Warning: spoilers for The Unknown ahead.
2015 – 2020. The Unknown was one of the most popular missions at Escape Games Canada. It was so popular that even though it’s been closed since the beginning of 2020, customers continue to ask about it. But the sad truth is that we’ve dismantled the room and it’s likely not coming back. Now, the team at Escape Games Canada doesn’t like to say never, but The Last Resort has been built in the space The Unknown used to occupy. On top of that, the props have been reused or destroyed, so if we wanted to reintroduce The Unknown, we would have to start from scratch and we’d rather build something new.
Why did we close The Unknown? There are a lot of reasons, too many to bore you with here. What we will tell you is that The Unknown had been on our list to retire for a while. It was an older game and was starting to show wear. It was getting difficult to keep the props and mechanics in working order so it made sense to scrap them and start fresh. There is one other major reason that led us to the decision to close The Unknown, if you’ve never played and are holding out hope that it may come back then be warned, there are spoilers ahead! The Unknown was more of an experience than an escape room because of the actor who controlled the game. He observed groups as they played and then made himself known to them about halfway through the game. The actor was equipped with corridors and entry points that were hidden, so he could pop out of almost anywhere. He also had the ability to control the lights and puzzles from behind the scenes so he could negotiate with and manipulate players. Naturally, this created an incredible, personalized experience. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made it impossible to operate games with an actor or other personalized mechanics.
The mystery of The Unknown was also a massive part of its appeal. Not knowing what you were getting into when you booked was enticing for many players. The team certainly leaned into the gimmick; we refused to give any information about what might be in The Unknown, thereby furthering its mystery. It’s rare for us to memorialize a retired game, but we recognize that The Unknown really was something special, especially for many of our long-time players. It was so well-loved that we wanted to take a moment and acknowledge just how much it’ll be missed. The staff will miss it too. It was fun to prey on the unsuspecting who booked The Unknown without knowing what they were getting into. The Unknown will forever be a fond memory we look back on, but Escape Games Canada looks forward to the missions we can create from our experiences running The Unknown.