A/Maze: Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière

According to an old legend, a mysterious ghost has been known to appear within the walls of Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s archaeology and history complex. For years, people have tried to make contact with the spirit to learn its reasons for haunting the premises—alas, without success. No one knows for sure whose ghost it is. While some think it’s that of an old sailor abandoned by his crew, others believe the lonely soul is none other than that of Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, Canada’s most renowned privateer!

Rating: Educational!
Completion Time: 54:12
Date Played: 10th June 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Ghost Hunters, people who would like to visit the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex

As much as I really want to, I’m unlikely to visit Montreal any time soon.

*cries in global pandemic*

You’ll be surprised to hear that the number one thing I like to do on holidays is NOT escape rooms – it’s visiting museums! So being able to virtually visit Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex all the way from the UK is a dream come true in these troubling times. We got to explore the museum, learn the local history, solve puzzles AND look for ghosts? Heck yeah!

The Story

The tale of the Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière is equal parts eerie and spooky: a mysterious ghost has been plaguing the walls of the famous museum in Montreal for decades. To be honest I’m not surprised, walking through the beautifully lit sewers and hidden nooks. If I were a ghost I’d want to live out my eternal damnation here too.

In the footsteps of many paranormal investigators past, it’s your turn to see if you can uncover the Museum’s mysteries. Who is this ghost? What are they doing in the Museum? Will you be able to make contact and put it’s soul to rest. You’ll need to explore the artefacts of the museum and retrace the rich history if you’re to uncover the real reason the ghost is still haunting this spot.

The Museum

Whilst this is a collaboration between A/Maze and Brain Race, the real star of the show for me was how wonderful the museum itself is! I’ll say it again, but it’s brilliant being able to experience this physical space from anywhere in the world and the puzzles made the ‘educational’ aspect of the gameplay a joy.

It’s no joke to say we learned a lot. From the evolution of grain, to local history, to details of artefacts found in the area. Also putting my ‘architecture’ hat on for one moment, the physical space really lent itself to the multi-layered maze-like quality that is vital to a good escape room experience.

There’s a whole area down at the bottom of the map with a ever-stretching sewer-come-cave, illuminated in colourful lights, and a criss-cross perspex glass walkway running through the middle. It’s a really nice location just to be inside of.

The Tech

Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière is played via your web-browser in teams of up to 6 players. You’ll also want to arrange a video conferencing app to communicate with your team mates as you play. Team Escaping the Closet and I typically use a Facebook video chat for ease of access, but you do you.

Almost like a real ‘Museum Information’ board, you can see a 3D map of the whole museum space. This makes navigation of such a large escape environment fairly easy – you can find what you’re looking for on the map and click into it to jump right there. If you prefer to walk around ‘on foot’, the 360 degree spaces will also facilitate this in an interface similar to Google Street View.

Above and below your 3D map on the web page were the puzzles themselves – you’ll probably know the drill: Password boxes, images, riddles. It’s your job to navigate the museum and find what you’re looking for in order to progress through the experience.

As a piece of tech, it was super robust and enjoyable to use. Only one player needed to input the passwords and everyone could contribute and see previous incorrect guesses on their own screen. For sure, we got a little lost from time to time, trying to vaguely describe where each of us was in the map:

“Do you see the giant pig? I’m like 100 paces from that!”

But this was mainly due to just how large the spaces were! Larger spaces = more puzzles to solve!

The Puzzles

Speaking of puzzles… Let’s get into the juicy part of this review!

Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière is a 90 minute escape room experience and it means business. It’s not particularly easy but there’s plenty enough content to keep a group busy and puzzling away for a long time. We managed to complete the experience in just under an hour and didn’t use any hints, but according to the creators, the average team takes much nearer the full 90 minutes.

A lot of the puzzles I’d describe as being close to riddles in style – a cryptic message from the ghost and you need to search and find throughout the museum to figure out what comes next. Many more rely on finding small details in your environment that relate back to the riddle at hand – such as a small detail out of place of an unusual pattern.

There were no lock and key style puzzles, every step of the way we were encouraged to use the content of the museum to the maximum and thus really pay attention to what we were seeing – but I liked this a lot! It is such a creative way to engage with a museum in a fresh way.

Overall

At the time of writing we are in 1st place! Woooooo!! 🎉

Though I’ve absolutely no doubt we’ll quickly be bumped down the list as more players discover this hidden gem and hit the ground running.

Prize or no prize, we really enjoyed playing Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière though. It’s opened up a whole world of opportunity of more escape room and museum collaborations, though this one will be very hard to beat in style and brilliance.

Ghost of Pointe-a-Calliere can be purchased for $50 CAD on A/Maze’s website here.

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