FAQThe Crooked Key2020-03-01T17:48:58-07:00

Frequently asked questions about our Steamboat Springs Escape Rooms

Are you open during COVID-19? What precautions are you taking?Paul DeCrette2020-07-16T20:30:27-06:00

We are open!  Please see our page dedicated to COVID-19 precautions.  Thank you!

Which game is best?Paul DeCrette2018-01-27T18:20:45-07:00

All games at The Crooked Key are good! Seriously, read our reviews.  But which game is best depends on your group size, experience, and interests.  This page gives you a good overview of each game’s features ranked side-by-side.  Questions?  Just reach out and we’re happy to help you pick.

Are escape rooms fun?Paul DeCrette2018-01-27T18:19:51-07:00

All escape rooms are not created equal.  But we can tell you with certainty that visitors to The Crooked Key have fun.  Fun is our primary goal in creating our games and is the overriding word used to describe the experience.  Don’t take our word for it; read our player reviews. Even the most apprehensive visitors leave with smiling faces!

How much does it cost?Paul DeCrette2020-01-12T22:45:02-07:00

Onsite escape games at The Crooked Key cost $39 per player, per game. The entire visit typically lasts 60-90 minutes.

The outdoor game is $30 per ticket, with kids 10 and under playing free. Completion times are variable, but 90-120 minutes is typical.

You won’t be able to stop thinking about and talking about the game for days. The memories you create will last a lifetime. Our goal is to give you a fun, 5-star experience, and if you feel we have not lived up to that promise, we are happy to make it right for you, including offering you a refund. If you have any doubts about the value of the experience, please read our player reviews.

Am I really locked in a room?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T11:51:46-06:00

No, you are not. At any time during the game, you can go out the way you came in, so safety is never an issue. But the goal of the game is to escape, so the exit door is indeed locked. Every game is monitored on closed circuit video with two-way audio. You can always ask The Crooked Key gamemaster for assistance. If you are still skeptical, come in and ask for a tour, or play our outdoor game which is 100% non-confined.

Can we bring kids?Paul DeCrette2020-07-21T17:44:12-06:00

We designed The Crooked Key’s games to be generally family-friendly (no extreme jump scares or true horror elements), but the escape room puzzles are geared toward adults, young adults, and families playing together.  Here are some guidelines:

  • Ages 7 and under – Our puzzles are somewhat challenging and not designed for young children. To be honest, kids this age will likely be more of a distraction than a help. That said, they do tend to have a blast finding hidden objects and playing with the props. If you are more concerned about making a family memory than a record escape time, babies and small children are more than welcome, and kids 7 and under are free with at least two paying adults.
  • Ages 8-11 – We want everyone who plays to have fun. Therefore, our policy is that at least one adult play with kids under 12 (under 14 for the Key to the City: S.K.I. outdoor game).  And honestly, the more adults the better to help guide them and help them feel successful. Children this age are good at noticing things and working with locks. They often make connections adults do not…  ahhh, young minds!  
  • Ages 12 to 17 – Young adults ages 12 through 17 (14 through 17 for the Key to the City: S.K.I. outdoor game) can participate alone.


Can I just watch if I don’t want to play?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T11:54:43-06:00

We are happy to allow you to watch from a laptop in our lobby if you’ve played before or purchase a ticket. And if you haven’t played yet, just play! It’s way more fun, and your family won’t think your a curmudgeon.

Do you have any gameplay tips?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T11:55:12-06:00

Sure! The Crooked Key gamemasters compiled this advice:

  • Separate and search! There is plenty to find. Work together, but don’t stay huddled together waiting for the loudest person to do something.
  • Communicate… if you find something, let others know. This helps everyone make connections, which is critical.
  • Distinct objects in the room generally have a purpose. There are some props, but no intentional red herrings.
  • Keep the clues handy and organized in case you need to revisit them.
  • There are no clues hidden in any lamps, electrical outlets, plugs or cords. Be safe.
  • There is no excessive force or extreme physical exertion required, so be gentle.
  • Do not tear down the walls or break apart furniture. Please respect our space.
  • Do not bring in tools such as screwdrivers or knives. They just aren’t necessary.
  • There is no need for a smartphone (outdoor game excluded). You will have all the information you need to escape the room in the room.
  • Double check each other’s answers and searches if you get stuck!
  • If you get stuck and are no longer having fun, ask for a clue from the gamemaster.
  • Don’t be afraid to be silly! This is a game – have FUN!
Do I need a reservation?Paul DeCrette2020-06-27T11:54:32-06:00

Subject to availability, walk-ins are welcome at The Crooked Key, but reservations are strongly recommended to guarantee your place.  We often close if games are not booked in advance, and our open hours change seasonally. You can book online for any game 30 minutes or more before the start time.

