Rockyview Hotel’s locked rooms entraps this non-gamer’s heart and imagination
Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 06:00 am
If I told you I was a fan of games, I would be lying.
I have never watched Star Wars, done puzzles, been much for board games or game shows and I most assuredly do not play video games of any kind - shrugging off these pop culture indulgences in favour of a glass of full-bodied red wine over deep conversation while the others geek out over the newest game craze.
Counting to 21 in a licensed establishment with bright lights and loud bells – a rare event of adulting better known as a night out at a casino – is about the only form of gaming I have indulged through adulthood.
So, when our couple friends asked us for a night out to the Rockyview Hotel to try out an escape room, I have to be honest: I was more in it for the wine than the win.
I can honestly say that I never thought voluntarily locking myself in a room without a key would ever make my to-do list.
On paper, it sounds terrible. A nightmare for anyone wavering on claustrophobia or a flashback from your personal storybook that allows you to relate to The Hangover (oh, come on!): lock yourself in a room filled with eerie things and try to find your way out.
It sounds like the only saving grace from a full-fledged panic attack is the timer. Unlike the Saw movies (all eight of them), you know there is a happy ending.
With full bellies and an open mind, we found ourselves on the second floor of the historic hotel that first flung open its doors to weary travellers in 1904.
Selecting the “Ringmaster” room, proprietress JJ Ludwig set us straight with a few house rules, an objective (to unlock eight different locks through a series of clues) and left us with a timer, walkie talkie and a smile.
Our foursome had limited escape room prowess, yet managed to team up (girls and boys) and to meander our way through the puzzling quest through completion – with around one minute to spare of the 45 permitted.
With a few swag bag items as our claim to fame, including a better-than-average grey knit tuque for Miranda, we left the room filled with clown-themed creepiness pleasantly surprised.
I was probably the least effective contributor to the clues and take zero credit for getting us out of there, but this Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day, so did my newfound appreciation for this trending form of entertainment.
Much to my surprise, I am happy to report that I will endeavour to beat the clock again and look forward to another escape room quest.
To learn more about the rotating menu of escape rooms (also known as locked rooms) – Ludwig rotates three themed rooms every few months - contact the Rockyview Hotel at 403-932-6666.
Rates run at $22/person and Monday nights are half-price.