ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you will watch any of the original three Indiana Jones movies at any point when they come on your TV, no matter how far into the movie they may be (especially Raiders of the Lost Ark).
Avoid if… you can’t find true North, even with your GPS.
Address: 12668 Darby Brooke Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22192 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 703-910-6015
The Room – Dr. Jones’ Apprentice: RETIRED
Description (from the company website): The famous archeologist has enlisted your help to find an ancient artifact! Your career depends on making sure he finds you worthy for future excavations. Do you think you have what it takes?
Difficulty (1-10): not listed (but they consider this their hardest room)
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Cost: $28 + tax per person. – Use ERGUYS when booking to get either a percentage or set $$ amount off per ticket (whatever promotion is running)
Party Size: Up to 10 people.
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.
This is the video we took before we entered the room:
This is the video we took just after we completed the room:
Description of the room: You enter an ancient tomb with scattered bits of furniture and scattered bits of excavation materials.
Understanding of the Mission: Find the lost artifact within 60 minutes.
Did We Escape: Yup
Time Remaining: 12:46
Our Suggested Party Size: 7-8
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Jason, Dwayne, Brad, Cornell, Scott, Julie, Antonia, and Melissa.
Worth the time and money? Yes
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
- Ornery Beer Company & Public House – recommended to us by Escape Room Woodbridge staff
|JASON SAYS:||MIKE SAYS:|
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|Having done all other rooms here but “Lights, Camera, Murder!” (coming for you, room; you’re going down!), I was expecting to have at the least a good time and at most encounter a red herring or two. (Again, this is the only location that I can recall getting caught by red herrings. GET ON THIS PEOPLE!)
This room is rated for a max of 10 people and we did this room with 7 ERVs and 1 ERN, so I knew it was going to be…interesting. All of the guys in the group are current or former coworkers; the women their S/Os (obviously with the exception of ERG Mike). So I know them pretty well and I was looking forward to seeing how they’d react to being locked in a room (with me?) for an hour. (Hell, Scott’s locked in an office with me for 8 hours a day, so he probably should have had a flask on his hip. Did you, Scott? DID YOU? That would explain so much. Anyway…)
Thankfully, everyone enjoyed it and we got out. And no one became a relic, if you catch my drift.
But I was not disappointed, regardless.
|So, there was currently one more room in Woodbridge that we had to do, and we wanted to get this knocked off our list before the Escape Room Woodbridge team opened up their new room in June.
Jason was planning to set up a room experience with a number of his co-workers and their spouses, so we knew that this would be a good location to take them to because of the consistency of our past experiences. Wondering how we were going to do this room with 7 Escape Room Virgins (ERVs) and an Escape Room Novice (ERN), in addition to the collective expertise to the Escape Room Guys. And, we were told by the staff that they considered this to be their hardest room, so we figured we had our work cut out for us (but the entire team was excited to get it done).
Plus the room is loosely based on that whip-snapping, fedora-wearing archaeologist that we all know and love… Dr. Jones… THE Indiana Jones. That alone made me want to do the room (as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m a HUGE fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark).
|As one of Dr. Jones’ apprentices, we were supposed to help him uncover this new, ancient artifact relating to Sirius at this dig site he’s left us at. Well, we went ahead and called him a little too early and said, “Doctah Jones! Doctah Jones! We FOUND IT!!!” We lied. Unintentionally I’d say, but we lied nonetheless.
Thankfully, he was an hour away at another dig site so we have a little bit of leeway before he gets back and fires our lousy asses, but he’s on his way, so we better get crackin.
Angie helps put a little extra ‘oh-shit’ factor in these stories, and I’m not doing it any justice because I’m not a story teller. (I once had a conversation with one of my high school English teachers about how I hate writing term papers (or essays in general) because I am just not capable of bull-shitting when the bullshit is surrounded by facts. But I’ll talk you in circles .)
