Lasers in Space?! What More Can You Ask For? – Room: Starbase Command – September 15, 2017 – DISTURBED FRIENDS REVIEW – PLAY-TEST

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like space wars and ever had lightsaber battles with flashlights as a kid.

Avoid if… you don’t know Trek from Wars, or can’t follow directions.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Woodbridge (designed in collaboration with the Escape Room Guys):

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

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

The Room

Description (from the company website): An Elite Enemy Force has infiltrated your military compound on a distant planet. As Rebel Fighters, you’ve successfully fought them off. There is but one final task, to deactivate a deadly laser aimed at your home planet. Can you save your people from annihilation?

Difficulty (1-10): none listed

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: N1 (replaced Dr. Jones’ Apprentice)

Party Size: up to 8 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.


OUR EXPERIENCE

SPECIAL NOTE: As the Escape Room Guys, Mike and Jason, worked with Escape Room Woodbridge to design this room, they felt it would be a supreme conflict of interest for them to rate something they helped develop. To that end, this review is written by Disturbed Friends, Mark and Eric, who are members of our regular team and graciously agreed to substitute for us in writing and rating our sections below. Their reviews are untouched (with the exception of fixes to grammar or punctuation), unless otherwise “noted.” 

Logistics:

Description of the room: A remote intergalactic outpost (hmmm… this is very reminiscent of the Hoth scene in Empire Strikes Back).

Understanding of the Mission: Disable the laser before it destroys your home planet and the enemy reinforcements arrive. The mission was really well laid out to us before we went into the room, and we all knew exactly what we were looking for.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 16:40

Our Suggested Party Size: The room is rated for a max of 8 people. To get the full experience of the room, we would say that 8 is 2 people too many, and would not go in with more than 6. ERG Note: if your party of 8 consists mostly of of newbies or Escape Room Virgins (ERVs), the maximum rating will work fine.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes. Even though we were all escape room vets, the room still presented a challenge. If you have done escape rooms before, you will complete some of the puzzles quickly, but there were still many puzzles we had never seen before, and they presented a tough challenge.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Steph, Tara, Mark, and Aaron

Team UN-Disturbed Friends (Eric, Steph, Tara, Mark, and Aaron) saved their home planet by deactivating the laser!

Worth the time and money? Yes. The room was really well put together and the puzzles all made sense with the theme of the room it is definitely worth the time and money.

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:

MARK SAYS: ERIC SAYS:
Overall Expectation (Summary)
Knowing the Escape Room Guys were helping design a room, I went into the finished product expecting the unexpected. From the description of the room, I knew this was going to be a room loosely based on a popular scene from a famous movie. I was expecting an array of different puzzles and I was not disappointed. I have come to have high expectations from this location and am a sucker for space themes so was excited to test this room out
Story (Rating)
We were part of a rebel force just getting back to our command center, only to realize that it was ransacked by the enemy and, after fighting them off, we saw that they had pointed a giant freaking laser at our home planet! We only had an hour left to stop the laser before it was fully powered and destroyed our planet, killing everyone we knew and loved.

Overall, the story is one any Sci-Fi loving fan will be familiar with; anything involving giant lasers and destruction of planets is cool in my books.

Rating: 7/10

Who has not dreamt of being the savior of all…uhh…humanity? Not quite sure what species I was for this one.

Anyway, simple, solid concept that most folks should be able to get into.

Rating: 8/10

Mission (Rating)
Our goal was to find the several hidden keys to deactivate the giant freaking laser pointed at our planet.

Rating: 8/10

Not only do you need to save your planet, but also your team. The enemy reinforcements surely are en-route.

Rating: 9/10

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
The puzzles not only fit well with the theme of the room, but also there was not a single duplicate puzzle in the bunch. There were several I had never seen before.

Rating: 9/10

I will preface this by saying that there have been a number of times when I see a pad lock (numerical, directional, key, whatever) in a room and wondered “why would this be here?”. It is a bit of pet peeve of mine to have locks not make sense in the context of the theme.

This room does a wonderful job of avoiding that issue. The variety of puzzles and locks kept things interesting and provided opportunities to focus on puzzles we were more comfortable with individually. Like any good pre-apocalyptic space thriller, everybody has a role.

Rating: 10/10

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
Some puzzles were harder than others; for the most part, they weren’t too hard. Since this was a beta test, some of the puzzles we were stuck on might get clues that will help others solve them better than we did. For the most part, the puzzles weren’t too hard or too easy.

Rating: 7/10

On the whole, the puzzles were relatively easy. Experienced escapees may find this room a bit easier than they would like in the configuration we tested. We accomplished the puzzles petty quickly with a few stumbles here and there and a bit of assistance from the GM. That being said, it is imperative to pay attention…

Rating: 7/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
This was one of the better rooms where all the puzzles flowed together nicely with the story/theme of the room. The décor really set the tone and there were times I felt like I was in a rebel command center. There were several unique puzzles in the room, and even how you start was fresh and something I had never seen before. Overall, the room was very cohesive and well put together.

Rating: 9/10

The room looked and played great! Nailed the intergalactic outpost feel.

Rating: 9/10

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
If you are a fan of science fiction, or Star Wars-like entertainment, you will enjoy this room immensely. I am easily amused and this room did not fail on that front. There were some things that some folks may find frustrating, but I enjoy little quirks and subtlety.
Game Master (Summary)
Our GM was mix of the Escape Room Guys and the co-owner, Angie. From the start, Angie pumped the group up and got us excited to get into the room and start. One thing I loved was that they didn’t rush and give us clues when they saw we were struggling. Eh…they were alright I suppose 😉

ERG Note: we did some game mastering during the hour they were in the room… but thanks for the ringing endorsement, Eric! *mutters* Note to selves: replace Eric on regular rotations. 

How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
When we did need clues, they didn’t just tell us how to solve them. They gave us just enough so we could solve the puzzle by ourselves. We asked for a couple of clues and the guidance provided was instrumental in our success. With a couple of tweaks (which I believe are being implemented) we would not have needed as much support.
Anger Level Score ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
The score wasn’t exactly for the room itself; there was only one puzzle that made me want to break stuff,  but the high score is more for ourselves because we done goofed… something huge – not once, but twice.

Rating: 👊👊👊👊  Fists – 4/5

We definitely goofed on a couple of things in this room, and I am willing to bet that most groups will too.

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

ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.3/10

Final Thought:  We really enjoyed this room and are confident that the few issues we encountered will be rectified, if they have not been already. The puzzles fit with the themes extremely well and offered a great deal of variety.

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