What the hell is this? – Read This First!

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Escape Room Reviewers and Consultants

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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

There Were 8 of Us; So Much for Going Stag… – Room: Stag Party – September 8, 2019

We found the ring, unlocked the door, and even had time for a beer!

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoyed the Hangover movies, retained photographic evidence of what happened in Vegas, or lost all your personal items the last time you went.

Avoid if… you don’t drink, gamble, or laugh.


THE BASICS

Mind Twist:

Address: 3200 S. Las Vegas Blvd Ste 1835, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 702-504-4225
https://mindtwistescapes.com/

The Room – Stag Party:

Description (from the company website): Based on the fan favorite Hangover Movies: You and your buddies partied SO HARD last night and you’re sure you had so much fun. . .  but you can’t remember a thing.  How’d a motorcycle get in here?  Who broke the front door?  OMG where’s the RING?!?!  It’s your buddy’s wedding day and the ceremony starts in an hour.  You better retrace your drunken steps, find the ring, find a way out and don’t be the idiots that ruin the wedding!

Difficulty (1-10)7/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $35

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8 (must book minimum of 2, all bookings are private)

Staging Area: Lobby was a little small, as they’re still working on the space, but there is sufficient seating/standing room.

Metro Access/Parking: You can walk there (it’s in the Fashion Show Mall right off the Strip) but there is also a parking garage.


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

This is the second video we took before I entered the room (because I forgot what the room was about the first time):

This is the video I 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: Looks like a hotel room that has seen a lot. There’s a fish tank, bathroom, and a lot of empty beer bottles.

Understanding of the Mission: Figure out what happened last night, where you went, where the wedding band is, and how to get out of the hotel room.

Did We Escape: Yes, and in record time!

Time Remaining: 28 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: 2-6; 8 was a little cramped

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D, Marco, Holly, Mike, Jeanne, Samantha, and Rori

We found the ring, unlocked the door, and even had time for a beer!
We found the ring, unlocked the door, and even had time for a beer!

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: I don’t recall where we went after, but it’s a mall on the Strip; you will figure it out.

Continue reading

No One Said Anything about Minding Our ‘Manors’… – Room: The Manor – February 18, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like science, creepy old houses, and a sense of fleeting dread.

Avoid if… you scare easily, or always get the feeling that you’re being watched in a dimly lit room.


THE BASICS

Hellscream Haunted House and Escape Rooms:

Address: 3021 N Hancock Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 719-633-8252
https://hellscreamhaunt.com/escape-hellscream/

The Room – The Manor:

Description (from the company website): You and seven other people are trapped in a room. As you look around you start to notice strange messages and clues hidden around the room. Can you and your team solve the puzzles, find the key, and get out within an hour?

Difficulty (1-10): Medium or Hard

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person, but use ESCAPE2018 when booking to save 50% off your escape room adventure on Thursdays and Sundays

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: You have to get through part of the haunted house to get to the room, so there’s not much space to hang around until you get to the briefing room, so don’t plan on getting there super early.

Metro Access/Parking: Just drive there.


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 a very small library with a TV and two other doors. It’s dimly lit, and you get the strangest feeling that you’re not… alone.

Understanding of the Mission: Lord von Helton, a sinister doctor, has trapped you in his mansion and YOU have become part of his next experiment. He’s giving you a sporting chance, though, to see if you are smart and cunning enough to find a way out of his Manor in the next 60 minutes. If you don’t, you’ll become part of his experiments… some of which you will meet in your quest to escape.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 3:32

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6, but we’ll let you know when the room reopens.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? It was, yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • It was late so we just headed back to our AirBnBs.

Continue reading

Grandma…What Dead Eyes You Have… – Room: Red Riding Hood – March 10, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re a fan of children’s stories/fairy tales or you always wondered what was in Red’s damn basket…

Avoid if… you are scared of wolves, not into picnics, or don’t like your Grandmother.


THE BASICS

Number One Escape Room:

Address: 1775 East Tropicana, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89119 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 702-528-1459
https://numberoneescaperoom.com/

The Room – Red Riding Hood:

Description (from the company website): Red Riding Hood is a suspect in a series of murders that you and your team of private investigators have been hired to investigate. In this very grim tale, your team mission is to go to Grandmother’s house to find out if Red went Hood in the Woods and partnered up with the Big Bad Wolf!

Difficulty (1-10): 3.5/5

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $40

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 6

Staging Area: There is a very large lobby (this place is huge) and plenty of seating. There was a water cooler (if I recall correctly) and lots of swag for sale.

Metro Access/Parking: No idea how public transit works there; I was in town for work and just drove.


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 living room of Grandma’s house. There’s a table, rocking chair, a dead body…

Understanding of the Mission: Determine if Red is a serial killer who partnered with the Big Bad Wolf, or not

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 3:15

Our Suggested Party Size: We were 2; I wouldn’t really recommend more than 4; it’ll get cramped REAL quick

Did the room challenge the entire team? Kinda

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Bobby

Worth the time and money? Eh…Kinda?

