Giveaways Reviews

Recap + Giveaway: Escape City Edmonton (new live action escape game)

Friday night. Date night. What do you do? It’s the weekend. Group of friends want to hang out, where should you go? More and more Edmontonians are turning to live action escape games as a fun, different, and challenging activity to do for their night (or weekend afternoon) out!

The demand is there – that’s why Escape City just launched. It’s the third and newest live action escape game in Edmonton – located on Calgary Trail and 59 Ave. It’s also the very best I’ve tried so far!

Read on for my review and at the bottom of this post – enter for a chance to win a free Escape City game for up to 6 people!

Escape City - Edmonton - Live Action Escape Game
Escape City Edmonton is located at 5916 104 St (Calgary Trail).

For those new to the escape game genre, it’s basically a game where you and a group of friends are locked in a room and need to solve a series of puzzles/problems in order to successfully escape the room and win the game. Each room has a different theme/storyline you follow. Some rooms are easier to escape than others, most rooms actually have multiple rooms within it that you need to escape from, and puzzles/difficulty level varies depending on the room. The games are very popular in Asia and Europe but are finding success in North America too.

Edmonton’s first live action escape game BreakOut opened in Fall 2014. (Read my original review here). The next one – EEscape – opened just a few months ago in May. (Read my review of that one here).

I think BreakOut and Eescape are both great but Escape City is hands-down the very best experience I (and my group of friends) have had to date. The two rooms I’ve tried so far at Escape City have blown me and my friends away!

Escape City - Edmonton - Live Action Escape Game
Love the themed doors leading into the rooms at Escape City!

In A Great Discovery, you’re in Owen and Claire’s apartment – but they’re both missing. They said they had very big news, but after they no-showed for the science fair they helped plan, you decide to check in on them at their place. As soon as you open the front door you can tell something isn’t quite right.

In Keller’s Magic Emporium, the great magician Henry Keller is looking for an apprentice for his upcoming world tour. You have been shortlisted. The final portion of the interview process takes place at his magic emporium. Do you have what it takes to make the cut?

Escape City - Edmonton - Live Action Escape Game
The grey door is a fourth room – just waiting to be built!

There are a few ground rules: don’t move furniture, if things are glued down they’re supposed to be glued down. Don’t step on furniture. There’s nothing in the ceilings. etc. We are pretty sure these rooms started implementing these rules after we started doing them because we have made quite a big mess with furniture, have moved tons of props, and even stood on top of cabinets in order to see if anything was in the ceiling before, LOL.

At Escape City, the puzzles in both rooms are so intricate. There are so many of them. When you think you might be close to solving it all and escaping the room – you’re not. There’s excitement, pressure, whimsy(!!) and fantastic pre-room / pre-game backstory.

Escape City is the first local escape game that has set up pre-game videos that give you background and really set the scene. That pre-room/backstory aspect of escape games really make a difference in the whole experience and Escape City’s done a fantastic job of this.

Escape City - Edmonton - Live Action Escape Game
Escape City’s rooms are challenging, fun, and there are some neat twists!

A Great Discovery was very difficult (it’s their hardest one) and Keller’s Magic Emporium is one of their easier rooms. We failed both rooms (LOL) but had so much fun along the way. I found that the puzzles in Escape City’s rooms tried to make use of so many of your senses – you’ve really got to listen to some things, read and interpret some things, smell things, feel things (no tasting things lol – unless you do that in the third room we haven’t tried yet! ha). There are some really neat things incorporated into puzzles – lasers (yes!), music, mirrors, and more.

There were so many moments in Magic Emporium that absolutely delighted the group. Like squeals of delight when we solved a puzzle or were on the midst of solving a puzzle. There is also something of a twist that is so cool! And there was one point where I screamed in terror (Magic Emporium is for 18+ (or you need to have a parental consent waiver) – so really, just a rollercoaster of emotions in this room, lol! We were SO close to solving it!!!

A Great Discovery was much more intense and difficult, and I felt like friendships could have ended in those 45 minutes – lol. Escape games can do this to friendships, lol.

Escape City - Edmonton - Live Action Escape Game
We didn’t solve A Great Discovery. We are sad.

It’s always interesting to see how you work with friends in live action escape rooms. You’ll see how to deal with competitive friends, or if you’re the competitive one, you’ll have to learn how to reign yourself in a little bit or else your whole group will end up hating you, lol. You need to be able to split up duties (at one point in Magic Emporium all of us were crowded around one puzzle – not a great use of time and resources lol). You’ll need to work calmly, decide when it’s best to use up your hints (you get two hints per room if you get stuck). It’s quick (45 minutes) yet totally stimulating (mentally).

