Mystery Mansion Regina – Sleepy Man (Review)

Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!

Players: 2+ (We recommend 4-5 players)

Price: $25 CAD per person (About $20.26 USD at the time of writing)

Time to Escape: 90 minutes

All good things…

Theme:

From the Mystery Mansion Regina website:

It’s time to face your fears and end the nightmare.
The finale to the Sleepy Man Trilogy is coming soon.

Basically, you know what’s coming, be ready. šŸ˜€

High Points:

We have absolutely loved every single minute we’ve spent with Mitch and the crew at Mystery Mansion Regina. They do a brilliant job in designing beautiful rooms and puzzles, and leading us through them as terrified/robotic/detective-y avatars! It is impossible not to have fun with Mystery Mansion Regina, and every time I see a new room of theirs go live, I am READY for it. Though I am more than sure that there will be many many more fantastic adventures to come from Mystery Mansion, Sleepy Man feels like the capstone of the crazy pandemic year plus we’ve had. One of our first remote games we ever played was Night Terrors, a game I absolutely love, which evolved into the Sleepy Man Trilogy, which is easily one of my top five remote experiences ever, and definitely up there in terms of escape rooms in general! I truly value the times we have been able to spend remotely with friends while the world was locked down, as well as some of the amazing people we wouldn’t have met otherwise, so thank you to Mitch and crew for allowing us to escape into these crazy worlds for a while, and being such an amazing host and avatar for our insane group.

That being said, let’s talk about Sleepy Man. Listen, if you are even remotely interested in escape rooms, and you aren’t a “No Horror” type of person, you owe it it yourself to play this trilogy. This story gave me vibes of some of my favorite horror experiences from across different media, channeling Silent Hill, early Resident Evil, and the Hell House, LLC trilogy to present an amazing escape experience unlike any other! Built solely for online play, Mystery Mansion allows players to do some crazy things they wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to do within an escape room. With Sleepy Man, the ante is raised, and we were consistently surprised throughout the game with how innovative this game was! It is truly a production, and it is so mind blowing to see how creative and original this game can be. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are elements of Sleepy Man that I have never seen matched in any other online experience. The story is amazing, and wraps up the trilogy well, tying up all the various threads together splendidly. The initial stages of the game began with a wild start we were not expecting, and once we had solved this stage of the game, we were treated to a great opening scene that made brilliant use of the large space that Mystery Mansion has available. A familiar set we’d seen a few times previously made another return, but it had shifted and warped, becoming much less inviting, (if it ever was,) than before, rotting under the passage of time. From there, we moved into a really cool interaction that made great use of the virtual nature of the game. Going forward, every new moment was seamlessly tied to the next, and every interaction and cut-scene would top the last! Supremely creepy, the ambiance that is built within this game is flawless.

The puzzles themselves are astounding, and there are so many packed within the 90 minutes this room affords. There are no combo locks or word locks to be found here, just a frantic search for a way to stop the horror of the Sleepy Man from claiming yet another victim. Every interaction ties excellently into the game, with nothing out of place, and the game flows so beautifully; it is honestly plays like masterclass in game design. This is definitely a much more challenging game, but the clues and puzzles are very intuitive, with well hidden hints that lead players through the game without leaning to either extreme of hand holding or obtuseness. I have trouble picking a favorite puzzle or interaction, as there are several “stages” to the game that feel like separate video game levels, and each one has something amazing going on! The adventure includes different endings depending on decisions made within the rooms, and I love how two specific pressure points really amp up the game. We discovered the “True Ending” and found it to be supremely satisfying, capping off this trilogy perfectly.

Low Points:

There weren’t as many opportunities to make our long suffering GM do ridiculous things. We did get a few in though, and always appreciate the antics of #SexyMitch.

Verdict:

What has been created with Sleepy Man is easily Mystery Mansion’s best, most immersive experience, and it begs to be played! If you haven’t played Night Terrors or D’vile’s Curio Shop, you’re in luck, because you get to play all three back to back! Go, play it now, there is nothing more to be said but you are going to love this room, and if you don’t, you’re probably an inter-dimensional demon that haunts a guy named Alex. Book your fight against the Sleepy Man here! And the first 15 players to use the coupon code #SEXYMITCH will get 15% any online booking! This super sexy offer is limited, so act fast!

