RU1 was born into Chimpanzee royalty in the jungles of Africa, but a fire caused by an illegal diamond mine left him orphaned and destroyed his kingdom. Saved from certain death by a nearby farmer, he quickly became part of the farmer’s family and displayed an incredible aptitude for language and solving puzzles left behind by the farmer’s children.
Orphaned for a second time after the farmer’s death, a grief stricken RU1 disappeared for a time. But stories cropped up from time to time of a chimpanzee with incredible puzzle solving skills. There was a rumour he hitchhiked to Alaska and lived in an abandoned bus for the summer, among other things. It was said that there, in that bus, he spent countless hours playing with various puzzles and games left by a previous inhabitant. Becoming so adept that he could do them with his eyes closed and in his sleep.
Or perhaps the other rumour was true, that he had been captured and used for testing in a Government lab where he was fed psychedelic drugs and forced to perform impossible tasks and puzzles. Apparently all that were put before him were solved in unique and curious ways. Another rumour spoke of a stash of stolen books found in an abandoned chimpanzee hideout near MIT……
We may never know the details of his disappearance and whether any of the rumours are true. But we do know that RU1 has reappeared in Vancouver, ready to test his puzzle mastery against any and all human subjects.
In creating SmartyPantz, he intends to frighten, tease, cajole, educate, and humble even the cleverest of humans.
In short, he has an attitude. And if you play his games, you will see what we mean…..
Always happy to play a game and explore the mountains, Chris and RU1’s paths crossed many years ago in the deep AK backcountry. Sharing stories & food over some great puzzles, they kept in touch over the years. RU1 approached Chris for help in starting his new venture. With years of experience working with small businesses, he jumped at the opportunity to work on this fun and intriguing idea. When he’s not hanging with RU1, he’s slaying powder along the Sea To Sky or pointing his two wheeler down a primo NS trail. Game for a good party, live music and a puzzle or two; all these are mere distractions from spending quality time with his family in the tree house.
RU1 first darkened Dan’s doorway some years ago when he responded to a Craiglist ad Dan had posted for articling staff at his offices in Yaletown. Dan was taken aback at first at the petite primate. But RU1, immaculately coiffed and with his spectacles and natty bow tie, quickly impressed with his extensive knowledge of the Canadian tax code. RU1 only stayed around long enough to cash up for his next adventure, and drop a few tax issues in Dan’s lap; ideas that were quickly converted to large tax recoveries by Dan and staff. Dan always felt indebted to RU1 and wondered how he was doing. But the money dulled the pain…… When Dan’s phone rang a couple of months ago and he heard RU1’s voice, asking for a loan to start his next gig, Dan’s eyes lit up……with $$$$ signs. Yeah, sure, RU1, I’ll ‘help’ you out. BwaHahahahaha
When he first heard of the idea of an “escape room,” he thought to himself, “That’s cool, but I bet I could do that way better.” So when he was approached by RU1 at a swingers party (you know, monkey bars, vines, bananas, what did you think I meant?), he was more than eager to jump on board and turn his love of trickery into the room designs at SmartyPantz
Ben has been trying to trick people since he was a young kid when would draw mazes, perform magic tricks, and get in trouble for building traps and pulling pranks. He still loves tricks and illusion and practices it legitimately with his job as a prop master in Vancouver’s film and television industry. Ben is also a lover of Halloween and has worked with and created a number of haunted houses and events.
Cody became acquainted with RU1 while working as a Correctional Officer at the Edmonton Remand Centre. The facility became a training ground for RU1’s escape artistry after he was briefly incarcerated following a night of wild partying, and Cody endured some serious headaches attempting to reign in RU1’s shenanigans.
Surprised to later hear of RU1’s new business, Cody was eager to get involved in a more fun take on locking people up. RU1 invited him on board due to his background in non-profit management and nostalgia over their time playing cat-and-mouse. Being a bit of a nerd and a gamer, Cody is happy to be a part of making puzzle games and spooky scenarios come to life.
It was a lonely life, being Queen of the World….despite the plethora of public engagements and diamond encrusted princes. Finally, one night at a country-naming event, she met a creature like no other – RU1 promised to show her the ropes on how to live in a fun and fulfilling manner. It has been 18 years and she has been having the time of her life moonlighting as a common production designer and props builder. She currently teaches at Capilano University in the theatre department and has been the head of properties for Bard on the Beach for 16 years. She has won 4 Jessie Richardson Awards for her work, an award for Best 2013 Production Design at the Greater Vancouver Zone Festival, and several nominations including a Special 2015 Ovation Award for Best Props Design. Heidi is thankful to RU1 for how he has enriched her life….although every now and then she likes to polish up her crown and parade around the house with it on.
With a mathematical mind and competitive drive, Paul was a born puzzler from a young age. Whether it was sitting with puzzle books or joining the high school math team, he was always looking for ways to test his brain with logic, riddles, and brainteasers. When involved in an online puzzle tournament, he was pitted against a fiendishly tough competitor named “RU1” who pushed him to his puzzling limit. When he later found out that RU1 was a chimp he tracked him down and was honored to be invited to join the SmartyPantz team.
The rest is history in the making…
A lover of spectacles and bow-ties, Cathy came across RU1 while browsing at a pop up shop in downtown Alaska. Their common interests in accessories united them and RU1, having no pants, asked Cathy to help. Friends ever since, Cathy dresses RU1 for special occasions and consults on matters of colour and attitude.
When not working with RU1, Cathy is secretly busy practicing puzzle-solving and various trickery so she can outsmart his (non-existent) pants.