Why leaderboards aren’t useful

When a group is getting excited about entering one of our escape rooms, we are often asked: “what is the record time?” and “what is the escape rate?”. That is a complex question that we’d love to answer if there is time. There are many variables including rates for groups of different sizes, times for groups who didn’t ask for hints, rates for families with kids, how familiar the group is with escape rooms, among others.

Continue reading “Why leaderboards aren’t useful”

How many people can we bring to the escape room?

As a general rule, you should have 4, 5 or 6 people in your group.

However, that depends on the company, the specific room and your city. Here in Winnipeg, we at Next Level Escapes have designed our rooms with small groups in mind, and we do have some wiggle room to accommodate small or medium-sized groups.

The Saloon - Room Size
The Saloon fits 3-7 people with 4-5 people being ideal

In our Saloon room, the group should be between 3 and 7 people for ideal time use and puzzle flow. For experienced escape artists, a group size of 4-5 is best. With 7 people the room feels a little tight, and is the maximum allowable number of players. We can sometimes allow a 2-person team to attempt the room (just not on Saturdays).

In the Office, we also suggest the group be between 3 and 7 people, but as the room has been designed to be a bit more challenging, 5-6 players are ideal. 7 players is also the maximum, and we have had a couple couples attempt it as well.

The Office - Room Size
The Office fits 3-7 people with 5-6 being ideal
The Train is designed for small groups of 2-3 people but can accommodate 1-4 players

For the Train, we heard from a number of our groups that there were not enough rooms for very small groups. This escape room is just a single room and should be attempted with 2-3 people, and is great for a date night. It can also be done with 1 person (would need to pay a minimum of 2 admissions) or up to 4 people.

At Next Level Escapes, we want our escape rooms to be challenging and enjoyable, building on the experiences we have had in other rooms. There are a few design elements that we wanted to avoid:

The catch-all room: These escape rooms are advertised as being for super small and large groups, for example for 2-10 players. In our experience, there are basically no instances where these rooms provide a good time. If you have 2-3 players, there are likely too many puzzles to complete in the given time. For 9-10 players there is usually times where some players are standing around doing nothing, or they escape very quickly.

The huge room: Usually allow for 10-14 players maximum. With so many people completing the puzzles, even for experienced players, confusion plays a large role. Players end up spending most of their time trying to figure out who did what puzzle and how it fits in to the overall story, rather than actually solving the puzzles.

The small (but very cramped) room: Sometimes companies want to cram as many people in to one room as possible, advertising that a small 1-room escape could hold as many as 6 or even 7 people. We feel that there is a need for smaller escapes, but that the number of people should reflect the desired experience for a better quality result.

We are always interested in your thoughts. What are your favourite room sizes or the size of your escape room crew? Let us know on Facebook or send us an email to hello@nextlevelescapes.ca – we would love to hear from you!

The best escape rooms in Winnipeg

Here at Next Level Escapes we have heard from many of our customers that Winnipeg has some of the best escape room designs that they have escaped from. Honestly, we have done most of them, and you’ll find some great experiences at any of the rooms in the city.

We have compiled at list of the escape rooms that are in operation as of May, 2019:

Next Level Escapes Logo

The Real Escape Canada Logo

Time Lapse Escape Rooms Logo

Enigma Escapes Logo

Mask Escapes Logo

And which one is the best? We are pretty biased so we’d like you to find out. Try to escape from them all!

What are people saying about Next Level Escapes?

It is our mission to provide high-quality, challenging escape rooms that immerse you in each theme. We hope that you have fun, and so far we think that you have!

Authentic original puzzles and a great atmosphere
Good times in the old West!

From the moment you enter the building, we greet you with our friendly staff. We have videos for the rules, tips, and to set up the story for your escape adventure. Our rooms are designed to be immersive experiences that capture the theme both in the decor and the puzzles.

If you would like to see what others have said about our rooms, check out our reviews on Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook. We are also always looking to make our rooms better! If you have done any of Next Level Escapes’ escape rooms and have a suggestion, just send us an email to hello@nextlevelescapes.ca, and we will get on it right away.

Red herrings belong in the water

Not in the escape room

No Red Herring

Many escape artists have asked “is this a red herring”? And at Next Level Escapes, the answer is “No”.

A number of you have given examples of escape rooms you have experienced that have certain puzzles that are required to solve the theme, and sometimes there are other puzzles that exist purely to take up your time that do not add to the game play. These are red herrings, and we do not put them in our escape rooms.

Your time is valued, and we want everything you do to progress the story. Each step is crafted with the idea that it is part of the trail needed to achieve your goal. Sometimes a puzzle could have you wasting your time – if you don’t find or solve the clue that tells you which part to focus on. You don’t have to read every single book, play every piano piece, or try every possible combination on a lock. The ones you do not use are not red herrings – they are simply part of the puzzle that you do not need.

What do you think? Do you enjoy solving all the puzzles in the room, regardless of if they add to your progress? Or do you also think that red herrings do not belong in escape rooms?

The escape rooms at Next Level Escapes are safe!

Your fun (and safety) is paramount

Many people have been concerned with safety in escape rooms since the tragedy in Poland, and here at Next Level Escapes we consider safety in every aspect of your experience.

Reports indicate that the incident in Poland was due to extreme negligence in almost every aspect of the room, including: a poor heating system resulting in a gas leak; faulty electrical which may have ignited the gas; and poor safety procedures.

Person in Hazardous Materials coverall - symbolizing safety.

Here at Next Level Escapes, we have thought about a variety of safety scenarios and have passed our fire and safety inspection. Some of the considerations include:

  • Always having an open exit. Every door that you enter, you can always leave, whether it be a fire or just a washroom break. The entry doors to all our rooms have no locking mechanism.
  • We have an easily accessible fire extinguisher in the main hall along with a map of the building indicating the exit routes.
  • Our space has two emergency exits: one at the front; and one at the back.
  • Game hosts are always monitoring your progress, and know just how many people are in each room if an incident occurs.
  • Heating and air conditioning equipment are serviced regularly

Winnipeg has many escape rooms that are safe – we would love for you to try them all. If you are ever in doubt as to your safety in our rooms, bring it to our attention and we will address it right away.

What’s Next – June 2018

What's Next Newsletter

Providing insight into Next Level Escapes, the world of escape rooms and other nifty games and puzzles.

Expect monthly updates, the latest contests and deals, and receive a glimpse inside the world of escape rooms.

Benches, benchmarks, leaving no marks, mark of who we are

Benches: Lockers have been benched

Our lockers were a temporary solution to ensure your valuables were secure. They were tall, narrow and most purses were too big to fit. We have installed some new benches to provide additional seating that double as secure storage. Once we open our next room, the Puzzle, we have some top-secret plans for increasing the size of our waiting room… Continue reading “What’s Next – June 2018”