Escape Hour is a European based company and Calgary is their second location in Canada (first being in Winnipeg). They’ve quickly gotten a lot of positive reception from us in just how their rooms are built and puzzles are made. There’s ample parking in their own lot, but can be easily missed if you don’t look up to see the name on the top of the building. Located close to 32nd Ave in the NE, they’re neighbours with both the Locked Room and Confined, being all within a block of each other. The waiting area is huge, lots of comfy couches to await your room (we went once when three other rooms were going to start as well, so there were about 30 or so people in there). Before each room you’re debriefed on your objective and played a small video setting the mood for you. All the ending/victory photos have props you can wear that are also specifically themed to each room (not just little “I did it” sticks or the common win/fail signs or random props). Their payments and booking is also not done through Bookeo like the majority of the other escape rooms in Calgary. It’s done through Paypal, so make sure someone has it (which most people do nowadays).
The specific things that make Escape Hour stand out have to do with the business model and customer service. They don’t book you with Randos. You only have two people, you book a room that can fit eight, you do the room with two people. They don’t add any more in cause they’re against the idea to cram people together who don’t necessarily want to be together. They have dedicated game masters for each room that’s going on so the attention isn’t split between everyone that’s there. Their hint system is based on them watching and listening to us so they can’t have their attention divided. The hints also aren’t quantified. The game master doesn’t enter the room but rather communicates with you through a monitor in the room which also contains your timer. If you want to get out of the room, they will give you all the help and walk you through it aside from giving you the answer. If you want to get out, and don’t care about feeling smart/dumb and the enjoyment is just to finish the room, they will do that because they just want you to enjoy yourself.