Esxoss Manway




When your tag line is “Best AI Escape Room”, you need to live up to it. And when we went initially, it might have been right. There’s a few parking spots there, much better during the evening when the other business that share the building are gone home for the day. This place can be easily missed you don’t see the giant banner that happens to be on the 2nd floor of the building. Also a bit of a sharp turn going off of Macleod. The waiting area is a couple of couches with a pile of one or two puzzles on a coffee table (which also contains a bowl of chocolates!) and a corkboard of Polaroids on the wall of previous players and their victory photos and their respective escape times written on them. I’m on that wall maybe 7 times. The owner is nice enough, very polite and recognizes me all the time. He usually only had one or two other staff members with him. This was also the first place in Calgary we’ve done that didn’t have the hosts come into the room when we asked for a clue. We were given a walkie-talkie to talk to host and they would explain it to us that way.

The rooms are fun. Lots of wow factor in all the uses of tech to live up the tag line in each one of their rooms. Unfortunately, there’s something about the puzzles that seem off and you can’t look past it despite all the tech being used. The videos used have bad dubbing over stock footage (or popular movies) that have Chinese subtitles on them sometimes, as well the use of many different types of intellectual properties used as parts of the story and decorations. The puzzles themselves are kinda random and don’t necessarily follow the theme of the room.  I heard a rumor the puzzles and themes were supplied and bought from overseas and all you had to do was implement them in some way when you build your room. This would make some sense for the Chinese subtitles and IP use in the themes. Random props are given out at the end for photos, and little trophies are presented to record setters in the top three times for each room (just for the photo, not to keep). Just looking now, it seems they’ve dropped their pricing from their original $28.99 to $24.95.