Losing Our Minds Implies We Have Minds to Lose… – Room: The Haunt – June 28, 2017 – PLAY TEST

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like a good urban legend about the local haunted house.

Avoid if… you dislike paintings that seem to watch you.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Woodbridge:

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

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

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your friends have decided to explore an abandoned home. After looking through every room, all seems much ado about nothing. Then you find yourselves in the parlour….let’s see if you can get out before you go cuckoo!

Difficulty (1-10)Not listed

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: N1 (Replaced Lights, Camera, Murder! room)

Party Size: Up to 5

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

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: A dark and creepy parlor in a haunted house, set in the early-to-mid 1900s.

Understanding of the Mission: Get out with your wits intact so you don’t become one of the undead spirits in the house.

Did We Escape: We called this one a draw due to technical difficulties stopping us from getting out in time.

Time Remaining: :-/

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-5

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Team Disturbed Friends (Jason, Steph, Mike & Diana) dealt with the ghost and escaped with their sanity intact.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Fair Winds Brewing Company – We hit up this place on a previous visit. Great place for beer flights, beers and some food truck grub.


Our Scoring:

JASON SAYS: MIKE SAYS:
Overall Expectation (Summary)
Went went in with a small crew (it’s a small room) to test this room out, and I was very much looking forward to this one as Mike and I have known of its existence for quite some time. I generally like this kind of thing (haunted houses, haunted forest, horror movies, etc.) so it’s right up my alley. I like a good thriller, so this room’s description appealed to me from the start. I also love a good urban legend, and it seems like every town has a house that fits this theme.
Story (Rating)
While exploring a haunted house, you think there’s nothing particularly haunting about it. Until you get to this creep-tacular parlor. Can you get out with your wits intact??

Rating: 7/10

You and a group of friends decide to explore the local haunted house. You go through every room and find nothing. However, once you go into the parlor, the door slams shut and …

Rating: 8/10

Mission (Rating)
I mean, you could just stay put and go crazy (some of us are already halfway there…) or you can try and get out. You probably want to do the latter. In fact, yes, do the latter.

Rating: 6/10

Find out the mystery of the room, and how to open the door to escape within 60 minutes. Otherwise, the spirits will claim your sanity.

Rating: 8/10

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
I’ll start by saying I don’t remember there being more than 1 padlock of any kind (and I’m trying to remember if there was even 1 at all…).

This room was different than most that we’ve seen in that there weren’t *that* many puzzles, but they were hard enough to last the hour (and I’ll get into that in a minute). Nothing terribly frightening, unfortunately (but I think I had an unreal expectation for that anyway), but it didn’t detract from the room at all. There were a few nice touches, but one puzzle ultimately did us in toward the end because it, well, broke. (It’s subsequently been fixed and the GM has been taught to check it better during gameplay. Is that a spoiler? That might be a spoiler…)

Rating: 8/10

There doesn’t appear to be a lot to this room, so it really works with subtlety. You really need to pay attention to detail and figure out how things operate. An occasional leap of faith or gut jump will serve you well. Even with doing as many rooms as we have (and knowing how things could operate), we still encountered puzzles that threw us for a loop. However, there was a good mix of the types of puzzles we’ve seen, so there was nothing really repeated.

I enjoyed the subtlety of the room… none of the puzzles were an “in your face… solve me!” type of puzzle.

Rating: 8/10

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
So, I’m trying to figure out how to describe what I said above. Don’t get me wrong, there were a sufficient amount of puzzles, but as I said, the room is small so it might actually just be my perception of things. Regardless, we are a (relatively) intelligent group (with a good smattering of book and street smarts), so we generally didn’t have a problem collaborating to figure things out. Sometimes that’s both a pro *and* a con. (I get frustrated, as you all well know by now.)