10/10 (Phenomenal)

Full Disclosure: Mystery Mansion Regina provided our team with a complementary game.

District 3 Escape Rooms – Something Brewing (Review)

Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-5 players)

Price: $22 CAD per person (About $18.07 USD at the time of writing)

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

A perfect place for coffee and dastardly plots!

Theme:

From the District 3 Escape Rooms website:

You and your friends head to a coffeehouse before the celebration. You soon find out that something is brewing, and your evening takes a turn for the worse. What crucial decisions will your team need to make, and what major outcome will that lead to?

High Points:

Something Brewing is a fast paced, puzzle packed experience, and we had an absolutely brilliant time playing through it! Not to spoil anything, but the room is replayable, with different endings depending on a particular choice that takes place about midway through the room. This choice impacts the room greatly, not only changing the ending of the room, but determining what puzzling path you’ll travel down! We have only seen a mechanic like this maybe one or two other times during our almost 400 room career, and it is implemented beautifully here! The paths for both sides are extremely well done, and signposted in a way that prevents locks or clues from the other path from getting in the way. I absolutely recommend doing both paths, as the direction that I generally wouldn’t pick first contains some of my favorite puzzles! I really loved how things were updated to keep play fresh during our subsequent play through, and we felt we got a full experience both times. The shift in the room once you discover the true purpose of this coffee shop is fantastic, and I loved how wacky the story line got. Several of the puzzles would have required us to be in room or to direct our avatar through a tedious amount of placing, but luckily, District 3 has done an amazing job of porting these puzzles over to Telescape, allowing us to work on them at our own pace, and reducing any confusion that may be resulted from trying to get our avatar to complete some of the more complicated tasks. The puzzles overall are very intuitive, and eagle eyed players will be rewarded with some fantastic ah ha moments, as there are many clues hidden in plain sight that only become obvious once a key piece of the puzzle is found. Overall, I thought this room was brilliant, with many wonderfully hidden surprises and sinister plots!

Low Points:

We played through a particular puzzle a couple times on separate weeks due to Something Brewing’s two-path nature. This particular one was really tedious and directionless the first go round, but made much more sense the second time, partially because we were familiar with it, but also because our GM included a bit that wasn’t present the first time we played, so this one hinges greatly on if your avatar remembers to use this particular opening. This room translates fine to remote play, but I feel like it’d be so much better in person! The remote version just leaves a little something missing due to how incredibly interactive and tactile portions of it is.

Verdict:

District 3 has some fantastic games, but Something Brewing really takes the cake for replayability and originality! The extra puzzles, choose your own adventure style story, and convincing set really make this one a must do! I highly recommend this one remote or in person! Book your time in the coffee shop here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: District 3 Escape Rooms provided our team with a complementary game.

District 3 Escape Rooms – Interrogation Room (Review)

Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-5 players)

Price: $22 CAD per person (About $18.07 USD at the time of writing)

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

What do you know?!?!?

Theme:

From the District 3 Escape Rooms website:

An investigation begins the day after an attempted heist at a museum. Despite being brought in for questioning as suspects, unease led to your attempted escape. Staying too long may lead to your arrest, or perhaps worse!

First Impressions:

We were excited to be invited back to District 3 as we had really enjoyed their Haunted and Cabin rooms, so when they asked if we were interested in returning, we instantly responded in the affirmative! The Interrogation Room seemed a basic theme, but we were sure that District 3 had something interesting up their sleeves, and we absolutely weren’t disappointed with the experience.

High Points:

