Mobile Escapes: The Haunted Tunnels of uOttawa | Review

Race to escape! University of Ottawa and Mobile Escapes challenge you to escape from the campus’s haunted tunnels in less than 60 minutes!

Rating: Educational
Completion Time: 55:18
Date Played: 28th June 2021
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: Ottawa Residents, University Students

On a sunny Monday afternoon, one of the loveliest people in the world (shout out to Helen!!) invited me to play a lesser known escape room she’d come across earlier in the year: The Haunted Tunnels of uOttawa. This game was a partnership between the University of Ottawa and escape room company, Mobile Escapes designed to show folks around the campus in a time of global lockdown. It’s a charming little game, ideal for new students exploring the city, or those who want to learn more about the local history. For us, it was a fun in-browser game to get to know each other and hang out over our shared love: escape rooms!

Explore your new university through puzzles

The Haunted Tunnels of uOttawa is a browser-based game in every sense of the word. On every page you must solve a puzzle and then input your answer into a box at the foot of the page before you can advance. To track your progress, there’s a handy map around the campus detailing your footsteps and which buildings are still to explore.

For us, playing in a team of two, we opted to play with one player sharing their screen and the other co-solving puzzles. I don’t know if this method would work for a much larger team or if it would be better for all players to have their own link – but the more you know the better you can plan your own escape!

At it’s core, this game is an exploratory one. As you navigate around the environment you’ll bump into a number of ghosts whose role is to challenge and guide you through a series of university inspired puzzles. You’ll find yourself scouring alumni records, engaging with uOttawa’s social media accounts, watching old sporting matches from the football team, and so on.

A ghostly cast of characters

In particular, the ghost characters themselves were absolutely delightful – especially the names! With a running theme of being named for your department, see if you can guess which departments the following ghosts belong to:

  • Professor Juridik
  • Professor Curee
  • Professor Creato
  • Professor Anthropaul

Just brilliant!

Note to Self: Buy a Canadian phone

The only issue we experienced with The Haunted Tunnels of uOttawa was one puzzle towards the very end that required phoning a Canadian telephone number. Helen and I are both based in the UK, so to help us out we had to reach out to the brilliant David Ma of District 3 (you’ll remember him as our host for Something Brewing and Haunted). David quickly dialled the number for us and relayed the message so we could get on with our adventure. A huge shout out to him!

The Verdict?

A fun little game that serves a specific purpose – to introduce people to the university campus and the history there, but may still be enjoyed by a wider audience. I don’t want to mark it down for a number not working internationally, as I do appreciate the game isn’t particularly for a team playing from the UK, but we had a lot of fun regardless. I’ve learnt a lot, had a good laugh, and reckon I could definitely impress my Canadian friends and family when I next visit with my vast knowledge of uOttawa alumni (and ghosts!)

The Haunted Tunnels of uOttawa was a collaboration between Mobile Escapes and uOttawa that ran from December 15, 2020 to August 10, 2021. It can be booked via Eventbrite, and you can support Mobile Escapes here and the University of Ottawa here.

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