Despite having a location in Edmonton, we never got to try Smartypantz out until they came to Calgary. The room was set post WWII with you finding connections to a detective that may have Nazi ties. The room itself was extremely well built for set design. The hallway leading into the main office had the proper setting and decor you’d find from old movies (or new movies) set in that era. Once inside the office, everyone was pretty astounded with how the lighting was made inside along with it’s attention to detail in props and furniture. Our host greeted us before we started the room all dressed up, and in character, for the pre-story as well during any help or hints used via walkie-talkie. Now, like their other locations, it seems they’ve kept the 45 min timeline, which in this case was fine. We ended up finishing around 30 mins, and while it felt a bit short for us, that’s 2/3 of the allotted time, so it comparison it’s like 40 out of 60 mins for normal Calgary standard. The puzzles were all pretty practical, nothing really felt out of place and had a good flow to it. I wouldn’t say there were a lot of puzzles, but piecing the parts together took some work. Some really interesting uses of old technology for a certain puzzle that really played well to the time. It’d be interesting to try the same room in Edmonton and see how the room build (and maybe puzzles) would differ or not.
This was our first time at Smarty Pantz, and I had heard beforehand that there would be actors in the room with us. Turns out, there is an actor that gets your group introduced to the story and sets the theme and then leaves. Any time you want a clue or clarification, you contact this same person over walkie talkies. You can have two clues and as many ‘clarifications’ as you would like. Unlike the majority of rooms in Calgary, you get 45 minutes to escape. I was really impressed by the level of ‘set design’ for this room, you really felt like you were transported back into the 1940’s to a private detective’s office. This is currently their hardest room, and while we did end up using a hint, it wasn’t too difficult. There were a few keys to find, and a few puzzles, but it felt like there could have been more. I was surprised when we completed the final puzzle because it seemed like we breezed through the room really quickly. We didn’t have much interaction with the front counter staff, just to pay and put our belongings away, but the actor who intro’d our room and helped us with clues was friendly and seemed genuinely happy that we had a positive experience. Overall it was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to trying their other rooms.
- Great room build
- Variety of puzzles
- Felt really quick