We Stomped the Black Widow – Room: The Black Widow – August 25, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you binge-watch CSI or Criminal Minds.

Avoid if… you don’t like spiders.


THE BASICS

Escape Quest:

Address: 1127 King St, #200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
http://www.escapequestinc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your friends are locked in the gothic lair of the beautiful and infamous Black Widow serial killer. Known for marrying and burying her husbands, you must discover how and why she killed them and get out before she returns and makes you her next victim.

Difficulty (1-10)no rating given

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8 people.

Staging Area: Lobby has a lot of space to sit on couches and chairs, and the tables have a few puzzles to work on and get your mind revved up before starting your room. The front desk attendant will also offer a small bottle of water. Restrooms are right next to the lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .4 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to N. Payne St.); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter the room and find yourself in the Black Widow’s parlor.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out what happened to the Black Widow’s former husbands (the how and why she killed each of them) before she returns.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 33:11. This is our fastest time to complete a room. Only one other team finished faster than we did (by 1:30), but they used two clues while we used none.

Our Suggested Party Size: There was plenty to do in this room, so we suggest 6-8, though it could be done with as few as 4.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, at times

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Tara, Steph, Kim, and Kris

Team Disturbed Friends (Jason, Tara, Mike, Eric and Stephanie) stopped the Black Widow from claiming another victim. Photo courtesy of Escape Quest's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Kim, Kris, Jason, Tara, Mike, Eric and Stephanie) stopped the Black Widow from claiming another victim. Photo courtesy of Escape Quest’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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It's Pronounced "Nuc-U-Ler"… – Room: The Bunker – September 11, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love caves.

Avoid if… nuclear war is one of your paralyzing phobias.


THE BASICS

Escape Quest:

Address: 1127 King Street, Ste. 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
http://www.escapequestinc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your team of elite soldiers are given a mission to infiltrate a top-secret military bunker and to stop a nuclear missile about to be launched . You have 60 minutes to stop the launch and escape the bunker before time runs out!

Difficulty (1-10)7/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: Lobby has a lot of space to sit on couches and chairs, and the tables have a few puzzles to work on and get your mind revved up before starting your room. The front desk attendant will also offer a small bottle of water. Restrooms are right next to the lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .4 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to N. Payne St.); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter an underground bunker that looks like it was built during WWII. Lots of military equipment around.

Understanding of the Mission: Rescue a comrade, find a way to stop the launch of a nuclear weapon, and escape the bunker.

Did We Escape: yes

Time Remaining: This one was close. Single digit minutes remaining.

Our Suggested Party Size: We thought 6 was perfect.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Tammy, Bill and Stephanie.

escapequest_bunker

Worth the time and money? yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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The Doctor Will See You Now – Room: Dr. Panic's Asylum – December 11, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you have good health insurance.

Avoid if… you are even just a wee bit mentally unstable.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC

Address: 3949A University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-865-4178
info@roomescapedc.com
http://roomescapedc.com/dr-panic

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your fellow patients have been wrongfully detained in this disturbing asylum. No matter how desperately you plead, there’s been no hope for release. Suddenly, in a stroke of luck, the supervising doctor has been called away for a single hour. Finally: a chance to escape. Except, you are not alone…

To claw your way to freedom, you must conquer the frightening Professor’s Room, the menacing Doctor’s Room, and the treacherous Mudroom. Wit and sense alone will save you now. Can you make it out without losing your sanity? Or will this sinister asylum claim you forever?

Difficulty (1-10)2 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8 people

Staging Area: Decently sized lobby with plenty of seating and a sign-in station. Two separate restrooms located off the main lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: Parking garage around the corner, but no metro.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start off in a small, sparsely decorated office in an insane asylum; you then move into two additional rooms.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the puzzles as you progress through three rooms and find your way to escape the asylum before the Dr. comes back!

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 13 minutes?