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

    • Went out on the Strip after, so can’t really recommend anything. Sorry

Continue reading

Abracapocus! Hocus Cadabra! – Room: KAZAM! – February 17, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you had a magic kit as a kid

Avoid if… you are always trying to find the spoiler behind the trick.


THE BASICS

Puzzah! – Denver location:

Address: 1440 Blake St, #150, Denver, CO 80202 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 303-534-5477
https://www.puzzah.com/denver/

The Room – Kazam!:

Description (from the company website): Welcome to Kellar Kazam’s attic, filled with clocks and magical delights. Armed with only a pair of special glasses, you have to unravel the mystery of Kazam’s disappearance. Skilled apprentices may unlock bonus challenges concealed among his personal effects. Are you worthy of carrying on his legacy?

Mission Objectives:

    • Standard – Open the secret clock
    • Advanced – Solve Kazam’s mystery
    • Expert – Reveal bonus puzzles

Difficulty (1-10)Medium-Hard

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-5

Staging Area: This place has a nice entryway and desk that opens to a large lobby with tables and seating. Restrooms are towards the back of the main room.

Metro Access/Parking: We don’t purport to know anything about the public transit system, but there is a municipal lot on the corner and street parking if you can get it.


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: A small room that looks like an attic that is filled with magical memorabilia.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out what happened to Kellar Kazam, who disappeared during his final show, and prove yourselves worthy of being his apprentices.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 4:55 remaining, however, we solved ALL of the bonus puzzles (aka BUZZLES!!)

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-5, the recommendation, was good. It got a little crowded at times, but we made it work.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Absolutely!

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Why Would I Want to Leave This Place??? – Room: Escape the Speakeasy – June 4, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like talking about Prohibition, evading the police, or drinking clandestinely.

Avoid if… you don’t like bars or the Police.


THE BASICS

Escape IT Grandview:

Address: 1666 W. First Ave, Columbus, OH 43212 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 614-636-4848
https://escapeitgrandview.com/

The Room – Escape the Speakeasy:

Description (from the company website): Welcome to the 1920’s, when prohibition is at its peak. Not that it stops anyone from having a drink or two. That’s where speakeasies, or underground bars, come into play. You and your friends have been hired by the owners of the best speakeasy in the city for a very important task: stop the police raid that is about to occur in the next 60 minutes AND get a hefty payout for your efforts. Do you have what it takes? Great for players of all ages and experience levels.

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 ($20 M-Th, after 5pm)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

Staging Area: Small lobby with a couch and table and some games to keep your hands busy

Metro Access/Parking: No idea about public transportation in Ohio; I drove from Dayton.


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:

I forgot to do a post room live video… 

Logistics:

Description of the room: The room is rather large as escape rooms go. There’s a poker table, pictures on the wall, a bar and stools, dart board, gramophone. Looks like an underground bar, honestly.

Understanding of the Mission: You have an inside man in the force and you need to figure out the code word to call him and stop the raid from happening.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 2:15

Our Suggested Party Size: 10 might be a bit much, so I would limit your group to 6ish

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Just Jason

Jason stopped the Police raid and drank plenty.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • La Tavola – this Italian restaurant is right next door and was delicious (and has a good beer selection)

Continue reading

I Would Have Rather Danced With the Suicide Kings… – Room: One Eyed Jack – March 9, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… enjoy dark, spooky things, don’t mind getting down and dirty, and enjoy a good story.

Avoid if… you’re afraid of the dark or have bad knees.


THE BASICS

Trapped!:

Address: 4760 Polaris Avenue Las Vegas, Nevada 89103 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 702-907-8078
https://www.trappedescaperoomvegas.com

The Room – One-Eyed Jack:

Description (from the company website): The notorious serial killer “One-Eyed Jack” is terrorizing your town. Despite the warnings to stay indoors you decided to go out with your friends for a night on the town. The last thing you remember is taking a sip from your drink. You awake groggy and confused, locked in a crude jail cell. You need to act quickly and find a way out before he returns.

This experience takes place in a low light environment. Crawling may be required.

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $35 (and all rooms are private bookings)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8 (games must be booked with at least 2 people, but I was able to do this on my own because I asked nicely (and it was the last time slot of the night))

Staging Area: Very large open lobby with plenty of seating and water, if you ask nicely.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in Las Vegas, and I drove, so drive or take 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 out locked in a cell with only a lantern for light. It’s a pretty creepy way to start. There’s a trunk outside the cell, an armoire next to it, and a fish tank. And not to mention your friend, the skeleton.

Understanding of the Mission: You got a little drunk and after blacking out, you were snagged by Jack and thrown in this cage. Legends say spirits are still trapped in Jack’s cabin. They are there to help you, if you ask for it. Jack is coming back in an hour to finish you off so hurry up!

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 13 minutes even

Our Suggested Party Size: 2-6

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Just Jason

Jason posing with the spirits that helped him make his escape.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It was already after midnight so I just went back to my hotel, but it’s Vegas so you can go anywhere.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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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