Escape room, a group puzzle room where you have a set amount of time to escape a room solving puzzles has become a popular form of entertainment. In Ottawa, Escape Manor has a plethora of escape rooms to try with the company now having locations in both Ottawa and Regina. In Ottawa alone, Escape Manor has a location on Queen Street (downtown), and Wellington Street W (Hintonburg) along with The Mystery Motel on York Street (Byward Market), and tempory escape rooms at the Museum of Nature and the Diefenbunker (an old nuclear fallout bunker).
What To Expect At The Escape Rooms
The majority of the escape rooms at the Escape Manor you can have a team of up to 6 people, with some rooms allowing larger groups up to 15 people. While having the max number of people for the room is suggested, it is possible to solve the rooms without a full group, or you can always choose to go with a friend and join another escape room that already has some people booked, and join another team.
For all the escape rooms you need to arrive at least 15 minutes early to pay and sign a waiver. Once the group is gathered together one of the staff of the Escape Manor will go over the rules of the room, and give you the background story of the themed room you are about to attempt to escape from. At the locations downtown and in Hintonburg there is a great lounge area with board games and puzzles that you can play to relax with friends prior to starting the escape room.
The Escape Rooms
Once you enter the room the timer will start and you will need to begin finding clues, and often a two-way radio which you can use to ask one question/clue to the staff at the Escape Manor, so it is best to save your clue for a puzzle where you are stuck. To successfully complete the room, your team will need to escape the room within 45 minutes. Upon completing the room your team will be photographed and you will be asked for a team name.
The puzzles in the rooms and the difficulty of the rooms vary dramatically from room to room, so each room feels unique and exciting. Moreover, over time some of the themed rooms are replaced with new rooms, so there is always a new puzzle to try.
None of the rooms of the rooms at the Escape Manor I’ve done thus far have been scary, which is a theme other escape rooms aim for. While the theme might be to escape a murderer or even the devil, the rooms are rather family friendly in design. It is worth noting that some of the rooms have had tight spaces or very dark rooms, so if you have fear of either it might be worth contacting the Escape Manor directly to suggest a room that would be best for your team.
I’m a huge fan of The Escape Manor, and I always have had an amazing time as escape rooms make for a great building team activity. Often the various types of clues or puzzles showcase various people’s strengths and allow everyone to collaborate in a fun clue solving game.
I highly recommend trying any of the puzzle rooms, I personally find the Brewery and The Outlaw Saloon to be the easiest rooms, but they were also my least favorite, as despite being fun the rooms were not as impressive in design compared to other rooms like Darkness.
So far I’ve tried 10 rooms (some of which have been retired) including Beau’s Brewery, Darkness, The Lab, The Outlaw Saloon, Wine Cellar, The Extraction, The Heist, The Magician’s Studio, Psycho and The Tomb. Without question, Darkness was my favourite room, with The Lab and The Extraction being my next favourites as I found they were not only more challenging but the rooms were so amazing in their design where I left the room dazzled by the intricate room construction.