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6

Did the room challenge the entire team? Unfortunately, no. See our scoring below.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Mark, Katheryn, Sibel, and Cat.

Team Disturbed Friends (Mike, Eric, Mark, Katheryn, Sibel, Jason and Cat) escaped being eternally committed to the asylum by Dr. Panic! Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Mike, Eric, Mark, Katheryn, Sibel, Jason and Cat) escaped being eternally committed to the asylum by Dr. Panic!
Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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Friday the 13th Was Unlucky for Jason (Vorhees) – Room: Friday the 13th – January 14, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love camping or the Friday the 13th series.

Avoid if… you have anxiety while being stalked by a serial killer (even a pretend one).


THE BASICS

Escape Room Live Georgetown:

Address: 3345 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 800-616-4880
http://www.escaperoomlive.com/our-rooms
hi@escaperoomlive.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Ch Ch Ch Ah Ah Ah! Jason is back and he just wants to play! It is Friday the 13th and you need to hole up in a cabin and keep Jason out until midnight… after all, nothing bad ever happens on Saturday the 14th!

Difficulty (1-10)7/10

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 8-10

Staging Area: This is probably the swankiest location we’ve seen. Tons of seating AND A BAR (wine and beer). There are also free lockers to stash your belongings before you enter the room.

Metro Access/Parking: Rosslyn metro and then a .9 mile walk across the Key Bridge. It’s Georgetown, so parking can be difficult (so definitely carpool and use the parking garage for Georgetown Mall (at Wisconsin and M, head down the hill towards K Street). We suggest Uber or Lyft.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter the room and are in the woods outside the Camp Director’s cabin. Probably the best staging we’ve seen for a room so far. We can’t even call this a room; you have to see it.

Understanding of the Mission: Perform a series of tasks to alert the authorities, hide out in the cabin and stave off Jason until the clock strikes midnight on Saturday the 14th.

Did We Escape: Hell, yes!

Time Remaining: 15 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 8 because we didn’t book the entire room and had two random people in with us (a father-daughter team, who were pretty cool). So, 8 was good, but we could have done it with 6.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes. Plenty for everyone to do.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Mark, Steph, Catherine and Katheryn

Team Disturbed Friends (Mark, Jason, Steph, Catherine, Mike and Katheryn) avoided being killed by Jason Vorhees! Photo courtesy of Escape Room Live Georgetown's Facebook group.
Team Disturbed Friends (Mark, Jason, Steph, Catherine, Mike and Katheryn) avoided being killed by Jason Vorhees!
Photo courtesy of Escape Room Live Georgetown’s Facebook group.

Worth the time and money? yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s Georgetown, so there are plenty of places to go for food and drinks, depending on your budget. We’ll leave it to Google, since we had wine and beer at their bar.

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I've Always Wanted to Be in the Movies! – Room: Escape the Movies – July 17, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love horror movies.

Avoid if… a little gore turns your stomach


THE BASICS

Laurel’s House of Horror & Escape Room:

Address: 935 Fairlawn Ave, Laurel, MD 20707 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 240-278-4545
http://www.laurelhaunt.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and a group will experience four distinctive rooms, with iconic scenes from your favorite record-breaking horror films including Saw, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Insidious. Solve intricate puzzles and race the clock to escape Jigsaw, Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger.  Your limits will be tested in an attempt to truly Escape the Movies… or become our next victims trapped inside the haunted theater!

Note: this room has been revamped since we did it, so your experience may not be the same.

Difficulty (1-10)none listed

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: It’s in an old movie theater that is supposedly haunted, so pretty damn creepy.

Metro Access/Parking: not metro accessible at all. The theater is in a strip mall so there is plenty of parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: The theater itself was pretty cool looking. They turn it into a haunted house for the Halloween season.

The rooms themselves were very well done… we knew what movie we were supposed to be in and they added some additional decorations to help with the theme.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the clues going through 4 rooms based on different horror movies, find the key and escape before the monsters get you!

