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…

Continue reading

Not Sure if This Was Better or Worse Than Montezuma’s Revenge… – Pharaoh’s Revenge – October 16, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy Egyptian themes, pharaohs fascinate you, or you “enjoy” being entombed.

Avoid if… none of the above speaks to you or you are afraid of the ancient dead.


THE BASICS

The 47 Seals

Address: 1513 E Mulberry St, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 970-472-8000
https://www.the47seals.com

The Room – Pharaoh’s Revenge:

Description (from the company website): You’re part of a large archeological dig team that’s looking for lost artifacts near the Valley of the Kings. After a routine supply run, you return and realize something went terribly wrong. The other members who stayed behind at the dig site are lying outside of the field office, barely conscious and near death. Now it’s up to you to figure out what caused this sickness and help the team before it’s too late.

Your time inside the room is limited. Do you have what it takes to solve the clues and puzzles to save your team?

Difficulty (1-10)Easy to Moderate

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $20

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

Staging Area: The 47 Seals’ rooms are within Fort Fun. From the entrance to Fort Fun, go straight past the counter to the staircase in the back and up said stairs to find the rooms. There’s a small waiting area with lockers and couches (but take your stuff in the room since one key opens ALL the lockers, meaning you don’t get to keep the key with you, the GM does).

Metro Access/Parking: There is a large parking lot for the Fort Fun facility.


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

I am not entirely sure why this one recorded the way it did. Sorry. ~Jason

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

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start in a room with a center pillar and symbols on all the walls. Plenty of space for a larger group if you have one. It’s a very clean-looking room; feels like there should have been some sand on the floor.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve all the puzzles to figure out what caused your colleagues to fall ill and cure them before it’s too late.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 15…ish

Our Suggested Party Size: This is one of the few rooms rated up to 10 people that could actually FIT 10 people comfortably. However, I still wouldn’t recommend more than 6, 8 people tops. There wouldn’t be enough to do (though there IS the space).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D (And we forgot to take a photo after…)

Worth the time and money? Yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Sherlocked! Book contest opens! – November 18, 2020

Hello, everyone!

The puzzle contest begins for a chance to win a free copy of Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book! See rules and restrictions below.

THE CONTEST:

While traveling in London, you are suddenly approached by a dirty little street urchin. He walks up to you and mumbles that his name is Wiggins. He hands you a crumpled cream-colored scrap of paper and mumbles that “Premier word smiths have rightfully won this challenge.” Wiggins scampers off into the crowd.

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The Game is Afoot… Book: Sherlocked the Official Escape Room Puzzle Book

ESCAPE ROOM BOOK PROMO:

So… many people ask “what have you done while being quarantined/socially distanced due to COVID-19?”

Well, we co-wrote a book and created puzzles for a Sherlock-themed escape room puzzle book! So, give us a little bit of love and click one of those “share on social media” buttons. We’d appreciate it.

Watch the video we made about how this project came to be:

We present to you: Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book

Last October, Sophie, an editor from Studio Press (an imprint of Bonnier Books UK), contacted us to see if we had any interest in creating a series of puzzles for a Sherlock Holmes-themed puzzle book. We were nervous at first because Sherlock is such a literary icon. However, when she assured us that the Conan Doyle Estate sanctioned this project and was on board, we couldn’t wait to get started, which we did starting in January 2020.

This is a pick your own path book (so it’s not something you read straight through from cover to cover). You assist Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they investigate a mystery (well, a couple of mysteries) and find yourself solving puzzles that you might normally find in an escape room. There are points where you decide how the story moves along and can encounter different endings (so you can read the book more than once!).

So, check it out. We think it would make a great present for the holidays, or for someone who likes puzzles and is bored at home.

WHERE CAN I BUY THIS:

(The links below will be updated as we get them along with dates the book will be made available)

(*Note: The Escape Room Guys LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com… in other words, we earn a small fee by providing direct links to products on Amazon in return for promoting them.)

UPCOMING CONTEST:

Next week you can enter a contest we’re conducting through our social media channels and this blog. Readers from the United Kingdom (where our publisher is located) and the United States (where we are located) can solve a puzzle to be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of the book. We’ll send a copy to 5 randomly drawn winners each from the U.S. and U.K. who solved the puzzle correctly.

So, follow us now on one of our social media channels (links below) or follow this blog to be notified when the contest starts. Full rules will be outlined when the contest starts next week.

Follow us on our social media channels:

Thanks to everyone (our families, friends, followers, escape room friends, and enthusiasts) and we really hope you enjoy this book.

