Everything you need to know about escape room industry and more...
Our Escape Adventure Part 14: Escape Rooms and Emergency Rooms!

Our Escape Adventure Part 14: Escape Rooms and Emergency Rooms!

Greetings from Colchester, Vermont! On this leg of our trip, we left Michigan and started heading east. The northeastern United States is beautiful this time of year, with the trees starting to turn all shades of orange, yellow and red.

It’s a bit early in the season for the best fall colors, but we’ve still seen a lot. Hopefully, as we travel on through the northeast, they will continue to get more widespread and vibrant. Along with the beautiful colors, this leg had some exciting (and scary!) twists and turns, so let’s dive in!

Trip Statistics

States Visited This Leg: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, Vermont

Countries Visited: Niagara Falls and Toronto in Ontario,Canada

Total Miles Traveled: 28,769

Total Escape Rooms Played: 221

RV Life

While in Indiana we stayed in Batesville (home of the famous casket company) and visited the summer camp our friend Chris is the executive director of. Curt’s former career was in camping, and he loves to visit summer camps when he gets the opportunity. Chris and Carrie live on-site at the camp with their daughters. Curt spent extra time at the camp with Chris so they could record a few episodes of their podcast. If you, or someone you know, is in the summer camp industry, check out their podcast on your favorite app. It’s called Scamp Life: The Programming Side!

While we were there, Chris suggested we go into Cincinnati, Ohio and check out Jungle Jim’s Grocery Store. Yep, a special field trip to visit a grocery store. We were a bit skeptical, but the four of us drove over there and Chris and Carrie showed us around. It really is the most amazing grocery store we’ve ever been to. There are food items and products from all over the world, displayed in their own over the top and cheesy themed areas. It even has its own monorail. We seriously spent two hours just looking around. If you are in the area, we highly recommend checking it out just for the experience. No shopping is required. Afterwards we played some escape rooms (of course!). As always, you can check out our reviews of those after this RV Life update.

We spent a week In Indiana and then traveled to Sandusky, Ohio to visit the Cedar Point Amusement Park. Tina had been to Cedar Point a few times as a child, but Curt had never been. It was a blast! We were there at the perfect time, too. It was the first weekend of their Halloween experience, so not only did we go on a number of rides, but in the evening we went through some haunted houses, haunted walks, and we got to experience all their seasonal décor.

After spending a couple of days in Ohio, it was time to move on to upstate New York. We’ll be swinging through the southern part of New York, including New York City, when we make our way back south in a couple of weeks, but this stop on our trip was for northern New York, including Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and was supposed to be the starting point for our foray into Canada, with planned stops in Toronto and Montreal. Then, the unexpected happened…

Curt developed abdominal pain that we originally thought was from something he ate.  However, after 24 hours it was continuing to get worse, he had no appetite and was unable to keep anything down. We went to the local emergency room and found out he had an  umbilical hernia that had progressed into a bowel obstruction. We were told that he needed to have emergency surgery and that due to the size of the hernia, the recovery time was going to be at least six weeks. It was also possible that some of his intestine would have to be removed. They don’t do that type of surgery at the small-town hospital we were at, so they had him transported by ambulance to a larger hospital in Buffalo. We were sure it was going to be the end of our trip. Tina was panicking a bit at this point (ok, maybe it was more than just a bit!) with worrying about Curt and the logistics of how to get the RV and Curt transported back to Florida, since Curt wouldn’t be able to drive for a while.

However, in the hospital in Buffalo, one of the surgeons did some voodoo magic (not really). We won’t go into details of the procedure (there was a lot of pain involved), but no emergency surgery ended up being needed. Curt will still need to get that surgery when we get back to Florida and he is under orders to take it easy, but he was cleared to continue with our adventures. Whew, another crisis averted! 

The couple of days in the hospital and recovery time threw off our schedule a bit and we were worried about leaving the country with the RV and Curt having a possible relapse, so we decided to revise our plans and take Montreal off the agenda. We were within a two hour drive of Toronto, so once Curt felt better, we decided to drive just the truck up to Toronto and stay in a hotel for two nights, in order to play some escape rooms.

