What the hell is this? – Read This First!

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And, now to answer the question “What the hell is this?”

This is a business run by two guys (Jason and Mike) from Alexandria, VA (originally from New York, and Pennsylvania, respectively) who have developed a very unhealthy addiction to (or obsession with) Escape Rooms. What started as an innocent social activity with a group of friends snowballed into a monthly (or twice-monthly… or thrice-weekly) habit.

After telling people about the rooms and recruiting others for our “team” (Disturbed Friends), the light bulb turned on and we decided to start reviewing all of the rooms we’ve done, and offer consulting services for companies that create and run escape rooms.

Thus this blog was born…

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Was it the Red Queen, or the Dead Queen? – Room: Tomb of the Red Queen – February 1, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve ever wanted to explore an ancient Mayan tomb.

Avoid if… you remember that ancient civilizations were advanced with mathematics and maps… and you’re not good at either.


THE BASICS

Rush Hour Live Escape Games:

Address: 1, Towne Centre Blvd #3100, Fredericksburg, VA 22407 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 540-684-6695
rushhourliveescapes.com

The Room – Tomb of the Red Queen:

Description (from the company website): A voice from the grave commands you!

As a team of archaeologists, you are studying the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque. Shortly after entering the dig, you find the entrance locked behind you. King Pakal commands you to complete the burial rituals to allow the soul of his beloved wife to join him in the heavens!

Can you find your way out of the temple before he arrives to have his revenge?

DifficultyDifficult

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 6-8 players

Staging Area: There is a huge lobby with plenty of couches to relax before your experience. There are also lockers for your convenience to store your stuff while you are in the rooms.

Metro Access/Parking: Plenty of parking since the location is in a shopping center.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You find your party split into two different antechambers with weird sigils on the walls.

Understanding of the Mission: To find your way to the mummy of King Pakal’s Queen, complete the burial ritual that will free her soul from her mortal body, and escape the ruins before the ghost of Pakal arrives to seek his revenge.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 8:05 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 7 and that may have been 2 too many (but our team was all pretty experienced so enthusiast teams would probably do better with 4-5 and novice teams would probably be able to work with 8 quite well).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Brittany, Heather, Tara, Steph D, and Eric

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We didn’t have time to grab food or drinks, but you’re in a shopping center, so you have plenty of options.

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There is an Art to Capturing Criminal Masterminds – Game: The Escape Game Unlocked: The Heist (Volume 1) – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you prefer to stay indoors, want to be a detective, and are technologically inclined.

Avoid if… you don’t like art and don’t really care about justice.


THE BASICS

The Escape Game:

Developer Information: The Escape Game: Unlocked

The Game: The Heist – Volume 1: Chasing Hahn

Description (from the company website): IN THIS EDITION, YOU’LL CONTINUE YOUR MISSION FROM “THE HEIST” AS A SECRET AGENT IN AN EFFORT TO THWART THE INFAMOUS ART CURATOR, VINCENT HAHN.

With the help of your Intelligence Agent, you’ll uncover The Curator’s true identity, connect him to a crime, and work with the International Police to finally exact justice.

ERG Note: You do not have to have played the previous room of the same name to follow the story.

Difficulty (1-10)Unrated

Time Limit: No time limit

Cost: $20

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 1 to 4 players


OUR EXPERIENCE

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this game for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the game: There are postcards, evidence photos, a brochure, and some props used in the game.

Understanding of the Mission: We were tasked by law enforcement to track down Vincent Hahn, a notorious art thief, by figuring out what he was going to steal next and from where.

How Much Space is Needed: We played on a table that was 3′ x 6′ and there was still room left for our snacks and drinks.

Age Appropriate: The theme is appropriate for all ages, but the puzzles are listed as 12 and up.

Did We “Escape”: Yes!

Time Remaining: There’s no limit, but we finished in about 84 minutes.

Our Suggested Party Size: The game is recommended for 1-4 players and our 6…got a little bored at times. 4 is definitely right.

Did the game challenge the entire team? At times.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph, Corey, Eric, and Brittany

Worth the time and money? $20 is a steal for this.

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Interview with Bond’s Escape Room Arlington (Arlington, VA) – July 31, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

We’ve been fans of Room Escape DC (Fairfax) for a while now, and we heard that they had opened up a second location in Arlington. Their themes looked pretty cool (very fantasy-based).

