Never, EVER drink the KOOL-AID™!! – Room: Insane Asylum II – Saturday, March 25 – FAILED!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve ever wanted to experience being in a padded cell (without being actually committed).

Avoid if… you are all thumbs.


THE BASICS

PanIQ Escape Room Washington DC:

Address: 3283 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: (202) 735-0485
https://paniqescaperoom.com/washington-dc/escape-rooms/insane-asylum-2
dc@paniqroom.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): The year is 1956. You have been kidnapped by the CIA and are being used as a guinea-pig for their mind control program known as MK-ULTRA. Doctors have held you inside a padded room for weeks now.
There was an emergency at the other side of the institution, so the staff is gone for a while. Probably this is your last chance to escape before they completely brainwash you.

Difficulty (1-10)4.5 of 5

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $24-36 (+ tax per person) (varies based on number of players)

Identifier: R2 (Note: this says Insane Asylum II, so we’re giving this room the revamped room identifier, even though we did not do Insane Asylum I)

Party Size: 2-7

Staging Area: First, ring doorbell to gain entry. Rooms are on the 3rd floor of the building. Small waiting area with couches and water cooler. Enough space for one team to hang out while they wait, but additional seating in stairwell area.

Metro Access/Parking: Rosslyn metro and then a .9 mile walk across the Key Bridge. It’s Georgetown, so parking can be difficult (so definitely carpool and use the parking garage for Georgetown Mall (it’s open 24 hours) at Wisconsin and M, head down the hill towards K Street). We suggest Uber or Lyft.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

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.

Description of the room: You enter a padded cell. Clearly the person who inhabited the room has gone a little loco.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the clues and figure out how to escape the cell before the asylum’s staff returns. You are close to being brainwashed and this is your last chance to escape before they succeed and you become a mindless drone in their spy program.

Did We Escape: NO! [Insert word cloud of expletives here]

Time Remaining: Less than 0.

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 6 and that worked well. We could have added a seventh and it would have been fine. We don’t suggest any less than 4 because there is a lot to do.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Alphonso, Liz and Jill

Team Disturbed Friends (Eric, Jason, Mike, Liz, Jill and Alphonzo) ended up being committed to the Asylum after failing to escape! Photo courtesy of PanIQ Escape Room DC.

Worth the time and money? Hell yes, even though we failed.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s Georgetown, so there are tons of places to have dinner or grab a drink.

Continue reading

We’re the Bomb! – Room: Save the White House – March 20, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you are addicted to Designated Survivor or harbor fantasies of being a hero.

Avoid if… you dislike politics.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

Address: 3949A University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-865-4178
info@roomescapedc.com
https://roomescapedc.com/escape-rooms/save-the-white-house/

The Room

Description (from the company website): A radical group has hidden a bomb in the Oval Office in an attempt to assassinate the President. You and the rest of your Secret Service team have intel that the bomb is set to go off in one hour. If it detonates, it will devastate the capital and fling the Free World into chaos. There is only one problem: lockdown has been initiated before you could get the President to safety.

Now, you are all trapped in the Oval Office together. Your only hope is to find the bomb and disarm it. To unravel this enthralling puzzle, you will have to rely on clever strategy and collaboration. Look carefully. Look closely. Everything in the Oval Office is a clue.

The President’s life, and the fate of the United States, rests in your hands. Do you have what it takes?

Difficulty (1-10)2 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 per person plus tax

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

Staging Area: Room Escape DC has a lobby with multiple tables, couches/chairs, vending machines, a sign-in station and two restrooms.

Metro Access/Parking: No metro access, so you’ll have to drive or Lyft/Uber. But there’s plenty of parking in adjacent garages.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the Facebook Live video before we entered the room:

This is the Facebook Live video just after we completed the room:

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter an L-shaped room with the front part mimicking the Oval Office. There is a desk, a long table (for Cabinet meetings?), some other furniture and artwork and photos on the walls.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the bomb and disarm it before time runs out and the entire political landscape is irrevocably changed.

