Don’t fall victim to the flesh-eating virus.
- Website: Confined
Address: 2020 32 Ave NE L, Calgary, AB T2E 6T4
- Private Booking: No
- Price: $25 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Mixed
- Group size: #medium
- Player Level: #competent
- Premise: “Where is everyone? Deep in the dark woods, you can sense the isolation and the strangely mundane has become a burgeoning mystery. Don’t panic; there must be a way to reunite with your comrades who have mysteriously vanished. Can you see the forest through the trees? But wait? Once you’re out of the room, are you out of the woods?!”
The staff members of Confined are always great. One thing that stood out to me was how they asked us if we’ve been there before and if we’ve done a few escape rooms. Because the answer to both questions was “yes”, they didn’t let us watch the introductory video or explain how locks work (which at this point is getting tiring). Other escape room staff members are usually on autopilot and just give their long spiel regardless of the players’ experience.
Our gamemaster this time around was Mandy (I think), and she was perfect. She was really friendly and energetic but still got us into our room quickly. Her hint-giving was also perfect – her nudges were small enough that they didn’t completely give away the answers to the puzzles, and she was also amazing at reading our group to give us hints at the perfect times.
I’m not going to lie, starting in this room was very frustrating. The main premise of this room is that your group is separated into two which isn’t really anything new. Other separated rooms are easier communication-wise because you can just yell out to your other group from across the room. The added difficulty here is the use of walkie-talkies. You and the other group are just exploding with information from the start so you’re having to press the Talk button while they’re also doing the same. At the same time, you’re also keeping track of what the other group is saying. It’s like a delicate dance of not stepping on the other group’s toes.
With all that being said, once we became settled, it was easier to maneuver around the room. There is one very clear start to your progression here. After you figure that out, your flow in the room becomes organic and you can find momentum.
In terms of the puzzles themselves, because communication was the hard part, solving them was the easy part. I was grateful for this because I felt like we were losing time trying to figure out connections blindly. There were some really cool and very satisfying payoffs in this room so watch out. The puzzles were creative in concept and brilliant in execution.
Because your group is split into two, the puzzles in this room relied very heavily on communication across the two groups. You will need the other group to progress in your room, which is why I think Cabin Fever was successful in its implementation of a split group.
There are also a bunch of physical tasks (e.g., mazes) here, which Confined seems to like. Personally, I think they’re a really good idea! It gives the players a chance to interact with the environment in a meaningful and interesting way.
Overall, the puzzles in this room weren’t too cerebral. There were a couple of instances where the combo to the lock would just be written somewhere, and I would’ve liked to work a little bit harder for those!
Confined never fails with the look of their room. The art direction for this room was brilliant. The room was made of authentic wood with actual camping gear strewn around the room. I also loved how they weren’t stingy on the outside portion by simply laying a fake grass carpet; instead, you get basically a smaller replica of the Rockies. Just brilliant. The room also has a few surprises along the way that might seem like decorations at first but eventually become something else.
When we were talking to the one of the owners, they mentioned that they rented a facility across the street so they could build materials there. They are very meticulous and detail-oriented and it shows.
This is really where Confined shines. They do an incredible job creating a convincing and creepy atmosphere for both the inside AND the outside of the cabin! I think that an outdoors setting would be hard to pull off, but they absolutely killed it.
Another thing I really appreciate about Cabin Fever (and Alice in 3D) is that you don’t see any glue or tape or exposed tech at all. It’s all incredibly seamless!
I heard through the grapevine (and my assumption based on the website’s description) that this room was going to be horror-themed. While this room still had creepy elements, it wasn’t scary by any means. Other than that, the separation in this room (while frustrating at first) gets your heart racing because you just want to be reunited with your friends right away.
The crew at Confined used to be in the haunted house business, so immersion is kind of their thing. I already talked about how the room looked like an actual cabin that you could stay in, and I would say that is the driving force of this immersion score. My only quibble is that the music was just a little bit too soft, though this might have been intentional so that the groups could hear each other.
Cabin as a theme isn’t exactly anything groundbreaking, but I thought they maximized it masterfully here. Every crevice and corner had cabin elements and the puzzles were well-incorporated in the environment.
My only small gripe is that I wish players don’t see the second half of the room by walking through it when they start.
We’ve done a couple cabin themes in Edmonton, with one focusing on the inside of a cabin (Escape City’s Cabin) and the other focusing on the outside (GTFO’s Nightfall). I loved how Cabin Fever combined the two – it was like the best of both worlds. I did wonder though – why were we split up?
This room gets a #diamond for being a very complete experience. While escape rooms are still ultimately a gaming experience with puzzles to solve, they should also be an experience that takes you to a different world–Cabin is both.
This room gets a #diamond from me! It’s quite successful in its group splitting, and the set designs at Confined are mind-blowing. Definitely worth checking out if you’ve got a medium-sized group (4-6 ish people – this way everyone can get in on the fun)!
- Completed: August 5, 2016
- Escaped? Yes (4 people)
- Our Time: 0:52 (/1:00)
- # of hints used: 3