Their new location is called Bond’s Escape Room, which will eventually become the official name of the both (and all future) locations.

We were contacted by their digital marketing admin and they invited us in to try out one of their new rooms, so we also made sure we got to spend some time talking with Andrew, their General Manager and puzzle designer extraordinaire.

Check out the video below and find out what makes Bond’s Escape Room a bit different from some of the other locations in the DC area.

Have you done any of the rooms at this location? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for our upcoming review of the Enchanted Castle. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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Dispatch by Breakout Games: On the Run, Box 4 – Game Review – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

Dispatch by Breakout Games – Game Subscription

On the Run – Box 4 – Australia

Cost: Varies. Monthly payment options and box sets available on the website.

After a year between doing box 2 (South America) and box 3 (Tokyo), we decided to try and knock out box 4 right after completing Tokyo. In fact, we got a bit frustrated with some of the puzzles in Tokyo, so we started working on Australia, and that went a bit easier. We’ll say that box 4 (in Australia) took us only about 1.5 hrs, which is longer than the first two, but only half the time as box 3.

We really liked the flow of this one as well. It did a good job in progressing the story and adding additional information and challenges, but still made you go back to other boxes and utilize things you found and messages you received in order to “solve” this box and get to the video that tells you that you’re ready to progress to the next one.

Watch our video review and comment on this post.

Are you playing this subscription? What do you think?

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Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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The Escape Game: Unlocked – The Heist, Volume 1: Chasing Hahn – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

The Heist by The Escape Game: Unlocked – Game Subscription

Volume 1: Chasing Hahn

Cost: $20.00

We were contacted by The Escape Game: Unlocked and asked if we’d be interested in playing their new game. Of course we said yes.

So, this is essentially our reaction video after playing the game, but we’ll be doing a comprehensive review post with ratings based on our new escape game rubric. Stay tuned!

Here is how the game plays: Your mission: as a team of detectives, you need to stop international art collector (and thief!), Vincent Hahn. He’s been stealing from museums over the years, and has always eluded capture. Now, you have a break in the case and need to piece together clues, gather evidence, and try and stop him before he strikes again.

Overall, this was a pretty fun game. It took us just over an hour with a small group of friends (we had 6 total in our group). The website that you needed to use to play the game was well designed (but – HINT – make sure you sign in with a user name and password that you’re willing to give the rest of your team so you can all be in the website at the same time… otherwise, there will be a lot of waiting around by some of you).

There were lots of things to look at, but the game is pretty linear, so you’ll need to be good at sharing and working together as a team as you progress.

We’re looking forward to Volume 2.

Watch our video review and comment on this post.

Have you played this game? What do you think?

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Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

Dispatch by Breakout Games: On the Run, Box 3 – Game Review – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

Dispatch by Breakout Games – Game Subscription

On the Run – Box 3 – Tokyo

Cost: Varies. Monthly payment options and box sets available on the website.

So, we continue with this “play at home” subscription about your childhood friend, James, who is on the run after being accused of killing his wife, Victoria, on their honeymoon. Victoria is the heiress to a family dynasty, so James has to stay on his toes to stay ahead of them.

We had a bit of a hiatus between boxes 2 and 3 (just over a year, actually), so that probably contributed to the fact that we got REALLY stuck on this box… and admitting that some of the puzzles are a bit more challenging than the first two boxes we completed.

This one took us about 3 hours, and we were only able to finish it because of a hint or two provided by some of the other players in the Slack channel, but, the puzzles were fun and challenging, which was a big switch from box 2.

Watch our video review and comment on this post.

Are you playing this subscription? What do you think?

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Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

We Ended Up on the Wrong Side of the Tracks – Room: The Great Train Heist – May 25, 2019 – FAILED!

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you wish you were a gun-slinging, train-robbing, son of a gun.

Avoid if… you get motion sickness (from the trains, of course) or you’re a goody two-shoes.


THE BASICS

Amazing Escape Room (Freehold):

Address: 2 Monmouth Avenue, Freehold NJ 07728 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 732-333-0448
https://amazingescaperoom.com/freehold/

The Room: The Great Train Heist:

Description (from the company website): The year is 1865 and you’re in the height of the Railroad Boom. The big tycoon and well known snake oil salesman, Thomas “Doc” Durant, has just come through your small town promising everyone vast riches and the cure to all their woes.

