THE LOST JEWEL OF ZANZIBAR

A retired Indiana Jones opens an escape room business.

CALGARY (YYC) > Escape Hour

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  • Website: Escape Hour
  • Address3016 19 St NE #200, Calgary, AB T2E 6Y9
  • Private Booking: Yes
  • Price: $24.99 per person
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Linearity: Mixed
  • Group size: #medium
  • Player Level: #rookie
  • Features:
  • Premise: “It is 1930. You have received a mysterious postcard from your colleague, Magnus Ferguson, who has been exploring throughout Africa. He has hidden a mystical gem from a powerful warlord.”

ratingssss

RATING PAULIE BEN
Service tenten tenten
Puzzles sevenseven eighteight
Look sevenseven eighteight
Immersion sevenseven sevenseven
Theme sevenseven eighteight

reviewwwww

Service tentenPAULIE

We stumbled upon Escape Hour on the way to Calgary from Edmonton. We were very surprised (in a good way) by how a company could emerge out of nowhere and have 4 rooms open all at once. We also liked how polished their website was, complete with high-production videos and all. We were sold.

The lobby itself was odd, because it was on the second floor of what seemed like an office space. We were greeted by Kerk, who was eager to us with his generous (but not disruptive) hints. He was just an overall kind guy.

tentenBEN

Escape Hour came out of nowhere with guns a-blazin’! We were really happy to see a new escape room company in Calgary though, and a very polished-looking one at that!

Our gamemaster for this room was Kerk, and he was just great! The hint system at Escape Hour is via text on an in-room screen. I’ve had some mixed feelings about this hint system, but Kerk was excellent at providing enough (but not too much!) guidance in a very unobtrusive way.

Puzzles sevensevenPAULIE

The puzzles weren’t bad, they were more geared towards beginners. We went with a classmate who had never done an escape room before, and she was able to answer some of the puzzles.

The puzzle set up was top-heavy though, meaning the first portion had most of the work, while the second portion was more integrating the clues acquired from solving the puzzles in the first portion. We ended on a, “Oh, that’s it?” note because we barely did anything in the second portion.

eighteightBEN

At the start, I was kind of stumped by the puzzles in this room. This was a bit worrying to me, since this is supposed to be Escape Hour’s easiest room. I realized a bit later that it was because there aren’t a lot of locks in this room, which meant that I had to approach the puzzles a bit differently.

I think that in low-lock or no-lock rooms, there is an inherent variety in the puzzles since the goal isn’t always to get a number, letter, or directional code. I really appreciated the variety here since we brought a friend who had never done an escape room and I think that it was nice to be able to showcase all the different things that escape room puzzles could be.

Look sevensevenPAULIE

This room was very green, which wasn’t what I was expecting from reading the summary and watching the introductory video. I think they were trying to go for more of an inside-the-tent look, and the attempt was good enough. It’s not the best-looking room that Escape Hour has to offer, but I think kids would be amused.

eighteightBEN

I thought this room was cute! I like how Escape Hour plays with the look of the ceilings, since those are often neglected.

Immersion sevensevenPAULIE

I wasn’t really into this room that much. The look was okay, the challenge level was fine, but the room wasn’t for me. It just felt very escape room-y still, like an office space covered in camping gear.

sevensevenBEN

Like Mr. P, I was always quite aware of the fact that we were in an escape room. There wasn’t anything super special in the room that kept me immersed, but I really appreciated Kerk’s very natural and unobtrusive guidance.

Theme sevensevenPAULIE

This is Indiana Jones-lite. The summary and video online would lead you to believe you would be in some kind of adventure, but it was all just one-note.

eighteightBEN

I was hoping for something a bit more adventurous, but this room came across a bit more heist-y. I still liked it though, and I liked how there was a common element woven throughout the room’s story and puzzles.

Overall Tv1IU1JPAULIE

#gold – There weren’t necessarily any glaring flaws in this room but my personal experience was just okay. I do think families would enjoy this, especially younger kids. If you’re a seasoned escape room player though, Escape Hour has so much more to offer.

Tv1IU1JBEN

#gold – Nothing wrong with it, but I would have preferred something a bit more challenging. One thing I do have to say about this room is that I think it’s a good contender for being THE beginner escape room to do in Calgary (if you’re wondering what its Edmonton counterpart is, it would be The Warehouse of Thieves)!

  • Completed: September 3, 2016
  • Escaped? Yes (3 people)
  • Our Time: 0:44 (/1:00)
  • # of hints used: 2

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