Be afraid. Be very afraid.
- Website: Level 1 Escape
Address: 517 16 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 1K5
- Private Booking: Yes
- Price: $24.95 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Linear
- Group size: #small
- Player Level: #rookie
- Premise: “Calgary’s first horror-themed escape room! Your neighbor has disappeared without a trace. Out of concern, you venture into her apartment but the door suddenly locks behind you. As panic begins to overwhelm your senses, you can’t help but feel that someone or something else is watching you…”
This was our first time at Level 1 Escape. It’s in a dingy building in the north end of the city. The staff was personable but didn’t provide service that was above and beyond. Their lobby, located in the basement of the building, also looked unwelcoming and chaotic.
The staff were friendly, as we tend to see at escape rooms! When I saw the polaroids on the wall, I was excited that we would get a polaroid to take home with us, like they do at GTFO in Edmonton. Unfortunately, we didn’t, but who can blame them – those are expensive!
The puzzles in this room were definitely not groundbreaking. In fact, they were your typical escape room puzzles that had solutions for letter-, number-, and directional-lock combinations. However, simplicity isn’t always a bad thing. The progression of the room works wonderfully, and this is thanks largely to the intuitive nature of the puzzles. This is one of those rooms where you solve something instantly to get your momentum started, and the more you solve the puzzles, the more you feel a sense of buildup and urgency. Where the puzzles lacked in conceptualization they more than made up for in execution.
The puzzles were very straightforward in this room, but there were a lot of them. I will say that there was something that was fun and new in this room (you’ll know it when you see it! Or maybe not, but I unfortunately can’t reveal what it is!).
Because the puzzles were straightforward, we built up a LOT of momentum going through the room, and that only added to the increasing feeling of urgency.
I’m going to admit, staying in the shady-looking lobby, I was pretty worried that our room itself was going to be a disappointing experience and we were going to waste our money. As soon as we walked into our room, I thought my worries were confirmed. Similar to the lobby, this room was ugly. Sometimes ugly can be a good thing, especially when appropriate with the theme, and I realize that this is a horror-themed room. As I’ve mentioned in other apartment-themed rooms, it’s hard to go wrong with replicating a house because the staples are usually there–drawers, tables, chairs. In this case though, they even went a step down. Besides ugly, the thing that really turned me off was the bareness of the room.
The room doesn’t *look* better as you progress in the room. It actually gets uglier. I ended up appreciating this because the horror theme got progressively more pronounced, and, conversely, the ugliness became more appropriate.
There’s not a ton you can really do with house/room-themed rooms. I think they still did a good job of making this room look pretty creepy though.
Looking back, this room was actually deceptively innocent-looking. Walking into the room, we thought, “How can something this plain be scary?” But you just gotta wait for it!
I screamed. I shook. I shuddered. For those that have done this room, you know exactly what part I’m talking about that made your heart rate skyrocket. We did 911 a few weeks later and we heard some screams from the other group doing this room as well. This room is in the upper echelon of horror-themed rooms for the genuine fear it elicits. If you can avoid it, make sure not to ask for hints! You don’t want to break the feeling of immersion with someone walking in and out of your room.
I loved how dynamic this room was. It undoubtedly got scarier and scarier as you progressed, which really makes you appreciate the how well-designed this room is.
I also want to add – Paulie got so scared at one point that he didn’t want to do one of the puzzles and made me do it.
The theme was horror. Horror is supposed to make you scared. I was scared. They got the job done.
This is one of the few rooms that’s really gotten the adrenaline going. Everything – the puzzles, the music, the look – worked together to give you something very creepy.
I give this room a #diamond. It accomplished what it needed to accomplish. The puzzles were generic and the room looked ugly (purposefully so), but because of a theme well done, everything comes together and the overall experience becomes greater than the individual parts. If you want a good scare, try this room!
This room gets a #diamond It’s a horror room very well done. If you’re looking for something that focuses a bit more on giving you an immersive experience, definitely give this room a try.
- Completed: July 3, 2016
- Escaped: Yes (2 people)
- Our Time: 0:39 (/1:00)
- # of hints used: 0