Along the way, we stopped to view Niagara Falls and to play a couple of highly-rated rooms in Niagara Falls, Canada. Again, viewing the falls is something Tina has already experienced (what hasn’t she done?), but Curt had never seen Niagara Falls (what has he been doing with his life?). 

Near our hotel in Toronto was a Nothing Bundt Cakes. Yes, they have them all over the US, but Curt had never had one. (Seriously, did Curt experience ANYTHING before meeting Tina?). Of course, the cakes were AMAZING! How do they make them so moist? We are fans for life.

We thought Toys ‘R’ Us was dead, a thing of the past never to return, but while driving through Toronto, we saw one! While the nationwide closures in the US weren't a big deal for Tina (she did not grow up a Toys ‘R’ Us kid), Curt was devastated by the closures. Well, apparently, they are alive and thriving in Canada with over 80 stores. What?! We looked it up and after the company filed for bankruptcy and closed all its stores in the US, UK, and Australia, they sold their stores in Canada, Asia and Africa to third parties. Curt wonders why they couldn’t do that in the US. Anyway, we went into one of the stores so Curt could get his nostalgia fix. 

After our side trip into Toronto, it was time to continue on our journey and we packed up camp in New York and headed to Vermont. While here, we got to tour the original Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory. Tina is a huge Ben & Jerry’s fan, and this tour was fantastic. It is a working factory and you get to see real ice cream being produced. They were making the Milk & Cookies flavor the day we visited. (It even came with a free scoop of ice cream. Yum!)

Along the way we did some great and some not so great escape rooms, and on this leg we also crossed the 200 rooms completed on the trip threshold! Here are our reviews.

Escape Rooms

Countdown Games (Lexington, KY)

This place was huge! A couple of the games are three stories tall, which is unique. One thing that was strange about Countdown is that their game masters run the games from the hallway. Anyone passing by to go to the restrooms can watch them and see the games in progress on the screens. A couple of times we saw the game masters distracted by customers asking questions, or other staff conversing with them. On top of that, the game masters run two games at a time. They are upfront about it, but that doesn’t make it any better.They tell you that if you ask for a hint and they don’t respond right away, to ask again in a minute or two. There were a couple of times when we needed help, and it took them a bit to chime in with their hints or ask us what we’d already done. 

  • The Castle-This game is three stories high. Each level is small, but it is neat to have three levels of puzzles to explore. Some of the puzzles are high tech and involve video screens, which takes away from the medieval immersion. There is also a good amount of searching for items. However, many of the puzzles are fun, even though they are mostly on the easier side. We enjoyed the game and experience.
  • Supernova-This game is all tech, no locks. There is some math and a bit more reading than we like. The set design is fantastic. Mid-way your team gets to shoot asteroids, but it seemed some of the weapons did not work, and we didn’t know what the point of that part of the game was. A few of the puzzles (more like tasks) took a while to get through, but for the most part, they were enjoyable. It would have been nice to have something to write notes on. However, you always know what to do next, and that makes for good game flow. Between the set design and the overall gameplay, we enjoyed this game, too.
  • Murder Mansion-A fun game with some challenging puzzles. The set design was fantastic and we enjoyed all of the puzzles, except for one math puzzle. There was a logic puzzle in a different format than we had seen before, which we particularly enjoyed. This was our favorite game here.
  • Time Machine-We wanted to love this game, and parts of it we did, but an inattentive game master and a bad puzzle ruined it for us. This game gets a lot of love in the reviews, and we get that. The set design is fun and nostalgic. Many of the puzzles are very enjoyable. However, (and this is mentioned in multiple reviews of this game on the Morty app) there is a maze puzzle that needs to be done twice and the second time is much more difficult. It’s a time suck, for sure. Also, there were two puzzles that we had the correct solution for, but the locks didn’t work and the game master didn’t notice it either time. We wasted a lot of time on those, too. We ended up running out of time just before we started the last puzzle and instead of walking us through it like they do at most places, the game master raved about how it was the best puzzle in the whole place, but that we would have to come back and play it again to see it. As this was our last game of the day there, it ended up souring the entire experience a bit. 

Twisted Escape Rooms (Indianapolis, IN)

This was an interesting place. It’s obviously VERY family-friendly. In each game, there are a couple of tokens you can find. After the game, you get to spin their prize wheel (for each token you found). The prizes were anything from little trinkets that kids would love to a hug from the game master. Huh? We were hoping that we wouldn’t land on the hug. Awkward. 