Doc is a real swindler and has secretly robbed the town’s bank, leaving everyone penniless. Tonight, he plans to sneak out of town on his personal train right after the big poker game at the Phoenix Saloon. You have 60 minutes to break into Durant’s train and save the town by taking back the cash.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A but we were told it was their hardest one

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: up to 10

Staging Area: Lobby is mostly standing room but plenty of space. There is a mini-game on one of the walls that will essentially teach you how to use most of the locks you may encounter.

Metro Access/Parking: There is a parking lot for the facility (and the other stores there). We suggest driving or Uber/Lyft.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start off in the car of a train fully equipped with a bar, some seating and tables, and paraphernalia you would expect in an old west saloon.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve all the puzzles left behind to determine the whereabouts of the money stolen so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

Did We Escape: NO, and we’re still pretty pissed about it.

Time Remaining: 🙁

Our Suggested Party Size: There’s definitely enough room for 10 but we suggest you limit your group to 6-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? For the most part

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Val, Steph, and 4 strangers

Worth the time and money? If they clean up the inconsistencies and tighten the clues, then yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Chili’s – we went there for a quick bite and some drinks after; it’s 5 minutes away

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By the Pricking of Our Thumbs… – Room: Something Wicked – February 1, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy the spookiness of camping out at night.

Avoid if… the smallest noise when camping overnight causes you to lie awake in terror.


THE BASICS

Rush Hour Live Escape Games:

Address: 1, Towne Centre Blvd #3100, Fredericksburg, VA 22407 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 540-684-6695
rushhourliveescapes.com

The Room – Something Wicked:

Description (from the company website): A malevolent evil radiates from the woods of Deep Creek Forest. People are disappearing without explanation, including a team of paranormal investigators who were sent in. You and your team have been called in to find the source of this supernatural power that has been inhabiting the forest. Be prepared, because all indications show that something WICKED has moved in!

You have 60 minutes!

(Website description above has been merged from two sightly different descriptions on the website.)

DifficultyDifficult

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 6-8 players

Staging Area: There is a huge lobby with plenty of couches to relax before your experience. There are also lockers for your convenience to store your stuff while you are in the rooms.

Metro Access/Parking: Plenty of parking since the location is in a shopping center.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter a forest that has a small campground surrounded by trees, a small cemetery, a wood cabin, and fenced-in garden. It’s dark and creepy.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the source of the evil that has been inhabiting the woods and if there is a way to banish it.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 15:30 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 7 and that seemed to work just fine

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D., Brittany, Heather, Tara and EricWorth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We didn’t have time to grab food or drinks, but you’re in a shopping center, so you have plenty of options.

Continue reading

Interview with PanIQ Escape Room Chicago (Chicago, IL) – March 14, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

While visiting Chicago, IL on a work trip (during St. Patrick’s Day weekend, of all times), Mike convinced a few of his co-workers to check out The Mob room at PanIQ Escape Room Chicago, an escape room franchise with a sister location in DC). After completing the room, he sat down with Game Master Drew, and delved more into the rooms and themes at this location.

Unfortunately, his manager Heidi couldn’t join us for the interview, but she offered our readers a 15% discount when using the code ERG15 while booking any of the rooms at their Chicago locations (new one opening soon!).

Have you done any of the rooms at this location? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for Mike’s review of The Mob. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

Want to Post a Discount for Your Escape Room on our Site?

Hello everyone!

We recently added a new feature to the site for Escape Room owners and managers. Now, by clicking here, you can send us a request to add a discount code to the site! (You can also find this on our header bar as a sub-menu to “Discount Codes.”) We are offering this as a service so you have an alternative from using Groupon.

All you have to do is fill out the form and one of us will contact you to ensure it’s a legitimate request from an employee or owner. If you know someone who owns a room or works at one, please share this post with them. The more discounts, the merrier!

We have a page of discount codes from companies that we’ve worked with or visited in the past, but have decided to offer this service to any legitimate escape room location so you can help spread the word about your rooms.

Your discount will be posted on our Discount Codes page, as well as be put into the rotator on the right navigation (in alpha order).

*Disclaimer: the Escape Room Guys offer these codes as an additional bonus to our readers, and we do not monetarily benefit when those codes are used.

A screenshot of the form is below.