Last night I immersed myself in a real-life Zelda Adventure here in Toronto with some good pals and a few too many tequila shots beforehand.
Secret City Adventures and SCRAP Entertainment have partnered together to bring Zelda to life in a pretty entertaining multi-city Puzzle tour inspired by the Legend of Zelda series. At first, I thought this was an escape room but it was more in line with the games and activities I used to play at youth group. Because I was a bit late (I blame the tequila) my buddy Steve and I were paired up with a nice family who didn’t like Zelda but had a knack for solving puzzles. I figured for the steep price of admission (over $200 for four people) that only Zelda fans would show up. They weren’t the only ones there who didn’t like Zelda I soon found out.
While we were getting to know each other the family talked about our their passion for escape rooms and gave me a list of other games to check out in Toronto. They highly recommended Casa Loma’s escape room experiences. Each team had 6 members and once sorted we sat down at our tables to experience a video intro that seemed to be sped up and a Shiekan host who was clearly bored. From that moment on I couldn’t stop laughing.
The dream team before we got separated.
This was certainly not a big stage production of Zelda. This was incredibly low budget and campy. When the host had left the stage, probably to weep quietly in the shadows, the 60-minute timer started and we got to work. The puzzles were fun and challenging and we were getting into the action with our new friends. I, of course, don’t wanna spoil the puzzles because it’s best you go in knowing as little as possible. The game does see you meeting the Goron, Zora, and Kokiri tribes while friendly staff with Navi’s stuck to their chest walk around and help the confused. Shout out to the guy dressed as a Goron who made me dance. This guy was a real peach and had to teach the 100 or so people there the Goron dance while keeping a straight face. I’ll remember you until the end of time.
It’s very important to communicate with the people you’re with otherwise people are going feel left out. It’s easy for one or two people to fly through the puzzles without a word of input from the rest of their team.
The goal of the game was to get the Ocarina of Time, travel 7 years into the future, and wield the Master Sword. Unfortunately, the Master Sword was far from legendary and looked more like a children’s dollar store sword stuck in a beat up box. The base of it was all smashed up from its travels and it could use a fresh coat of paint. Most of the props and accessories could use some fixing. As this is a traveling show a lot of the set pieces were banged up and falling apart.
Items were also missing including Link hats. It sounds like at one point everyone got a green hat but unfortunately, it was down to one piece of flimsy cloth per table. I don’t know why they couldn’t have gotten more hats for the event. I only got to wear mine for a minute. Here’s hoping they were washed and I don’t end up with head lice.
The tour is in Toronto until May 14th before making it’s way to Ottawa on the 27th. Hopefully, the sets get fixed up for the next visitors.
Here’s a full schedule:
Toronto: May 10-14
Ottawa: May 27-30
Montreal (English): June 8-11
Montreal (French): June 14-16
Calgary: June 30-July 2
Our group and a large portion of the other groups didn’t end up solving the final puzzle which meant we weren’t worthy of wielding the banged up Master Sword. The host did come back at the end of the game to walk through the steps of each puzzle and show us how we could have gotten the Master Sword. The last puzzle seemed overly complicated and kind of annoying. After that, we could hang out take pictures and pick up some merch but we booted it out of there to go play Injustice 2 around the corner.
If you’re going have some Zelda fun I seriously suggest taking some shots of your favorite booze beforehand. I was grinning from ear to ear during my playthrough. The whole event is as campy as it gets and it seems the actors think so too. It’s totally cheesy but it is really fun with friends. Some of the puzzles were really well crafted and I applaud them for that while others like the pencil shading stuff could use some work. If only some more love had gone into the sets and production. For the cost of admission, I’d expect a higher production level but hell if you got that extra money flaunt it.
TL;DR – The Zelda escape room is pretty fun for some laughs with friends but squandered its potential.
And it’s a lot more fun than this experience:
For all the details check out:
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a pair of tickets provided by SCRAP.