  • Sweet Shoppe-The set was okay for a small-town escape room. There were some neat and tricky puzzles, at least one that needed a leap in logic, and a couple of red herrings. It was mostly locks with a little tech. The game itself was okay. Family friendly.
  • Alice’s White Rabbit Rescue-A cute set with a few surprise moments and some tricky puzzles. We liked this one more than Sweet Shoppe. Our GM was not the friendliest for this game, but all the other staff were nice.

Escape Room Family (Sharonville, OH)

We played two games here, Jungle Adventure and Castle Adventure. All the games are puzzle rooms, not really escape rooms. There are no storylines and barely any theming. They are sparsely decorated rooms with many puzzles for groups to tackle. The more puzzles you solve, the higher your points. The puzzles and tasks are fun and challenging. Many of the puzzles and tasks needed two people to complete. Even though these are not typical escape rooms, we had a good time working through all the puzzles. It’s a great place for families and large groups since everyone can be working on puzzles at the same time, and the puzzles in each room are a good mix of easy and harder puzzles.

Escape Rooms by Franknicky (Sandusky, OH)

  • Trapped in the 80s-This was a very nostalgic game. The owner/game master was super friendly. We appreciated the fun way they help you keep track of time, but it wasn’t as easy as looking at a clock and seemed like a mini puzzle in itself. The puzzles and set design are okay. Really, it’s the 80s theme that makes this small-town escape room so fun. If you’re an enthusiast who is NOT into the 80s, I’m not sure if you’ll enjoy this game. There is some crawling, and the game master is in the room with you the whole time. There is also some excessive searching.

Niagara Escapement (Niagara Falls, ON Canada)

  • Easy Bake Coven-This is a linear game that is on the easier side, perfect for a small group of new players. That said, as enthusiasts, we still loved it! The theme, storyline, narration, and puzzles all helped to make this game so cute and fun. This was one of our favorites on this leg of our trip.
  • End of the Bleeping World-We enjoyed trying to get ourselves into the bunker before the world ended. The puzzles were challenging, and the ambiance and puzzles fit the theme really well. The owner's unique sense of humor really shines through in the bunker. We highly recommend both of the games at this location!

Looking Glass Adventures (Toronto, ON Canada)

  • It Came From the Attic-We really enjoyed this game. The set design and gameplay were both very good. The ending was fun, and we liked the inclusion of all the myths and legends.
  • Mystery at Maryweather Mansion-A fun game that was on the easier side for two enthusiasts. We like that there is a bonus puzzle for groups who finish early. We liked It Came From the Attic more, but this was a solid room, too.

Daydream Adventures (Toronto, ON Canada)

  • Dream Portal-This place is so whimsical and fun. While we didn’t get the warmest greeting (or goodbye) we did enjoy the game. There were puzzles that we’ve seen before but presented in very unique ways. There were also things we hadn’t seen before and that was refreshing. The set design is the standout here. It’s so fantastical. Make sure you check out both restrooms, too. They are both uniquely themed!

Escape From the 6 (Mississauga, ON Canada)

This place gets a lot of love due to the size of two of their rooms. The lobby is huge and they have party rooms. One of the things that we dislike about Escape From the 6 is that the game masters are only available via walkie-talkie and they aren't always watching your game. If you need a hint, they have to walk over and come into the room to help you. We found that they often don't know what puzzle you're on, so you have to take time to bring them up to speed on where you're at and what you've tried. We will say, though, that the staff were very friendly.