Interrogation Room’s set is well produced, and the sterile seeming nature of the first room is brilliantly immersive and hides many of the surprises well. As we went deeper into the room, we were delighted to find out how so much of the room was well hidden in plain sight. The story also evolves well, starting off with a standard, “you’ve been held here even though you are innocent,” theme and blossoming into areas we definitely were not expecting! The whole experience utilizes Telescape well, and presents some of the puzzle items as well as our inventory in an intuitive way that ensures we always knew what was available to us. There were also a few awesome interactive elements that made us feel like we were affecting the room from our computers. Our avatar was also brilliant, making sure to react to things in the room and keep things light hearted as we moved along the puzzling branches. Our avatar also felt more like our teammate eschewing the, “well intentioned but unbelievably stupid person in the room,” style avatar that seems to be very popular with many other experiences. We had to engage with our avatar in order to solve multi part puzzles and other such interactions, which was great, and was definitely something I haven’t seen much of. The puzzles themselves were very intuitive, and fit nicely together once all the clues were available to us. There was even a bonus puzzle for us to solve, which if we could complete within the time limit, would provide us with bonus points for District 3’s leaderboards! The game wraps up everything well within the story, but leaves open the possibility of a sequel, which we are excited to play once it arrives! The distinct, ongoing stories of District 3 are fantastic, and we really love how they have been implemented; there’s very few folks who story lines like this, and District 3 does it very well.

Low Points:

.One of the puzzles didn’t work quite as smoothly online as we’d prefer, though we definitely think this puzzle would work a lot better live. It was a really cool idea, but just didn’t translate to the virtual experience quite as well as we’d like. There is one particular puzzle that can cause some confusion if an item is moved, and while we eventually solved it, it definitely was something that was easy to overlook virtually.

Verdict:

As always, District 3 has done an excellent job creating an interesting theme, engaging story, and immersive puzzling! We really enjoyed our time in the Interrogation room, and it was able to keep our group of 5 experienced escapists engaged for almost the entire hour. We highly recommend checking this one out, especially if you’ve enjoyed their previous online offerings. Get locked in the Interrogation Room here!

8/10 (Great)

Full Disclosure: District 3 Escape Rooms provided our team with a complementary game.

Mystery Mansion Regina – D’Vile’s Curio Shoppe (Review)

Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!

Players: 3-10 (We recommend 4-5 players)

Price: $25 CAD per person (About $19.73 USD at the time of writing)

Time to Escape: 75 minutes

It ain’t Cruella’s shop, that’s for sure.

Theme:

From the Mystery Mansion Regina website:

Local paranormal Youtuber, Estelle Jacobs, was searching for her missing boyfriend, Alex. Shortly after visiting D’Vile’s Curio Shoppe, Estelle vanished without a trace. It’s time to venture inside the Curio Shoppe through a live video feed and find out the truth about Estelle’s disappearanceā€¦

We recommend playing Night Terrors before playing this room for story continuity.

First Impressions:

Mystery Mansion Regina is one of the escape room companies out there who we recognize as doing an amazing job adapting to virtual play. They’ve created rooms that are specifically built from the ground up to be online experiences, and because of this, their games shine as few others can. It is always a massive treat to explore one of their rooms, and we were very pleased to be returning for D’Vile’s Curio Shoppe!

High Points:

As I mentioned, this room is tailor made for online groups. While the room can be played live, the online version has been adjusted for online play, and ties into their amazing Night Terrors room beautifully. It was brilliant to return to the world of The Sleepy Man, and with this room ending on an exciting cliff hanger, I can’t wait to see what comes next! Per usual, the acting from our avatar and special guests was fun and immersive, and they tailored their performance to our shenanigans. I always appreciate versatile GMs, especially those that don’t mind playing along with us, and Mystery Mansion Regina’s GMing is top-notch. The room itself was wonderfully spooky, using lighting and sound excellently in order to create a dynamic, creepy atmosphere for us to puzzle in from the safety of our own homes. The entire space feels lived in, and there was so much more than what meets the eye hidden in the dark crevices of the Curio Shoppe. The props involved were devilishly fun, and just soaking in the ambiance and investigating all the weird and wonderful items in the Shoppe was hugely entertaining. All this comes together with a seamless integration into Telescape to translate the game into one of the best remote experiences we’ve played!

Puzzles are fantastic, and have been tweaked from the original room to fit the modified theme, ensuring nothing feels out of place. Some of my favorite enigmas within play with the remote nature of the game fantastically, and I really enjoy seeing how creative the room can get. Mystery Mansion Regina really does an amazing job crafting interactions that work beautifully within the virtual space, and provide an experience that not only feels like an authentic escape room adventure, but is also a one of a kind mystery you won’t find elsewhere! The game is densely packed with puzzling, and there is more than enough included to keep an experienced team busy, ensuring players will receive a good value for the cost. Intuitive and smoothly flowing, D’Vile’s Curio Shoppe absolutely ups the ante for Mystery Mansion Regina’s virtual experiences, and ranks up there with some of our favorite rooms of all time!