I give Angie a 10/10 just for being that damn good at getting everyone into the story.
|We are the apprentices of Dr. Indiana Jones, exploring the site of an ancient temple, looking for the lost golden goddess statue of the Temple of Sirius artifact.
Dr. Jones is kinda pissed at us because we haven’t found the statue yet, so we’re on thin ice of losing our sweet assignment as his apprentices. Now, Dr. Jones was called away to check out another location, so we’ve been left to our own devices.
Based on our fantastic investigative abilities (or a stroke of dumb luck), we stumbled upon a hidden room in the temple where we’re pretty damn sure houses the missing statue, so we’ve radioed Dr. Jones with the news. He’s pretty freakin’ happy and is leaving his other site to come back and check out the statue.
Unfortunately, we didn’t really think it through (we just didn’t want to be fired) and found out that the statue is NOT in the room we found, and now we only have 60 minutes before Dr. Jones shows up, expecting the statue… because, you know… it belongs in a museum.
So, this story has a lot of detail and provides the urgency to complete the mission, and was delivered with gusto in the pre-game briefing by Angie. Definitely got us into the mood.
So, while it’s technically only 1 objective, I just turned it into 3. Go ME!
|Only one parameter: find the golden goddess statue within 60 minutes, or your asses will be fired by a very pissed off Dr. Jones.
Now, it’s a great mission (uncover the artifact), but I’m a fan of multifaceted missions so this didn’t get the highest marks. Maybe finding a way out of the room (that you’ve been sealed into) could be a secondary mission point.
However, the mission itself is compelling and has an urgency to complete it. Who wants to disappoint Dr. Henry Jones, JUNIOR?
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|There’s always some crazy stuff that the folks at Escape Room Woodbridge throw at us, so I’m glad this room was no different. As I said, the majority of people in this room with us were ERV’s, so I had an opportunity to check out everything.
I don’t recall there being any straight-up combination locks (sweet!) but there were a couple of cryptexes (one type of which I have not seen in FOREVER), a bunch of stuff around the room, and a few uniquely used Jones-esque items.
I love the fact that nothing was duplicated (ok, well, 1 thing was but it was so minor I’m not even going to count it). And I would go so far as to say that most of the puzzles were new to us (except for the cryptexes).
|LOTS of great puzzles here, as well as the locks that they led us to. I don’t recall ANY combo locks in this room, which may have been a first for us, so that means that the Woodbridge staff got really creative as to how to use the puzzles to unlock the next clues.
I didn’t get a chance to work on everything (we had too many people for that), but the ones I worked on were really cool and did really neat shit when they were solved. And no type of lock or puzzle was repeated, so great job here!
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|Nothing in the room was terribly complex. A few things I recognized were due to Escape Room Experience, and Scott and I actually deciphered a puzzle that pointed us in the direction of something else we’d already solved. That’s probably the only thing that cost us a minute (if that), but there were so many other people working on everything else that I doubt it actually hurt us.
The next to last puzzle is really what threw us for the biggest loop, but it was actually an obvious thing that I had pointed out earlier but I’m unsure anyone actually heard me say it. I think we just had a few too many people in the room, but that’s technically my fault for getting all these newbs together in the first place. (Sorry all…)
|Having a bunch of ERVs and an ERN with us, Jason and I were a bit afraid that we’d get stumped too many times and not be able to complete the room. Some of the puzzles and locks were really complex, but we were pleasantly surprised that the team jumped right into the experience and started solving the puzzles like gangbusters.
Now, we were stalled a few times, due to some well-placed red herrings (which, in my opinion, adds to the experience). However, with a few little hints, we were able to overcome some of the more complex puzzles.
I’d also like to say that this is the first room where the puzzles could have had a few ways of going about to solve them, in addition to the solutions themselves.
|I thought this would be the thing I ended up rating the lowest because there were a few things I didn’t really get to get my hands on. However, after reviewing (not reviewing for the purpose of rating but for actually reviewing) in my mind what went on, I can now see where we went off course and how we could have done better.
