Escape games are currently very popular in Quebec, North America and around the world. There have been so many since they arrived in the province in 2015 that it can be hard to choose which one to do. Who hasn’t heard of an activity called an “escape room”, consisting of a room full of padlocks, gadgets and puzzles with incredible themes and scenarios? Unless you live in a cave, everyone knows someone who has done this kind of activity, if you haven’t already tried it yourself! But how do you know which game to choose with so many different escape game companies and scenarios around?

Many companies look the same. They have several scenarios with different themes, each more intriguing than the last. I suggest starting with escape games that are close to home and easily accessible (parking and near highways).

Next, you need to make sure that the game is adapted to your player profile (expert, intermediate or beginner), that there are enough of you in your group to have a great experience, and that the age of the participants is appropriate for the chosen scenario. One of the most recurrent questions in an escape play center is whether children can play? I think the answer should always be yes, but you still have to make sure they’re going to have fun. Which brings us to the choice of room difficulty.

Difficulty must be taken into consideration, as it is by far the #1 aspect of player frustration. Feeling competent and intelligent are two of the most sought-after feelings in life and in the parallel world of games. There’s no universal scale, but the starting point to use is the difficulty score. 8/10, for example, means that 80% of people don’t pass the mission. They may not be far off the mark, but they still didn’t get out of the room in time. So if you decide to go for a room with a capacity of 6 people or a high level of difficulty, and your group consists of you and a 10-year-old child, you may want to reconsider your choice.

Next, you need to take into account the duration. Some of my colleagues have scripts lasting 2 hours or more! Most rooms last between 1h and 1h30. It goes by quickly when you’re racking your brains, but you still have to remember that the experience has a time limit when it comes to planning your day. Here’s a suggestion: plan your after-game! After so much effort, you’re going to want to discuss it with your colleagues, and look back on the good and the bad. Unfortunately, the vast majority of establishments don’t allow you to stay on site and share your experience, as future groups may overhear your discussion and get clues about the room. Out of respect, your group must leave the site as soon as the game is over. So don’t forget to plan for the after-game.

The script! It’s all a question of taste when it comes to the script. For beginners, I’d choose classics to master the concepts, but if you’re a super fan of a theme, choose this room! We’re making an escape game first and foremost for fun!

Finally, the points mentioned in this text are not in any particular order. Personally, customer service is a key factor in my choice of experience. Is anyone looking after our group? Is the staff friendly? Does the facility offer other amenities? In short, will I come home smiling and happy? For all this, I suggest you check out the company’s Google and Facebook reviews. There are also expert articles that you can consult, except take them with a grain of salt.

Expert articles are often written after the specialists have tried out the rooms. These are E-X-P-E-R-T-S so their articles are often based on their experiences and don’t do 100% justice to the venues. They are very critical, they analyze everything and they are references for experienced players. Their work is highly appreciated in the world of escape games.

So what are you waiting for to get your friends together and take up the challenge?

Please note that I haven’t mentioned costs, as prices hover around $30, regardless of the location or venue you choose. What’s more, price should never be a barrier to an unforgettable experience.