ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… your sleuthing skills are high and you love the smell of books.
Avoid if… you hate libraries.
Immersion Escape Rooms:
Address: 2125 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (click address for Google Map)
The Room – The Lion’s Den:
Description (from the company website): The Silver Lining computer virus is spreading and the world is now on the brink of total collapse. Alfred Roland, the CEO of Locus Industries, is harnessing its power to locate items of great value without remorse of the destruction it is causing. He is hosting a party at his private manor and Dave has been put on the guest list, thanks to some help from a friend. Jump into Dave’s shoes and sneak into Alfred’s study to disable the core of the virus. It’s a stealth mission, and security is on high alert at this corrupt billionaire’s abode.
Difficulty (1-10): N/A, but the record is 42:15 and it has only a 41% success rate
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Party Size: 2-8
Staging Area: The location is downstairs in the strip mall and does not have an outside door to the parking lot (you have to go in through the building and down the stairs). Waiting area is clean, several chairs; place looks nice and cozy.
Metro Access/Parking: There’s no metro or anything nearby, but there is plenty of parking.
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 start off in a library surrounded by books. There’s a desk, a full wall of bookcases, and a podium with a map.
Understanding of the Mission: We had to break into the office and find out how to steal the virus. And then escape.
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining:12 min
Our Suggested Party Size: A slightly larger group (7/8) is great for searching this room, as there’s a lot to look for.
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Amanda, Mike, Corey, Brittany, Rohan
Worth the time and money? Yes
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
- We went to the BBQ joint nearby (less than 100 yards away), Moe’s Original BBQ
|JASON SAYS:||MIKE SAYS:|
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|Having just completed the first room, we decided to continue the story (as no one had booked the next hour) and find out more information on the Silver Lining virus. This is a stealth mission, so we had to make sure we didn’t trip any alarms or such while we were…perusing Alfred’s bookshelf.
Additionally, based on the build quality of the previous room, I had high hopes for what this would look like. I was not let down one bit.
|We’ve done a few trips where we’ve gone from one room immediately into another (check out our reviews of Laurel’s House of Horror and Escape Rooms). We were excited to do this one because we had just done House Arrest, and our group decided on the fly to go right into Lion’s Den, which is a continuation of the same storyline. This is the first location that had multiple rooms that follow the same storyline, so we were intrigued as to how that was going to be presented.
I was looking forward to this room because House Arrest was so interesting. I wanted to see where the story took us, and wasn’t disappointed.
|We’ve succeeded in breaking into Alfred’s office in an attempt to find the core of the computer system and steal the virus.
This virus has become a huge deal and it’s up to you/us (Dave) to steal it and put an end to it.
|After House Arrest, you have met up with your contact, Leonard, who eventually gets you into a private party at Alfred Roland’s remote and private estate. Alfred Roland, as you may remember, is the CEO of Locus Industries, whose Silver Lining computer virus has now spread throughout the world and destroyed or taken over many computer systems. You escaped his clutches in House Arrest because you became a target due to your skills as an investigative journalist to expose him as the creator of the virus.
Your contact disables some of the security measures in his manor to get you into his private office/library, and that is where your mission begins…
|Break into Alfred’s office and figure out how to get into his safe room where you can find, and steal, the virus.
There were some secondary objectives/puzzles that we were actually able to bypass because we’re SMRT (and yes, we did complete/solve them, for the record) but that didn’t take anything away overall.
|You have to investigate Alfred’s office and find a way to disable the virus… and then escape before his hi-tech security team discovers your infiltration.
Again, I like the multiple objectives we were given (rather than just find the core of the virus OR escape the room).
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|First off, let’s just start with the fact that, again, these rooms are fantastically put together. I don’t really think I did the story/mission justice (and will have probably reviewed and rewritten them by the time this review goes public).
That said, not a single puzzle type was repeated. We had to find things (actually search and find stuff in the room), read an archaeological dig map, use an old-school compass/scope. There were even some electrical puzzles. That’s all I’m saying (and I probably said too much already).
|Loved the diversity of the puzzles. There was something for everyone, and was a mix of things you had to puzzle out in your mind, others that you had to put together, and some that you actually had to get your hands on and manipulate to solve the puzzle.
There were also plenty for our group of 7 to do. Some of us had to team up for some of the puzzles, while others could be solved by one person.
At first, it may not look like there are too many things to work on when you first get locked into the room, but – as we are very familiar with escape rooms – appearances can be deceiving.
I really did love all the things I got to work on, and I didn’t even get a chance to see all the puzzles in the room because they were either solved by the time I got to them, or were in the process of being solved when I got around to looking at them. We did a really good job of utilizing our Rule #8, so switch out if your brain isn’t wrapping around one of the puzzle types.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|I can’t say that there was anything that was more difficult than we’d see somewhere else, but there was a puzzle that kept us stumped long enough to make us second guess ourselves. Maybe it was the newbies we had in our midst (j/k guys).