  • Firefighter Rescue Mission-Wow! The first part of this two-story game feels like you’re training to be a firefighter. The puzzles were really good. The second half is mostly search and find but fits the theme. There were some disconnects between the game and some props, but overall, we enjoyed this game even though the two of us were exhausted at the end. We can see why this is usually a four-person game. We needed nearly 10 extra minutes to finish.
  • Volcano Views: Aerial Tours-This is a BIG game. The set design was ambitious, but it never really immerses you completely because it isn't very polished. However, it's more high-tech and larger than most games we've played. Also, there are a couple of Wow! moments. Overall, this game was a mixed bag for us, as one of the puzzles didn’t work and the game master had to help us with a shortcut for it and said that it malfunctions a lot. We also got stuck on an early puzzle because we didn’t find an important piece of information (searching is our downfall!). We told them going in that  since we were only two people in a room designed for a minimum of four, that we wanted nudges if we got too far off track. An attentive game master would have chimed in with a nudge to tell us where to look, but since they don’t watch the rooms, nudges are not a thing here. We spent ten frustrating minutes trying out combination after combination instead.
  • Escape the Wild West-The way this game starts off is a lot of fun and we had high hopes for it. A few of the puzzles are really good, but so much of it is just bad. More than a few times we wondered what the designers of the game were thinking. There were a few red herrings and things that didn't make sense for that time period. It was all just a mess. It doesn't come close to comparing to their other two rooms. 

KeyMasters Escape Rooms (Hamilton, ON Canada)

Our experience started off with no greeting, just an exasperated, "What game are you here for?" That set the tone for everything. It seemed this place was understaffed for a busy Friday night. They had some big groups of younger teens. After the game, we were not offered a team photo or any sort of small talk. It was clear they just wanted us to leave so they could deal with the larger groups that needed extra attention. We felt bad for the staff. They seemed overworked and frustrated, and that got projected onto us. We were going to play a second game, but decided not to after that.

  • Expelled-The game itself was pretty good. The first room was a lot of fun (though, not sure why kids in detention are handcuffed to the desks). The second room was just okay. Overall, the game gets a thumbs up from us. The rest of the experience gets a thumbs down.

The Imaginarium (North York, ON Canada)

The Imaginarium takes pride in its set designs. The lobby is beautiful, the locker area is nice and clean, the front of the door to each game is expertly decorated, and the set design of this game was amazing. If Disney were to create escape rooms, this is what they would look like.

  • The Grand Wilshire Hotel-This game is quite good. It wasn't perfect, but what game is? A few things that bothered us included a video that played over and over, and the sounds of that video got annoying very quickly, there were some low-light areas that the provided candles barely illuminated (no flashlights were given and you can't use your phone lights), the game rule we got from our gm about not looking for items below our knees was a bit misleading, and the game could have used better signposting. On the positive side, the staff and owner we met were all very nice and friendly, the set design was superb as mentioned, the tech in the room was fantastic, the puzzles were a mix of easy to medium difficulty.Overall, we really enjoyed our experience. The two of us just made it out on time with a couple of hints on where to find things. Three or four people would be ideal for this game. We really wanted to play their other games, but they all had a minimum of four with no exceptions. Bummer.

5 Wits (Buffalo, NY)

Five Wits is an escape room-like experience. They say you have 30-45 minutes for each game (they had three games). Our team of two finished most of the games in under 30 minutes. These games are much more task-based than puzzle-based, and each task is timed. There are no hints available. If you cannot complete a task/puzzle, it will eventually time out and you will be moved on to the next task or room. 

  • Tomb-This was our least favorite of the games we played at Five Wits. This may be because two of the puzzles did not work, and, because nobody was monitoring the game, we just had to wait for each of those puzzles to time out. This was confirmed by the staff after they checked those two puzzles. They apologized but offered no compensation or the chance to replay the room. That was okay. We understand there can be tech issues with games like this. It didn't stop us from playing the other games. The set design was very good. The game flows nicely. There is never a time when you ask yourself, "What's next". 
  • Drago’s Castle-This was our favorite game by far at 5 Wits. The storybook vibe from the intro to the ending was fantastic. This had more escape room-like puzzles than the other ones. The set design, like their other rooms, was fantastic, as was the flow of the game and the audio narration. 
  • Deep Space-This game felt more high-tech than the others. There was one puzzle/task that we did every way possible, but it never triggered. Unfortunately, since there is no game master, you cannot ask for help, hints, or clarification on anything. The first room had very little signposting or directions (unlike the other games), but it was immersive. The second room is the most escape room-like with the puzzles it has. The third room is pretty wild and having four people would be helpful. It was tough with just two. Overall, this was our second favorite game at 5 Wits.

5 Wits (Syracuse, NY)

  • Espionage-This was an okay game. For us, it was comparable to Tomb. We enjoyed Drago's Castle and Deep Space more.