Did We Escape: Yes, by the skin of our teeth (bad pun intended)

Time Remaining: About 45 seconds

Our Suggested Party Size: They say up to 8 can do the room, but we had only 4 (which was supposed to be 6), and that was sufficient.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, there was plenty for all of us to do.

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

Worth the time and money? Yes!

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We’re not familiar with Laurel, so we’re going to have to leave you to Google for a recommendation.

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It's All About the Ending – Room: Room Ω (Omega) – October 22, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you have some time to kill and have a Groupon, or have a thing for watches.

Avoid if… you are claustrophobic.


THE BASICS

Omescape DC:

Address: 2406 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 202-644-0825
http://omescapedc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Professor Stanley, known for his theory of time travel, disappeared inside his own office three days ago. His students said he was about to publish new findings on multiple time dimensions. As his closest friend, you’ve decided to find out the truth of Professor Stanley’s mysterious disappearance. Pay attention to any clues related to time, otherwise the same thing could happen to you…

Difficulty (1-10)6/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27.99 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: The lobby is up a flight of stairs and has a small number of couches and tables.

Metro Access/Parking: Woodley Park / National Zoo and then walk .7 miles across the Calvert Street bridge into Adams Morgan. It’s Adams Morgan, so parking at night and on weekends can be really tricky. We suggest Uber or Lyft if that’s an option.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: A small office… nothing too memorable.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out what happened to Professor Stanley before you disappear without a trace.

Did We Escape: yes

Time Remaining: don’t remember… 11 minutes?

Our Suggested Party Size: we had 6 and that was plenty.

Did the room challenge the entire team? No

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Melissa, Jess, and Jen.

Worth the time and money? Unfortunately, we had to give this one a “no,” and we had a Groupon to discount the price.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s Adams Morgan, so there are plenty of places to eat and drink. Here’s where we went:

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Where's Our Tricked Out Automobile? – Room: Spy's Demise – August 6, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve always wanted to be a secret agent.

Avoid if… you can’t tell your right from your left.


THE BASICS

Cville Escape Room:

Address: 218 W Main St, 2nd Floor, Charlottesville, VA (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 434-566-9499
https://www.cvilleescaperoom.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Deadly toxins, double agents, and other nefarious elements conspire to eliminate the secret agent players.

Difficulty (1-10): unlisted

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: They put us in a conference room and came in to give us the briefing.

Metro Access/Parking: There’s a pay-parking lot about 1.5 blocks away and street parking, if you can find it.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: Saying the room was cluttered would not be doing it justice. It was full of props and propaganda (propsaganda?), but almost everything was used.

Understanding of the Mission: figure out what happened to our comrade, who the double agent was and complete his mission.

Did We Escape: We did!

Time Remaining: Thinking it was under 10 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 10 because it was a special event, but we would definitely recommend no more than 8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Rohan, Steph, Chris, Cecilia, Trish, Brittany, Corey

Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Chris, Jason, Mike, Cecelia, Trish, Stephanie and Rohan) found the plans and celebrated Jason's birthday in style. Photo courtesy of Cville Escape Room's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Chris, Jason, Mike, Cecelia, Trish, Stephanie and Rohan) found the plans and celebrated Jason’s birthday in style. Photo courtesy of Cville Escape Room’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s downtown Charlottesville right off the main pedestrian walkway, so there are tons of options. We ate dinner at the place below.

  • Fellini’s – good cocktails and beer selection. Food was okay.

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The Joke's On You – Room: Survive the Joker's Trap – November 17, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… Whips and chains (particularly chains) excite you..

Avoid if… They don’t and you are afraid of clowns.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

Address: 3949A University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-270-0377
http://roomescapedc.com/jokers-trap-room/

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your task force of detectives have spent months chasing the infamous criminal clown known only as Joker. Your investigation has brought you precariously close to capturing this clever crook, and you’ve grown confident: sure that this final chase will land Joker in ‘cuffs and custody. You were right on his tail, and then… It was a trap!

