It’s all a conspiracy.
- Website: Escape Capers
Address: 4235 16 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 3S2
- Private Booking: No
- Price: $28 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Mixed
- Group size: #large
- Player Level: #pro
- Premise: “The Mysterati, an exclusive, ancient, and powerful society, has offered you a membership into their ranks. You must first prove yourself y submitting to their testing chamber. You’ve been warned that for great reward comes great risk, but no one will say exactly what failure would mean.”
The initial procedural part of payment and game explanation were quick and smooth, consistent with previous experiences at Escape Capers. We were taken to the second floor of the building and led to a dark hallway where we were greeted by a hooded figure (imagine a dementor with a brown monk robe). We knew it was Eric (our previous game master and owner extraordinaire) but it was an eerie introduction nevertheless.
The front staff are always so friendly here! Also, Eric is da bomb.
The puzzles were the room’s strongest asset. This is one of the very few rooms where the information you acquire from earlier puzzles matter until the end. Think you’re done with your 4-letter combination? Nope. You’re going to need it. Again. And again. And again. The puzzle-solving experience crescendos in a beautiful multi-layered experience towards the end. Really–the progression was skillfully designed and something to be admired for its uniqueness. Make sure to sharpen your working memory before you come.
Escape Capers in general has had the best puzzles I’ve seen in Calgary, and this room definitely lives up to that standard. I really do think Paulie capture the essence of the puzzles – the multi-layered progression was so elegant. One thing to note is that are a couple of puzzles here that are bypassable. This could potentially result in confusion if you get a clue for a puzzle that you’ve already solved! However, I found that the clues in this room are pretty tightly linked to their puzzles, so it should be fairly apparent if you get a clue for a puzzle that is solved. Personally, I think that this kind of puzzle structure could lead to some lost time – it might be less of a problem for bigger groups though!
Admittedly production design isn’t one of Escape Capers’s strongest suits. Who can blame them when they put all their energy into creating consistently creative puzzles? This room in particular had an awkward blueprint. The initial portion was spatially massive (maybe the biggest in Alberta). This would make it perfect for big groups of people. As you go through the room though, you’re forced to funnel through a dimly lit tiny room with little to no workspace. There was also an overuse of wooden cabinets and shelves that made for a generic overall look.
It’s not the best, but it’s also not terrible! I’m guessing that this secret society is on a budget – and who can blame them in this economy?
Because there were only two of us that completed this room, we were physically and mentally busy the entire time. Don’t fret: There’s still plenty to do with larger groups of players. I just wish the atmosphere contributed more to the experience.
The puzzles in this room needed all my brainpower and attention! Although there was no music here (or there was, it was just nondescript), I still found myself very engaged for the full time.
Escape Capers always has the most comprehensive backstories coupled with thespian verbal narration. The theme here was fleshed out well enough. I can’t find any fault with it, but I’m not too excited about it either. (I expected an unadulterated secret society theme but only got Illuminati-lite.)
I liked how the theme for this room was actually quite central to the puzzles! A lot of the time, themes seem to be just tacked on, but it was very well thought out and integrated in this case.
This room gets a #platinum for breaking the mold with its puzzle progression. It isn’t perfect by any means but players will still have a fantastic time. Geared towards more seasoned players, make sure to have some experience under your belt before attempting this one.
I give this room a #platinum. The puzzles are fantastic as usual – bring friends who are good with words!
- Completed: September 4, 2016
- Escaped: Yes? (booked for 1.5 hours – 2 people)
- Our Time: 1:17 (/1:30)
- # of hints used: 4