The Sweet Taste of Victory – Room: The Chocolate Factory – September 9, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is one of your favorite movies.

Avoid if… you’re lactose intolerant, diabetic, or prone to cavities.


THE BASICS

Get a Clue Games:

Address: 8019 Corporate Dr Suite J, Nottingham, MD 21236 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 410-931-0580
getacluegames@gmail.com
https://www.getacluegames.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): The old Chocolate Master wasn’t feeling so good. This was the first time in years when he missed an order of his famous chocolate treats. Soon after, the newspaper announced his passing. The great Chocolate Factory closed its doors forever. However, a year later there was an odd rumor that the Master was on the lookout for a successor and left behind clues on how to open the unbreakable doors. In the factory, he hid his greatest recipe. You have one hour to get into the factory, find the recipe and replicate it to become the next Chocolate Master and own the factory. Will you be able to find the clues that the old Chocolate Master left behind before time runs out?

Difficulty (1-10): n/a

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 (+ tax per person)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

Staging Area: Small lobby area with space for photos; conference room where room briefings are done.

Metro Access/Parking: This is over by White Marsh in a strip mall. Plenty of parking, but no metro access.


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:

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start off in a small room slightly reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s factory.

Understanding of the Mission: In order to take ownership of the factory, you need to find get into the lab, find the recipe and all ingredients, then learn how to replicate it.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 2:05

Our Suggested Party Size: 6-8

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Heather, Ress, Devon

Meet the new masters of the Chocolate Factory, team Disturbed Friends (Devon, Jason, Mike, Heather, and Eric)

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:


Our Scoring:

JASON SAYS: MIKE SAYS:
Overall Expectation (Summary)
Originally, when I started making a spreadsheet of rooms in the area we haven’t done (as well as in other states that we travel to), I found this location and saw they had a ‘chocolate factory’, so I said WE NEED TO DO THIS. (Actually, I think it was WE’RE DOING THIS ROOM.) I was hoping for chocolate, some Willy Wonka references, and who knows what. I can’t say I was disappointed. This was a new location for us, and what sparked the initial interest was the description of one of their rooms as a Chocolate Factory. Now, being a person with a huge sweet tooth, this immediately appealed to me. I also like both versions of the Roald Dahl “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” movies, so a trek to a new location over an hour away wasn’t a huge ask.
Story (Rating)
The Chocolate Master has missed a shipment for the first time in his career and you later find that he’s died. The factory has seemingly been shut down forever. However, it seems he’s left clues for a successor to find himself. (-1 for lack of Oompa Loompas! J/K)

Rating: 6/10

The local chocolate factory has missed it’s latest shipment, and it’s highly unlike the Chocolate Master to miss a delivery. Unfortunately, he’s passed away and the great doors of the factory have been closed. Now it’s a year later and a rumor pops up that the Chocolate Master was actually looking for a successor. Will it be you?

Rating: 8/10

Mission (Rating)
The Chocolate Master’s clues are on how to open the unbreakable doors. You have an hour to figure out how to get into the factory, find, and then recreate, his greatest recipe. Sounds simple right? It wasn’t.

Rating: 7/10

You find yourself in the alcove of the factory and have to find a way into the great sealed doors to claim the title as Chocolate Master. You need to open the doors by finding his recipes and then duplicate the chocolates.

Rating: 7/10

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
I feel like we always end up saying there was something we have never seen in the room, but I have to say it again. There were things that were new to us. (Happy? I said it a different way. *pfffffftttt*)

That said (ha!), there was at least one puzzle that was directly related to the movie, thankfully. There was even something hidden in plain sight. Pretty clever. There was a great mix of items in the rooms, and the puzzles relating to the chocolate recipes were damn well done. 

Rating: 9/10

This was a delicious room (pardon the pun). From the very start, there were tons of different puzzles for us all to work on, and there were some hidden in plain sight that we temporarily overlooked.

I really enjoyed one puzzle, that we had seen variations of before, but the way Get a Clue Games presented it was pretty well done and that’s where things took a turn for the better.

We had two Escape Room Virgins (ERVs), and they jumped right in with trying to solve some of the puzzles (one of them even found the clue hidden in plain sight), so that was pretty great.

There was also a puzzle type that I normally HATE, but we had enough people in the room to solve it pretty quickly.

Also, we saw a BUNCH of stuff we hadn’t seen before, so I hope that at least one member of your party is athletically inclined.

Rating: 9/10

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
Nothing in this room was simple (‘cept freaking Ress out with the stuffed rat). I think my favorite puzzle was the one that was hidden in plain sight, and it’s the one that starts the whole game off.

The rest of the puzzles actually made us think.***And some made you think backwards.***
Some of the puzzles were actually confusing (but not to the point where it was frustrating). That’s a deliberate design quality. Make you think, then make you second guess your original decision. BOOM! Love it. This alone made me look forward to their other rooms.

I was impressed with how well the puzzles flowed. One of the things Mike and I are sticklers about is flow, and how the puzzles generally funnel down into 1 final puzzle. This room was a perfect example of how to do that. I don’t know that either of us has actually pointed this out before…

Rating: 8.5/10

There was a great, great mix of easy and really complex puzzles in this room, and we did struggle at points in the room.

I was actually surprised that we struggled so much with some of the clues because they were variants on something that we’d seen before. That just goes to show that just because you know HOW something likely operates doesn’t mean that you know WHAT to do to make it happen.

However, we did adhere to our Rules #3 and #8, which I think made us successful. Making people get off a puzzle that they had been working on and allowing a fresh set of eyes to pick up where they were was one of our keys to success.

There was a great mix of puzzles that made you use just more than your eyes, and logic comes into play quite a bit, so be warned.

Rating: 9/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
I was impressed with how well the puzzles flowed. One of the things Mike and I are sticklers for is flow; how the puzzles generally funnel down into 1 final puzzle. This room was a perfect example of how to do that. I don’t know that either of us has actually pointed this out before…

The puzzles fit the overall theme pretty perfectly. Everything had to do with chocolate, or resulted in yielding something chocolate related (which was the whole point of the game).

Rating: 10/10

Okay, so this is always my favorite category to rate because I’m a huge stickler on the details in the room.

I can’t find anything that didn’t relate to either the theme or mission, so I can’t offer any suggestions or complaints here.

The flow of the room was really well done. We had 6 people in the room, and we were all able to start working on different areas of the room before finding ourselves working on the one puzzle that allowed us to proceed. Now, this happened more than once, so I was really impressed with how the ebb and flow worked throughout the experience. It truly takes you into “a world of pure imagination” and makes you feel like a little kid again.

The room was really well decorated too, and contributed to the flow of the experience. The experience changes about 1/3 of the way into the room and provides you a total change in what you’re looking at.

Lots of unique stuff here, and some surprises along the way, so that was pretty awesome too.

Rating: 10/10

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
This escape was pretty fun. There were a few Wonka-esque puzzles and basically everything was chocolate-related so I was good with this. There were a few times where I was all, DUH, then everyone was else was all, DUH, so that kept me entertained.

 

Had a blast. Can’t wait for the revamp to do this one again.
Game Master (Summary)
Our GM was pretty hands off, lending himself to us on his own when were were on the right path but stumping ourselves. Very well done. Our GM had a snarky attitude, which was funny, when we found ourselves at our roadblocks. He provided a few nudges to get us moving in the right direction.
How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
I believe we did ask for a few, if I recall correctly, and they were useful, but not overly. I believe that we asked for help twice, and he steered us in the right direction vs. simply giving us the answer.
Anger Level Score ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
Nothing to report here.

Rating:
Fists – 0/5

Yeah, overlooking one of the plain-sight clues was pretty stupid.

Rating:  FacePalms – 3/5

ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.35/10

Final Thought: This was a pretty great room for a location that we hadn’t heard of before. The subject matter hooked us, and the whole experience just solidified the fact that Get A Clue Games knew what it was doing when they designed the room. Definitely check it out, and even take the kids to this one. They may find ways to figure stuff out that adults may easily overlook.

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