Alien Outbreak

March 2018

We did this room as a group of six people. One of us was 5 years old. Three adults and three kids. We did not escape the room but we were probably 90-95% there.

Challenge Level:

Jason- The challenge level is a very perfect medium for this room. We were doing the room with young kids but they actually helped with a lot of the puzzles. There is also a lot to do in the room so that ups the difficulty right there as well. The room also gets harder as you go along which I love but also hate because I’m not smart. I think even if this is your first try at an escape room you will be pleased with your progress no matter what happens. There’s a lot to do but with the hint system you can take the pressure off or give yourself a really good challenge.

Lamya- I liked it! I’ve said this a lot before, but despite doing so many rooms, I probably represent the group of people who have done a few escape rooms but wouldn’t be considered “ringers.” It’s why I talk about the “sweet spot” so often, because it’s great for it to still be a challenge and yet not too hard. This room probably falls into it which I think is pretty necessary for a room situated in a mall. For people just passing time in the mall, it could be a lot of fun and you could make some good headway. But for those who have done other escape rooms in this city, it’s still a decent challenge!

Creativity:

Jason- Yes, this is another space-themed room. We’ve done a lot lately but that’s not WEM’s fault. Full marks here for the design of this room and also for the story that they’ve created. There are great audio and also visual effects as well. The room design is pretty fantastic. It’s everything you should expect from a place that has the resources of West Edmonton Mall. It’s a large room and there are many times when you will be distracted by the little details everywhere and forget about the task at hand. There is a pretty good variety to the puzzles and a very good progression.

Lamya- Everything makes sense for the theme, which is pretty easy to understand even just from the title. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting a ton from this room because of the fact that the mall’s main focus isn’t the escape room, but a whole bunch of little recreational pieces. But I thought the room’s aesthetics were really cool and pretty immersive and there was a decent variety int eh types of problems/puzzles to solve.

Wow Factor:

Jason- It may be time to think of another term other than Wow Factor for these escape rooms. It used to mean something in a room like a secret door or spooky effect or something like that. These days those types of things are a little harder to come by but so much is changing with escape rooms. There may not be a secret door but the design of the room will feel so immersive that you really won’t care at all. You just never know what’s going to put a room over the edge for you. In Alien Outbreak I felt like the set design was so good and so immersive that it was the biggest Wow for me. There are also a lot of satisfying clicks and lights and sounds and I can’t stress enough how satisfying that is for someone who loves doing escape rooms and all those little details WEM put into their room really make it stand out.

Lamya- I love flashing lights! But seriously, as we do more and more rooms, it feels important to have cues that allow you to understand you’ve accomplished something in the room and this room has that. Did it make me go “wow”? I don’t think so but the design of the room was pretty cool and there was always something different to see or do. The final challenge was a very neat concept that we’ve never seen before, so kudos to WEM for that!

Overall:

Jason- I honestly did not know what to expect with this escape room. In my opinion it just makes sense that WEM has finally attempted to get into the escape room scene. To have another entertainment option for when you’re at the mall or even if you’re looking for something to do while waiting for a concert or anything else at the mall. It’s a very good escape room. I didn’t expect such a large escape room and one that was so well designed, but when I think about it I don’t know why I wouldn’t expect something big and colorful and fun from a place that also has an amusement park and water park inside it. I had a lot of fun in this room. I tend to stress out a little more when we do a room with kids because I want to make sure they’re having fun. I did the same thing with this room but it was still so much fun to see what West Edmonton Mall had created and it was easy to feel fully immersed in the experience. I highly recommend people give this room a shot. Even though there is only one room I think that it’s right up there with some of the best in the city based on it’s design, scale, and those little effects that tickle your senses.

Lamya – I would definitely recommend it. I personally love rooms that can be done with either all adults or a mix of adults and kids and this is one of those rooms. It made sense, it had lots of work to do (we would recommend six players), and it allowed you to develop a nice momentum. I think it can’t be overlooked that when we asked for help, we got what I would call “hard nudges” without fully telling us the answer (unless we were hopeless), which I appreciate. I’m not a fan of the really coy hints that give you almost nothing OR the person who just gives you the answer because they have no time for you, so I did want to make a point about that. Overall, it’s a pretty a solid room!

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