful, challenging, eerie, exciting experience. Everything you said it was! The resident actors were excellent and very helpful when needed. It’s a game I would play again but would be given different building and clues. It was amazing!
Thanks Rita! As you’ve seen (and probably will see some more), it impressed the Toronto ERA team so much it ended up on their personal Top 10 lists!