Lots of love,

Mike and Jason

Can’t We All Just Get Oolong??? – Room: A Spot of Tea – an Iris Trenton Memoir – August 9, 2020

Fancy a spot of tea?

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if…you enjoy an English breakfast or quaint village eateries.

Avoid if… you don’t like to sit down on the job.


THE BASICS

Enter the Enigma:

Address: 3540 N. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80917 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 719-309-6862
https://www.entertheenigma.com/

The Room – A Spot of Tea: An Iris Trenton Memoir:

Description (from the company website): After the worldwide publicity from your impressive capture of the famed thief, Iris Trenton, you needed a vacation.

While strolling the streets of London you happen across a little hole in the wall cafe/tea room that intrigues you. Taking a seat you are admiring the decor when you here that familiar voice…..

“Greetings Detective….Welcome to Siri’s”. Iris Trenton stands before you dressed as a waitress. At this moment you receive a phone call from Scotland Yard informing you that Iris has broken out of prison and that all signs point to her being in London to steal the Crown Jewels. Obviously, this was a trap.

Can you best the master criminal again or will she prove your first encounter inside The Attic was pure luck?

For a more detailed story, go to Enter the Enigma’s Facebook page.

Difficulty (1-10)You’ll have the option of Medium or Hard when you enter, but it’s listed as “Very Hard 8/10”

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R2 (this room is a true sequel to The Attic)

Party Size: 2-6

Staging Area: Small lobby area with lockers and a water cooler. With Covid-19, this actually works since you won’t have to sit around and wait for people (unless they’re in your party).

Metro Access/Parking: This is a sort of strip mall, so plenty of parking.


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:

Never took one. I will dish on it in the review itself.

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: The room is laid out as a small café, complete with dessert display case and tables/chairs.

Understanding of the Mission: describe our understanding of what we needed to do

Did We Escape: Yes, technically (see below)

Time Remaining: After discussing it with Don, we agreed upon a whole 1 SECOND REMAINING! (Read on for explanation.) Also, LEADERBOARD!

Our Suggested Party Size: 2-4; you can pull off 6, but it might be a bit crowded.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D

Fancy a spot of tea?
Fancy a spot of tea? And yes, that’s Rico.

We didn’t take a picture; we were too busy discussing the room with the owners. But this is one we were sent to use.

Worth the time and money? Yes, especially if you’re a mental masochist.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We ended up just heading home after, but there’s some good restaurants nearby. Continue reading

Uncovering the Family Jewels – Game: Legacy Episode 2: Hellas – July 19, 2020

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve always wondered if your family had a secret stash.

Avoid if… you don’t take advantage of local pamphlets and brochures while on vacation.


THE BASICS

Argyx Games

Developer Website: https://www.argyxgames.com/

The Game: Legacy: Quest for a Family Treasure – Episode 2: Hellas

Description (from the company website): Marseille, Fall 2019. You receive the letter of a notary that comes with a mysterious black box. In his last will, your estranged father reveals the existence of a family treasure, hidden somewhere in Europe. To find it, he leaves you objects and documents that belonged to him as well as to your ancestor. You have to shed light on the past in order to be able to claim your inheritance… (see their video below)

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: None, but typically completed in 60-90 minutes on average

Cost: $56 to $119, depending on which package you back on Kickstarter

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-4 people


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: We’re not going to go into detail here as it’s basically a surprise for you. Our promotional game, however, came in a blue paper envelope from Argyx in Paris. Your game will come in the black box shown on the KickStarter page.

Understanding of the Mission: First, keep in mind that Hellas is game 2 in this set. Its story continues the one you complete in Eiffel 1889 (which is also a slightly longer game than Hellas). In Eiffel 1889, you were trying to find the identity of a lost ancestor. In Hellas, you need to take what you learned and discover the location of said ancestors buried fortune. There are 5 distinct tasks for you to complete to do so.

How Much Space is Needed: 4-6 sq.ft. is sufficient for the materials, plus space for a laptop or tablet.

Age Appropriate: It’s rated 14+. There’s nothing inappropriate in Hellas.

Did We “Escape”: Yep!

Time Remaining: We finished in about 1:15 (it should take you 60-90 minute on average). Yay, we’re average!

Our Suggested Party Size: 2-4 for sure

Did the room challenge the entire team? Mostly

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D, Heather

Worth the time and money? This is a loaded question. The price is pretty steep for a take home game ($57/€47), BUT that gets you 2 games (Eiffel 1889 and Hellas (this one)) and all the stretch goals of the campaign (which includes, at the time of this writing, 1 additional document for Eiffel 1889 and one for Hellas (which is another puzzle)). That comes out to roughly 2-3 hours of total game time.

