The Devil’s Toy Box
The Devil's Toy Box
- Played February 2019
- Richmond Hill, ON
- 45 minutes
- 2-6 players
- What People Say
It’s always a treat when any of our Esc Room Addict teams get to return to a company we’ve grown fond of over the years. In this case a visit back to Freeing Canada Station, in Richmond Hill, Ontario definitely made us happy from the moment we received an invitation to try their newest room The Devil’s Toybox. We were flattered when they told us they were anxious about inviting us in because The Devil’s Toybox is designed as an introductory pop-up escape room and would potentially annoy enthusiasts. Sadly this seems to be a common misconception by some in the escape room industry (that enthusiasts will only enjoy escape rooms with high production values). Contrary to this we believe all escape rooms have their own merit and regardless of production values, or money invested, there’s a role for every room (even if that role is to learn about the importance of design, function and putting the participant first)… Anyways, on to the TOYBOX!
As it has always been, the pre-room experience is always solid at Freeing Canada Station. The staff are friendly, the lobby is spacious, well decorated, and there’s free popcorn to go along with purchased refreshments! Parking is available abundantly in a centralized plaza lot. Be sure to take notice the entrance is from the side of the building right next to T&T supermarket in case you’re having difficulty figuring out where to go. We also enjoyed the story intro before entering the room, and the additional blindfolding so that there was an immersive separation between the ‘’inside’’ and ‘’outside’’ game environments.
The room quality does take a bit of a back seat in terms of design importance, but again the Devil’s Toybox is a pop-up designed to introduce people to escape rooms. This means first time players and those who appreciate pop up designs won’t be too bothered, because as far as pop ups go, the room quality here is decent. The room itself is fairly small, there aren’t a lot of props or furniture, and the walls are covered with a fairly simple dark fabric to keep the ambiance. It’s fair to say most escape rooms are stronger than the Devil’s Toybox in terms of room quality, but the props and furniture were sturdy so we wouldn’t want to give the impression that it’s without merit.
The immersive level of this room was a nice surprise, however, from the story intro, to the blindfolded entry, to the dark room in which the game takes place, to the lighting and sound effects within the room… we liked it! Heck, we’d even go so far as to say the immersion here is better than some permanent escape rooms! Again, it’s best to manage expectations however because you’re not going to discover a whole secret floor of new rooms, nor is there a large ‘wow’ factor, and no you won’t be using VR or AR headsets… this room’s strength is for the most part found in having some decent immersion for new players and those who can appreciate some good immersion from a temporary room design.
The puzzles reflect the meeting point between the room quality and the immersion. They were decent, but certainly not something puzzle enthusiasts would go crazy over. With Devil’s Toybox being a 45min game for beginners, there weren’t too many puzzles in total, and for the most part they were pretty straight forward (at least they should’ve been but of course we are prone to over-thinking and started finding patterns and solutions where they didn’t exist… one day hopefully we’ll learn). The final puzzle allowing us to choose your ending was also a nice touch.
And the most important questions of the hour — Was this room fun and would we recommend it? The second part is easier to answer than the first… Yes we definitely recommend visiting this escape room if you’ve never done one before! It’s far less intimidating, complex, or time consuming than most escape rooms, and because it’s designed for new players there’s a good chance this one will whet your appetite for more. At the same time, we’re happy to know the staff at Freeing Canada Station won’t recommend this room for experienced escape room enthusiasts, or those who feel they’d rather avoid a temporary designed room. This room probably isn’t best suited to celebrate your 100th escape room played.
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