Escape from the Tower

7.9 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
Users (0 votes) 0

Escape from the Tower

  • Played May 2018
  • Toronto

  • 60 minutes
  • up to 12 players
  • $40 (general) / $46 (prime time)

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The Casa Loma Escape Series have sometimes received mixed reviews here on our site. On the one hand it’s hard to beat the setting: Casa Loma, with all its stately beauty, just oozes ambiance from the moment you set foot on the property. On the other hand, we’ve sometimes felt that the puzzles don’t always measure up to the grandeur of the location. However, Secret City Adventures recently revamped all their rooms to tweak and polish the puzzles and gameplay, so when they offered us the chance to come back and re-review the rooms we jumped at the opportunity.

Arriving at Casa Loma, it’s nice to find that the parking is free (after 5pm) so that’s a good first step. Finding the entrance to the escape rooms can be a little challenging however. To get to the escape rooms, you don’t enter through the main entrance but through another entrance a little off to the left. There’s a small-ish sandwich board just outside but it can be a little hard to spot. Next you have to buzz in to security, and after they let you in you then have to go down some stairs and navigate a corridor before you finally arrive at the reception desk. After everyone has arrived, there’s a short video to go over the rules and set the scene. Then, you’re off to navigate a number of flights of stairs though the bowels of Casa Loma before you actually arrive at the room itself. Note that both getting to this room and playing the room itself involve climbing a lot of stairs. On the plus side, the bathrooms are very nice.

When it comes to room quality, it’s hard to find fault here. The rooms all look suitably old, run-down, and workmanlike as would befit the story. The props are high-quality and the set dressing looks great. Similarly the staging area where you’re filled in on the last few details before you start the game is very atmospheric. Overall the quality is as top-notch as you would hope given the location.

Similarly the immersion is quite good. The story is introduced both through the intro video and a subsequent verbal briefing and developed as the game progresses. This game, like all Secret City Adventure games, uses live actors to both tell the story and act as your guides throughout the experience. The actors did a great job, even pulling out a few jokes during the slower sections of the game. They’ll also give you hints if you get really stuck, although sometimes the hints can purposefully be a little vague so they’re not just feeding you the solution.

The puzzles likewise were very strong, with a good variety of different types of puzzles. The puzzles generally all felt fairly doable, with no large leaps in logic required. As with most Secret City Adventures games, this room is designed for a large group (up to 12 people), so if you come with a smaller group you will be matched up with other random people when playing the game. There are multiple puzzles in rooms, so the larger group can split up and work on different puzzles at the same time. However, chances are you will bottleneck at some point, as some puzzles will be done before others and there may be some standing around as you wait for those working on the last puzzle to finish. There are generally enough puzzles in rooms to occupy larger groups, but as always in a large group experience such as this your experience will depend on your group. The room uses several high-tech components which mostly worked well, but there was one case where our guide had to step in and manhandle a puzzle to get it to work.

Overall, we really enjoyed our time playing Escape The Tower. The setting is great, the room quality is top-notch, the story is immersive, and the puzzles were fun. If there are any criticisms to be made it’s that there can sometimes be some bottlenecking when it comes to the puzzles, and there are a lot of stairs to climb (so if you have mobility issues you may want to skip this one). Otherwise our team all had a great time and we would heartily recommend this room both for beginners and advanced escapers who are looking for a fun night out in the beautiful and atmospheric confines of Casa Loma.

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