How far in advance should I book?Paul DeCrette2018-12-05T15:16:39-07:00

The Crooked Key recommends booking as far in advance as possible to ensure your desired game, date, and time are available. We sometimes close if games are not booked.  Walk-ins are welcome, subject to availability.  You can cancel for a full refund up to 48 hours in advance of your reservation.  If you would like to reserve a game time outside of our normal gaming hours, contact us. We will accommodate you if we can, but you will likely need to book the entire room.

Do you offer gift certificates?Paul DeCrette2016-11-04T09:28:04-06:00
Can I play alone?Paul DeCrette2020-11-13T09:09:56-07:00

The Crooked Key’s onsite escape games will likely not be fun alone and many puzzles require two or more people. You will need to book at least two slots for an open game time (most days… some peak demand days require four tickets), so bring a friend if possible. More people is just more fun, and you have a better chance of escaping. Key to the City: S.K.I. outdoor game does allow solo play, but there is still a two-ticket minimum charge.

Can just two people play?Paul DeCrette2020-11-13T09:08:29-07:00

Two people can play all escape games at The Crooked Key (most days… some peak demand days require four tickets.)  In any case, the games are optimized for four or more, so we encourage you to bring friends or family. More people is just more fun, and you have a better chance of escaping.

Can I bring extra people?Paul DeCrette2020-04-29T14:47:53-06:00

Yes. All games are private, so you can always bring more folks with you up to the game limits.  For indoor games, you may bring and play with up to 8 people (9 squeezed). The outdoor game allows you to bring any number of players you like, but above 10 is going to feel awkward. Contact The Crooked Key if you have questions.

Can you accommodate more than 8 people?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:01:07-06:00

Each of The Crooked Key games comfortably holds 8 bodies. If you want to squeeze more than 8 people into one room, please reach out. If you want to reserve more than one room and start games simultaneously, please contact us as far in advance as possible.  We routinely accommodate groups of up to 25 at the same time. Finally, the outdoor game allows you to bring any number of players you like, but above 10 is going to feel awkward.    

Do you offer a locals discount?Paul DeCrette2020-04-29T14:49:05-06:00

Not currently, but feel free to check for deals in coupon books and tourist publications.

Will I be playing with strangers?Paul DeCrette2020-04-29T14:43:01-06:00

No. All games are private. But keep in mind The Crooked Key’s games are optimized for four or more, so we encourage you to bring friends. More people is just more fun, and you have a better chance of escaping.

Are animals or pets allowed?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:03:09-06:00

Service animals are always welcome at The Crooked Key; any other pet is not. This includes purse pets. Dogs are of course welcome for our outdoor game. Thanks for your cooperation.

Do you serve alcohol?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:03:27-06:00

While that sounds like a great idea, the answer is no. We do not have a license to serve alcohol. Food and beverages are not allowed in the game rooms, and would inhibit your ability to use your hands and move around while playing. A celebratory drink or meal can be enjoyed afterwards at one the two adjoining restaurants, literally steps from our entrance. If a small child needs water or a snack, that’s more than likely OK, but mention it to us in advance.

Can we bring outside food or beer/wine?Paul DeCrette2019-06-09T11:01:29-06:00

While that sounds like a great idea, the answer is no. Food and beverages are not allowed in the game rooms, and would inhibit your ability to use your hands and move around while playing. A celebratory drink or meal can be enjoyed afterwards at one the two adjoining restaurants, literally steps from our entrance. If a small child needs water or a snack, that’s more than likely OK, but mention it to us in advance. If you want to eat while you play, you may also consider our Key to the City: S.K.I. outdoor game.  You can eat and walk during this game, or stop for lunch, drinks, etc. during gameplay.

What if you are booked and I really, really want to visit?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:04:23-06:00

If we are fully booked or you would like to reserve a time outside of The Crooked Key’s normal gaming hours, contact us. We will accommodate you if we can, but you may need to book the entire room.

Can I buy additional tickets for the same game/time?Paul DeCrette2020-06-27T11:58:08-06:00

All games are private, so if you want to join others you already know, you can.  Please call us at 970-367-7619 to add-on to an existing reservation.  If you don’t already know others playing, you will need to select a different time slot.

How do I reschedule or cancel?Paul DeCrette2016-11-04T10:10:19-06:00

Please contact The Crooked Key 48 hours or more in advance of your reservation time and request a new reservation or a full refund. If you cancel within 24-48 hours of your reservation, we will attempt to reschedule you or issue a 50% refund at your request. If you cancel within 24 hours, there is no refund unless we can fill your spot with a new player; we’ll open up the space when you notify us.

Are there medical limitations?Paul DeCrette2016-11-04T09:33:46-06:00

While The Crooked Key escape games are generally safe, please consult a doctor if you have questions about this type of activity and your unique medical condition.

