It Was Dinner and a Show…And MURDER… – Room: Homicide Hotel – Room 303 – June 7, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy horror movies, are intrigued by whodunits, and love a good thriller.

Avoid if… you dislike confined spaces, scare easily, or feel like somebody’s watching you…


THE BASICS

303 Escape

Address: 8805 Fox Dr, #100, Thornton, CO 80260 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 303-568-9861
https://303escape.com

The Room – Room 303:

Description (from the company website): When Robert Quinlan identified his newest victim, Room 303 was the room he always checked them into. To an unsuspecting guest, the room looked like any other ordinary vintage hotel room. However, it was one part of the hotel that Robert had specially modified to allow him to spy on his guests through hidden peepholes and secret passageways.

You are Robert’s next victim and have found yourself in the room where so many before you started their final horrifying journey.

Can you escape the clutches of this Psycho or will you meet the same torturous fate as Robert’s 19 other victims?

Room 303 is where your nightmare begins.

A look at your lodging...
A look at your lodging… (Picture provided by 303 Escape)

Difficulty (1-10)None listed, but 11% escape rate with 0 clues

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: Variable ($40pp for 2, $35pp for 3-4, $30pp for 5-6)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-6

Staging Area: The lobby looks like a hotel lobby. There’s plenty of seating considering there’s only 1 room currently open. (And plenty of hand sanitizer because, you know, COVID-19.)

Metro Access/Parking: We drove from the Colorado Springs area, so we can’t tell you about Metro access, but there is ample parking in the lot. (And FYI, looking at the building, it’s around back on the end. We walked down the grassy hill, but you’ll find it easier to take the actual sidewalk…)


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:

Jason forgot to take one, but you will be able to read his thoughts below.

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: The room is designed as a hotel room, complete with passageways and peepholes. It looks like a hotel room, it FEELS like a hotel room.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the puzzles to escape through Robert Quinlan’s labyrinth and exit into the lobby. OR DIE.

Did We Escape: Yes!

Time Remaining: 5:49 remaining (What can I say, we were rusty!)

Our Suggested Party Size: I wouldn’t go over 4 but you can definitely fit 6 in here.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

We (all of us) forgot to take a picture after escaping. 🙁

Worth the time and money? Absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:


OUR SCORING:

 

JASON says:
Overall Expectation (Summary)
There are two things that scare me about escape rooms.

  1. Horror rooms
  2. Alice in Wonderland rooms

Needless to say, when I saw an article on my Google news feed on my phone come up about a new horror room that opened up outside of Denver, I knew I had to contact them. When done right, a horror theme can be so much fun. On the other hand…this. So color me skeptical. The only thing that was giving me the warm fuzzies (as my boss from my day job would say) was what Tim, the owner, said in that article about escape room themes. So we scheduled our hotel stay and off we went.

Oh. And just a quick disclaimer: We were extremely rust, having not been to an escape room since February. I attribute the remaining 5:49 to that… (And this was Jason’s 2nd room ever. (Obviously not ERG Jason…))

Story (Rating)
Once Mr. Quinlan was arrested for his murdering spree, and after the Police completed their thorough investigation of the hotel, it was purchased 12 years later by a local Colorado couple who sought to take advantage of the hotel’s storied, infamous past and turn it into an Escape Room. Coincidentally, the purchase was completed the same day Robert was being transferred to a high security mental facility. They kept the layout of the hotel as is, and used everything Robert created in his hotel as part of their game. Little did they know that Robert would make himself a small part to play in these rooms.

You’ll find out more about Robert throughout the game, but it’s a pretty creepy backstory, IMO.

Rating: 8.5/10

Mission (Rating)
Solve Mr Quinlan’s riddles in the 60 minutes you have been allotted to find your way out of Room 303, and the hotel. Maybe even determine why he fancied you.

It’s a (seemingly) simple goal, but the way to achieve it is not. Pay attention to everything in the room; you’ll need to keep a close watch on everything you come across.