Escape City - Edmonton - Live Action Escape Game
We didn’t solve Magic Emporium – but we got so close!

The four friends who opened Escape City fell in love with the escape rooms here in Edmonton – and went to Vancouver to try all of the escape rooms there – before opening this one. They tell me it’s not a matter of competition with the current escape games here in the city, it’s really just growing the market.

I had to make this meme.
I had to make this meme.

And it is definitely a welcome addition.

The attention to detail put in Escape City’s rooms really show. They really put a lot of effort into the story, set design, and puzzles.

As I said earlier, they’re really the first to have some pretty cool backstory/pre-game information which makes a huge difference in the overall escape experience.

I can’t wait to try Escape City’s third room and a fourth room is opening in a few months. There’s also room in their building for a fifth room too!

But I also can’t wait to return to BreakOut and Eescape. BreakOut’s been around awhile now and have added some new rooms (the Cube is supposed to be amazing!) Eescape has three rooms and have space to add additional ones (they’ve only been up for 3 months so understandable they don’t have additional rooms yet!) I also hear there’s a fourth escape game coming to Edmonton! So there are so many rooms/games/companies in the city now – you can do one every so often, or go hard over one weekend. We have a friend who did all three rooms at Escape City in one night. Mike thinks it would be awesome to do all the rooms in all three of the different companies in one weekend or over several weekends. They also make fantastic team building events. So fun!

Prices across all three companies are $25 per person per game which I think is totally fair (especially given that movies now are practically $20 a person anyway – not including popcorn and drinks!)

Hopefully you can get in to try Escape City for free though – by winning my giveaway!

Escape City - Edmonton - Live Action Escape Game
Enter for a chance to win a free game at Escape City!

** GIVEAWAY **

ENTER TO WIN A FREE GAME AT ESCAPE CITY FOR UP TO 6 PEOPLE!

I’m giving away one free game to Escape City for you + up to 5 of your friends!

Log into Rafflecopter below for different ways to enter. Leaving a comment on this blog post telling me which Escape City room you’d like to try (see the rooms hereis mandatory in order to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This contest closes on Monday, August 24, 2015. I’ll randomly select one winner from all entries.

Note: Comments are moderated so don’t be concerned if your comment doesn’t appear right away!

Good luck! And even if you don’t win – be sure to book your own live action escape at Escape City!

Linda

Follow lindork on Instagram

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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63 Comments

  • Miranda

    I’d try the magic emporium it sounds fun!

  • Sarah

    I want to try Keller’s Magic Emporium. Sounds awesome.

  • Kasandra Bracken

    Magic emporium sounds like a blast!

  • Carrie

    Escape City sounds really exciting, I hope we win! Thanks for sharing this Linda.

  • Lily

    I would love to try the Great Escape!

  • Deb

    Id love to try a great discovery!

  • Gregory

    Magic Emporium looks awesome! Very different than the other escape rooms I’ve seen around.

  • Diane

    I would love to try Keller’s Magic Emporium since I am giving the Great Discovery a try tomorrow.

  • Marlo

    I want to try The Inheritance – need to line up my friends and book it!

  • Amanda Wager

    I’d love to try The Inheritance!

  • Courtenay Wager

    The Great Discovery looks cool, I’d like to try that

  • Corinna M

    Can’t wait to try magic emprium! Thanks for the review and the contest!

  • Jet Lagged & Hungry (@jetlaggedhungry)

    Keller’s Magic Emporium!

  • kablueysworld

    My husband and myself tried The Cube at Breakout and that was one of the hardest room we have had to try and escape from. Would love to try A Great Discovery at Escape City. :)

  • Brittney

    I actually laughed out loud at the competitive part of your review. Sorry friends! But you also forgot to mention how I bravely found Shakespeare In Love, allowing everyone to watch and enjoy it while we struggled through puzzles.

  • Nadia aka trinighyul

    I would try the Inheritance room. The magic emporium sounds fun, but if a random clown showed up I’d be paralyzed and would fail.

  • Melissa

    I’d love to try Keller’s Magic Emporium! Magic FTW!

  • Linda VB

    After this weekend, I have officially done all of the rooms in Edmonton right now! :D
    I’m super excited to try the new room coming to Escape City. They are by far my favorite location as well!