You and your team awake disoriented, in a disturbing basement, chained to chairs. Joker, indulging in the dramatic, has hidden a bomb set to detonate in one hour. The minutes are counting down fast. You and your team will have to rely on collaboration, and your investigative prowess, to free yourselves, disarm the bomb, and escape with your lives.

Harness your courage to decipher this trap… Otherwise, this will be your last blast!

The game begins with you and your team chained to chairs (YES, WE REALLY MEAN IT. IF THIS CONCERNS YOU, CONTACT US) in a creepy basement.

Difficulty (1-10)3 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 4-8 people

Staging Area: Lobby includes several tables/benches, sign-in counter, vending machines

Metro Access/Parking: No metro nearby, but plenty of parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: A dingy and DARK basement with chairs and chains and some deranged clown-themed and graffiti artwork.

Understanding of the Mission: You’re kidnapped by the mysterious Joker and locked up in his basement. You have 60 minutes to free yourself from your chains (literally) and escape before the bomb detonates.

Did We Escape: YES

Time Remaining: about 13 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: 6-8

Did the room challenge the entire team? Absolutely

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

Team Disturbed Friends (Mike, Jason, Stephanie, Brittany, Corey, Tara and Eric) escaped the evil clutches of the Joker! Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Mike, Jason, Stephanie, Brittany, Corey, Tara and Eric) escaped the evil clutches of the Joker! Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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It's Just a Little Cold; Nothing to Worry About – Room: Hospital of the Black Death – December 16, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love the board game Pandemic or the mobile game Plague Inc., or thought learning about the Black Plague in school was fascinating.

Avoid if… you are a hypochondriac.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC

Address: 3949A University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-865-4178
info@roomescapedc.com
http://roomescapedc.com/the-black-death

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your team are a group of archeologists searching for a lost, legendary treasure cache from World War II. You explore the most remote areas of Eastern Europe, imagining piles of glittering gold, and trunks full of rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. But it is not treasure you find.

You stumble upon a hospital that is not noted on any of your maps. It is decrepit. It is abandoned. Some members of your team think this lost, peculiar hospital is sure to house the treasure you so desperately seek. So, you enter. And now, you cannot get out.

You find this hospital was deserted because it was the site of a deadly virus outbreak. You and your group have all been exposed to the infamous pandemic: the Black Death. Even if you escape, you will not survive.

It is up to you and your team to devise a cure to save yourselves from this deadly pathogen. Quick: your skin is growing black, and darkness is setting in. You will have to work together to uncover the mysteries of this forsaken place. Your fate is in your hands.

Difficulty (1-10)3 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8 people

Staging Area: Decently sized lobby with plenty of seating. Two separate restrooms located off the main lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: Parking garage around the corner, but no metro.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: The room that you enter looks like a a room in an old insane asylum. Medical stuff is strewn around and you get an uneasy feeling that you’re about to be locked in this room that has some weird juju going on.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out the cure to the plague and make the cure before it kills you!

Did We Escape: Yes, and we were the first to escape from this room (it opened that night)!

Time Remaining: 2:22… close, but we did it.

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 7

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, and we were able to work on clues independently and help out when others got stuck.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Katheryn, Mark, Stephanie and Tara.

Team Disturbed Friends (Katheryn, Mark, Stephanie, Mike; Tara, Jason) found the antidote and prevented the outbreak of the plague (and didn't die themselves!). Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Katheryn, Mark, Stephanie, Mike; Tara, Jason) found the antidote and prevented the outbreak of the plague (and didn’t die themselves!). Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes, and we actually got a discount for booking the entire room because we did two rooms in the same night (they also sometimes offer discounts to try out the new rooms on the opening nights/weekends).

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • The Green Turtle – sports bar w/ standard bar food. Karaoke was going on the night we stopped in.
  • The Wine House – stop in for a glass of wine and dessert.

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What the hell is this?

Good question!

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…

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