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Whether you are new to escape rooms, or a veteran enthusiast, we all have the same desire to have a challenging and narrow escape. With all the incredible themes and scenarios that are present within the industry, few truly embody the art of escaping more than the chance to break out of prison. Collectively, we have enjoyed so many of these so-called jailbreak rooms over the years. While they are always entertaining, one can’t help but wonder what it would be like to actually escape from prison – without the clues, hints and puzzles that are integrated with traditional escape room experiences. Well, thanks to Lockdown, Escape Revolution’s first game, we were able to get a pretty good idea.

Escape Revolution Design Studios is located in Scarborough and can be found at the back of the plaza on the corner of Lawrence and Markham. Prior to having rooms available to play, Escape Revolution was already present within the industry as suppliers and game developers for other escape room companies. This makes Escape Revolution Design Studios stand out for its uniqueness in serving as an escape experience for the public along with a showroom for potential customers interested in their products or services.

There is adequate parking at the rear of the plaza; however, make sure to leave yourself a little extra time as there is little to no signage visible from the road. Also, something that we found a tad inconvenient is that you do not actually use the entrance under the Escape Revolution sign. Instead, you will need to make your way around the building to enter through a side door to start your experience. Once inside, we were welcomed by our hosts and an extremely friendly dog that happened to be visiting for the evening. The lobby, while clearly under construction, is very spacious with lots of seating, refreshments, some games, and small lockers (with charging cables) for you to store your personal belongings. We couldn’t help but admire the unique light fixtures and incredible props made on-site that inhabited the lobby. Construction aside, you’d be hard-pressed not to see the potential that this space has. Before we began, we were all assigned numbers, handcuffed, and instructed to put on bright orange jumpsuits. Lastly, we viewed a brief introduction video with slightly outdated graphics before being led to our cells.

Once in the room, it was clear that the Escape Revolution team puts quite a large emphasis on room quality. From the jail cells themselves all the way to the smallest of props, everything located in the room was very authentic. Considering the actual structure itself is poured concrete, sturdy might be an understatement. Most of the technology that we encountered in the room worked, although we found some of it to be quite finicky. We also noticed that while many of the rooms were filled with realistic props and décor, some were bare in comparison and required some polish. Lastly, our team wanted to make note of the fact that there were several concerning safety hazards that we identified within the room. We are both hopeful and confident that the Escape Revolution team have addressed these matters since we played.

The immersion of the room was quite good overall. There was a soundtrack that fit the theme, the props were incredibly authentic and the progression of the story was revealed as you made your way through the room. Perhaps the thing that leant to the immersion most was the way the puzzles or tasks in this case were integrated, but more on that in a minute. If there was one area which could be improved regarding the room’s immersion it would be how the hints are presented. Hints are provided via an intercom system, which we as a team strongly felt interrupted the immersion.

Where Lockdown truly shines is in the puzzle department. This may come as a surprise though, due to the fact that there is not a single lockbox found through the entire experience. In fact, there aren’t really any clues or puzzles at all of the kind that you would find in a “traditional” room. Escape Revolution promotes a unique type of room that is truly more of an escape experience than an escape room. On a side note, our team would like to emphasize one thing. This room is EXTREMELY physical!!! Or can be. There are a few different difficulties to choose from in terms of physicality which determines which resources you will be provided with in order to assist you in your escape. Simply put, the goal of the room is to break out of prison using anything and everything located within the room so the difficulty level could completely change your experience. Perhaps the thing that we loved most about the room was the amount of team building tasks that were necessary to escape.

So, was it fun? Absolutely! Lockdown is 75 minutes of fun, tension, and physicality. Would we recommend it? We do hope that the safety issues were rectified – if so, then, YES! Again, we want to truly emphasize that this room can be EXTREMELY physically exerting so please keep that in mind when booking. After having escaped Lockdown, ERA looks forward to seeing more of what Escape Revolution has to offer in the future. Before our experience, they claimed that their room would offer something new and exciting that we had never seen before, and we were not disappointed.

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