The Castle

April 2016

We did this room as a group of four friends and we escaped! Things were looking bad in the first half but we regained our form in the second half to escape in just over 40 minutes. Lamya and I have now done all of the rooms at X Realm and we are already eagerly awaiting the two new ones they’re working on.

Challenge Level:

Jason– This room provides a decent challenge. Everything at X Realm is pretty close in difficulty in my opinion. I’ve talked about this before but the way they design their rooms and their experience is designed to set them just a little bit apart from other escape room facilities. It’s hard to describe without giving things away but most of their rooms are quite linear…until they’re not. This room is probably on the middle end of the difficulty spectrum for X Realm and maybe a little bit on the easy side overall.

Lamya – This is an easy to medium difficulty room. it’s not to say there aren’t some tough spots. And we almost immediately had to ask for help, but once we got rolling, we were really rolling, and we finished with lots of time to spare. Could be a decent starter room. *One note: there’s a clue in here that made me kind of groan when I saw it because it’s one of those things that you know what you have to do, you just have to figure out HOW, and then you know you’re going to have to do it in such a specific way that it’s likely even if you figured it out, you won’t be able to do it right. It actually has two parts to it that seem impossible, and those types of clues always get under my skin. It’s almost like they’re designed NOT to be solved. Annoying.

Creativity:

Jason– The creativity of this room and all X Realm rooms is their design is tied to the clues and puzzles that are inside the room. Everything is connected and makes logical sense withing the story of the room itself. Every room at X Realm has a sameness to it but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can think of it as consistency if you want. That’s a good thing.

Lamya – Not bad. I mean, there’s not a ton to look at to start, which makes your life easier. I hate rooms filled with unnecessary stuff. But it’s quite stark. The puzzles raise the level a tiny little. There were a lot of familiar things in this room (keep in mind, we obviously do A LOT of escape rooms), but there was one particularly neat clue that I hadn’t seen before which was really neat.

Wow Factor:

Jason– There’s always a cool feature or two in an X Realm room and this one is no different. There were one or two things that I’d never seen before so that was good. But there were also one or two things that I’d seen before in an X Realm room and that felt a bit lazy but maybe that will only affect people who’ve done all their rooms in such a short period of time like Lamya and I have.

Lamya – While I mentioned above that there’s something creative about this room I had never seen, I’ll say this: it doesn’t provide a ton of wow. It’s neat, but it won’t blow you away. The room has some fun moments, but nothing that blew me away.

Overall:

Jason– Overall this was a pretty good experience. It’s always good when you can escape. We used our clues at the perfect time. The first clue is something that our group could’ve figured out on our own but the second clue is something I never would have guessed. That’s why it’s always good to have a hint when you need it. The nature of a linear room design means that sometimes there isn’t much for some people to do when you’re in a larger group but other than that I think we’ve had a pretty good time in all the X Realm rooms. They give you 60 minutes to complete the rooms which I think overall is probably a little too much time. That’s just a personal choice. With 45 minutes you really feel like the pressure is on and you have to move. We had a good time at X Realm and the customer service was great as always.

Lamya – While I really enjoy X Realm and love succeeding, this room is just ok. There’s definitely nothing wrong with it, but especially if you’ve done a lot of rooms, you may feel slightly underwhelmed. That said, this could go on my list of rooms for starters. If I try to look at it from a rookie’s POV, it’s probably pretty neat. It’s just not my favourite room here.