Play long and prosper.
- Website: Breakout (Edmonton)
Address: 6111 101 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6A 0G9
- Private Booking: No
- Price: $25 per person
- Duration: 45 minutes
- Linearity: Nonlinear
- Group size: #large
- Player Level: #pro
- Premise: “A series of space colonies were built to progressively reach outward into space. After decades long of segregations between the colonists, tension runs high between different factions. A terrorist group has infiltrated the space station “The Ark” and incapacitated the station’s energy generator in an attempt to destroy the entire colony. More than 100,000 souls on board the colony are at jeopardy. It is up to you to restore the generator and save all everyone.”
We did this room on a random Monday afternoon, and the room was advertised to open at 2 pm. However, when we got there, the facility was still locked. Eventually, after about a 15-minute delay, the staff member arrived. She was friendly and patient, especially with coming in and out of the room multiple times to provide hints. Like most escape rooms though, the service was standard but not exceptional or personal.
9 is starting to become the standard rating, but we can’t help it that the staff we’ve interacted with at so many escape rooms have been so friendly! Our game master was also very patient with us when we were being a bit dense and needing a bit more than a nudge to keep going in the room.
Some escape rooms (see: Ninja House in Calgary, Keller’s Magic Emporium in Edmonton) have awesome and expansive themes but fail to go above and beyond in taking advantage of the theme. Creative themes should be paired with equally creative puzzles. This room is one of the rare cases where the theme and puzzles were a perfect marriage.
Initially, it was both underwhelming and overwhelming walking in the room. I say underwhelming because the puzzles appeared too subtle and there was nothing obvious to solve, and overwhelming because once you actually explore the room, a sense of panic starts to creep in as you realize that there is a lot of work to be done straight out of the gate.
They capitalize on technology here really well, and I applaud them for it because they have the perfect excuse with space exploration as the theme. Some of the buildup doesn’t necessarily pay off, partly because of the awkward setup of the room. However, I still appreciated the experience for its innovative puzzles and unabashed use of technology.
Puzzles are definitely the strength of this room. You can tell because I talk about them for the other parts of this review too.
Firstly, I loved that this was a spaceship-themed room, because that means there were going to be fun high-tech puzzles that actually worked with the overall theme. And Ark definitely delivered on that aspect!
Second, it wasn’t all high-tech stuff at all times. There was still a good mix of low-tech stuff that you had to figure out. I appreciated that they didn’t overdo the high-techness.
Lastly, I liked how the puzzles weren’t all so cerebral! There was a fun physical aspect to a bunch of them that are a little bit less common in the escape room world.
As soon as you walk in, you definitely get that spaceship vibe. The ceilings were appropriately decked out in neon lights, and you’ve got other techy, Star Trek-like control boards with multi-color buttons that do god-knows-what. I only wish the ceilings matched the floor and walls.
Right off the bat, I loved how spacious this room was! I think Breakout did a good job of making this room look high-tech, but not inaccessibly so! It didn’t look too daunting to interact with anything in the room. It’s not the most convincing spaceship (I want more buttons and more flashing lights!), but I think they did a good job without going too overboard.
I had a different experience than Ben, because I did not feel too immersed in the room. There was no music and the lights were too bright. It looked like a spaceship, but I didn’t feel like I was in one. I would also agree that the ending felt a bit anticlimactic because there was no announcement or indication that we had finished the room.
I was actually pretty into this room! The puzzles were really great and really different from anything we’d seen before, so I was pretty engaged from start to (almost) finish. I say “almost” because when we completed the final puzzle, it was kind of unclear if we actually did it. It was an unfortunately anticlimactic end to an otherwise great room.
I already wrote a long review about the puzzle section so I’ll keep this short. In a nutshell, they took the spaceship theme and ran with it. They exploited all aspects of the theme and left no stone unturned. In terms of theme alone, I didn’t feel leave the room thinking “I wish they could’ve done this”.
There’s been a few spaceship-related escape rooms popping up lately, and I’m glad that places are starting to take advantage of this interesting theme! It gives them a lot of creative liberty with the high-tech puzzles that they can do while remaining thematically relevant. The Ark definitely capitalized on this with their fun puzzles.
I also really enjoyed the backstory of The Ark – it gave you a little bit, but then going through the room built on that little bit to flesh out the story more.
I would give this a #platinum rating, and I’m shocked that I am rating this high. After leaving the room, I felt disappointed because of the anticlimactic ending. However, looking back, I realize that the individual components were above average, and the ending alone shouldn’t deter me from recommending this room.
Overall, I would give this room a #platinum rating! I loved the creativity in the puzzles and would definitely recommend this room to anyone who wants to experience something a little bit different.
- Completed: July 18, 2016
- Escaped? Yes (2 people)
- Our Time: 0:57 (/1:00)
- # of hints used: 3