The way the room started, I blasted through a few minor puzzles (minor to me, at least) and ended up finding several items to get us going. It was at that point that we all started to separate out and create a mental to-do list; basically once where were sufficient puzzles for the majority of us to work on. Everyone was able to participate and all clues came together to get to that one tipping point, where we were able to progress past that next to last clue before finding the actual artifact. (Which, again, is how I like puzzle progression.)
I will echo Mike’s remark that this room looked really well done for the theme (something I tend to forget is included in this rating). The ability for EVERYONE to have a flashlight was a well thought-out touch.
|The puzzles and props did a great job of pulling you into the experience of placing you in a lost tomb. One thing I’d mention is that maybe take a second look at some of the furniture you have on site in the temple (there’s a photo on their website, so this isn’t a spoiler). Some heavily padded chairs and nicer-looking tables may be a bit out of place for an ancient temple, or even the campsite for the excavation team. Maybe some fold-up chairs or cots? The lighting of the room was done REALLY well… it’s dark and you all have flashlights (and some additional older-looking lanterns).
Another thing would be maybe to add some snakes, spiders or rats (this IS based loosely on Indiana Jones). Imagine the surprise of opening a magnetic lock and having a few snakes drop from the ceiling onto peoples’ heads (a la Raiders of the Lost Ark… people DID sign a waiver, after all!). But, that’s just me.
Other than that, I liked the wall decorations and the surprise in the room, so be prepared for additional steps when all seems lost.
|I think a lot of the fun I had in this room was seeing how everyone else reacted to solving the puzzles and getting that boost to get to the next puzzle. Of course, I had fun solving stuff on my own, but this was a unique situation with the people we were with.||Definitely a lot of fun… now we may have again had a few too many people in the room with the recommended 10, but I think everyone was engaged throughout the experience in trying to figure out what we were all working on. It was really great to see new people really engaged in the room, which doesn’t always happen.
I, again, broke my own rule and spent more time working with a few others on a puzzle than I would have liked, but it came out to be helpful in the end (so don’t be discouraged if you start working on something that has no obvious solution… you may eventually get that last clue that ties everything together (which is HOW. IT. SHOULD. BE!).
|Game Master (Summary)|
|Sasha (hope I spelled that right) was awesome. Unobtrusive, she kept a good eye on us and chimed in when she thought we could use a hint (which isn’t to say she was right every time, but had a good eye). My only gripe was that the speaker she talked to us through (not a walkie) may have been turned up too high and became a little distorted/unclear at times.||So, Angie was our pre-mission briefer, and did a great job and brought us right into the experience. From there, Sasha did a great job observing us, and providing clues when we asked for them (we asked for the three we were allotted).|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|We asked for a few, if I recall. Again, Sasha was good with the clues being just informative enough to not be blatant. She also was good at keeping the ‘I feel stupid’ factor to a minimum. (I mean, because you know me. Maybe if we get t-shirts made up, I’ll have my logo on the back be “The Anti Clue”…)||We asked for our three clues throughout the room, and that was kind of expected based on the ERVs who didn’t know what the experience was going to be like. Jason and I even got a chance to try out the clues that the team was stumped on. We activated Rule 9, again, so we didn’t waste too much time in being able to complete the overall mission.|
|Anger Level Score||ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score|
|I’m good with this. Nothing got me overly frustrated aside from missing the location of the last cryptex…
Rating: ? Fists – 1/5
|I fell victim to one, maybe two red herrings.
Rating: ?♂️ ?♂️ ?♂️ FacePalms – 3/5
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.7/10
Final Thought: This was another fun room, especially since we had a lot of ERVs with us. Normally, this may have make it a bit more challenging, but the newbies stepped up and really got into the experience and did a great job in completing the room, with three clues. The room lends itself to larger groups, so don’t be afraid to take a lot of friends with you, which we can’t always say on rooms rated for up to 10 people.