Hard-boiled murder mystery.
- Website: Escape Capers
Address: 4235 16 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 3S2
- Private Booking: No
- Price: $32 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Mixed
- Group size: #medium
- Player Level: #pro
- Premise: “Dick Dickerson was found dead earlier today. You figure that someone is trying to frame you for Dick’s murder. You know Dick was snooping around the headquarters of C.L.A.W.S., a local crime syndicate headed by a mysterious figure known as “the Doctor”. If Dick had discovered who was in charge of C.L.A.W.S., that could explain his sudden decrease in verticality.”
The first escape room that Ben and I did together was The Wine Cellar at the Locked Room, and we were joined by another party. Maybe it was just an isolated bad experience, but I prefer being in a group with people I know. The party that we were with did not communicate with us, so we were left in the dark for half of the room. So we called the Escape Capers before booking and told them that we wanted to do the room with just two people. They were hesitant given the room’s level of difficulty, but they agreed to block off the time for us. So that’s plus points for their service.
After getting out and we were getting debriefed, the owner/clue-giver, Eric, was also kind enough to take us through all the stuff that we did wrong/right. He came across as very earnest, and that’s also plus points for their service. He clearly loves what he’s doing and it shows.
From start to finish, the service at Escape Capers YYC was great! The hostess who gave us the introduction was cheerful and friendly. The in-room host was also great – since he was quietly following our progress in the room, he knew exactly what hints to give and when (I talk more about this idea of a hosted room below!). Our in-room host just happened to be the owner, Eric, and we had a great chat about the room design, some of the problems we came across during the room, and about the escape room scene in Calgary. It was easy to tell that Eric is passionate about what he does – it definitely showed in the design of the room and the puzzles!
Without giving too much away, the puzzles were top-notch. Nothing was over-the-top difficult, but nothing was a giveaway either. Everything was in plain sight when you walk into the room, so it was all a matter of connecting each clue to the particular puzzle it related to. Some escape rooms suffer in this department by making the puzzles unnecessarily hard, but the puzzles here challenge you, without making you feel frustrated in the process.
The puzzles here were so well thought out! You need to work to open all the locks, but nothing felt too hard or too easy. There was a nice variety of puzzles that make you think in different ways. You know that a puzzle is good if you get that super satisfying “Aha!” feeling once you solve it – and there are plenty of those in this room!
My first impression was that the room looked standard, almost bare. However, as we progressed in the room, the more we discovered that certain knick-knacks that we had previously overlooked became relevant. Nothing was excessive, and almost everything became a part of something.
At first glance, it looked like a regular office. This might not seem like a big deal, but it didn’t feel like an escape room – it felt like a real office! There wasn’t anything in particular that screamed “look at me, I’m relevant later!” which is rare in escape rooms. The use of space in this room was great too – not too cluttered, not too empty. I wonder if they have an interior decorator on their team?
I was hesitant to try this style of escape room because I thought it would be awkward to have a stranger there watching and listening to everything that you do. This was confirmed for the first few minutes, as Benny and I felt lost and were not making any progress. However, the more time we spent in the room, the more I appreciated the advantages of the clue-giver being in the room right from the start. We just got used to them, and they became a part of the room. There was no extra person coming in and out in a uniform to break the wall. They also did a great job challenging us and making us think through the clues, and only interjected when we truly needed to be redirected to the right direction.
Can I give this a higher score than 10?! I wasn’t too sure about the whole idea of hosted escape rooms at first – I tend to say and do some weird things as soon as I get in. But I gotta say, the in-character hosts definitely made the experience feel more real. Add that to a great looking room, the lack of a digital timer (which reminds me that I’m in an escape room), and a convincing story that unfolded as we kept going and you can bet that it’ll get your heart pumping!
Whenever I grade theme, I look for the uniqueness of the theme, the cohesion of the puzzles, and whether they stay loyal to the theme throughout the entire room. This room hits all three of those points. Yes, a murder mystery isn’t necessary unique, but the execution of the theme and how you progress along the room was what made it unique.
The theme of a murder mystery isn’t particularly unique, but wow was it done well! The hosts, the look of the room, the story, and even the puzzles all worked together to make something that stayed true to the theme!
Easy #diamond. – The experience felt complete. We were challenged. We came out satisfied. This is definitely one of the best escape rooms in Calgary/Edmonton.
Probably the easiest #diamond I’ll ever give. Incredible. I don’t know if I would change anything at all in this room – all of it was great! This might be the best room that I’ve ever had the chance to be in!
- Completed: July 23, 2016
- Escaped? Yes (2 people)
- Our Time: 1:08 (/1:10)
- # of hints used: 4