Blink-of-an-eye fairy tales.
- Website: Escape Master
Address: 222 16 Ave NE #200, Calgary, AB T2E 1J8
- Private Booking: No
- Price: $24.95 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Mixed
- Group size: #small
- Player Level: #rookie
- Premise: “You wake up in the Realm of Light to find out that Kingdom Hearts has been broken into seven different pieces as a result of a villainous plot. Thankfully, the broken pieces are drawn to the Seven Princesses of Heart. You have been appointed by King Mickey to retrieve the pieces from the princesses and open the pathway to Kingdom Hearts before the evil forces do!”
Escape Master is Calgary’s newest escape room business. It’s located within walking distance to Level 1 on Centre Street. The lobby was understandably bare as they only started last week. Our game master tried her best to be professional and friendly amid all the chaos of redecorating behind her.
We came in as a walk-in fairly late, and I think they were decorating the room when we came! They handled it graciously though, asking us to wait as they cleared it out and made it ready for us to play.
This was a non-linear room with different stations. Each station allows you to collect a puzzle piece that you would need for the meta puzzle at the end.
I went to a station involving a toy maze with the objective of sliding a metal ball from point A to point B. This was both ridiculously frustrating and frustratingly ridiculous. Whenever rooms choose to have puzzles like this, it becomes a roadblock for players. It inhibits progress. You can’t move on. You’re stuck. You feel helpless. Our game master eventually came in and let us bypass it–half an hour later.
Ultimately though I left the room thinking I spent money to do a toy maze.
For the most part, the puzzles here were too simple. Each Disney princess had their own puzzle, and each one was very very easy to do. We got through most of the room in about 15 minutes, except for one dexterity puzzle which Paulie was stuck with for 30 minutes!! Our gamemaster mentioned that a lot of people got stuck on this puzzle, so I really think they either need to take it out or make it more doable. It would be great if each of the puzzles were also multi-step, so that we weren’t solving them in 1 minute each.
This room looked like a toddler’s tiny bedroom complete with white walls, IKEA furniture, some attempt at paint decoration, and stuffed toys and dolls scattered on the floor. It looked similar to 8-Bit at The Locked Room, just with a lot less effort.
When you look at it really closely, this room was a little bit lazy with the decor. There were some stickers scattered around on the walls, and some dolls to represent each of the Disney princesses. The clues were just scribbled quickly on a piece of paper.
What bothered me the most was that there were some major typos around the room. Nothing that affected puzzle solving, but they could have been caught by some proofreading during the quality control process.
Outside my frustration with the toy maze, everything else was lazily put together. You read a riddle, perform a swift 2-second action, and you’re done.
We were moving very very slowly in this room. There wasn’t really anything special that engaged you here – the puzzles were over too quickly, and the environment wasn’t anything special.
Theming was where the room had its few shining moments. They took key elements from different fairy tales and made riddles out of them. It was cute. Unfortunately cute alone couldn’t salvage this room.
This was what made me the most excited about this room! When I read the description, I was excited that it was something different from the heists and the secret labs that are so prevalent in escape rooms. Unfortunately, the room didn’t quite meet my expectations – it was very one-dimensional, and although there was the umbrella of “Disney princesses” that the puzzles fell under, there was nothing else that tied the room elements together.
#coal – I just cannot recommend a room that, outside a ridiculous puzzle, could be reliably completed in less than 15 minutes. The escape room scene nowadays is competitive in bringing intense, immersive, beautiful, satisfying rooms; this room was none of those.
#bronze – I honestly wouldn’t pay the full $25 for this room, but we got in on a discounted price for their opening week. If you don’t have anywhere else to go and they have a discount going on, then you can check this room out.
- Completed: November 26, 2016
- Escaped: Yes (2 people)
- Our Time: 0:38 (1:00)
- # of hints used: 1