Willy Wonka and the jellybean factory.
- Website: Eureka
Address: 229 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1C3
- Private Booking: Yes
- Price: $30 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Nonlinear
- Group size: #medium
- Player Level: #rookie
- Premise: “Marv has an absolutely thriving business as a diner/candy shop but he is looking to put up his apron and retire. He has no living relatives to take over so he wants to find a worthy successor to his multimillion dollar diner franchise. In order to find the right people for the business he has set up a series of puzzles to solve so that only the truly deserving would hold the deed/key to his business. You will need all of your senses to best his intricate “interview”!”
We decided to do a day trip to Banff to visit the mountains. We looked up “escape rooms banff” without expecting to get results and stumbled upon Eureka, located in the heart of downtown Banff. When you go to Banff, it’s already an escape in and of itself, so having an escape room there might seem unintuitive. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise because escape rooms are popping up everywhere nowadays.
The lobby itself wasn’t anything new. It was more of a waiting area. We were greeted by a very friendly, all-smiling, professionally-dressed gentleman by the name of Ethan. He was very enthusiastic during the debrief, and his energy didn’t let up even after when we escaped.
Ethan was our game master for Marv’s Diner, and he was incredibly friendly and one of the most energetic game masters we’ve ever had! It was a lot of fun just talking to him!
The reason I docked a point off of service is because the first room was being reset while we were in the second room, which was a little bit weird.
This was advertised as a room that requires using all the senses. I was dubious about this because usually it’s just sight and hearing that are involved. Here, however, you will require all five senses (and I hope this isn’t a spoiler because it is advertised on their website after all). I appreciated this because it was out-of-the-box compared to the norm.
As Paulie said, this room uses all the senses, which is really creative! The smelling puzzle was unfortunately not working too well when we did the room though. What I really liked was the taste puzzle – I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds! It was delicious and straightforward.
There was one puzzle where you need to have some knowledge of 50s and 60s music. You can technically get away with not doing this puzzle, but I don’t like that you need to have specific knowledge of something that isn’t necessarily common knowledge (at least, to people who didn’t grow up with 50s and 60s music).
The room looked like an actual diner, complete with black and white linoleum floor, vinyl discs, a juke box, Coke from glass bottles, and even a menu with references from the 50s. The look, however, became progressively bare as we moved through the different stages of the room. Only the first portion looked like a diner, whereas the other portions were just white walls with puzzles.
This room was a well-lit diner, which was a nice change from all the dark rooms that we do. They had a lot fun with the decor here, with lots of throwbacks to the 50s (that I, in all my youth, did not completely understand). I also really liked how they were able to play with lots of colour to fulfill their candy store theme. My only suggestion for improvement was to have a little bit more to look at in the later stages of the room because, as Mr. P said, it becomes a little bit more bare.
Immersion was the room’s weakest component because of several things. There were only sound effects in the first room and no music at all in the succeeding rooms. I thought they missed an opportunity to use the jukebox or the vinyl discs they had in the room. The walls were also paper thin, so we could hear the music coming from the main office.
There was also a puzzle here that required outside knowledge, so we felt stuck and had no choice but to brute-force a combination. When a room requires outside knowledge, it’s taking you out of the hour-long experience because you’re not using clues and props from within the room itself.
Aside from the lack of music, I would say that the first room is fairly immersive! However, the bareness of environment further into the room is a bit jarring and takes you out of the experience.
There was a disconnect between the first part of the room (which had the true diner theme) and the rest of the room (which had more of a candy factory theme). Half the puzzles were diner-themed, half the puzzles were candy-themed. I guess the overall theme is food, and I’m fine with that.
Diner meets candy store. I loved this theme! While there wasn’t any music and the backstory wasn’t particularly compelling, the sheer whimsicality of the room just won me over. This room was also quite playful in its execution of the “candy store” aspect – it wasn’t quite a store, but more of a flavour lab, which I thought was really cute.
I give this room a #gold rating. If you’re looking for something to do in Banff and want to spend time away from tourists, this is a good room to do. There are things to do for both adults and kids. This is a great room for families to experience.
This room gets a #gold from me. Like Paulie said (he steals everything good to say), this is a fantastic room for a family to do if you’re ever looking for an indoor activity in Banff!
- Completed: August 17, 2016
- Escaped? Yes (2 people)
- Our Time: 1:00 (/1:00)
- # of hints used: 3