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) 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

Who Knew Zombies Liked Pizza? – Game: Escape Room Z – April 2, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you need a new and unique activity for Board Game Night.

Avoid if… you aren’t good with arts and crafts.


THE BASICS

Lock Paper Scissors:

Website: www.lockpaperscissors.co

The Game: Escape Room Z

Description (from the company website): Zombies are everywhere! And they’re hungry … hungry for … PIZZA!

Trapped in an apartment on the 28th floor, can you rescue the pizza, get the gun, unlock the door, and defeat the zombies?

But how? By solving lots and lots of interesting, fun puzzles!

Welcome to Escape Room Z, an hour-long puzzling adventure for you and your crew.

Difficulty (1-10)none given

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $19.99 + supplies (if you download and print yourself)

Party Size: no more than 8 recommended

Staging Area: Your room should be a comfortable size for however many people are in your party to get up and move around.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we played the game:

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

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 room: We used our Community Room in our condo building (Jason and I live in the same building, but you’d know that already if you watched the pre-room video). We had 6 people, and that was a good size (although maybe our room was a bit too large for the number of pieces of the game).

Understanding of the Mission: Essentially, save the pizza that is baking in an oven on the 28th floor from a horde of hungry zombies.

Did We Escape: Yes (we saved the pizza LOL)

Time Remaining: about 19:30

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 is probably good if people have done games like this before or are regular “escapees” (escape room enthusiasts/addicts).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Heather, Corey, Brittany and Katheryn (who served as our Game Master)

The ERG and their Disturbed Friends (Eric, Mike, Heather, Corey, Brittany, Katheryn, and Jason) turned their ordinary game night into an “escape the zombies” night!

Worth the time and money? Yes, even though it’s a once-and-done game (but all of them are anyway)

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • It’s your own location. Serve whatever snacks and drinks you want… maybe go with pizza to fit the theme?

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Interview with Calypso’s Escape Room (Tyson’s Corner, VA) – April 12, 2018

In our quest to do all of the escape rooms in the DC Metro area, Jason found a Groupon to a new location. So, on a Thursday evening, we headed over to Calypso’s Escape Room in Tyson’s Corner, VA, where we completed The Lighthouse room (just the two of us). Then we interviewed Shaq, who told us about his locations and the themes of his rooms.

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

Have you done this room? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

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:

What’s in Your Head? ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE, Ei, Ei… – Room: Trapped in a Room with a Zombie II – April 6, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you can focus amidst a lot of distractions.

Avoid if… you don’t sing even while in the privacy of your shower.


THE BASICS

Escape Adventure DC

Address: 12280 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD 20852 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 202-538-7963
www.escapeadventuredc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You will be escorted on a tour of the dreaded Zombie Lab where the out break of the virus was first discovered, You will be taken to the very spot that Doctor Oxy has isolated the strain of the zombie virus and was working on the only vaccine.

Prepare to be locked in a room with up to 11 other people and a zombie that is chained to the wall! Hidden in the room is a key that will unlock the door to your freedom. To find the key, you must locate numerous clues and solve riddles. Every five minutes the hungry zombie’s chain will be released another foot. Within an hour, the zombie will be able to reach you. You have 60 minutes to the find clues, solve the puzzles, unlock the door and escape the room without getting eaten! Are you smarter than a zombie? Find out!

Difficulty (1-10)Not rated, but we were told it only has an 18-20% escape rate.

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $30 per person – BUT, use ERG45 when booking your tickets to get 45% off per person!!!

Identifier: R2 (this is actually Trapped in a Room with a Zombie – Still Hungry!)

Party Size: up to 12 people

Staging Area: You are escorted from the parking lot by your host, who takes you back to the Professor’s office to sign your waivers. A short film and an explanation later, you are taken through the building to a hidden elevator. Don’t worry! There are restrooms to stop at on the way to your experience.

Metro Access/Parking: Twinbrook Metro Station in Rockville is about a 15 minute (.8 mile) walk away. Otherwise, you can drive. There is ample parking in the lot, but follow your GPS closely as the address is kinda tricky.


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 small office where you are given some details about the room, and watch a short video while the Professor tries to sedate the zombie. Then your host takes you through the building to a hidden elevator where the Professor meets you and takes you down an elevator to the basement where the lab is located. The doors open and your adventure begins.