Rating: 7/10

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
You know how I both love and hate saying “there was stuff I’ve seen” or “there was stuff I’ve never seen before”, right? Well, let’s break that down.

For the stuff I’ve seen, or should I say recognized, there was sufficient twist to stump me until I was doing it. Nothing was blatantly obvious that I new immediately what to do when it was time to work on it. (Example: The final puzzle here. I saw the map I’m referring to as the final puzzle in a room done within the last year and the second I saw it in the recent room I knew EXACTLY what the final puzzle was going to be.) That never happened here. The puzzles I recognized (in hindsight) were twisted enough such that I was blind to them when I “saw” them in the room, but once I started them (and the one I’m thinking of was one of the hints we needed…) it was clear what we were doing. Well disguised if I do say so.

Now about the new stuff…

Holy shit there was cool stuff here. Particularly in the bathroom. The. Bathroom. Got it? Not saying anything else. Go check it out.

Rating: 10/10

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
Now for the “fun” part. Looking back at this, nothing was overly difficult. Even though we needed a hand at times (that’s both a joke and a pun…you’ll get it when you go do the room), the puzzles were actually really straightforward. If you followed the clues, at least. We honestly would have escaped 5 minutes faster had we listened to the fucking bed. Yes, “listened to the fucking bed”. (How many times are you going to hear that in your lifetime?) Hell, now that I’m writing this out, I even changed the rating tag from hard to normal. The word…tricky…comes to mind. (And no, no YouTube link this time. Tired of it.)

Difficulty spread, I’d say 1-6, maybe 7? Again, hindsight being 20/20 and all.

Rating: 7.5/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
This room is entirely too well put together. For someone who said he’s only done about 15 escape rooms, this room sure as shit felt like it was put together by an escape room veteran. That said, let’s get right into it.

One thing that we weren’t sure of at the start (and that we figured out during the room) is that when you’re glued to the TV, the clock actually STOPS and the time you spend watching is not held against you. So make sure you give the TV your full attention. After that, we started off a bit slow but quickly picked up the pace. Until we hit our first roadblock. (Remember where I said up above we were rusty? Yep…) As you’ll read about below, we used a few hints/nudges to get back on track. There were only really 2 things we completely missed/disregarded and I felt really dumb after making those phone calls to the lobby.

Additionally, you really did feel like you were in a hotel room. A relatively small hotel room, but enough for 1 person to crash for a night and watch some tv before passing out (and being murdered). I loved the fact that everything was used. Think about what’s in a hotel room from your last trip. Yeah, it was used. I mean, even the bleepin’ shower curtain! (That’s not a spoiler b/c it’s apparent the moment you see it that it’s part of the puzzle.)

The room moved from puzzle to puzzle seamlessly and you knew right away what…thing…to use a solution you’ve found for.

As I said before, I’ve done a few serial killer and horror rooms in my time as an ERG, and I think what really set this one apart was just how fluid it was. The only other one I can think of that was similar in that fluidity was this one.

One hint I will leave you with (and really if you’ve been reading our blog for long enough, this is obvious): If you find yourself stuck, recount what things you’ve found/uncovered throughout the escape and use the ones you, well, haven’t used. That happened to us twice.

Rating: 10/10

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
Other than how rusty I felt (again, been like 4 months since I did a room), we had so much fun in here it was creepy. 😀
Game Master (Summary)
Tim, the owner, was also our GM. Nothing he responded to my questions with was incendiary; he answered my clues with a good push and my request for nudges with a kick in the behind. As always, I felt dumb (and frustrated) for asking. :/
How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
See above.
RAGE Meter OR ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
I’m giving this 2 fists, mainly because I was upset with myself for missing what I, uh, missed.

Rating: 👊👊

ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING 8.6/10

Final Thought: This is one of the most well thought out and put together rooms I’ve done in a long while. The attention to detail was second to none, build quality superb, and it’s only the first in a trilogy of rooms. Very much looking forward to Robert’s Room (the 2nd room, coming soon).

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