Atmosphere upon arrival
Lamya – When we went, it was clear there was still some work being done, which is exciting! The space is wide open and separated by very thin walls (as you’ll find out when you get into the rooms). There are some cool retro couches to wait on and some puzzles to play while you wait. It feels a little warehouse-y, but it’s fine.
Jason – Smartypantz has a big open space which is a little sparse but clean and bright. They may have added a little more to their setup since we last visited in November but overall it’s a nice looking space with closets for your belongings and a little area to wait for your room to be ready.
Lamya – Very friendly and accommodating. We booked one room and decided to do another, so they helped us in that way. But there’s definitely something lacking in terms of getting you excited for escape rooms. Maybe it was the time we went: on a quiet weekday evening when only one person seemed to be on staff. And, as Jason mentions below, it feels like an escape room that operates uniquely with a host for each room should have more people on staff. There’s something to be said for even the most minor suspension of disbelief, and there was no chance at attaining that with our experience here. There were also no memento photos offered here.
Jason – This is probably the best time to talk about how Smartypantz does things a little differently than all the other escape rooms in Edmonton. There is an element of drama to each room that Smartypantz provides by giving you a “host” that is in character. This host is your main contact throughout the game and explains all the rules to you while in character and gives you the hints the same way too. At first I thought that the character would be physically with you through the room but they don’t do that. You actually communicate with them through walkie-talkie which is pretty cool. Now, being an adult who enjoys doing escape rooms can feel pretty silly at times but part of the fun of these places is not taking yourself too seriously. This is put to the test a little bit at Smartypantz. Having an actor in front of you pretending to be a secret agent or something can cause a lot of giggles at first but I think the idea is a very cool one. It’s an extra level of involvement to the action of the escape room. Now, personally, I would want my “host” to not look exactly like the guy who took my money at the front desk but I’m sure that we were only in that situation because we were at Smartypantz on a slow Wednesday night or something. It was weird to watch our guy run upstairs and then come back down again in costume, pretending to be a guy named Beetle. Overall it’s a neat angle.