There was definitely some uniqueness in the puzzles, though, and I attribute that to their movie background.
|We had two recently de-virginized Escapers with us (and I mean really, really recently… like an hour before), and they were able to jump into the experience and start working the room (giggity).
The rest of us were moving pretty well through the room and solving puzzles right and left. There was one that I started working on where I partnered with our new novice Escaper because it was too complex to try and do alone. Adding him into the mix, we were able to find out a way to solve the puzzle without all the hidden clues by reverse-engineering the puzzle itself. It was pretty fucking cool. We didn’t know if we were on the right track, but kept at it. Once the rest of the team began finding the additional clues, those helped confirm that we were on the right track. I think he and I spent about 20 minutes on that one puzzle, but it got us into into a place where we reduced the time the group spent on later puzzles. Coincidentally, the other guy I worked with was also named Mike, so when you put two Mikes on the same puzzle, the puzzle doesn’t stand a chance.
Other than that, a lot of the puzzles had some similarity of things we’ve seen before, but with some twists based on that specific theme, so they did require some thinking even though we knew what type of puzzle or lock we had to open.
|Damn. There was a ton of stuff going on in this room, and it was all well done. Even down to using the tablet again to “talk” to our guide. There’s something different about having to ask for help/confirmation over a tablet to someone that’s not actually “there” (we’ve never seen this before).
The room starts off slow but picks up. Once you get your bearings and start working, you’re golden. Everyone quickly found a task and no one was left in the lurch. We were tag-teaming puzzles, searching for books, opening locks like bosses, and everything fit in perfectly. Most importantly, the multiple streams of consciousness in the room proper all fed into one in the end, just the way we always say it should be. Bravo, guys.
|I really loved how the room came together and don’t think anything was out of place or really didn’t fit. You felt like you were in a private study/library, and there was some good tech and surprises along the way.
Every puzzle and clue fit the theme, and what was best about the experience is that the flow/cohesiveness didn’t just work for this singular room, but incorporated the storyline from House Arrest. It’s often hard enough to make sure that one room has everything working together; it’s even more difficult to build upon multiple rooms (and we later found out that A Nightly Reminder, their third room – a 2-person room – worked that as well).
I’m a huge stickler for this section, and will google certain items or really nitpick at things that don’t seem to fit.
I’ve got zilch to take off in this area. Nada. Top score.
Great job, Immersion. I’m very intrigued to see what you do with the 4th room within the storyline (coming in August 2017).
|Do I really need to go into more detail? Actually, Yes. But at the same time, I don’t want to spoil it. So…
Once you get into the hidden room, you’ll find a QR code and you can either use the tablet they give you or your own phone. Because I’m so impatient, I used my phone and immediately got going on the website it brings you to (it’s interactive, to boot!). You have to solve the final puzzle via the terminal on whatever mobile device (again, the tablet or your own phones) that you choose to use. This was totally unique and 100% awesome.
|I loved this room even more than House Arrest. When I can work on a puzzle for more than 10 minutes without getting frustrated (as long as I feel I’m making headway), it’s like crack…
Or really good chocolate…
with peanut butter. (Any corporate brands want to pay me for some product placement promos? Hershey‘s? I’m looking in your direction).
|Game Master (Summary)|
|We didn’t really use much help other than a few clarifications, but again, it’s interesting having to talk to your GM via text messaging (just like the first room).||I believe we only asked for one hint, but did have a few clarification questions.
The one clarification I remember asking for was how we knew if the final exit door was open to leave since I think that we solved all there was. The tablet’s response was pretty hilarious.
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|Don’t recall using any, but I’ll withhold further comments for Mike.||The clue was helpful… just a nudge and not the outright solution, which I prefer. It feels like cheating if they say “this is the combination” or “here’s the step-by-step on how to figure out that lock”|
|Anger Level Score||ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score|
|Nothing to complain about. Actually, and this is more funny than anything, I went back into the <CRAP, SPOILER ALERT> website from the QR code later on to see what other options there were (I had typed “help” or “?” earlier to see what commands I could type) but realized as I was about to enter the commands again that I would have inadvertently set off the alarms again for whatever team was in there currently, so I had to stop. Would’ve been hilarious, though…
Guys, if I may make a recommendation, make that website for the terminal accessible only from within your facility via WiFi. That way you can not only force people to use the tablet, but then you can stop people like me from remembering the password and jerking around with it after a play through. 😀
Rating: Fists – 0/5
|This one is a bit fat ZERO. I didn’t feel stupid. In fact, Mikex2 felt pretty fucking awesome about solving that one puzzle.
Shout out to my man, Mike!
Rating: none FacePalms – 0/5
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.8/10
Final Thought: Can’t honestly say anything bad about these guys. They did everything right that we usually say needs to happen. One of us just thought some things could have been more in depth at times. That said, we had one more room to do (their 2-person room, which was reportedly a prequel to House Arrest and Lion’s Den) and were looking forward to it. Additionally, we were told between rooms that they are making at least one more story-lined room as well as an extra room primarily to showcase their skill. Looking forward to them both.