◣ VENUE FACT SHEET
🏢 COMPANY: District 3 Escape Rooms
💻 WEBSITE: Company | Online Games
🏘️ ADDRESS: 2237 6th Ave, Regina, SK | Google Map
🗾 COUNTRY: Canada
🕒 TIME ZONE: To Check Time Zone
◣ GAME INFO & BOOKING
🕹️ GAME: The Cabin
🚶 TYPE: Remote Escape Room
💻 WEBSITE: Game Info | To Book This Game
⏲️ TIME DURATION: 60 Minutes 💬 DIFFICULTY: 4.5/10 (Official) | 4/10 (Mattster's Team of 3 or 4)
👨👩👧👦 CAPACITY: 2-8 Players (4-6 Players Recommended)
🔐 GAME TYPE: Private
💰 PRICING: $27 (CAD) Per Person, 2 Players Minimum
◣ REMOTE: SPECIFICATIONS
🖥️ PLATFORM REQUIRED: Zoom (Video/Web Conferencing App)
🚶 LIVE ELEMENTS: Control A Live Avatar, Live Video & Audio Feed
🎒 INVENTORY/SUPPLEMENTAL: Telescape Live By Buzzshot
🔎️ OTHER NOTES: Features 360° View
◣ PREMISE & OBJECTIVES
There has been a series of kidnappings near a cabin. After locking your group up, the kidnapper leaves to find more trespassers. In trying to escape, you begin to learn more about who's cabin it is, who the enemy is, why he kidnapped you, and what he is trying to hide.
► TL;DR: REVIEW SUMMARY ◄
📚 NARRATIVE: Kidnapped by a sick mind, locked up in a cabin, now try to escape!
👀 VISUAL: Wooden cabin with appropriate decor, expectation fulfilled
🧩 PUZZLE: Best feature: challenges were well designed, executed, and presented
🧠 IMMERSION: Adequate, about what you'd expect from a lightly creepy cabin theme
🎮 REMOTE INTERFACE: Telescape Live inventory system, featuring 360° view
💁♂️ STAFF: Lovely and polite interaction, avatar with swift and no wasted action
💭 OVERALL: Strong online option that plays well, happy to recommend
🎟️ BEST FIT FOR: Players with good grasp of gen 1 puzzles, or else may stumble
🎫 IDEAL TEAM SIZE: With average experience, 3-4 should yield best result
► A ROUND OF APPLAUSE! ◄
escaped yet another cabin! But this time it's a Canadian cabin, eh?
"The Cabin" officially joins the "Recommended" rank!
◣ THE REVIEW
A CABIN IS A DANGEROUS PLACE
In the American escape room industry, a cabin means death. There is no relaxing weekend getaway, no family and friends bonding over a warm fire, none of that sweet and cuddly stuff.
Cabin means abduction, potential death, SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST!
Apparently, it's the same with our upstairs neighbor Canada. Nice to know there is consistency to count on in this world. All right, "The Cabin", what did I get into this time?
HOW DOES THIS CABIN COMPARE?
Well, not bad. There's definitely decent effort put in to ensure this escape space appeared to be made out of woods, as a cabin should be. Initially, I was confused by one single white wall, then I Googled for "Cabin Interior", and surely, yup, that's how they could look like.
There's a fireplace, rocking chair, and tealight candles! Hope they're scented! I would've preferred a bit more decor at certain bearer areas, but that's possibly due to the business's not wanting to confuse patrons with too many red herrings--and that isn't so bad.
One particular area also made me think, "Huh, kinda smart there", though I can't explicitly state it here since it could venture into spoiler territory.
There's also a window, half boarded up with wooden panels, featuring a sunset that I cannot faithfully enjoy, because I am kidnapped. The window also occasionally doubles a clock for the count down. Resourceful!
Kidnapped, you ask? Yes. I am kidnapped from my forest jog. I should've led in with that.
You see, this cabin owner likes to collect people. Hikers, campers, nearby pee-in-a-bushers. He gotta catch 'em all. The captured must leave before he comes back, or else fate is lookin' grim.
GREAT GAME PLAY
With 1 reviewer and 2 escape room owners on the team, we've most definitely seen our shares of cabin escapes. Hence, admittedly, these elements didn't seem to us as the most creative or unique, yet we still greatly enjoyed "The Cabin", primarily due to all the well designed puzzles.
This room can be played either in person physically in Regina, Canada, or it can be enjoyed remotely via live streaming with an avatar. Because the in real life version is designed to be mostly linear, this actually translated very well as an online option.
Clues are just detailed enough to both narrate the main story line and also concisely give the participants a clear idea on where to start and how to advance. One of my usual panics is when I just can't figure out how to get started--not at all the case here.
Once we completed our first stated task, the unlocking of padlocks commenced, and we kept on going with great momentum. There were a total of, maybe 5 of 6 locks, and none of them felt out of place. One of the advantages of using a commonplace setting like a wooden lodge is that, hey, locks actually make sense!
This would be a better scenario at a slot machine
Not wanting to make the experience all one note (as in, just locks), the designers mixed in various moments of tech or gadget based puzzles or reveals, which I appreciated, since the overall journey felt more energized and rewarding when... Listen! Something just popped open!
However, every challenge at its core still uses gen 1 logic, which actually means I am a fan! These rooms often turn out to be my jam, because these puzzles actually require some active thinking, as opposed to other lazier "puzzles" just treating customers as mindless zombies, instructing them to follow a laundry list of actions.
I am here to do some brain work, to occasionally struggle, and to feel accomplished--and we did. The final puzzle made us forfeit our "no hint" status, so damn you, finale puzzle, but sweet freedom was worth the price... maybe. My ego argues with gusto otherwise. So much gusto.
Furthermore, one puzzle late in game was unanimously described as sneaky. But the good kind. How often do you see an escape game put in an anti-cheating device baked right into its clue prop?! We were both impressed and humbled by the puzzle writer's ingenious foresight.
BOLSTERED BY SUPPORT
Undoubtedly, the puzzles made the game, though this wouldn't be as nearly possible without a great avatar and a now familiar inventory system.
Our in-game avatar, Lindsay, was agile at exploring, searching, opening locks, practically everything. He was able to control the camera view with absolute expertise, never once leaving his audience's view out of frame. His occasional reminder of his mortal danger helped increased a sense of urgency, and also instilled immersion--though only moderately so.
This wasn't anyone's fault, but purely a consequence of using a common trope theme.
Telescape Live remote escape room interface, with true 360° view
The web based inventory webpage was, once again, from Telescape Live by Buzzshot. Having already used this for at least 2 to 3 times now, I can attest to its versatility to many companies' needs, and it continues to supplement game play seamlessly.
This was, however, my first time seeing its capability to display an entire room with true and complete 360° panorama, from left to right, and from top to bottom. Having witnessed this feature, I feel like every virtual escape room should do this. Why is this not a gold standard yet?
Please focus more on Don's victory sign and less on Mattster's awkward attempt of a wink