Low Points:

Only one puzzle didn’t work flawlessly, and though we felt it was a little unwieldly, we like the idea overall. It definitely tries to play with the game’s tools in a way that is married well to the theme, but it just doesn’t quite work perfectly. A slight adjustment, though, and this is a flawless room!

Verdict:

D’Vile Curio Shoppe is one of those games that I couldn’t wait to play, was 100% enthralled with during, and would recommend to anyone! As always, Mystery Mansion Regina has done a beautiful job creating a one of a kind experience that combines excellent storytelling, creative puzzling, and masterful GMing. You should absolutely check this, and their other brilliant rooms out here!

9.5/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Mystery Mansion Regina provided our team with a complementary game.

Mystery Mansion Regina – DTF: Drag Task Force (Review)

Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!

Players: 3-10 (We recommend 2-5 players)

Price: $20 CAD per person (About $15.11 USD at the time of writing)

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Work it!

Theme:

From the Mystery Mansion Regina website:

The devious Ruby Hymen has betrayed the Drag Task Force and has stolen all of their powers. The leader of the DTF, Flo Mingo, has selected you and your team to help the DTF infiltrate Ruby’s secret lair. You must find a way to stop Ruby and help the members of the DTF get their powers back!

A portion of each ticket will be donated to the Regina non-profit organization, Lulu’s Lodge.

*All content of this room has been reviewed and approved by the Drag Community and is not intended to offend any parties*

First Impressions:

DTF: Drag Task Force might be the most creative theme I’ve ever seen. Drag Queen superheroes, a robot avatar, and a puzzle that involves making a mixed drink for your avatar to choke down all come together to create what can only be described as one of the wildest online escape rooms we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing!

High Points:

DTF is a hilarious game, and if players relax and let themselves joke around with the avatar, they’re in for a fantastic time! Our game master was, as always with Mystery Mansion Regina, brilliantly quick on their feet, dishing out jokes and responses at lightening speed. Everything was incorporated with the awesome story, and I loved how much humor was injected into the experience. It is rare to see an escape room that truly excels at being funny, and the folks at Mystery Mansion Regina really know how to develop a fun puzzling flow while bringing the laughs. Just like their Night Terrors room, DTF is built from the ground up to be an online only experience, ensuring that nothing gets lost in translation. A favorite mechanic of this room is made possible by its online only nature, as one of the main goals of the game is to upgrade our robotic avatar using items that give the Drag Task Force their powers. Though it is as simple as finding a prop and asking to activate a power, it really lends a satisfying sense of progression to the experience, and adds a little extra something that we wouldn’t see in an in person room.

The puzzles themselves are very clever, and one in particular was an astoundingly fun interaction that had us laughing even after the game was over. At several points in the game, telescape was incorporated, allowing our team to solve in room puzzles concurrently with online puzzles, shaking up the usual linear nature of online, avatar based games and allowing for more non-linear progress to be made. This is great for bigger teams or players who like to break off to solve on their own, as it ensures that everyone can remain engaged without trying to lead an avatar to look at something across the room while others are attempting to solve something else entirely. Though the puzzles themselves were, for us, on the easier side of things, they were no less fun, and the room is absolutely packed with interactions, so we didn’t blow through the experience either. Overall, DTF is all about having a great time, and it definitely succeeds in its mission!

Low Points:

During our play, the decor was still in development, so the room didn’t quite have as much personality as it could’ve, however, it should be even more decked out now, so no worries here! The puzzling can sometimes ride on the easier, more basic side, so enthusiasts looking for an intense challenge may be disappointed, but we had more than enough fun running through the flow of the game and just enjoying the great story and banter with our game master/avatar!

Verdict:

DTF: Drag Task Force is easily one of the most creative, fun filled online escape rooms available. I whole heartedly recommend trying it out, as the entertaining puzzling flow and laugh a minute interactions with our game master delivered one of our favorite experiences of the pandemic. Book your time helping the Drag Task Force regain their fabulous powers here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Mystery Mansion Regina provided our team with a complementary game.