Continue reading

It Was Dinner and a Show…And MURDER… – Room: Homicide Hotel – Room 303 – June 7, 2020

A look at your lodging...

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy horror movies, are intrigued by whodunits, and love a good thriller.

Avoid if… you dislike confined spaces, scare easily, or feel like somebody’s watching you…


THE BASICS

303 Escape

Address: 8805 Fox Dr, #100, Thornton, CO 80260 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 303-568-9861
https://303escape.com

The Room – Room 303:

Description (from the company website): When Robert Quinlan identified his newest victim, Room 303 was the room he always checked them into. To an unsuspecting guest, the room looked like any other ordinary vintage hotel room. However, it was one part of the hotel that Robert had specially modified to allow him to spy on his guests through hidden peepholes and secret passageways.

You are Robert’s next victim and have found yourself in the room where so many before you started their final horrifying journey.

Can you escape the clutches of this Psycho or will you meet the same torturous fate as Robert’s 19 other victims?

Room 303 is where your nightmare begins.

A look at your lodging...
A look at your lodging… (Picture provided by 303 Escape)

Difficulty (1-10)None listed, but 11% escape rate with 0 clues

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: Variable ($40pp for 2, $35pp for 3-4, $30pp for 5-6)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-6

Staging Area: The lobby looks like a hotel lobby. There’s plenty of seating considering there’s only 1 room currently open. (And plenty of hand sanitizer because, you know, COVID-19.)

Metro Access/Parking: We drove from the Colorado Springs area, so we can’t tell you about Metro access, but there is ample parking in the lot. (And FYI, looking at the building, it’s around back on the end. We walked down the grassy hill, but you’ll find it easier to take the actual sidewalk…)


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:

Jason forgot to take one, but you will be able to read his thoughts below.

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: The room is designed as a hotel room, complete with passageways and peepholes. It looks like a hotel room, it FEELS like a hotel room.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the puzzles to escape through Robert Quinlan’s labyrinth and exit into the lobby. OR DIE.

Did We Escape: Yes!

Time Remaining: 5:49 remaining (What can I say, we were rusty!)

Our Suggested Party Size: I wouldn’t go over 4 but you can definitely fit 6 in here.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Jason D and Steph D

We (all of us) forgot to take a picture after escaping. 🙁

Worth the time and money? Absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

This Room Conjured Up More Than Just Memories… – Room: The Conjuring – February 8, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy horror, being spooked, and/or The Conjuring movies.

Avoid if… you jump easily, don’t like being scared, or are claustrophobic.


THE BASICS

Panic Escape Room:

Address: 990 Grand Canyon Parkway, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 224-268-3947
https://www.panicescaperoom.com
info@panicescaperoom.com

The Room – The Conjuring:

Description (from the company website): A desperate cry for help falls on deaf ears as you and your group take up the challenge to save this poor girl. Your journey begins in the infamous Warren’s Occult museum as you search for clues as to what was taken and what has caused the neighbors and their young daughter vanished without a trace . Remember everything in the Warren’s is possessed or cursed so avoid taking anything with you!

Difficulty (1-10): Not listed, but has a 26% escape rate as of this writing (as per the website)

Time Limit: 65 minutes (Note: When this room was first booked, it was listed as 75 minutes. After that, I was told it was 65, as now listed. When we got there, we were given 60 minutes, plus a few extra, as you’ll read.)

Cost: $29.99

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Listed as up to 10, the booking page says minimum 3, but once you click Book, you are told minimum 4, max of 12. If you have less than 4, I’d recommend calling.

Staging Area: The location is (appropriately for the theme) in the basement of an office building. There’s a bench in the corner and a water cooler. Standing room otherwise.
Metro Access/Parking: This room was not in our home location, so we drove everywhere.


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 at a discount, 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: The initial room this escape starts in is cramped. Pretty much to be expected if you’ve seen the movies, as you’re supposed to be in the Warren’s Occult Museum.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the stolen items and figure out why the neighbors and their daughter have disappeared.

Did We Escape: Nope.

Time Remaining: 🙁 Even with the extra time.

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-8, though 8 will be a tight fit.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D, Aaron, Andrea, Mary Jo, Liam, and 3 others whose names I have, unfortunately, forgotten.

We did not take a photo after this failure. Not that we didn’t want to, but we weren’t asked.

