- Played August, 2018
- Toronto, ON
- 45 minutes
- 2-8 players
- What People Say
Recently ERA were invited to visit LOST Canada and try out some of their recently revamped rooms. I must admit I didn’t know anything about LOST beforehand and what I heard on the way there didn’t sound too encouraging. However, I resolved to take things at face value and draw my own conclusions. Things started off well enough; some musical stairs led us upstairs to their second-floor lobby, which, while somewhat spartan in design, at least had seating and drinks for sale (although the area behind the front desk seemed to be used as overflow storage which somewhat detracted from the appeal). The room introduction was given verbally and set up a very bare-bones story (although we were informed several times that Alcatraz is a real place – perhaps this fact is less well-known in Hong Kong, where the franchise started?)
On entering the room is where things started to go downhill. Alcatraz is a single-room escape that has a very first-generation feel, with one or two high-tech elements thrown in for good measure. The room design could at best be described as “functional”; it did the job that was required but didn’t do it overly well. The prop quality varied between decent to cheap, and there was evidence of lots of glue being used to hold things down. The room was also showing signs of wear in some places. Light coming under the door also detracted from the atmosphere somewhat and you could hear sounds coming in from outside the room.
Immersion was passable at best. It was greatly helped by the fact that they had a good soundtrack playing, but there was no story development and some of the props and set decoration made you think “Why would they have that in a prison?” Likewise, some of the puzzles fit the theme but others gave the impression of “here’s a cool puzzle that we’ve seen and liked, so let’s just add it in” even though they made no sense story-wise.
Puzzles again were a mixed bag. The puzzles felt fairly basic and there weren’t a lot of them. There were two physical puzzles, one high-tech and one low-tech which we quite enjoyed, but otherwise it was mostly a case of finding combinations to unlock locks. One puzzle required quite good eyesight which some of us struggled with a little. The puzzles were pretty linear, but it was at least a decent sized space with lots to look at. There were a couple of red herrings scattered around. In terms of difficulty, we would rate this room as suitable for beginners as we didn’t come across anything too challenging.
So overall, did we enjoy the room? Well, after the first puzzle the room was smooth and fast moving and we didn’t get too bogged down. However, there was no “wow factor” and to be honest it all felt rather dated. A few years ago, this would have been a perfectly fine room, if nothing special, but the industry has since moved on and nowadays this definitely falls into the “below average” category. So if you want to step into an escape room time machine and see what things looked like a few years ago then go for it, but otherwise we would probably recommend one of Toronto’s many other excellent rooms.