  • Yolanda

    Awesome! I’d love to try magic emporoum! I tried breakout on my birthday with some friends and it was so much fun even though we totally failed…

  • Sarah Tsang

    I’d love to try The Inheritance!

  • Adele

    I’d love to attempt Keller’s Magic Emporium! I’ve tried (and failed lol) at two Breakout rooms, but had a blast :)

  • Janet Norman

    The Inheritance looks like fun!

  • Lisa

    I’d like to try them all, but would start with Keller’s Magic Emporium!

  • Jenna

    The Magic Emporium room is the one I’d like to try.

  • Dustyn

    My parents and I did “Keller’s Magic Emporium” and loved it! We didn’t escape, but had so much fun! We for sure want to try the other rooms! We are planning to go with my cousin and his wife. We would go to “A Great Discovery” with them, as it is the most difficult, and we all love a challenge!

  • sophia

    I really want to try the magic room with my group of friends! Thought about going there on my bday ( aug15) but decided on doing nothing much at home instead :(

  • Stephen Shim

    It was awesome and I’d love to go again.

  • Chris Lu

    Wanna go again haha! Loved to try the Inheritance room.

  • Jen

    I want to try the inheritance

  • Leo

    I’m hooked! I’ve down all 3 rooms and loved each of them for different reasons. Can’t wait for their 4th room to open.

  • Whitney Exton-Burwash

    I want to try The Inheritance!

  • Joel Rivero

    Keller’s, for the “mature content” disclaimer. I’m also a sucker for anything magic! Blame all those David Copperfield CBS specials when I was growing up!

  • Ali Grotkowski

    I would like to try The Great Discovery.

  • Tad

    I’ve heard nothing but great things.
    Must try!

  • Miti

    I have always wondered how good it is! Definitely want to go now after the amazing review

  • Jessica

    I would love to try the Magic Emporium!

  • Sara

    I want to try the magic emporium…and find out what the terror is!! :)

  • Sarah Fung

    great review – would love to try it out with friends!

  • Mary

    I’d like to try them all, let’s start with The Inheritance!

  • Peggy

    I loved the other escape room’s when I tried them. Can’t wait to try the new one in the city!

  • John

    The Magic Emporium was awesome ,and I tried to beat the Inheritance so I guess that leaves me A Great Discovery to go for as it sounds fantastic!…would love to round out the third! Great Blog by the way!

  • jhien

    I would love to try out A Great Discovery! This place seems different compared to the other escape rooms.

  • Kristine

    I’d try them all! My husband as always wanted to check this out and it sounds like a blast!

  • Daisy

    I passed Magic Emporium… hoping to try the Inheritance next!

  • cassietejada

    I’ve always wanted to try one of these escape games! I think it’d be great!

  • Arly

    I have never tried any live action escape games before but I would really like to. Thanks for your great review! I would like to try Keller’s Magic Emporium.

  • Emmett Gallagher

    “The Inheritance” looks like a great room to try!

  • Charlene

    I would love to try Magic Emporium!!!!!!!!! :)

  • lincolnho1

    That’s cool. I’d love to check this place out

  • Aira M

    I would love to try Keller’s Magic Emporium

  • Terry

    These new live action escape games sound really fun and challenging.. would love to try it out with some friends!

  • Curtis Chow

    I am interested in the magic emporium!

  • fmjon

    The Magic Emporium looks great!

  • pstefer

    Keller’s Magic Emporium looks awesome, and I was hoping to sign the waiver for my teens to attend, but the part in your review about screaming are having me second guess myself on that. The INHERITANCE looks pretty great too though, so no huge loss to consider trying that one with the kids instead.

  • Ashley

    I want to try Keller’s Magic Emporium. It sounds like fun! :)

  • Tim

    Thanks for your comparison of the different escape rooms in the city – so useful!! We are hoping to try “A Great Discovery” sometime soon!

  • Stephanie Gonzales

    I would love to give A Great Discovery a try!

  • TJ Coontz

    I would love a shot at A Great Discovery.

  • B Dubs

    This sounds like so much fun…thanks for the intro!

  • Danny Maas (@dannymaas)

    Thanks for the review! Too bad I missed the contest entry deadline (even though it’s the 24th and the post says it closes today…assumed it closed late tonight). Great post Linda! If you have any other giveaways, please consider me! I’m in the K-12 education field and this breakout game movement is making its way into our classrooms! Exciting!

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