The Professor’s Quarters
The Professor's Quarters
- Played February 2018
- Brantford, ON
- 60 minutes
- 2-8 players
- For ages 14+
- What People Say
A good friend of Toronto’s ERA team kept telling us “The Toronto team has to check out Breakout Escapes in Brantford, Ontario, they’re really good, and the owners are great!’’ Introductions that start like this are always a mixed bag of emotions for us. On the one hand, it makes us excited to check out a new company and connect with some great people. But at the same time it makes us nervous because we know there’s always the possibility of not having the same impression of the company as the person who introduced us…
So with conflicting emotions of excitement and anxiety, the ERA team drove through the scenic streets of Brantford, Ontario. The location was easy to find, parking was available, and the company sign was easy to spot whether driving or walking towards the building. Once we entered we were greeted with warm smiles, some great banter, and discovery of many common connections we shared with the staff and ownership. The lobby and hallways were nicely decorated, even though some of the more common frills hadn’t been added quite yet (refreshments, lockers, fun distractions…etc). None the less a solid start, and our worries were slowly melting away…
Starting with room quality… At the very beginning of the game we thought to ourselves, ‘Oh this is a fairly decent room in its quality.’ Everything was well built and everything seemed to be as it should. But as the game progressed we kept finding ourselves more and more impressed with each new discovery. By the end of it all we looked back and realized this room wasn’t just built for first time escape room players, but also had enthusiasts in mind. And here’s the incredible part that may not have even been intentional… as the room quality progressively impressed us more, we could see how it was tied into the game itself! Wowza! After hundreds of rooms played by our ERA teams, we’re not sure we’ve seen too many companies do that before. Alongside the impressive build quality, was the furniture, props and careful little details used. Some may argue the huge ‘Wow!’ moment was missing in the room design, and that might be true, but from our perspective it’s far more enjoyable when a whole room design gets our attention from start to finish!
Flowing from the incredible room quality, the immersive aspects of this room were also above average. Although the story development did take a back seat from time to time, it’s more than reinforced through the theme and puzzles. One thing The Professor’s Quarters did well was keeping a ‘first person experience’. The story might relate to mystery of Prof. Pettywood, but the active focus was always on us, our objectives, and our discoveries. The adventure wasn’t just playing out a scripted story revealed within the first five minutes of the game. Another little detail we enjoyed was the clever use of ambient sound within the room. Now all of these may seem minor, but seasoned enthusiasts can testify as you play more escape rooms, it’s the small details that start to make a bigger impact on the overall experience, and in this case there were many little immersive details we appreciated.
Somewhere between the above average immersion, and the incredible room design, were the puzzles themselves. A good amount and variety of puzzles were used, and for the most part they were inclusive allowing everyone to get involved. Some of our team felt there might have been a bit too much lock to lock progression, whereas others felt it wasn’t an issue because of the organic way the puzzles all fit into the story. Regardless of which perspective each ERA member had, we all agreed the puzzles were enjoyable and challenging. We also took note of how learning new skills and information (e.g. sign language as a non-game example) lead to in game application with the puzzles… little things like this help dum-dums like us feel smarter which again is a small detail that most people (even ‘experts’) will overlook and fail to fully appreciate. Overall the puzzle flow was a nice combination of linear and multi-tracked experiences.
So where did this leave us by the end of the game? Was it fun? Did we still feel nervous and anxious? Are we still friends with the people who told us we need to visit Breakout? If it didn’t come through in our words already, this room is a must see for enthusiasts and new players. It’s inclusive, immersive, and the further you progress in the game, the more it will impress you! The staff are fun to interact with, and the game itself will have you forgetting the world outside which is among the highest compliments we can give. Once a few more frills get added to the lobby, we have no doubt Breakout Escapes in Brantford will become one of Southern Ontario’s newest entertainment hotspots, so we’d advise going to see them before that happens.
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!