The Cellar

January 2016

We did this room as a couple and did not complete the room. A group of at least 3 is recommended and 4 or even 5 people would have enough to do in this room.

Challenge Level

Lamya – Considering Key Quest isn’t really mentioned when you talk about escape rooms in Edmonton, I thought this room (the first one we tried here) would either be a big disappointment or a hidden gem. It’s definitely the latter! This was a tough room with lots and lots of work to do. Jason and I have traditionally done poorly when we’re the only two in a room (insert relationship joke here), but even working fairly well together, we just needed more heads and hands. That means the room was well-designed. There are lots of different things to work on at once, and the challenge level is great…perfect for all sorts of groups and experience levels.

Jason– The challenge level in this room is actually very good. I will keep saying “actually” a lot because I was very surprised by this place. The puzzles were well thought out and planned and there are a ton of them to do! They give you a lot of work in this room which Lamya loves. Things are right in that sweet spot in terms of difficulty. If you had a group of 4 I’m sure you could get close to completing the room or even complete it.

Creativity

Lamya – We’ve been looking at creativity in two ways: room design and puzzle design. For both Key Quest rooms, I’m forgoing critique on the room design. They’re clearly using rooms initially built for a different purpose for what is now their new purpose, an escape room. I’m willing to look past that because I thought the puzzle creativity was excellent (and even then, I thought the room was sufficiently creepy for the theme). On top of there being a lot of puzzles, they’re varied and really neat. I’ve never seen a room like this for the above reasons, but also the clues were sometimes in plain sight but not immediately solvable until you put a couple of things together. Lastly, I’m not sure why it matters but it does: Key Quest used the biggest variety of locks and lock boxes I have ever seen. It’s very unique!

Jason– Key Quest does the best they can with what they have and what they have is a couple of unused kids party rooms. They do their best to create a creepy and creative atmosphere in this room. Lots of interesting props and sounds and feels to this room. In terms of atmosphere there is almost none to this room. These aren’t your traditional escape rooms at Key Quest. Using your imagination is a must. But what they have in spades are clues and puzzles and lots of them. The room is packed with little details and things that will help you solve the puzzles to get to the end. There is a lot to do in The Cellar and maybe even more in Vacation Vandals. I really appreciated the thought put into all of these puzzles and the story they tell can make up for a lot that is lacking in terms of the ambiance and movie set-like feel that other escape rooms in Edmonton have. The term “escape room” isn’t even really accurate for these rooms either. It’s really more about solving a big final puzzle or discovering a hidden key than it is about physically escaping from a place. It’s a different use of the escape room concept and they do a great job with creating a great challenge for people who love puzzles.

Wow Factor

Lamya – It’s not a typical room, so there’s not typical wow. I would say the wow comes in the progression of the puzzles and the momentum you start to build when you start solving things.

Jason– There wasn’t that much wow factor for me in this room in the traditional sense. I think that the types of props and atmosphere they created in the space that they had was the wow factor here.

Overall

Lamya – I really liked this room! It’s hard to say you’ve seen things you’d never seen before after 20+ rooms, but this was a unique experience and a really fun one. When you factor in the $15 price tag, this is an entertainment value that’s so worth it, I’m shocked these rooms don’t get more word-of-mouth. Do this room!

Jason– I enjoyed this escape room more than Morning Never Comes which we had just done the day before. There was a lot more to do and it was easier to gain momentum while solving the puzzles in this room. Now of course we overlooked some really obvious things and some groups with people smarter than us probably won’t make those mistakes and have even a lot more fun than we did in the room. Key Quest is for people that really love the puzzles and riddles that escape rooms provide. You won’t be immersed the way you can be in a room like Nightfall at GTFO or The Cabin at Escape City. A five year old boy may wander off from the birthday party and enter your room unexpectedly. This may either add or subtract from your experience. The wonderful pop stylings of a Miss Kylie Minogue will probably seep in through the thin walls of your escape room. Again, this can either add or subtract to your experience. Overall it was fun and it was a great challenge. I recommend checking them out at some point.