Worth the time and money? Yes and no.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We didn’t go anywhere after (nearby), so no recommendation here. Sorry.

Continue reading

Interview with 303 Escape (Denver, CO) – June 7, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

With a dear friend in town, and the quarantines lifting, we embarked on a journey through the mind of a psychopath and ventured forth to 303 Escape up in Thornton, Colorado, a Denver suburb. Having read an article on Westword, and absolutely LOVING horror themes, I felt it was my duty as an Escape Room Guy to shoot Tim an email and see what this escape room was all about. There’s currently only one room available, but the 2nd room in this horror trilogy should be ready around Halloween (how fitting!) and I CANNOT WAIT to check it out!

Additionally, if you book 7 days in advance and use code 7DAY, you’ll save 7% off your booking.

Have YOU escaped the Homicide Hotel’s Room 303?? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for the review of Room 303. 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:

You Don’t Know Jack… literally… – Room: Jack the Ripper – February 7/8, 2020

Steph and Jason helped Scotland Yard discover the identity of Jack the Ripper! (Or did they...........)

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve ever wondered who Jack the Ripper really was.

Avoid if… shows about serial killers give you nightmares… or ideas.


THE BASICS

Odyssey Escape Game:

Address: 1111 Alderman Drive, Suite 210, Alpharetta, GA 30005 (click address for Google Map)
999 N Plaza Drive, Suite 111, Schaumburg, IL 60173 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 770-559-7548 (Alpharetta, GA), 847-285-1281 (Schaumburg, IL)
https://www.odysseyescapegame.com/

The Room

Description (from the company website): It’s November 9th, 1888. You are Scotland Yard’s finest detectives and you’re responding to a crime scene at 13 Miller’s Court in London’s Whitechapel district. You step inside the boarding room of Mary Kelly, the Ripper’s latest victim. Your objectives are to search for clues, collect the evidence and end the Ripper’s reign of terror. After returning to Scotland Yard, you must piece together the evidence, contact eyewitnesses and determine the true identity of England’s most notorious serial killer. You only have 60 minutes before the Ripper flees London forever, depriving Great Britain of the truth…who is Jack the Ripper?

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28, but use ERG15 to save 15% off when booking online at either of their locations

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: In the GA location, they have a nice-sized waiting room with lots of comfortable seating, a check-in desk, bathrooms off the lobby, and a party/conference room for private parties.

In the IL location, they look like they just opened. It’s a large, open floor plan. There’s a check-in lobby, then there’s a waiting room, plenty of seating, and a conference room.

Metro Access/Parking: We drove (in both instances).


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video Mike took before he entered the room:

This is the video Jason took before they entered the room:

This is the video Mike took after he completed the room:

This is the video Jason took after they completed the room:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room in each location 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 boarding house room of Mary Kelly, Jack the Ripper’s latest victim. It’s a humble abode, sparsely decorated, with indications that a murder has recently taken place.

Understanding of the Mission: Investigate Mary Kelly’s room for clues, make your way to Scotland Yard to gather investigative tools, and piece together the clues to give you the true identity of Jack the Ripper before he catches on that you’re on his trail and leaves Great Britain forever.

Did We Escape: Mike: Yes; Jason: No.

Time Remaining: Mike: 31 seconds

Our Suggested Party Size: 4+

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Mike was by himself; Jason was with Steph D

Steph and Jason helped Scotland Yard discover the identity of Jack the Ripper! (Or did they...........)

Worth the time and money? Absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Alpharetta – it’s in an office park, but there are restaurants within a 5 minute drive, so use Google. But Mellow Mushroom was recommended to me.
  • Schaumburg – It’s right by a mall, so there were plenty of places there.

Continue reading

Interview with Odyssey Escape Game (Alpharetta, GA) – February 07, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

While on a business trip to Georgia, Mike stopped by Odyssey Escape Game in Alpharetta, GA to check out their location. Owner Mike and manager Kyle offered a peek at the 4 rooms they have and agreed to an interview.

We talked about advice for those wishing to enter the escape room industry. We shared some funny stories, and learned about where they get their inspiration for their rooms. They were also kind enough to create a discount code for our readers, so use ERG15 to save 15% off when booking online at either of their locations!

Then, Mike was off to play the Jack the Ripper room… solo! Did he make it out?

Now, as a random coincidence, Jason was passing through Odyssey’s other location in Schaumburg, IL, and decided to play Jack the Ripper as well. So, we’ll be able to bring you the dual perspective from the same room, but at two different locations!

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 reviews of Jack the Ripper. 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: