Escape rooms unlock fun time

Though the objective is to break out of a locked room, many escapees return for the thrill of the interactive experience in this increasingly popular game.

In order to escape the room, participants have to work together to solve puzzles, riddles and open the locks that lead to freedom. However, there’s a caveat.

In order to successfully win the game, each team has to complete the escape in 50 minutes.

Calgary is host to more than four locations for this growing real-life game in which participants test their intellectual skills along with friends.

Most sites, including the Locked Room, located in a strip mall off  32 Ave. N.E., have  multiple rooms, each designed with unique themes and storylines.

“It sounded fun, even before I tried it out,” said Jimmy Le, an enthusiast who enjoys playing all types of games.

He is also a Sherlock Holmes’ fan, so when he heard about the escape rooms, he was excited to try them out.

“In my first attempt, I thought I was going to make it through successfully,” he said. “But some of the puzzles really stumped me.

“You get so hyped up about getting out that once you leave, you want to come back.”

So far, Le has gone through two different escape rooms at the Locked Room.

Dan Kwong, a new participant in interactive game rooms, recently went through an escape room for the first time after a friend recommended he try the Locked Room location.

Kwong was surprised at how much fun he had.

“I liked how we had to solve the puzzles without using our cellphones,” he said.

The no-cellphone rule was interesting, Kwong said, since people are so connected with their phones.

It brought back memories of when technology did not play such an important role in gaming entertainment, he said.

“You actually have to think, rather than rely on technology,” he said.

You get so hyped up about getting out that once you leave, you want to come back. – Jimmy Le

On Yelp, the Locked Room was rated as one of the best interactive room experiences in Calgary. Other escape room locations, including Level 1 Escape and Escape 2gether,  are listed on Yelp.

“I’m going to try out another new place for my next locked room challenge,” Le said.

About Michelle Phan 2 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Michelle Phan worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2015-16 academic year.