- Website: EXIT (Calgary)
Address: 60, 880 16 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2R1J9
- Private Booking: Yes
- Price: $25 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Linear
- Group size: #small
- Player Level: #competent
- Premise: (No description available on the website)
I’m giving service a really low score for the first time. Usually the service at EXIT Calgary is excellent, as evident in our previous experiences. This time, while the staff was still good-natured, our game master was not at all helpful.
When we asked our game master for a hint for the first time, they told us, and I quote, “Just pick the locks” and rambled on and on about how they’re usually a good lock-picker, how we were supposed to be experts and that we didn’t need hints, and how we should be looking around some more. No hint was given.
We asked for another hint and they said, “I don’t really know this one either. Just listen for it over and over. I think it has something to do with numbers.”
We asked for a third hint, and they said, and I quote, “Oh I can’t really help you with this one. I’m not the one who designed the puzzles here.” Um, what?
The responses were mind-boggling. We didn’t have the energy to argue because the room was frustrating enough as it was. Thankfully their shift ended while we were in the room and there was someone else who came in. The entire experience was already frustrating and awful enough as it was, and, unfortunately, not even service helped lift our spirits.
Wow, I think Paulie’s review was comprehensive enough. I thought it wasn’t great, but maybe not as strongly as he did.
There are exactly 17 puzzles in this room (hence the name “X-17”). There were a few bright moments in terms of creativity here, both with low-tech and high-tech puzzles.
My biggest issue with this room is the progression. When you’re doing 17 puzzles, you want to split up the work so you can get a lot done quickly. Unfortunately, this strategy was not applicable here because the progression was linear. You have no choice but to wait for the person solving the current puzzle before you can move onto the next one.
The main idea behind this room is that it is meant for players to come back and do the room twice. While escape rooms are still ultimately a business with the intent of making money, escape rooms should not sacrifice players’ enjoyment. If a room is going to have 17 puzzles, at least make the puzzles nonlinear so players actually have a chance of getting out. There is no point in doing a room for the first time when you know right from the beginning it is meant for you to fail.
The individual puzzles in here weren’t the worst in the world (for the most part) – they were just arranged kind of weirdly, as Paulie mentioned.
A miss for me though is how the puzzles didn’t make great use of the enormous space for this room – a lot of the puzzles were kind of off to the corner, and there were still the typical hints/puzzles-on-boxes to solve.
There was one math puzzle here though that drove me insane. I think I was at it for 15 minutes, which is just ridiculous. I mean, I’m not the most mathy person ever, but that was just crazy. What’s worse is that we couldn’t move until we had solved this puzzle, so there was just 15 minutes of agonizing over this ridiculous math puzzle.
This room was not at all cheap. It actually has some of the grandest production designs I have ever seen. Every nook and cranny was covered in decor. However, it was all a bit too much. The first portion of the room was so cluttered with trash that there was nowhere to even stand, let alone walk around. The subsequent portions were much bigger in space, but, again, there was too much. The entire room was like a junkyard on acid.
Dadaism meets escape rooms.
This room looks weirdly impressive and impressively weird. There was a lot to take in, and it wasn’t pretty. Maybe I would’ve appreciated the look more with a clearer idea of what the narrative was, but without that information, all I know is that there was a bit too much going on in this room.
Just like with dadaism, I can’t say that I really understood what was in the creator’s mind when they designed this room.
As soon as I entered the room, I immediately wanted to get out. I felt queasy, partly due to the claustrophobic environment, and particularly due to the dizzying strobe lights. The frustrating puzzle progression, discourteous service, and obnoxious soundtrack didn’t help either.
I have never wanted to get out of a room as badly as I did this one. There should be an epilepsy warning because those flashing lights were horrible. I think we burned a hint in the first part because we just wanted to be done with those lights. That kind of set the tone for the rest of the room unfortunately.
Space exploration as a theme was not bad at all. It actually looked like we were in space and the puzzles were all thematically relevant. The back story, though, was a little haphazard, thanks to our game master’s lackadaisical storytelling. (“I don’t really know the backstory, I’m just going to make it up.”)
As I write this, I’m still not sure what the narrative or theme was behind that room. Something about space.
This gets a #coal. Let me preface this un-recommendation by saying that Ben and I traveled from Edmonton to Calgary because we were really excited to do this room. We keep coming back to EXIT Calgary because they have always been consistent. This room still had its few bright spots, but I cannot recommend a room that wants its players to fail.
I have to give this room a #coal. It was very disappointing and I don’t think I can recommend it as an escape room in its current state. It might make a nice art exhibit though.
- Escaped? No (2 people)
- Our Time: 1:52 (/1:00 – paid for 2 hours)
- # of hints used: 3+