It’s been a while since we did our initial round-up of the best escape rooms in the city, but since then, lots of new places have come on board, and we both think that the best rooms are really rising to the top now that the market’s been flooded. So, here is our updated Top 5 for the city!
Lamya’s Top 5
Clinic was a fun room, one of the many we nearly escaped but didn’t but still had a good time in. The reason it’s in my Top 5 is because so many rooms we’ve done lately really don’t allow you to build a nice momentum and I thought Clinic did that. The room is the best one at E-Exit and maybe the only one there I’d truly recommend (even though the other rooms are ok). The theme is one that any escape vet will have seen many times, but there were some cool twists and the entire room is well-used for your 45 minutes. It would say this is a decent room for people just starting out and for those who’ve done a lot of rooms.
PVP at Breakout East makes is onto my list just by virtue of the fact that this is the only room in all of Edmonton like this, where one group is pitted against another solving the exact same puzzles and racing to finish first. It’s a nice change from the typical room and it adds an extra layer if challenge and excitement. It’s a great test for different styles of thinking and there is a little bit of sabotage involved, so it hits all the main criteria for. Fun, exciting, competitive outing! Kudos to Breakout for being the first (by far) with this type of room.
I’m so glad to finally have an answer for people who say one of two things:
1) “I’ve never done an escape room before. What room should I start with?”
2) “I want to do an escape room with kids and don’t want to be scared. Where should I go?”
The answer is Warehouse of Thieves. This room hits the awesome sweet spot for challenge, family-friendliness, solvability and cool feel. For Poltergeist, it’s a visual treat and just a lot of fun! The room is well-thought out. It’s a good challenge. There are so many types of puzzles in there which keeps things really exciting. And you get a big pay-off if you make it through!
Here’s where my Top 5 hasn’t changed since the last time. I’m sure I’ve said it before but I wish I could go back in time and do Nightfall and The Heist (below) at GTFO again. These rooms were so cool and really well-thought out that I wish I had another opportunity to not only escape (because we failed both rooms, haha), but also just to appreciate the rooms themselves. We’ve been in so many since so it’s a real testament to GTFO that this room still stands out the way it does. Nightfall is maybe the most immersive you’ll get into a theme/room, which I usually don’t worry about too much, but since it’s done so well here it makes me crave it in other rooms.
1. The Heist
This room still claims my top spot. It’s just a fun, very fast 45 minutes that ends in pure adrenaline and really, what else do you want from a room? This theme, the way it progresses and the variety of different puzzles included along the way hits that sweet spot we talk about so much: it’s approachable, doable and just simply a good time. Over and over again, when asked, we say that this room (and GTFO in general) is one of the best places to go in the city for escaping, and none of the new spots have really spoiled that status for me.
Jason’s Top 5
I’m very happy to add a room at InTrap to this updated list. The place is a lot of fun and they make very creative rooms that make excellent use of the space they have. I also feel like two of their rooms are perfect for smaller groups, like even groups of two. Lamya and I had a great time in Haunted Apartment. The puzzles are challenging and the atmosphere is scary and really immersive. I really like InTrap and am looking forward to going back there when they have a new room. I recommend any of them but Haunted Apartment is solid.
This one moves one up the list because it still holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the first rooms I did in Edmonton and it was one of the most exciting. It’s also completely different from any room we’ve done. Completely unique and perfect for large groups. You basically need a group of 6 to do this room. Breakout has some misses but it’s mostly hits for the rooms they design in Edmonton. B.O.M.B is still around and I called it a classic when I first reviewed it and I still think it’s a classic today. A must try with a large group.
This room is still on the list because I think that Escape City is a totally solid place for escape rooms. Our group had a lot of fun in this room and I think it hits that sweet spot of challenging but not too challenging and also hits the other sweet spot of making a game that feels immersive and really gets you lost in the challenge and imagination of the room. I think that The Cabin has some of the best set design I’ve seen in the city but Keller’s was by far my favourite overall experience at Escape City.
The only asterisk here is that I have not tried the Poltergeist room yet at Logic Lock but I feel pretty confident in adding this room to the list and there are many reasons why it is so high on the list. When I think about my experience in this room it reminds me of why we started to really become addicted to escape rooms in the first place. There was a great set design, great puzzles with a nice progression in the difficulty and range of challenge, and also this overall feeling that you really weren’t sure what was going to happen next in the room. This is key and cannot be overlooked. I want to lose myself in these rooms and these challenges and sometimes it is very difficult to do that in some of the new places in Edmonton. There is always an artificial vibe to things- even in the best efforts we’ve done in the last few months. Warehouse of Thieves is very close to a perfect room. It even has a couple of genuine Wow Factor elements we haven’t seen before. I sometimes think that if my group had successfully escaped from this room that it may be my new favourite in Edmonton. The ending is that satisfying and exciting. Logic Lock is a very safe bet for a solid escape room experience and Warehouse of Thieves, while on the easy side of the spectrum, is a must try.
Yes, I am still very much in the tank for GTFO. I think these two rooms are a ton of fun and have very immersive set design and each have their own versions of Wow Factor. The reason why these rooms are still ranked high is because I find myself trying to recreate the experiences I had in these two rooms while I’m attempting others in the city. That’s why Warehouse of Thieves came so close. It scratches most of those itches. I’ve talked to a few other people who have tried both these rooms since Lamya and I tried them and their reactions were just as positive as ours. While we’re disappointed that we didn’t get to escape the rooms we feel like we experienced enough of them to get the full scope. I think anyone you talk to who has been to GTFO will have positive things to say about them. They’re a no-brainer in my eyes but it’s nice to see that there might be one or two places nipping at their heels.