Congratulations. You are still in the running to be America’s Next Top Murder Victim.
- Website: Cognito
Address: 805 14 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2A4
- Private Booking: No
- Price: $25 per person
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Linearity: Nonlinear
- Group size: #medium
- Player Level: #competent
- Premise: “You’ve been selected to meet with the director of Unmasked Modeling Agency–an opportunity so exclusive that the location has been kept totally confidential! Excited to be a new face model, you have no idea what surprises lie ahead. The receptionist wishes you good luck before the door closes and looks behind you.
The folks at Cognito are always all genuine smiles. They even made escape room recommendations for other Canadian provinces.
Unlike our previous visit to do Sorcerer’s Academy, we actually arrived on time! They got us in quickly, and after the room they talked to us a bit about what their future plans are for Cognito. They were very friendly as always.
The puzzles leaned heavily on low-tech locks. While the concepts were mostly ordinary, there were moments of extraordinary creativity in terms of execution here. The puzzles were so deeply rooted into the environment and story that you would never think they were puzzles – this room definitely bamboozled me several times.
There was a nice variety of puzzles here, with some puzzle elements that made us interact with some pretty fun technology that we’ve never played with before! There was one puzzle that we got hung up on that unfortunately caused us to time out – it wasn’t completely unsolvable in hindsight but it was very tough in the moment!
My favorite part was the first portion of the room because of its highly (and deceptively) realistic appearance. The subsequent portions become progressively but appropriately bare.
This room was very clean in a way that made it easy to pick out what was for a puzzle and what wasn’t. At times, I felt that it was a bit too bare and that there could have been a bit more decor without adding in any red herrings.
Something happens at the very beginning of your experience that got me #shooketh. As soon as it happened, my proverbial wig came off and I could not get over how clever it was. I just sat there in awe of how they fooled me. This highly realistic approach paved the way for the rest of the room.
This (and theme) is where Unmasked absolutely NAILED it! There was a strong story that pulled you along and I loved that there was appropriate music at a good volume, which is missing a surprising amount of the time. I also really liked the hint system! Another thing to note is that we weren’t given a super long spiel about the logistics (e.g., here is the hint button, you can leave when you want, etc.) but instead we found out about things ourselves as we went.
Reading the title “Unmasked” alone would probably have you wondering what the room is about. I thought it would be about modeling, with photoshoots and runway walking as puzzles.
However, it was none of that. What it was though was completely surprising. Go in blindly and let the story unfold in the room.
I mentioned above that the theme of this room was amazing, and I would definitely give this room higher than a 10 here if could! The theme is incredibly unique for an escape room, and it was definitely one of the draws for me to do the room. But what really stood out to me was the story. Unlike other rooms that might have a set story in place for the room, you don’t know much coming into this one. As you do the room, the story unfolds in an incredibly integrated and dynamic way – the decor, the puzzles, the hints, everything! It was just so well done!
This room gets an easy #diamond for prioritizing realism in the player experience. It loses steam in the middle but finishes with a bang. The substantial story and gripping immersion are enough for me to say that this is a must-try room.
Definitely a #diamond. Ask for hints if you need them so that you can get as far as you can! The ending is worth it!
- Completed: August 2017
- Escaped: No (2 people)
- Our Time: 1:00+
- # of hints used: ~