Calgary's Hosted Escape Rooms
Ask someone about their best escape room experience and they will inevitably tell you about a time where the puzzles were clever, the room was super immersive, and their adrenaline was pumping right until they escaped with seconds to go.
Having a dedicated “in-character” host in our room allows us to do so many things that just can’t be done at a traditional escape room. We will highlight just three below: Better Immersion, A Better Clue System and A Whole New Kind of Puzzle!
*In Season 3, we’re amping this up to another level be having multiple characters for you to interact with in every game.
The Hosted Experience Part 1: Better Immersion
An escape room is a game based around puzzle solving. So there may be times where your group is stuck and needs a hint to move forward. The most common hint delivery systems see either an employee walking into the room to tell you what to do or a tv screen beeping at you about the same. Neither make sense given your “locked in a room” situation, and both break the spell of being trapped with only your wits to escape.
Having an actor in the room means we never need to break this spell. They belong in the room with you given the story and although they’ll never actively help your team escape, they may strike up a conversation now and then. And you never know what useful tidbit might come up.
*In Season 3 we’re incorporating these conversations into the game itself. Talking to people may be the only way to gather certain information, so you’ll need to interact with every character to succeed.
The Hosted Experience Part 2: A Better Clue System
One way we ensure the best escape room experience, is by having your “in character” host with you in the room at all times. This means they’re never distracted by other duties like answering the phone, or resetting other rooms. And you’ll never have to wait to get a clue once you decide you finally need one. Plus, when you do need help, they know exactly what you’ve done, where you’re close, and where you’ve gone completely down the rabbit hole so they can always offer the perfect hint.
To be clear, they’re not there to solve the game for you (far from it) and in fact the best teams won’t receive any hints at all. But they will ensure your team is having a great time, regardless of your group’s ability. Most players say having a host is their favourite part of what we do!
*In Season 3 it’s a little different, but there will always be either a way to get help from the game itself, or you can strike up a conversation with any of the many characters to get pointed in the right direction. Don’t worry if you’re new to this, we’ll never leave you feeling stuck for longer than you want to be.
The Hosted Experience Part 3: People Puzzles!
Traditional escape rooms can do a lot by using technology and clever gameplay. But there is a whole category of puzzle that they can’t provide, which we’re introducing to Calgary in Season 2. Now you can solve puzzles that involve interacting with another character. Maybe you’ll need to take into account their wants, needs, fears or desires. Or maybe you’ll be surprised when you discover some of them quite by accident!
We hope you’re as excited for Season 2 as we are.
*People loved this element of Season 2, which is why we’re doubling down on it in Season 3! Have fun!
Non-Linear Gameplay: Ideal For Larger Groups
A linear room will make you do “A”, then “B”, then “C”, all the way down to the final puzzle “G”. Because there’s only one thing to work on at a time, a smaller team of 2-4 is usually ideal. More than that and you’ll often have some people standing around while someone else solves the puzzle.
Our rooms are all non-linear, and designed so there are multiple puzzles to solve right from the get go. This means that you will usually need a minimum of 4 players to have a shot at success, and up to 8 could be ideal. Everyone will need to contribute to succeed and communication becomes very important.
*We’re designing our large events for medium to large size groups, with the intent that groups will have to divide and conquer to finish before their time is up. Check out our upcoming events page for group size recommendations.
Large-Scale Events: What does it mean?
*A large-scale event is one where multiple teams can play the game simultaneously. So there could be up to 8-10 teams playing at once. You’ll each have a home base, and each will need to explore different rooms and areas to win. Having more people play at once allows us to do things we couldn’t otherwise, and it really adds to the excitement to see which team can be the first to finish!
Three Difficulty Levels Per Room
Most escape rooms are designed either for the new to amateur player (0-4 rooms visited previously) or for the expert (10+ rooms visited). That’s not to say that you couldn’t have a great time regardless, but the risk is that a team of newbies would find a veteran room too difficult, and a team of veterans would escape an amateur room in 30 minutes or less.
Our solution is to offer three difficulty levels per room. The puzzles will be the same, but the clues you find in the room will be different.
“Intermediate” is intended for groups who’ve done 0-4 rooms.
“Intermediate Plus” is intended for groups who’ve done 4-10 rooms.
“Veteran” is intended for groups who’ve done 10+ room.
*We haven’t yet decided if this will be a feature of Season 3. Likely we will offer two game modes, one slightly more challenging and one slightly easier. So whether you’re a new player or an old pro, you can enjoy the challenge either way.
Larger Rooms / Plenty of Puzzles
The best escape room can turn into a mediocre experience if you cram in too many people. That’s why we’ve set our room maximums appropriately and won’t allow group sizes that will ruin the event.
For the best escape room experience check out our recommended group sizes. This and more specific room details can be found on our Rooms page.
*Why escape a room, when you can escape an entire building? Are you excited yet…
An escape room is “seriously the best team-building experience ever!”* But we understand that HR might have some reservations about sending their staff to “The Torturer’s Bedroom” or “The Psychopath’s Slaughter”. That’s why we ensure our rooms are designed to be completely corporate friendly. You won’t find any faked gore or real threats of physical violence.
Secondly, our host will monitor first hand how your team performs during your escape attempt. This means they can lead you through a debrief discussion once you’re done and touch on teamwork and communication.
Lastly, we have a large boardroom available in case you want to make a day of it. Hold your own meetings, or let us lead you through some more traditional team-building exercises. Whatever you need we can provide.
*Still true! Though our games are recommended for those aged 14 and up because of the challenge they present, we make sure they are still family-friendly in terms of the appropriateness of the content.