Zen Room

7.2 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
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Zen Room

  • Played November 2018
  • Mississauga, ON

  • 60 Minutes
  • 3-5 players
  • $28-33 (off-peak/peak)

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The Zen Room will allow you to escape from reality and take a journey to the heart of Tokyo to help Miss Miharu unfold the secret of who stole her family’s priceless heirlooms. Mississauga is home to the first ever Hint Hunt in North America. The Hint Hunt franchise originates in Eastern Europe and we are happy that they have brought their carefully crafted games across the pond.

You can find the Mississauga Hint Hunt location in a strip plaza located to one side of the building with plenty of parking available. It has a nice big sign but it wasn’t lit up the night we played and we were a little concerned that it could easily be missed. Once you step inside you are in the waiting room which has a simple and clean set up consisting of a few tables, some chairs, and a front desk. There are some commonly known board games to play at your leisure and some light refreshments and snacks if you need a nibble. There wasn’t a specific area for coats and purses so we just left our coats on some of the chairs and brought our valuables into the Zen Room.

We then went into the hallway where our host verbally explained the rules of the room, the storyline, and what our mission would be. We really felt a nicely produced video to explain our mission would have added to the overall experience. Video intros are the expected standard of escape rooms right now. We noticed there was a fair amount of detail that went into the door leading into the room. They had decorated the door and frame to look like an entrance to a traditional-looking Japanese room. We appreciated this attention to detail to get us immersed right off the get-go.

The detailing of the door continued into the room as it looked exactly how one would picture a traditional Japanese room with low furniture, Fusuma doors (sliding doors made up of wooden frames covered in thick, opaque paper), and simple Japanese style art on the walls. We enjoyed the simplicity of this room without it being over-decorated. The decor perfectly fit in with the whole Zen vibe they are trying to create, and the atmosphere in the room was very Zen-like with soothing background music. We all agreed the music added to the entire experience, although we also felt they could have used the music to create some urgency by speeding up the tempo as time went on.

All the puzzles were thematic and were appropriate for a Zen-inspired room. We will forewarn you though… you will need to thoroughly look around this room! We suggest looking high and low as there were some elements that were easily overlooked by everyone in our group. Our team has done countless amounts of escape rooms where we often can look at a puzzle and we know exactly what we need to do to solve it. With The Zen room we found we weren’t able to be on auto-pilot and we actually needed to use our brains (can you imagine)?!

Having a fine eye for detail will be the secret to your success in the cleverly decorated Zen Room. The Zen Room was enjoyable and had some different style puzzles that fit perfectly with the theme. Without giving too much away, we would suggest brushing up on your Sudoku knowledge/skills to help your team advance quickly. Although the room didn’t have any wow factors or ah-ha moments, our time in the room moved along nicely and we only got stumped a few times. Hints were easily given by saying we needed a hint and giving the cameras a friendly wave. The music was calming and maybe even a little too much as two of us felt the need to sit down when we weren’t sure how to proceed to the next stage. But we never felt bored and we truly did think the room had a great fun factor to it. So if you are up for a challenge of using the latest intel to locate valuable missing heirlooms then look no further. You gotta be quick (but still maintain your Zen-like approach) to make sure the precious items are not sold in the black market. がんばろう (Good luck in Japanese)!

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