Museum of Intrigue (Syracuse, NY)

The Museum of Intrigue is a fairly large space that is set up sort of like a museum with different exhibits. There are multiple stories that you can choose from and each one has a minimum number of players. Some stories can be played by two people and others must have four. Your group solves puzzles and does a lot of searching around throughout all the exhibits no matter which story you choose. Your "game master" (or museum guide) is always around if you need help. He or she is also picking up after you resetting things as you go. The museum guides are also all unique characters and they add a lot of fun elements to the stories. Our guide was in character as a magician and he was awesome! It's an interesting concept that we would recommend everyone try at least once. Be aware that, while you will be the only group playing your particular story, there are other groups playing their own stories and will be around you and coming into your exhibit. Think of it as an actual museum and everyone is on their own adventure. 

  • A Robbery on The Intrigue Express-This was our first game at the Museum of Intrigue and it was probably our favorite of the three we did. We really liked the train dining car exhibit that we spent most of our time in. 
  • The Toymaker-This was a fun, family-friendly game. The theme did seem a little out of place for the museum, but we didn't mind that. 
  • Cold Case-We were told Cold Case was one of the most escape room-like stories they offered. That seemed to be the case as there were more locks and puzzles than the rest. We did have trouble finding certain things around the venue, so be aware there is a lot of searching in all their games.

Escape Room 60 (Williston, VT)

  • Vermonsters-This was a small, 2 room game that had fun puzzles and a neat variety of locks. It’s a game that combines monster myths with a carnival theme, which seemed a bit mismatched, but we enjoyed the variety of puzzles and props it allowed. There is also a really good combination of locks and tech. The lighting is a bit dimmer than we would have liked, but overall we had a good time and enjoyed the game. Our game master was also really great.

That wraps up this leg of our trip. We’ve been on the road for almost seven months! It’s amazing to think that we have less than two months left to go. From here we head further north and east up into New Hampshire and Maine before turning south and slowly making our way back to Florida. We still have lots of amazing stops left on our itinerary, though!

Until Next Time,

Tina and Curt

Tina Deater & Curt Jackson

Tina Deater & Curt Jackson

Enthusiasts, travelers, bloggers

Tina is a former city and transportation planner turned escape room owner and Curt is a podcaster/blogger/content creator for the summer camp industry. Their worlds collided when they were handcuffed next to each other in a pirate themed escape room while attending an escape room enthusiast meet up event.

Latest articles with  escaperoom

Latest articles with  world

Hallo, unsere Website verwendet Cookies, damit alle Funktionen ordnungsgemäß funktionieren können.

Zusätzlich zu diesen notwendigen Cookies verwenden wir auch Cookies von Dritten, damit wir Analyse-, Social-Media- oder Marketing-Tools von Dritten nutzen können. Das bedeutet, dass die damit erhobenen Daten auch von den Anbietern dieser Tools verarbeitet werden.

Bist du mit der Verwendung von Cookies einverstanden, die nicht für den Betrieb der Website erforderlich sind, wie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung beschrieben wurde?


Hier kannst du die detaillierten Einstellungen für die auf unserer Website verwendeten Cookies ändern. Wenn du einer bestimmten Art von Cookies zustimmst, bedeutet dies, dass du damit einverstanden bist, dass die von ihnen gesammelten Daten vom Administrator dieser Website sowie vom Anbieter des von uns verwendeten spezifischen Tools verwendet werden - wie in unserer Datenschutzrichtlinie beschrieben wurde.

Diese Art von Dateien ist für das ordnungsgemäße Funktionieren unserer Website erforderlich.

Anhand dieser Dateien können wir nachvollziehen, wie die Nutzer auf unserer Website navigieren. Ein solches Tool ist Google Analytics, mit dem wir anonyme Informationen über die Anzahl der Besuche, die Nutzung bestimmter Funktionen oder die Art der Benutzergeräte sammeln können. Dank dieser Daten können wir die Website an die Bedürfnisse und Fähigkeiten der verschiedenen Nutzer anpassen.

Tools von Google, Facebook und Seznam.cz, die Informationen über Nutzer sammeln, die wir für Marketingzwecke nutzen können.