The Cursed Temple

8.1 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
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The Cursed Temple

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What happens when you bring together a team of 4-men who love escape rooms? Sometimes you get a company Crypto Escapes in Newmarket, Ontario. Just take Hwy#404 for a 30-min drive North of Toronto (or 60min in rush hour) and you’ll find Crypto conveniently within 3-mins of the Davis Dr. exit.

The location was easy to find, there was plenty of parking, and the 2-story building also had a dance studio, a bowling alley and other commercial tenants we didn’t take too much notice of at the time. We’re not sure if accessibility to the 2nd floor is an issue (we forgot to check for an elevator) but make sure you check before arriving if stairs are a concern. Upon entering we were warmly greeted and immediately felt as if we were among friends. We really enjoyed getting to know the staff. We loved their energy, their positivity, and their desire to talk with us about the world of escape rooms, board games, and all things fun that relate to group entertainment options. The lobby was fairly average for the most part with some chairs, tables, lockers, and nothing too extravagant nor lacking. Drinks were available for purchase and we enjoyed how they used black & red throughout the lobby walls and furniture. It definitely set the mood for the rooms. So if everything was fairly standard why the slightly higher than average score for pre-room you ask? That’s easy, the pre-room video introductions were wonderful and the staff were incredible. From time to time people will say to us ”The pre-room experience doesn’t matter!” and that’s when we use examples like Crypto to highlight how wrong that assumption is. Who you meet when you come in, how they make you feel, and how the room is presented are understated components just as any other…and the folks at Crypto do it well – kudos to them!

So if the pre-room experience was enjoyable how about the rooms quality? Well…to say anything less than it being incredible would be misleading. The Cursed Temple was the 2nd of two rooms we reviewed at Crypto and we absolutely swooned over how well built it was. The set construction was near flawless, the props were outstanding, and the level of detail even in the nooks and crannies of the room were well designed. The only concern we had was the audio quality. Apart from that, we enjoyed the blending of technology into the over construction. The scores say it all for us in this case…the room quality was simply incredible!

The immersion had a bit more mixed response from our team, but that’s to be expected when it comes to the subjective feeling of how ”into it” a person feels through an escape room. We ranged from feeling moderately engaged to very engaged in the surroundings and story. Again, the set design was incredible so it was easy to feel surrounded by some great aesthetics like good use of lighting. On the flip side a few of us felt we could’ve used a bit more story development, clarification, and tension in the game. But whether you’re moderately engaged or fully engulfed in a state of wide-eyed anticipation, you’re still going to enjoy the immersion here.

Leaving us with puzzles, and something we really want to highlight… The Cursed Temple’s best feature is definitely found in its room quality, but only slightly behind that is the quality of puzzles! Finally an escape room that understands the need to be inclusive and incorporate teamwork throughout the full experience (and not just one token teamwork puzzle)! These guys have done well at making sure EVERYONE is included in all the puzzles and that there’s chances for different people to use different skills. In many ways Crypto’s Cursed Temple reminded us of 5-Wits (a fan favourite of the ERA team and the escape room community) but instead of just team building tasks, they’ve also included classic escape room puzzles that are inclusive. If we had to change anything here, it would simply be to add a few more puzzles to keep more people active. Most of the time we had a 5th member in the group ”sitting out” on a puzzle while the other 4 needed players went about their tasks. It alternated who sat out (as it will in most groups) but we did feel the sweet spot for this room is 4-participants for optimal engagement with the puzzles/tasks. So when it comes to puzzles and our only concern is wanting ”more of a good thing”, you know the folks at Crypto are once again to be commended for their great work!

Suffice to say we LOVED Crypto’s Cursed Temple! Enthusiasts who search for a great balance of teambuilding, with an adventure room flow, alongside some classical escape room puzzles, covered by an incredible set design, simply can’t go wrong here! We’re really hoping to see more good things come from the Crypto crew. Cursed Temple is suitable for most ages, most experience levels (though we’d recommend a group of 5-6 for inexperienced players). If you’re North of Toronto, Crypto Escapes is a must see!
We want to hear your thoughts! Be sure to comment in the section below or send us a message via ERA’s email, Facebook, or Twitter… As always, happy escaping!

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