Inhabited by an anemic vampire killer.
- Website: The X Realm
Address: 12060 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB T5K 0P3
- Private Booking: Yes
- Price: $25 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Linear
- Group size: #small
- Player Level: #rookie
- Premise: “Deep in the forest, you stumble across an ancient castle. You enter to explore and the door slams shut. Too late, you realize this is the mythical Castle Alnwick. Legend says the castle is guarded by a creature of the night. The only escape is to slay the vampire lurking in its shadows.”
This was our first time at X-Realm, located on Jasper Avenue. The lobby looked like a dungeon, complete with cobblestone wallpaper and minimal lighting. We came on a busier day but the staff made sure that we were still taken care of.
BENI like the staff here – we walked in while dealing with a couple of larger groups but we were still treated very kindly and very promptly.
At the time of writing this review, we’ve done three rooms at X-Realm (future reviews coming soon). I mention this because all the rooms that we’ve done had similar puzzles. The clues have all been cryptic messages on a laminated piece of paper and it’s up to you to decipher each one of them. I’m not really a fan of this puzzle design because it results in a lot of reading the clue over and over without nothing else to go by.
What stood out to me in this room is that there was a lot of cool tech. If you had never seen any of it before, it would’ve been really cool. The payoffs for solving puzzles were pretty big, which really made you feel like you accomplished something.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the tech was integrated super well into the room. The puzzle progression felt clunky and it seemed like a bunch of disparate puzzles without clear connections and a solid flow.
Large furniture in the middle of the room? Check.
Dim lighting? Check.
Unnecessary books? Check.
Future reviews for other X-Realm rooms will be identical.
The room was a bit bare for me – with such a large space, I would’ve liked to see a bit more decor in the room that we could’ve interacted with.
I like the walls though – they are fully decorated and go quite high because of the ceiling. It makes the room feel very large, but unfortunately highlights its bareness.
Because the puzzles were too cryptic, we did a lot of aimless problem-solving. The lighting was also a bit too dim that anyone with a flashlight is basically rendered useless.
I did appreciate the little bursts of excitement that the tech brought us, but that was dampened a little bit by the clueing for the puzzles. There was also a puzzle that was a bit finnicky for us – we were doing it right but it took a few tries until it worked (after the gamemaster verified that we did it right), and that always takes me out of immersion when this happens.
The theme wasn’t bad mainly because it was unique. The room looked appropriately gothic and some of the puzzles were thematic. Other than that, I didn’t really understand what lasers had to do with defeating the vampire killer.
It’s a different theme for sure, but I was a bit iffy on the execution. The narrative felt disjointed at times and the puzzles were only vaguely thematically related at times.
I give this room a #silver. My experience felt incomplete. We finished this room with over 20 minutes left but it just ended on a whimper.
This room gets a #silver. I feel like it had a lot of potential that it didn’t quite live up to. This might be a good room for newbies since it gives you a taste of what escape rooms could be.
- Escaped? Yes(2 people)
- Our Time: 0:33 (/1:00)
- # of hints used: 2