Anyway, this room made me think more than usual (again, not sure if good or bad…) and yes, we got stumped a few times, but only asked for help (if I recall correctly) on the puzzle that was “broken”. (As it turned out, we may have inadvertently opened it early and not noticed that is closed itself, tripping the electronics into a ‘dead’ state. The fix was a reboot of the hardware behind it, but we didn’t know this was the problem until it was too late. Oh, Technology!)

Rating: 9/10

With such a small room, and a small group, the puzzles had to be fewer and more complex, so the room is challenging.

Even with one ERN (Escape Room Novice), we did move through the room and examined it pretty quickly. At that point, we got stumped for a bit. As I mentioned before, the room works on subtlety, so we had to take some time and re-evaluate the room once we figured out that this wasn’t something where the puzzles and clues were glaring.

Once we did this, we moved through some of the puzzles, and we were still stumped enough that we ended up asking for three clues (the limit of the room, so we knew we wouldn’t make the leaderboard).

We had a technical issue with one puzzle, which cost us over 10 minutes, but – hey – it happens, which is why we called this a draw vs. a loss (or a win).

Rating: 9/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
Decor wise, it’s creepy. And dark. The wall…coverings (for lack of a better term) are a nice touch. (You’ll see what I mean when you get in there.) The puzzle items fit in quite well with the clues you find in the room (for example, tools relating to someone’s profession), so it all works together nicely. The only thing that didn’t work was the one thing that literally didn’t work.

Also, ignore Rule #5 for this room.

Rating: 9/10

The room is really well done in terms of the decoration. You do feel that you’re in a creepy parlor of a haunted house and the puzzles and clues really worked towards the theme.

It was kinda dark in the room and that made things much more difficult, but it added to the challenge. Additionally, we’ve been told that they have since added a little more light to the room, so that will probably help considerably during your searches.

Rating: 9/10

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
Overall, I did have a good time with this room (mainly because of the creepiness factor). It got a bit frustrating toward the end, as you’ve gathered by now, but other than causing us to not get out in the 60 minutes, it didn’t have any real detriment to the room other than my Anger Level Score below. I enjoyed the room for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Sometimes, when you go into a large room with a large group and lots of puzzles, it’s actually easier than doing a small room with a limited amount of really complex puzzles with a small group. I was amused at one point when Jason re-engineered one of the props since we were at a standstill. We learned later on that we didn’t need to do that and had to use it in a different way. But, that’s the out-of-the-box thinking you get when the ERG do one of your rooms!
Game Master (Summary)
I don’t want to give away too much about the GM in this one, but suffice it to say he’s learned his lesson. There is a twist with the room and the GM, so that’s all I’m going to say. However, there was an issue that we encountered with the room where the GM could have been a bit more pro-active and attentive. But, this is why we did the room as a play test prior it opening full time to the public.
How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
We ended up asking for a clue or 2 (especially with that broken puzzle). After speaking to the manager after, we learned what the issue had been and how it will be rectified in the future. But hey, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, then you’re bound to repeat them. (And this is why they asked us to come play test!) We asked for three, but one was really a clarification. The GM kept indicating that we should do something, but didn’t elaborate which was a tad frustrating. However, we did figure everything out in the end.
Anger Level Score ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
Oh yeah, leaving this at a 5. I did feel a little useless at times, but dammit if I didn’t try to have fun. And failed sometimes. 😛

Rating: 👊👊👊👊👊 Fists – 5/5

I’ll give this a 3 because I do feel that we overthought some of the puzzles, which led us to our stalled points at times. It just goes to show… a room of relatively intelligent people can sometimes overthink things and make the room actually harder and work against you.

Rating:  🤦‍♂️ 🤦‍♂️ 🤦‍♂️ FacePalms – 3/5

ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.1/10

Final Thought: Even though we considered this one a draw due to the technical difficulty, we’ve been assured by the manager at Escape Room Woodbridge that they’ve re-engineered this puzzle so it would not have the same problem. The room overall was a really good and tough experience, and the theme was creepy and engaging.

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