When escape rooms first started cropping up in Calgary, only the brave and curious dared try them. Today, escape rooms are a cultural phenomenon. They are popular with children, geeks, gamers, and everyone who likes a good challenge. You get to work together on a common goal with your friends, spark up some competition with colleagues from work, or surprise your date with something completely different. There are a lot of rooms in Calgary, so check out this selection of the very best escape rooms Calgary has to offer.
#1 – Escape Capers
There’s a reason this is a top choice in Calgary—this totally polished escape room also prides itself on being one of the first hosted escape games in the city. Hosted means there’s a live actor, in character, in the room with you who will give you hints to ensure your group stays on track. These rooms are narrative-driven and feature non-linear puzzles, which means you’ll be solving multiple puzzles at the same time. Best for large groups so you can divide and conquer!
Go here for: hosted escape rooms
#2 – Level 1 Escape
Some escape rooms excel at room design and narrative, where playing the game feels like being in another world. Level 1 Escape is one of those rooms. Known for their excellent game design and immersion, Level 1 Escape also makes use of multi-room games and linear puzzles, so they’re good for first-time escapers. Bonus, they even have special light and sound effects that inform you on your progress through the game.
Go here for: immersive escape rooms
#3 – The Locked Room
Calgary NE & Calgary SE
The Locked Room was the first escape room to open in Calgary and now they have three locations across the city: Calgary Northeast, Southland Drive and Calgary Southeast. The Locked Room has some of the most creative themes, from the classic heist– and prison break–style games to more unique ones like Hipster Hangover and Game Over. Best of all, their rooms are comprised of different types of puzzles, from logic-heavy ones to physical puzzles and puzzles that require searching, so you can easily pick the room that suits your skill set.
Go here for: unique escape rooms
#4 – Breakout Calgary
Breakout Calgary is known for its meticulously designed rooms, difficult puzzles, and high-tech flourishes. Sometimes pressing a button on a seemingly everyday object will set the mechanical puzzles in motion, and that’s when the entire room comes to life. Many of these puzzles require a few different perspectives, so work closely together and think out loud. They break down the type of puzzles in each room, as well as the percentage of high-tech locks, so you can pick the exact room that will fit your group. Pro tip: their rooms are a bit on the small size, so this can be a good option for a date night or a small group of friends.
Go here for: high-tech escape rooms
#5 – Escape Hour
They take their stories pretty seriously at Escape Hour. Each game begins with an introductory video to lay out the story and initiate you into the game. These rooms all have fun themes that allow you to step into another world, from The Lost Jewel of Zanzibar, an African Safari–style room set in the 1930s; The Lucky Duck, set in a 1925 speakeasy; and Cyberspace, which jettisons you and your friends into outer space. There are awesome props, mechanical antiques, and lots of memorabilia so you can almost feel the history inside the room. These puzzles are nonlinear and players will do okay as long as they share their discoveries and cooperate.
Go here for: well-designed escape rooms
#6 – Confined Escape Rooms
Confined Escape Rooms are one of the newest escape rooms in Calgary and they pride themselves in having beautifully designed rooms with innovative and immersive gameplay. Their three rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art props, impressive visuals, and professional décor—but players actually come here for the outside-the-box puzzles. Generally complex, these puzzles require creative thinking. The best way to crack them is to gather a mixed group of players, and someone who’s curious enough to test the crazy logic.
Go here for: puzzle-heavy escape rooms
#7 – SmartyPantz
SmartyPantz is a Canadian-based escape room franchise known for great customer service and super friendly staff. Your experience with them will start with an in-costume actor who will initiate you into the story. Good thing too because the rooms here are so fun with such interesting themes, from a spy-themed room set in 1946 to a paranormal room in an abandoned house and a classic cannibal killer–themed room. But don’t worry, each room has its own “scare factor” so you’ll know just how frightened it’s going to make you before you get locked in. Pro tip, Spies & Lies is the least scary.
Go here for: narrative-driven escape rooms
#8 – Exit
Exit is another well-known Canadian escape room franchise with locations in British Columbia and Alberta. There are five different rooms at Exit, each with a unique and immersive story. There are a lot of classic puzzles here, and while they may seem pretty straightforward they also might surprise you in the end. Don’t hesitate to combine few puzzles and turn over everything that can be touched! With nice decor and friendly staff this is a great place to take someone who has never been to an escape room before.
Go here for: classic escape room experience
#9 – Arcadia Adventures
As if escaping the room alone is not enough, there are game modes that challenge the basic concept of escape rooms to give you an experience that goes above and beyond. Arcadia Adventures assigns you different roles when you play, so you might end up with a group of zombies competing against the scientists trying to vanquish you. In other rooms, you’ll need to do something besides escaping to win the game, like stealing a priceless artifact (it’s a golden llama, in case you’re interested). This is a great option for those who like to get competitive and who enjoy the intensity of a players vs. player race.
Go here for: player vs. player escape rooms
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