Rendezvous for the Delta Kappa Phi.
- Website: The Locked Room
Address: 9937 Fairmount Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2J 0S2
- Private Booking: Yes
- Price: $25 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Linear
- Group size: #medium
- Player Level: #competent
- Premise: “You receive a panicked voicemail from one of your good friends. He is in trouble and begs you to meet him at his study as soon as possible. When you arrive, the door is wide open, but he is nowhere to be seen. You cautiously step inside and as you do the door slams shut behind you.”
Our service at this branch has always been consistently good. We also had a chat with Edwin (one of the owners) after the game about escape rooms. He wanted to pay for our coffee but we didn’t let him.
The people at the Southland location are always fantastic. This particular time we got to meet Edwin who is one of the co-owners of The Locked Room. We had a chance to talk to him about escape rooms and he also asked us for any recommendations that we could make about Sinister Study. I think that this shows how committed they are to ensuring that customers have a good experience because they are always willing to improve and streamline their rooms.
There were highs and lows in terms of the puzzles in this room. The way they set up technology led to a lot of satisfying “Oooh!”s from our group. You will come across a lot of nifty tech stuff in this room so unpredictability factor was quite high.
The major shortcoming of this room was the progression. Massive rooms like this always run the risk of being too daunting to take on because of the amount of room to cover. This one gives you bits and pieces of information from different aspects of the room. Some were pieces for the next puzzle, some were diary bits attempting to shoehorn the story, some were elements for a meta puzzle. It all became convoluted. I would have liked to see a better way to ration information.
There was a good variety of low-tech, high-tech, and searching puzzles that required us to interact with our surroundings in some fun new ways! I think our whole team of 4 was engaged for the majority of our time (if not all of it) in this room.
On the other hand, I didn’t think all of the puzzles in here were necessary. There was one that, when solved, gave you a hint for where to find something. Unfortunately, we had found what the clue was telling us to find just in our search of the room, which means that solving this puzzle didn’t really contribute to our overall progress in the room. There was also another symbol that we never ended up using (but confused us for a bit) since what it was telling us to do was already intuitive for our group.
While the individual puzzles themselves were interesting enough, the flow of the room was a bit off for me. Not enough to detract significantly from the experience, but enough that it was noticeable.
Whenever we recommend a room for a large group (6 players and more), we look at two things: the physical space in the room and the progression of the puzzles. While this room was massive and could fit a reasonably large group of players, having a linear progression nullifies that.
The actual props themselves were odd to say the least. This is the heavily marketed room with a billiard table as the centrepiece. I’m sure you’ve seen the photos as part of The Locked Room’s marketing on social media. I’m not sure if a billiard table really belongs in a study, along with a mishmash of other questionable decor.
When I think of something that’s “sinister”, I don’t think I would conjure up a mental image of anything close to this room. To me, this room was kind of like a frat house meets a haunted house, but “Haunted Frat House” just doesn’t sound as nice.
I think Ben said it all. We were expecting a scary room, but even eerie wouldn’t be an accurate description of this room. Nothing was remotely horror, except maybe a bloody fixture that felt more obligatory than necessary.
While I was pretty engaged with the puzzles in this room, everything did feel kind of off just because I wasn’t sure how to make sense of the look or theme. I didn’t get a scary, spooky, or eerie vibe from the room at all, which I was kind of disappointed about since the name “Sinister Study” seemed to promise something that was… well, sinister!
The components were excellent in isolation but felt disjointed thematically. The room felt like it was going through an identity crisis.
There was a backstory behind this room that was delivered journal-style through some aged-looking pieces of paper. There were some antique-ish props that were spread out throughout the room. But there were also table games and some technology that you wouldn’t really expect to see in this kind of setting. The room felt confused to me – there wasn’t a lot of cohesiveness to the room elements.
This gets a #gold, The Southland location has better and more solidly designed rooms. This one still has good elements but the overall experience was just pleasant.
I’m giving this a #gold. I would recommend this room despite the unusual theme – it’s very large and would physically fit a lot of people, but the puzzles are fairly linear after a certain point so really big groups might have some people just standing around.
- Completed: October 9, 2016
- Escaped? Yes (4 people)
- Our Time: 0:52 (/1:00)
- # of hints used: 2
- Disclaimer: Tickets comped