Finally! An escape room with sabotage! Jason and I recently got to beta test the Player vs. Player Room coming soon to Breakout Edmonton East. This isn’t a review, since we were just helping test the room and changes will be made, but instead our thoughts on what the room will offer and what you’ll find if you check it out.
Lamya – I’m not even going to build up to it: this will be a must-try room when it’s open. The concept alone is really unique and very exciting. I’ve noticed that a lot of escape room facilities in Edmonton have smartly tapped into the corporate team-building cash that’s out there, but this Player vs. Player concept is probably a little more attuned to human nature, which is not to work as a team for everyone to succeed, but to work as a team that defeats another team!
Just as the name implies, PVP will pit two teams against each other. I’m going to be as vague as possible so that everything is a surprise, but I think I can get away with saying that when you go into this room, you’ll have to determine which of your friends are on one side, and who’s on the other. Then, you both enter identical rooms and try to solve the exact same puzzles as the other team. It’s exhilarating!
The room in beta-test form was a serious challenge, which I loved, although it did expose one of my more sensitive areas. When Jason and I do escape rooms, I’m always really self-conscious when people realize how many rooms we’ve done, because they think we’re amazing and super smart. I’ll only speak for myself, but that’s just not the case. Sure, I can recognize some puzzles or patterns from other rooms sometimes, but the challenges are usually still quite hard, and the fact that we’ve done so many rooms makes me feel even worse when I can’t solve those difficult puzzles. So in this room, I felt that way, which I actually liked because it was more gratifying when we were actually able to solve a puzzle.
The room is about brain power, which is great because so much of what we do in life is about showing everyone how much smarter we are than the next person, right?
The other cool element of this room is sabotage. The faster you solve your puzzles, and if you get out ahead of the other team, you’ll pose some serious problems for your opponents. I don’t want to give anything away, but this adds a nice, competitive layer to the room that you don’t ever get to do in other escape rooms.
It’s an excellent concept that seems really rare in Canada, according to the staff at Breakout. So once this room is ready to go, move it to the top of your to-do list, because it’s a lot of fun!
Jason – I will definitely echo Lamya and say that when this room opens at Breakout East you should definitely check it out. After the last couple weeks of trying out a few more escape rooms in Edmonton I was a little worried that I might be losing some of the passion we had at the beginning. I think I will always love doing escape rooms but I have felt a bit overwhelmed as of late to all the new facilities opening in Edmonton. I think it’s an exciting time for these new businesses but it’s become a bit stressful for Lamya and I as we try to review every. single. room. in Edmonton. We also pay for all of these rooms (except for the odd beta test) ourselves so that grand total is getting up there.
With all that being said, it was so refreshing to try out this new style of escape room. Beta testing means that you’re trying a room before it’s ready for the general public. Sometimes things malfunction, puzzle pieces are missing, and sometimes things just don’t work at all. Even though things didn’t go 100% smoothly inside the PVP escape room we still had a pretty exciting time. This new element of racing against time AND against another group doing identical challenges in an identically designed room is so great and really gets the blood pumping. Instead of looking for hidden keys and hidden passageways your challenge in a PVP room is much simpler: you’re solving puzzles and trying to get them all done before the team in the other room. This may open up escape rooms to huge groups of people who never were interested in the scary stories and creepy premises that usually go along with each room but are definitely interested in trying to beat their friends in a challenge.
According to Breakout, they came up with this idea for a PVP room after watching challenges from game shows. They say that they came up with the design for their room from scratch. It’s pretty amazing to see their concept come to life in a way that possibly only employees of Breakout can. We’re always impressed with what they come up with and this room was no different. It’s a heartening feeling to know that the escape room concept is something that can bend and be more flexible in the future as the tastes of players change over the years. If escape rooms want to keep competing for our entertainment dollars for the long term then coming up with ideas like the PVP room is a great start.