Is the space wheelchair accessible?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:06:07-06:00

The Crooked Key entrance is at ground level and all common areas, including the restroom, are ADA-accessible. Escape from the Old West is ADA-compliant, and accommodations for wheelchairs in our other two onsite games can be made, but please let us know in advance so we can go over the details with you. The outdoor game is played entirely on ground level outdoors. If you have other special requirements, requests, or limitations, please email or call with details and we will do our absolute best to accommodate you.

What if I am running late?Paul DeCrette2018-12-05T15:17:52-07:00

We ask that you arrive at your scheduled reservation start time. If you are running late and you have the entire room reserved, you can start the game late but may not have the full hour to complete it. If you are running late and you are grouped with others, the game will likely have already started on time and you will not be permitted to enter the room late.  The Crooked Key is in a really cool walking district with fantastic restaurants, shops, and bars. Plan on arriving downtown early so you can stroll over and be on time.

Do I need to be good at puzzles or games?Paul DeCrette2016-11-04T09:35:15-06:00

No! Anyone with an open mind will have fun at The Crooked Key. You will be engaging your senses, searching for hidden clues, and working together. Everyone has unique strengths. And if you are struggling, the gamemaster may offer you a clue (or two or three!) and get you moving in the right direction. 

Where can I park?Paul DeCrette2016-11-04T09:35:36-06:00

The Crooked Key is conveniently located downtown, but there is no designated parking. If you drive, plan on an early arrival and park near 5th Street and Lincoln Ave, the main street through town. Most hotels also offer free downtown shuttle service. You may also consider taking the free city bus Red Line which stops at 5th Street. You can also Uber, walk, or bike.

What should I wear?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:06:58-06:00

No special equipment is necessary at The Crooked Key; come as you are! You may be more comfortable in casual shoes, but the most activity you will be engaging in may be squatting down to get a closer look at something. If you wear reading glasses, bring them. If you are playing our outdoor game, dress to be comfortable based on the weather that day.

How long is each game?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:07:50-06:00

You should arrive at your scheduled reservation time – no earlier or later. You can assemble your group and use the restroom. When everyone is ready, The Crooked Key gamemaster will brief you and start the game. Your game may start without you or be cut short if you are not on time. Once the game begins, it lasts one hour (or sooner if you escape). Afterward, your gamemaster will debrief your group and take a photo. The entire visit typically lasts 60-90 minutes. For the outdoor game, plan on 90-180 minutes.

Are there video cameras in the rooms?Paul DeCrette2016-11-04T09:36:51-06:00

Yes. Cameras are used by The Crooked Key gamemaster to monitor your live experience, provide clues and assistance as necessary, and generally ensure you have a good time.

Are your escape games scary?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:08:39-06:00

While the term “escape room” may illicit a reaction of fear or anxiety, our games are fun first and foremost. All of The Crooked Key games are family friendly. The door is always unlocked and you are free to leave at any time.  Flashover involves low lighting, loud noises, and special effects that could scare small children. Taphophobia has a darker theme and some mild jump scares, but is still appropriate for mature children. The games are designed to be exciting and engage your senses. Contact us if you have concerns.

Why would I want to escape from a room for fun?Paul DeCrette2016-11-04T09:37:50-06:00

The Crooked Key provides a great entertainment activity before or after dinner or during a needed ski break. You can visit us during your downtown shopping stroll or before you and your friend go out for drinks. Our escape rooms are games first and foremost; they are designed to be fun! Even the most apprehensive first-time players typically leave with big smiles. Take a chance; you’ll make a memory and have fun. We promise.

Do you offer corporate or team building events?Paul DeCrette2019-05-31T12:09:14-06:00

Escape games are ideal for team building. Communication and teamwork is key, and individual strengths can be celebrated. Each of The Crooked Key games holds 8 bodies. We can split your group and run side-by-side and/or back-to-back games. And an optional, light-hearted group debriefing at your location is included for larger groups. Finally, if you want to schedule games outside of normal hours, please contact us well in advance. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Can you help us celebrate a birthday/anniversary/bachelorette party?Paul DeCrette2020-04-29T14:52:58-06:00

An escape game at The Crooked Key can be an awesome part of your plans! That said, we do not have private party space or a license to serve alcohol. If you reach out to us in advance, we would be happy to customize a puzzle in one of the rooms for the special person you are celebrating. If you want to include something physical (like a gift or a ring!), please arrange to drop it off beforehand. The florist next door can also arrange for fresh flowers; let Gina know your game time and she will get them to us. These special customizations always make for a memorable experience. Please note that our puzzles are designed for adults and young adults; while a few accommodations can be made for younger parties, we do not suggest birthday parties for children under 12.