Understanding of the Mission: You have been invited to the Professor’s lab to learn more about zombies. Unfortunately, as soon as you enter the lab, something goes wrong and a self-destruct sequence is triggered. You now have 60 minutes to escape the lab by opening the locked door, saving yourselves, the brilliant (but sometimes nutty) Professor, AND the zombie (it’s a prime specimen that they don’t want destroyed). However, as you search for the way out, the zombie’s sedative wears off and it starts to come after you… with its chain getting longer every 5 minutes.

Did We Escape: Yes, but barely!

Time Remaining: 57 seconds

Our Suggested Party Size: The room holds up to 12. We had 8 and that was probably enough (if all are experienced). If you’re new to escape rooms, the maximum should work (the room is DEFINITELY big enough – at the beginning at least – for that many people).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

The Escape Room Guys and their Disturbed Friends (Eric, Brittany, Tara, Mike, Mark, Corey, Jason, and Heather) searched for a way out of the lab that was set to self-destruct.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • 7 Locks Brewing – we stopped in for what turned out to be some great beers after we did the room.

Continue reading

We Definitely Weren’t in Kansas Anymore… – Room: F5 Tornado – September 23, 2017

We made it out of the tornado alive!!!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy getting a little physical or tornadoes fascinate you.

Avoid if… you’ve experienced one in real life.


THE BASICS

Trap Door Escape:

Address: 34 A Speedwell Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 973-971-9800
https://www.trapdoorescape.com/locations/f5

The Room

Description (from the company website): A tornado is quickly approaching! Can your team make it to the barn in time to ride out this epic storm? You will have to crawl, climb, push, pull, and of course, think your way through this obstacle course escape experience.

IMPORTANT: F5 is a physical game! This experience involves obstacles and physical activity. Players should be able to climb over and crawl through obstacles, as well as crawl on the ground (with the help of teammates!).

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $35

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

Staging Area: The storefront is on a main street in Morristown; there’s plenty of space to spread out and relax (there’s a coupla couches).

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in NJ; drive or Lyft/Uber.


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

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

Logistics:

Description of the room: You’re in a…field. There’s wind. And a barn. I’m saying literally 0 more about it.

Understanding of the Mission: There’s a twister coming and you need to find a safe place to hide. Break into the barn, then into the storm cellar and wait it out.

Did We Escape: Yep

Time Remaining: 13:28 (This would have been like 30 had we not struggled with one puzzle…you’ll know what I’m talking about when you keep reading.)

Our Suggested Party Size: I think 6 is pretty perfect here, though you could definitely do it with 4 skilled escapers.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Karyn, Valerie, Kim, Amanda, and Mike

Worth the time and money? HELL YES

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Horseshoe Tavern – we went here between rooms. Food was good; service…not so much. :/

Continue reading

Interview with Escape Adventure DC (Rockville, MD) – April 6, 2018

What happened to the Escape Room Guys?!

Check out our interview with Kevin “Hook” from Escape Adventure DC in Rockville, MD, who told us about his location, current room, upcoming new rooms (check out this one called “The Basement“), and why he feels that his location provides a unique experience to escape room enthusiasts.

The ERG just completed his Trapped in a Room with a Hungry Zombie room, which features live actors! This room was a challenge, very well done, and a lot of fun, so you should definitely check it out.

Kevin was kind enough to offer our followers a 45% discount when using ERG45 when booking the room.

Stay tuned here for our review of Trapped in a Room with a Hungry Zombie. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Have you done this room? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

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:

Who’s the Ghost with the Most? – Room: The Handbook – March 27, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re a fan of ’80s nostalgia.

Avoid if… insects give you the heebie-jeebies.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Woodbridge:

Address: 12668 Darby Brook Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22912 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-910-6015
https://www.escaperoomwoodbridgeva.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You poor dead souls! You’ve really screwed up. Your only mortal friend has been kidnapped by a dastardly bio-exorcist in hopes of escaping The World Of The Dead. Can you decode his name and save your friend before it’s too late?

Difficulty (1-10): Not Listed

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 7

Staging Area: Simple sitting area with couches. Restrooms are located in the back of the building past the Escape Rooms.

Metro Access/Parking: No metro access. This company is located in a shopping center and has ample parking. Watch traffic delays on I-95 and leave ample time to get 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: The room looks like the attic of a house with some furnishings, including a smaller replica of the neighborhood.

