The time has come to rank the best of the best in Edmonton. Lamya and I have been to every available escape room in Edmonton and with new rooms opening up very shortly we thought we would each give our Top 5 escape room experiences in Edmonton.
Jason’s Top 5
I said in my review that this room will go into the escape room hall of fame in Edmonton, if ever such a thing is created. I think this is due to the uniqueness of the room itself. I still won’t give away much about the room here but it’s not giving anything away to say that this room splits groups into three separate pairs. The fact that you start out the room separated adds to the drama of this experience. Everyone has to work together to escape the room but the ways in which everyone can communicate with each other is limited. It’s unique because each group experiences the room in a different way. It’s tense and it’s fun. We did this room with friends and family and came about 99% of the way to completing the room. It was by just a hair that we failed but we all left that day buzzing about how much fun we had. It had me thinking about the room hours after we left. It’s a great experience and one that is still unique among Edmonton escape rooms.
Even as I’m typing this I’m thinking that I’m going to end up deleting it afterwards. It’s hard to give Eescape credit because of all the issues we and people we know have had with them lately. Even though I may scrap this post I did have fun in National Security. The thing I liked most is that the room had a very good flow to it. It built momentum and there were very few points where our group felt really stuck. Momentum is a huge thing with these escape rooms. Sometimes you just get stuck and you feel like there’s just nothing left to try. It’s a really demoralizing feeling. I liked the challenges in this room and I really enjoyed the progression. Considering we didn’t even get to see how it ended it was a good experience.
This room still haunts my dreams. We utterly failed but I still found the room both vexing and attractive. The room has arguably the best design of any room in the city. The design and the overall story and setup of the room from the start is pretty perfect. I think why this room still ranks so high for me is because of how engrossing it all felt. You really did feel like you were in a cabin in the woods and you were completely unaware of what could happen next. It’s a gripping and challenging 45 minutes. This room is very hard so I would recommend trying it with a group of at least four people you know and who have never locked their own keys in the car, if you know what I mean.
I think that Lamya and I have differing opinions on entries 2 and 3 on this list. If The Cabin is the hardest room at Escape City then Keller’s is the easiest. It’s easy but when we did this room with a big group of family and friends it was probably the most fun I’ve had in an escape room. Mostly because of how quickly we ran through the challenges. We were all jacked up on adrenaline. The challenges are on the easy side but they’re not predictable or lazy in any way. It’s just a really fun room. The progression is great and things take a couple of unique and strange turns. I recommend this room for groups of people attempting their first escape room because I think the challenge level is really good and the design of the room is excellent as well. Like I said at the beginning, it’s just pure fun.
1. TIE The Heist & Nightfall, GTFO
Ok, so everybody knows by now that we are completely in the tank for GTFO. Rest assured that it is solely due to the quality of their escape rooms. There is the feeling in Edmonton now that some escape room places are rushing to open so they can take advantage of their popularity in the city right now. No business should open before it’s ready. All escape room businesses have a different budget and location to work with and those reasons are partly what can differentiate between the quality of each place. GTFO seems like a place that took its time to create the best possible version of their escape rooms. I believe that Heist and Nightfall are some of the best experiences you can have in Edmonton right now. The Heist is challenging and fun and at the end it’s kind of a free-for-all. The design is excellent as well. Nightfall does something that few other escape rooms do and that is make you forget that you’re in an escape room. It’s very immersive and the design of the room actually makes it feel larger than it is. The design is great and appeals to all your senses. Nightfall is a bit more challenging than Heist and I would want to have a bigger group of people but I can’t recommend either of those two rooms enough for people who are looking for a fantastic escape room experience.
Lamya’s Top 5
I’m starting way out there, I know, but Jason and I sometimes have a different view on what makes a good escape room, and for me, it’s all about solving lots and lots of puzzles (although we rarely ever solve all of them). That’s what both Key Quest rooms allow you to do. As we wrote about in the above review, there’s much to be desired in terms of design and atmosphere of the rooms, but I’m ok with that. I’ve been in plenty of pretty rooms with too simple or too hard or too few puzzles, hence The Cellar’s appearance on my Top 5. For me, I get more excited as I solve more puzzles and build more momentum, and this room lets you do that. Go with at least three others and get to work! There’s lots of it in this room.
Jason and I both agree that Escape City is one of the better escape room facilities in the city, we just disagree on which rooms are our favourite. The Inheritance is mine. I loved the look and the feel of this room. There were a lot of puzzles to do at the same time, which is important with lots of people. The puzzles had a medium-hard challenge level, which makes it really accessible for almost all of levels of escapers. The fact that I put this room in the Top 5 when we completed it but something malfunctioned so we didn’t get our victory moment says a lot. It’s just a lot of fun and a really doable room.
This is a cool-looking little room that contains a lot of interesting and unique puzzles. It’s very reminiscent of my #2 pick in terms of appearance and theme, although this version is a little more cartoon-ish (which is totally fine). This room is hard, not for rookies. I wasn’t an escape room rookie when I did it and we had a tough time with it (although that likely says more about me and less about the room). It was just fun to try figure things out, but the reason it makes it into my Top 5 is the ending (which we never made it to). It’s so cool and, I imagine, so gratifying that it would really top a lot of other rooms’ last step. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen and such a neat concept that I would love to hear from any of you jerks who did manage to finish it.
There are very few rooms that make me wish I could walk into them again to be awed by the look and the feel and the excitement they create. This is one of them. Nightfall is such a sensory experience that if I hadn’t solved any puzzles, I’d still love it (and we kind of came close to that *eye roll emoji*). Both Jason and I, as you can tell, loved our experience in this room and the puzzles are certainly solvable. There are some added elements that make things more challenging as you go, and there are puzzles that fit the theme so perfectly that it makes you wonder about other rooms and some of their disconnects. It’s a wonderful room that some others in the city could take cues from.
SO FUN! That’s all. This room is just pure fun. It has a lot of different puzzles that would work well for a group no smaller than 4. It starts easy and gets progressively harder. The ending is so exhilarating that you have to keep your cool to be able to finish it. Everyone needs to be working and they need to be quick about it. The room is also really cool in terms of appearance, very fun and visually stimulating and one of those rooms that could get you hooked on escape rooms for good. We’ve been at GTFO when people have solved that room and they were PUMPED about it. That’s what The Heist does. It just gets you going!