Venture through the Looking Glass – Room: Adventures in Wonderland – February 12, 2017

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve always wanted to have tea with the Mad Hatter.

Avoid if… you have problems seeing in the dark.


THE BASICS

EscapeRoom Woodbridge:

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

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

The Room – Adventures in Wonderland: RETIRED

Description (from company website): The Red Queen has taken the Mad Hatter and wants you to solve an age-old riddle before it’s “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”

Difficulty (1-10): no rating given

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person. – Use ERGUYS when booking to get either a percentage or set $$ amount off per ticket (whatever promotion is running)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 6 people max.

NOTE: we were told that this room is being retired in March 2017 and being replaced by a DaVinci-themed room.

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

Logistics:

Description: The Mad Hatter has been kidnapped and the sadistic Red Queen has issued you a challenge to answer a riddle within 60 minutes, or she’ll lop off the guy’s head… and maybe yours as well (muah-ha-ha).

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the clues that relate to Wonderland and figure out the answer to the riddle.

Did We Escape: Oh, yeah.

Time Remaining: 7:27

Our Suggested Party Size: No more than 6 (in fact, 5 was perfect). The room itself isn’t that large and we couldn’t imagine having 10 people in there.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, there seemed to be enough for the 5 of us to work on without stepping all over each other (despite the small room).

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Alphonso and Katheryn

Another successful escape for team Disturbed Friends. At the EscapeRoom Woodbridge "Adventures in Wonderland" escape room. Photo courtesy of EscapeRoom Woodbridge's Facebook page.
Another successful escape for team Disturbed Friends. At the EscapeRoom Woodbridge “Adventures in Wonderland” escape room. Photo courtesy of EscapeRoom Woodbridge’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes, it definitely was. We used a Groupon for this room so we didn’t pay full price, but the room is good enough to book without the discount and we recommend you get in there fast before the room changes theme (which we were told is soon!).

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Fair Winds Brewing Company – We decided to hit up this place (about 10 minutes north of the Escape Room) and have a beer or two. (Well, some of us started with tasting flights THEN got beers.)


Our Scoring:

JASON SAYS: MIKE SAYS:
Overall Expectation (Summary)
I’m not the hugest fan of Alice and the like, but I’ve seen all the movies (except Jabberwocky) and kinda like them. So, I went into this thinking (nay, hoping) it would be something like the video games by American McGee. It was not. It was, however, decently themed and decorated. I was looking forward to this room because Alice in Wonderland is a pretty awesome story in a bad acid trip kind of way.
Story (Rating)
The Red Queen was at it again and in typical fashion, wanted to behead someone. That B****. But don’t worry, Hatter, we got you.

Rating: 8/10

Those familiar with Alice in Wonderland will have a great time in this room. The story was compelling and fit the theme and provided the sense of urgency to save your dear friend, The Mad Hatter.

Rating: 8/10

Mission (Rating)
Solve a riddle given to you right in the beginning of the room. How you ask? No clue (but there were clues!). So yeah, figure it out. Never had to solve a riddle to get out of a room before.

Rating: 9/10

Solve all the clues to reveal the answer to a riddle to appease the Red Queen.

Just remember that this Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland… not the computer program in the Resident Evil movie. However, they are both sadistic, so keep on your toes.

Rating: 8/10

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
What Mike said. This was probably my favorite room in terms of clues and puzzles.

Rating: 10/10

This is a great example of how to set up a room. Every puzzle was different and thematically relevant to the room. We weren’t tasked with opening 4 or 5 combination locks. BONUS TO OVERALL SCORE GIVEN.

Rating: 10/10

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
The progression of clues towards your end game was pretty linear, but we were able to break up into teams every so often to figure things out. When we hit that last clue, however, all hands on deck.

Rating: 9/10

While none of the clues were overly complex, each did require some time to figure out the solution, which provided a fast-moving pace to our time in the room (until we got to the last clue…).

Rating: 7/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
The puzzles included in this room were well thought out and matched the room itself, and the theme, more importantly, quite well. Clever use of lighting as well as physical and mechanical mechanisms worked excellently and I was highly amused watching Alphonzo try to get one to work. The ‘clever use of lighting’, however, did hinder us on one puzzle.

Rating: 7/10 (-1 because of the lighting)

The clues/puzzles themselves were great matches to the theme of the room and we saw a few puzzles that we had never seen before.

The decor, while appropriate, was a bit disappointing. The props were great and lent themselves to the theme, but the room itself could easily be turned over to a different theme by swapping out the artwork and items. As this was a Wonderland-themed room, we felt that the decor of the room could have gone a bit further into the fantastical world beyond the looking glass.

Rating: 7/10

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
This quickly became one of my Top 5 room. I haven’t figure out which it’ll replace, but I’m working on it. I highly recommend anyone try this out before they retool it for Da Vinci. This was a great room and very memorable. We liked the clues and the story-line, and we introduced a newbie to our team (who had a lot of fun too).
Game Master (Summary)
She was good, but I would recommend using a walkie-talkie because that would probably be better than just walking into the room. Our Game Master was good. She was unintrusive, but available to offer a clue if we needed one, or to clarify an action we were about to take.

Maybe a bit more enthusiasm when giving the briefing to get everyone into the mission?

 

How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
We asked for our first hint because we didn’t want to break anything. We were on the correct path, though, so that worked out. The second one, as Mike said, was a breakage of Rule #3. We were stumped at one point towards the end and asked for help. Once she gave us a little hint, we figured out what we did wrong. We did not follow our own Rule #3, or we would have gotten out with more time to spare.
Anger Level Score ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
I’m usually the one that is anti-clue, so I caved in and suggested we get a clue for one of the puzzles. Long story short, as stated above, we didn’t follow Rule #3: The Buddy System. (AGAIN. Le sigh.) When we were given the clue, we collectively groaned, and I’m pretty sure I facepalmed. So, not angry at the room, but angry at myself. Again. Well, and at Mike.

Rating: 2/5 Fists

The one place we got stuck was because we didn’t follow our own rule. Otherwise, this would have been a zero score. Jason is such a stickler for us following our own rules that I hold him fully accountable.

And, bro, facepalming is MY thing. Stick to your fists.

Rating:  ?‍♂️ ?‍♂️ ?‍♂️ ?‍♂️ ?‍♂️FacePalms – 5/5

ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.3/10

While not super hard, we gave this a slightly higher than average rating because of the diversity of the puzzles and how they fit the story-line.

Well done, Escape Room Woodbridge, well done.

This Escape Room is rated in both of the ERGs Top 5.

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