Understanding of the Mission: As a newly deceased person, you need to figure out how to navigate the many rules of the afterlife using your handy handbook. However, you decide to take a shortcut and hire a bio-exorcist, against the explicit orders of your caseworker. Now, your memory has been wiped, and you have to remember the ghost’s name to rescue your living friend from the World of the Dead.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 4:28 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-5 people would be perfect

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes… and no. Read our ratings below.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Mark and Alphonzo

The ERG and team of Disturbed Friends (Mark and Alphonzo) rescued their friend from a horrible marriage to a bio-exorcist!

Worth the time and money? We agree on the overall answer on this, but for different reasons. Jason says “yes, but more so from a nostalgia point of view (at least until the new movie comes out…whenever that is).” Mike says “yes, the room was worth doing despite an initial starting issue (our fault) and ending issue (their fault).”

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Are There Any Bio-Chemists in the House? – Room: Mad Scientist – February 15, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you loved science and chemistry in high school.

Avoid if… equations give you anxiety.


THE BASICS

The Great Xcape:

Address: 8314 Browns Lane, Ste. 201, Manassas, VA 20111 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-334-2628
www.thegreatxcape.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Since the apocalypse, things just haven’t been going your way. You’ve lost all your worldly possessions, and have been trying to survive in your dystopian neighborhood with the few survivors you’ve managed to meet along the way. And your chances of survival keep getting slimmer, what with this new outbreak of a horrible virus which is fatal, and rapidly spreading. Luckily, a brilliant scientist works in your neighborhood, and he created the only known cure. Being a rather paranoid individual, he protected the formula in his lab behind a safe wall of codes and puzzles. Now that he has fallen victim to insanity, he has disappeared and left his antidote in his lab. If you and your fellow survivors can work quickly, you can acquire the antidote before the virus infects you.

Difficulty (1-10): not rated

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $30 per person, but check Yelp and their Facebook page since they often have coupons (that give codes for discounts when booking on their website)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: up to 8 people

Staging Area: A nice lobby with lots of seating near the front desk. They have bottles of water and a coffee machine(!) with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Restrooms are in the lobby of the building just before you enter their sitting room.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s Manassas, so you’re going to need to drive. Plenty of parking in the lot, however.


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 room with scientific equipment and lots of equations on the walls. The person who lived and worked here was either a genius… or crazy (or maybe a bit of both?).

Understanding of the Mission: Find the antidote to the virus before becoming infected.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: ~7:30 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: 6-7 is good for a group of experienced people, but you’re going to need a full 8 if you don’t have experience with escape rooms.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes!

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Angie, Birgit, Sasha, Fahima, and one other.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • You’ll have to use Google since we didn’t go anywhere in the area after the room.

Continue reading

I’m Better with Paint-by-Numbers – Room: Gallery Heist – January 28, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you know the difference between impressionism and pointilism.

Avoid if… the thought of going to an art gallery bores you to tears.


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

Address: 720 I St SE, Washington, DC 20003 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 301-502-2043
https://www.escapeartistdc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website):As well-known detectives, you are accustomed to solving mysteries. However, this one may have you a little stumped until you can unearth the clues.

A valuable painting has been stolen from the art gallery, right under the noses of daytime guards. It is up to you to crack the case and bring the culprits to justice. To make matters worse – the gallery manager, lackadaisical in his duties, does not check every room in the expansive gallery and locks you in. No worries, though. Your way out is simple: You just must find the missing artwork and figure out who stole it.

Feeling a bit dismayed? Just look around you. All the aesthetically appealing artwork is there to view. It is also there to tell a story. In fact, if you want to win your way out, the answers you need are embedded in the artworks themselves. Now get started: You are running against a clock!

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $20 (for adults; $16 with Student ID)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 3-10

Staging Area: Decent sized waiting area with plenty of things to keep you occupied while you wait. FYI, to access the site you’ll have to go up half a flight of stairs. Then, to get to the actual escape rooms, another flight of stairs.

Metro Access/Parking: Eastern Market is a few blocks away. We recommend that or Lyft/Uber unless you want to roll the dice on driving and finding street 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:

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 what appears to be a small art gallery that has a trunk in the center of the room.

Understanding of the Mission: Search the gallery for the clues to find the missing painting and the culprit who stole it.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 6:40

Our Suggested Party Size: We were 3 people and didn’t have a hard time with this. We’d say 4-6 (at the higher end if you’re inexperienced).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Escaping Detention Challenged Our Simple Minds – Room: Escape Detention – March 18, 2018 – PLAY TESTED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re a jock… or a princess… or a brain… or a criminal… or a basket-case… or were a goody-goody in high school who never had to sit in detention and now want to know what you missed.

