Escape Rooms – While Oil is Down, Fun is Up

Mike’s Review:
I first got hooked on escape rooms about 4 months ago, everyone was doing them… I didn’t know how bad it really got until Jenna and I found ourselves playing escape rooms on Thursday nights when we had to work the next day…

Honestly, I LOVE escape rooms since playing my first one (in Vancouver) and am just excited Calgary is getting more to do! I would recommend these games to anyone! If you are just starting out I would suggest the following order (and depending on your group size)

  1. Break Out – Final Request (2-6)
  2. The locked Room – Mutiny on the high seas, 8 bit adventure, or the wine cellar
  3. Break Out – The Chamber
  4. The Locked Room – Dead Meat

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If you are a “pro” or have larger groups I would suggest skipping right to 3 or 4, however, the theme could be disturbing to some players… or exciting to some sicker players… You MAY even notice “Procee Pak” as the 3rd best time in Calgary… No Big Deal… I wont talk about the rooms too much as Steph gives the most AMAZING breakdown imaginable! I think she has tried every escape room in the city!

Also, as a special side note I should mention that just yesterday Jenna and I got to take part in the proposal of our friends inside “The Final Request” at BreakOut! It is actually how we managed to put together the above video… because like grandma always used to say, “If you can escape a room together… then you belong in a house together” or something to that effect… crazy granny. We wish them all the best and are so honoured we got to be part of their special moment!

Jenna’s Review:
I have been an escape the room fanatic since I started playing the virtual escape room apps on my phone, so when I found out there were escape rooms to actually play in person, I was there at the front of the line with bells on and a foam finger ready to go.

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The three I have done so far have honestly all been wonderful and fun in their own unique ways, but I will give a breakdown of each of the escape rooms so you can decide for yourself should you ever choose to go.

Exit: This was the first breakout room we tried when we were in Vancouver for my birthday. Since it was our first it will always have a special place in my heart, but of the three it was probably only my second favourite. I found it to be the most difficult in terms of puzzle solving but it could have also been because there was only two of us and it was our first time playing. They had some really fun theme rooms, we did Illusions and Transylvania, and I wish we could have tried the others. If it’s your first time I would not start here, but it’s still super fun even when you don’t get out!

Locked Room: The locked room is a good place for first timers. It gives a good sense of the game and is a bit less intense then the others in my opinion. The clues aren’t always sequential but that does help make for good gameplay. The themes here are fun too, we did dead meat and the Pirate one, but the rooms are usually only one room sometimes with sub rooms (cages) that you need to get out of. So you don’t get the fun of opening up another room within the room. Of the three it is my third favourite but I still want to play the other two rooms!

Breakout: this is my favourite escape room company yet. They do such a good job with the rooms and clues that every moment is riveting! The staff are super friendly and helpful and even though they only have two rooms (almost three soon) it makes you want to go back. This company has a really great use of technology which gives them some really neat additions that make you say “wow”. It is also nice here because you can still be on the leaderboard even if you use your hints (not that I ever would). If you are looking for a team build, a fun afternoon or something different then book with them right away!

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I am just getting started in the escape the room journey and I can’t wait to do as many as I possibly can!

Steph’s Review:

Breakout
The Chamber
The room uses various technologies and puzzles were difficult. This is one of those rooms that requires team effort in order to solve clues in sequential order. Make sure you can work with your team members if you are going to try out this room.

Overall Rating: 9/10 Missing a bit of the scary decoration/touch
Puzzles: 8.5/10
Difficulty: 9/10

Final Request
The Final Request is similar to The Chamber room adding technology to enhance the experience. Extra thoughts and details were placed in the décor making it a very immersive experience. Puzzles were logical and everyone can work simultaneously on different puzzles as we try to beat the clock!

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Felt that the staff was a bit invasive by coming in expectantly
Puzzles: 9.5/10
Difficulty: 7/10

Escape Capers YYC
The Chamber of the Mysterati
This was quite an experience…this is one of the unique escape rooms where the staff act as “host(s)” and plays a character as part of the story. They are there in the same room giving you clues if they noticed you were stuck. For this room, I would recommend having at least 6 people as it is one of the biggest escape rooms we’ve tried. Don’t expect any technology as nothing… NOTHING was glued or nailed down. If you like, you can move furniture and flip things over. There’s so much stuff going on in this room, making it a bit chaotic if you are playing an escape room for the very first time. Although we failed at escaping, I would say this was one of the better escape room experiences we’ve had.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Puzzles: 10/10
Difficulty: 10/10

Level 1 Escape
The Haunting of Apartment 103
This is YYC’s first scary room (according to the owners there). I would say that this room is not intended for the weak of heart. For the first time, I admit I was actually scared. ..but this is as far as it goes as we encountered many problems with this room….no logical flow to puzzles, optional puzzles that made no sense to the room, lack of storyline and we even skipped out on a puzzle as we managed to get a key on our own without doing anything (technical failure). We broke out with 25 mins left on the clock but left unsatisfied as we weren’t challenged in this room.

Overall Rating: 7/10 I gave it a little bit higher score as there was screaming at some point.
Puzzles: 5/10
Difficulty: 4/10

The Test Subjects
Nothing much to say here, awesome laser puzzle and that’s pretty much it.

The staff was terrible, barging in and leaving the door open not to even mention that half of the puzzles aren’t logical or else something was broken. On top of that, we had to pay extra for this room..$30 per person! Again, although we broke out successfully, it felt like it wasn’t a complete escape experience.

Overall Rating: 6/10 I would give this a 5 if it wasnt for the laser effects.
Puzzles: 5/10
Difficulty: 7/10 Puzzles were random making it difficult to logic your way through

Esxoss Manway Escape Room
The Bedlam
One of their easier rooms in terms of difficulty. We went and did this on their grand opening day. Within 5 minutes into the game I noticed there was something terribly wrong as I’ve realized I have already escaped the room. Knowing this, I decided to close the escape door and locked it back up to go through all the puzzles in the room. After 30 mins solving most of the puzzles we decided to let ourselves out again and talk to the staff. The staff was nice, apologized and even gave us a free round in the other room. If it wasn’t for the technical difficulties, this room would have been much more enjoyable with lots of potential. You will need a minimum of 5 people to escape this room (although I think 4 is possible).

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 They should have beta tested these rooms beforehand and had a timer in the room

Dream Weaver
One of their most challenging rooms. Lots of technology (even more than Breakout) was used throughout. The puzzles were straight forward and not too challenging. Once again, we had a couple of technical issues (managed to skip a few puzzles to move forward). Despite this, I really enjoyed breaking out of this room as, it seems, like they put a lot of effort into putting everything together and there were lots of surprises.

Overall Rating: 9/10 They need better décor/music/a timer in the room
Puzzles: 8/10
Difficulty: 8/10

The Locked Room
Dead Meat
This room was well put together despite the lack of tech. Puzzles were challenging but required teamwork at the beginning. Make sure not to spread your two teams too thin… you still need equal skill sets in both to escape successfully.

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Good
Puzzles: 9/10 – Not too easy nor difficulty
Difficulty: 9/10

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One thought on “Escape Rooms – While Oil is Down, Fun is Up

  1. I just did the Dreamweaver room(s) at esxoss manway and you’re right it had a ton of tech and tricks that made it seem really cool. Not sure what the tech issues were but I’d say they’re fixed now.

    Like

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