Oops, We Didn’t Mean to Set Off that Booby Trap! – Room: The Lost Tomb – June 12, 2016

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love the Indiana Jones movies (the first three; we don’t recognize Crystal Skull)

Avoid if… you need constant stimulation (giggity).


THE BASICS

Escape Quest:

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

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
https://escapequestdc.com/

The Room – The Lost Tomb:

Description (from the company website): You and a group of explorers stumble across a hidden temple deep in the South American jungle. Based on local legend that a hidden tomb in the area holds a golden treasure of immense value, your group decides to face the danger and attempt to enter the tomb, steal the priceless treasure and get out alive!

Difficulty (1-10)6/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

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 ancient tomb, a la “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and find some scattered artifacts.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the lost treasure and escape the tomb before you get sealed in!

Did We Escape: Yup, and we weren’t chased by a giant boulder or pissed off natives either (so, we’re essentially better than Indiana Jones).

Time Remaining: About 17 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 9, which may have been a few too many, so we’ll recommend 6-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yeah, everyone contributed, but maybe not on multiple puzzles.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Dalia, Chris, and Kevin.

Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Mike, Dalia, Jason, Chris and Kevin) found the idol and escaped the tomb! Photo courtesy of Escape Quest's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Mike, Dalia, Jason, Chris and Kevin) found the idol and escaped the tomb! Photo courtesy of Escape Quest’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:


Our Scoring:

JASON SAYS: MIKE SAYS:
Overall Expectation (Summary)
Indiana Jones anyone? Yeah, that’s what I expected. But I actually liked the Crystal Skull. It’s based on actual mythology. So, whatever.
Anyway, I kinda expected to have to pan for gold or something (no, I’m not really sure why), but the room was pretty bare. It was.. weird. Maybe next time I’ll bring my whip. (Because again, Rihanna lyrics.)
So, Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my favorite movies… you know the ones where if you turn on the TV and it’s at ANY point in the movie, you’ll watch it to the end.

So, when we heard about this one, we figured that we’d don our fedora, grab our whips and avoid setting off booby traps to hopefully find the lost treasure (because who doesn’t like lost treasure).

Story (Rating)
We were supposed to find this mysterious secret treasure hidden in the jungle (speculatively) of South America. We didn’t die from some curse, so I guess that’s good, right? 

I guess I’m not special…

Rating: 7/10

The backstory was pretty good, and interesting. Your group of explorers is somewhere in South America and you hear about a legend of a lost tomb filled with treasure… but the tomb is deadly and people who venture there have never returned.

Rating: 8/10

Mission (Rating)
Kept this one simple. Find the stuff, escape. Done. Oh and stay alive.

Rating: 5/10

Relatively simple: explore the tomb, don’t die, find the lost treasure and escape.

Rating: 6/10

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
This one was… Different. It started off with this crazy lock puzzle, but not the kind you’re thinking. I didn’t get it. The was also a snake that I didn’t get until later. And by later I mean someone explained it to me after we escaped. 

There was only one thing I’d seen before, which you know I like, but I think this was the first room I felt completely useless in. Gimme a logic puzzle dammit!

Rating: 8/10

Pretty cool and not all your standard locks. Some required multiple people to solve, and others were solved by one person. They did a good job mixing it up.

And let’s just say that the boulder scene from Raiders isn’t the only scene that was incorporated into the room. I’m not saying anything else, but when I saw the direction this was going, my geek factor went up a few more points.

Rating: 7/10

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
The newbies kinda ran with this room. I didn’t have a heck of a lot of time to review the puzzles (no Rule #3 here for me) but everyone else seemed to get involved. When we got through the first half, that’s when I made myself useful.

The second half of the puzzles were a bit easier in my opinion, and we blew through it.

Rating: 6/10

After doing so many rooms, we recognized patterns between the puzzles here and in other rooms/locations (with the puzzles here slanted towards the theme, of course), so we sometimes knew what to do before we got to that point of the experience.

That being said, I don’t think they were really complex overall (we had a few newbies with us and they were able to participate and not feel frustrated).

We tore through the room and I don’t believe we stumbled on any of the puzzles for any long period of time. Once someone hit a stumbling block, another person stepped in and continued after having an inspired thought as to how to solve it.

Yeah… so SUCK IT, Dr. Jones! #WheresShortRound?

Rating: 6/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
There have been a few rooms that I’ve really felt were well constructed, thematically. This one just needed an abundance of sand and it would have felt totally authentic.

The puzzles fit the decor (hard to do) and really made us feel at home. And by at home I mean in the desert. In the hot sun. Skin boiling. Snakes lurking around every corner.

Rating: 7/10

The room is really well decorated. I did feel like I was in an ancient tomb. I liked how the props were utilized and the sheer size of the room (it seemed like one of the largest rooms we were ever in, but that could be the scaling of the props – again, well done).

The puzzles did all relate to the theme and nothing felt out of place or that it didn’t belong.

Rating: 8/10

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
I can’t say I had a considerable amount of fun. I did almost nothing in this room. Other than the puzzles I mentioned, which I did like, the entire experience pretty much sucked for me. While not really complex, I did have fun because of the theme and the diversity of the puzzles. It was also pretty great to see some of our newbies get bitten by the Escape Room bug (we were in South America, after all, but we got our shots before we went in) and embrace the experience.
Game Master (Summary)
The GMs here generally get us pretty hyped for the room. The story is told, the rules are given, you go in. Nothing crazy. The GM was good in getting us psyched up with the story and then into the mission parameters. That’s about all he had to do. We didn’t ask for any clues in this one (not necessary), but he did provide a confirmation that we were trying to solve a puzzle correctly.
How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
No clues if I recall correctly. However, we generally are good about asking for confirmation if we think we are wasting our time and don’t want to use a clue. A lot of locations keep leaderboards and if you use a clue, you are excluded from said leaderboard. This is why I’m anti-clue. No clue, but we asked for confirmation that we were solving one of the puzzles correctly, since we didn’t want to break anything. It’s ALWAYS better to ask before you proceed. The companies get a bit pissed off if you break their stuff, and which is why every company has essentially the same set of “Rules of the Room.”
Anger Level Score ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
I really REALLY want to give this a 5, mainly because I couldn’t get a word in on this one, but I don’t have anything else bad to say, so…

Rating: 2/5 Fists

I felt pretty smart in this room… and I’m not even a Dr.

Rating:      FacePalms – 0/5

ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 6.8/10

Final Thought: Embrace your inner archaeologist and do this room if you have some people who have never done an Escape Room before. The puzzles and clues weren’t that difficult, so it’s a good room for people to start out on.

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