Avoid if… sitting in detention will bring back horrific high school memories.


THE BASICS

EXIT Plan:

Address: 201 Royal St. SE, Ste. F, Leesburg, VA 20147 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-777-4710
http://exitplanva.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Everyone gets in trouble at some point. What you do when you find yourself locked in a classroom with the other unruly students is up to you. Here’s the thing though, in an hour the monitor will return and chances are you will Never. Get.  Out. Whether you are a brain, an athlete, a basketcase, a princess or a criminal, it is up to you to start a ruckus and escape detention.

Difficulty (1-10)7/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $29 per person – Use ERGUYS15 to get 15% off per person when booking your reservation for any of their rooms

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

Staging Area: EXIT Plan has a great reception area (two, actually) with lots of chairs. There is a large flight of stairs to reach the main lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: This spot is in downtown Leesburg in the historic district. Lots of street parking, and there is a small lot right behind Macdowell Brew Kitchen.


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 classroom from the 1980s, complete with teacher’s desk, overhead projector, terrarium, and a chalkboard.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the puzzles in the room and find out how to escape detention before the monitor returns in 60 minutes, or stay trapped in Detention for eternity.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 4:35

Our Suggested Party Size: 4 was good, but can easily accommodate 6-10. We would recommend 6 if the group has done rooms before, and the full 10 if mostly ERVs (Escape Room Virgins) or novices/noobs/newbies.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

The Escape Room Guys (Mike and Jason) and their escape room gals (Heather and Steph) were sentenced to detention in a 1980s school room. Did we channel all the collective powers of John Hughes’ movies and escape without anyone “cracking skulls?”

Worth the time and money? Yes, but get in there before it’s retired in early April.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Pawns ARE the Weakest Piece in the Game – Room: House of Pawns, Episode 3 – January 28, 2018 – PLAY TESTED – FAILED!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you ever had a fantasy of being a burglar in the Watergate scandal, or a private investigator ransacking an office.

Avoid if… you get anxious just walking into someone’s vacant office, let alone having to search their desk for a pen in the fear that someone walks in on you while you’re doing so.


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

Address: 720 I St SE, Washington, DC 20003(click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 301-502-2043
https://www.escapeartistdc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Esteemed scientist Kumar is dead, and “foul play” is on everyone’s lips. With the Asteroid Bill past the Senate floor, and the Concorde project on schedule, the plot is thickening fast.

Your duty as an oil lobbyist to identify who axed Kumar and why. Was it Frederick O’Connor in a rage of jealousy? After all, Kumar was reportedly having an affair with O’Connor’s wife. Could it have been Mrs. O’Connor herself, a politically ambitious woman who would rather not have had her Kumar antics revealed? Or perhaps someone else altogether with an ulterior motive unbeknown.

All the evidence you need is in Frederick O’Connor’s office. The clock is ticking and you must figure out the plot before the time runs out.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $20 (for adults; $16 with Student ID)

Identifier: R3 (Episodes 1 and 2 have been retired)

Party Size: 3-10

Staging Area: Decent sized waiting area with plenty of things to keep you occupied while you wait. FYI, to access the site you’ll have to go up half a flight of stairs. Then, to get to the actual escape rooms, another flight of stairs.

Metro Access/Parking: Eastern Market is a few blocks away. We recommend that or Lyft/Uber unless you want to roll the dice on driving and finding street 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:

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’re now an oil lobbyist who has infiltrated Senator O’Conner’s office, looking for proof of who killed the scientist (Kumar) in an effort to kill the Asteroid Bill that has passed the Senate (the bill, from Episode 2, would advance alternative energy from the element discovered on the asteroid, using the formula that Kumar developed to turn it into efficient energy). Lots of intrigue here.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out who killed Kumar, and the role of the conspirators.

Did We Escape: No, but we had an issue with the timer and never had any idea how much time we had left (so we didn’t ask for any help at a point where it would have made a difference)

Time Remaining: less than zero 🙁

Our Suggested Party Size: We only had 3, and that wasn’t enough. We recommend 5-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Yes, however we think not knowing the story may make most of the puzzles and such feel out of place. Read on to understand why.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading