ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you enjoy checking into hotel rooms… especially if there’s a chance it is HAUNTED
Avoid if… you startle easily.
Escape Room Herndon:
Address: 404 Elden St, Herndon, VA 20170 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 571-306-2279
Room – The Mystery of Room 213:
Description (from the company website): You’re a team of paranormal investigators who have been requested by a hotel owner to investigate strange happenings inside the mysterious room 213. As soon as you enter the room you can sense that something else is going on. Before you can ask, your host has quickly left the room. As you hear the door lock, you realize you’ve been trapped. Can your team uncover the Mystery of Room 213?
Difficulty (1-10): 6/10 and not recommended for children under 13
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Party Size: 4-6
Staging Area: A pretty large lobby with a few bar tables and chairs, and a lounge with couches and chairs and tables.
Metro Access/Parking: It’s in Herndon so you’re better off driving.
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 a hotel room that is supposedly haunted… where the occupants end up missing.
Understanding of the Mission: Pretty simple… figure out if the room is truly haunted and what happened to the former guests.
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining: 3 minutes
Our Suggested Party Size: 6 was pretty good
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Heather and Steph D., plus 2 random people (not pictured)
Worth the time and money? Hell, yes! (Anything that can scare Jason into jumping is definitely worth doing LOL)
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
- Not Your Average Joe’s – casual bar cuisine
|JASON SAYS:||MIKE SAYS:|
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|This one is the second room we ever did At Escape Room Herndon. It was also the very first room for someone in our group (Steph) and the one that got her hooked on escape rooms.
Knowing what the Cursed Crypt looked like, I had high hopes for what could possibly happen in this room; how it would look, what the build quality was. It seems like they spared no expense when they created this room, and it really shows through in the puzzles and game play.
|We had only done one room previously at this location, but it was so well done that we were itching to go back and do another one.
We hadn’t done a horror themed room in awhile, so when Jason wanted to introduce a new player to our team, we ended up trekking out to Herndon to check it out.
Knowing how well The Cursed Crypt was designed, we were hoping that it wasn’t just this room that was that well done (we had some confidence since Ravenchase has been well rated on some of the groups we belong to).
|Room 213 appears to be haunted. The hotel owner has allowed you and your team of paranormal investigators an hour to…well… investigate the room and to determine why and how guests are disappearing.
The room is only slightly creepy, and dimly lit. No flashlights allowed, which is a good thing to limit for it.
At least it wasn’t a room where you’re an investigative journalist…? *yawn*
|There is a local hotel that has been rumored to be haunted… people check in and they never leave. This can be really bad for business, so the owner has hired you and your team of paranormal investigators to solve the mystery.
The story was similar to some of the urban legends you’ve heard about and was pretty well done. More of the story develops as you go through the room and uncover parts of the mystery.
|Probably the weakest link in this review, the mission was simple: Investigate the room, determine what the paranormal activities were, and leave with your life to report back to the hotel owner (read: don’t get trapped in the room and become part of the mystery).
At this point in our escape room career, we have done a ton of simple-mission rooms. That said, while I appreciate the multiple objectives, there was nothing terribly exciting to be done here. Maybe we could have determined, based discovering a performed ritual, who was the entity that was being summoned; something like that. (Just to be clear, though, that was not a spoiler.)
|The mission was relatively simple: investigate the room, find out if it is haunted and what happened to the previous guests (and why), and escape before falling victim to whatever is making people disappear.
The mission is pretty clear on what you have to do, and there is a moderate level of challenge with the multiple objectives, and these seemed to be loosely based on that old John Cusack movie “1408.“
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|This room had a bit of everything, which was definitely a plus. From the minute we entered the room, there were things to be found, not to mention the visuals. We had a pair of newbie strangers as well (one was an ERV, the other a novice) and they were able to help a little bit.
We found a few physical manipulation puzzles, some logic, but in general a good amount of straight up puzzle solving. I’m still a little annoyed at my lack of putting 2 and 2 together for one of the first puzzles that progressed this story. Freakin’ floor knob…
I even lent my body to one puzzle, as well as crawled on the floor to find something.
Did I mention the bodies…? There were bodies.
But nothing was repeated, which is always a great thing, but there were a few things I’ve seen before. Nothing we hate more than a million locks in a room, though (not to imply there were; that was more to just reiterate that fact).
|There was a lot of different stuff to do in this room… some of which were spins on things we’d seen elsewhere (which almost led to Jason being strapped down somewhere), while others were really unique (I’ll never look at some types of office supplies in the same way ever again). There was also a really cool puzzle that required some manual manipulation, others that required keen observation, and yet others that required you to look at things from a different perspective.
There were some spooky elements that were surprising and were threaded throughout the experience, and integrated into the puzzles themselves. There was a type of puzzle we’d seen on a much, much smaller scale (think the size of a chessboard) that was pretty cool to solve as well.
The locks, themselves, were varied throughout the experience so there was plenty to do for both the newbies (two ERVs… Steph and another person who was put into the room with us), while also showing them how different types of locks in typical escape rooms can operate.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|There was some crazy shit in this room. I’ll say nothing more.
One thing that really surprised the team was that something made me jump. I don’t scare easily so the fact that this occurred is surprising/impressive.
Anyway, there were only one or two things that were more complicated than they seemed, but didn’t necessarily prove to be difficult. It’s the plain sight visual things that got us in this room.
I’d say the bulk of the puzzles were between a 3 and a 7 pushing 8.
|I liked how the room began and then got both easier and harder at the same time… with puzzles ranging in complexity from simple (that we let the other couple work on) to more difficult (that we tackled). We were stumped twice… one by not following our own rules in being observant and following through on finding things that may have seemed different from all the others, while the other one just stumped us until we started to move things around and things just started to click into place after awhile.
|The room was extremely well designed, built, and decorated; what we’ve come to learn is typical of ER Herndon. (When you set the bar so high, it’s hard not to just beat it subsequently.)
It looks like a hotel room, albeit a small one. However it is packed with shit to do. As you progress, though, it becomes…less…of a hotel room. You’ll understand.
The room progresses rather quickly and it may seem that what you find throughout has little to do with the story line they’ve provided, but upon the conclusion of the story/room, it all makes sense and ties back everything together (like the rug in The Big Lebowski). [Yes, I made a reference to that piece of hot garbage of a movie. Also yes, I hate myself a little bit for it.]
Rating: 8/10 (3.5/2.5/2)
|The room may have started off somewhat slowly, but that is all in part of its design. You have to work to get the experience started by searching through the hotel room.
The decoration was well done (you feel as if you are in a second-rate hotel room that could really be haunted or at least infested with bedbugs *SHUDDERS*), but to complete the overall experience, I’d suggest maybe adding a bed (I know it takes up space, but it IS a hotel room after all).
The room flowed pretty well as the experience moved on. The first part required us all to explore together in a small space, and then it expanded after that which allowed us all to work in small groups. There was definitely enough for 6 of us to do in this room.
It was a pretty unique experience and I loved the ending… which was creepy and a take on one of my extreme dislikes… but what we had to do was pretty cool and made it much easier to get through.
|Make no mistake, I did thoroughly enjoy this room, regardless of what my rating looks like. I love anything horror related and it’s a great homage to the genre.||It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun playing… I even loved that a part of it made Jason jump, which rarely, rarely, RARELY ever happens… so that in itself was worth the price of admission. It was also good to see Steph get engaged and immersed and have a good time.
The other two people in the room (new to escape rooms as well) wanted to get a clue in the first 5 minutes as we were just starting. They were ultimately overruled. I also did have a good laugh when the disembodied voice of our GM warned them twice about taking selfies in the room (and the guy tried to deny it). Dude… they have you on a fucking camera… dumbass.
|Game Master (Summary)|
|Escape Room Herndon knows us pretty well by know. They know not to just offer up help but ask if we’d like a nudge if we’re on the right track or a clue if we’re struggling.||Omer was great. He knew how we wanted to be clued, and when we did ask (I think we got two) it was delivered through a very unique monitor that fit the theme of the room.|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|If I recall correctly, clues were provided by a chime and the TV in the room. Very good usage of the decor to keep you immersed. And as usual, helpful.||They were helpful, but – again – he knew not to give us too much outright and those little nudges provided us with enough direction to get through the two puzzles that were stumping us.|
|RAGE Meter||ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score|
|My back hurt from crawling around, but other than that, just the 1 thing I over looked in the beginning so…
|The hidden in plain sight clue, and the other being a take on one we’ve seen before was really a “we should have known better” rating here. I’m giving this a…
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.1/10
Final Thought: We’ve come to really love Escape Room Herndon’s designs and interesting takes on popular themes, and others that are outright fully unique. This room is not really meant for young children, and is played in low light for some of it. IF you really don’t like horror-themed rooms, you may want to try playing one of their other offerings. We, however, love horror room and found this one to provide a bit of enough scare to keep the adrenaline going to get you over the finish line.