Did We Escape: Yes and damn proud of it

Time Remaining: 4:14

Our Suggested Party Size: We decided to see if we could do this room on our own, so we only had the two of us. We suggest 5-8 if you have a mix of newbies and veterans (the more veterans  you have, the less the number of overall people we think you’ll need).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Um, yeah… we were challenged out the wazoo (there were only two of us in a room that holds up to 10). It was literally a lot of work.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Zip, zero, zilch, nada.

The Escape Room Guys (Mike and Jason) took on this room on their own and found the bomb! Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC.

Worth the time and money? Oh yeah

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

We Stole the da Vinci Code(x)! – Room: da Vinci's Workshop – March 18, 2017 – PLAY-TESTED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like art and crazy inventions.

Avoid if… you think the da Vinci Code was overrated or have an unnatural hatred for Renaissance Italy.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Woodbridge:

Address: 12668 Darby Brooke Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22192 (click address for Google Map)

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

The Room

Description (from the company website): As a rival inventor, you’ve been eager to discover the secrets of this mastermind. Now it’s your turn to get into his workshop and steal his sacred codex before he returns. Can you outsmart Leonardo?

Difficulty (1-10)no rating given

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person + tax

Identifier: N1 – replaces the Adventures in Wonderland room

Party Size: 6 people max

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

Note: The ERG were invited by Escape Room Woodbridge to playtest this room before opening to the public. We provided feedback once we completed the room. Our review below is based on our experience as it was during the playtest, so some items may have been altered prior to the room opening.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter a room decorated like da Vinci’s workshop (plaster walls with some exposed brick) and decorated with artwork, inventions, scrolls of drawings, and some furniture.

Understanding of the Mission: Infiltrate Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop, solve the puzzles, and find his hidden codex (containing sketches of his inventions and plans).

Did We Escape: Yup

Time Remaining: 4:19

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Mark, Eric and Alphonzo

Team Disturbed Friends (Jason, Mark, Mike, Eric and Alphonzo) found da Vinci’s hidden codex! Photo courtesy of Escape Room Woodbridge’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

We're Just Mad about Morty – Room: Moriarty's Madness – February 20, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love everything Sherlock.

Avoid if… evil masterminds cause you to lose sleep at night.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Live Alexandria:

Address: 814 King Street, Floor 2, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 800-616-4880
http://www.escaperoomlive.com/
hi@escaperoomlive.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): As Sherlock, you have broken into Professor James Moriarty’s office… and he isn’t happy. What does he have planned and can you prevent it from happening?

The clock is ticking… Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Difficulty (1-10)6/10

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $28 (+ tax)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 6-8 (7 or 8 only if you book the entire 6 first)

Staging Area: Escape Room Live Alexandria has a large, open space complete with cow skin rugs and couches with ample seating located in the middle of all the rooms, so there is plenty of space to hang out if you get there early. The requisite restrooms are in the back and the decor includes extremely wacky artwork.

Metro Access/Parking:  King Street metro w/ a .7 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to Columbus Street); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: Professor Moriarity’s office is smaller than Sherlock’s, but it’s not the size that counts here. (HA!) It’s packed with cool stuff, hidden items, and maps.

Understanding of the Mission: Professor Moriarty has planned a nefarious attack and the authorities need Sherlock’s (our) help to sleuth the what, the where,  and the how (because we already knew the who, the when, and the why).

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 17:40

Our Suggested Party Size: We wouldn’t recommend booking the extra 2 seats, as the room is physically small. 6 is good, 5 would probably be perfect.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph, Dalia, and Rohan

Team Disturbed Friends (Mike, Steph, Dalia, Jason and Rohan) defeated the infamous Dr. Moriarty! Photo courtesy of Escape Room Live's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Mike, Steph, Dalia, Jason and Rohan) defeated the infamous Dr. Moriarty! Photo courtesy of Escape Room Live’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s Old Town, but we recommend:

Continue reading

Oops, We Didn’t Mean to Set Off that Booby Trap! – Room: The Lost Tomb – June 12, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love the Indiana Jones movies (the first three; we don’t recognize Crystal Skull)

Avoid if… you need constant stimulation (giggity).


THE BASICS

Escape Quest:

Address: 1127 King St, #200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click the address for a Google map)

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
http://www.escapequestinc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and a group of explorers stumble across a hidden temple deep in the South American jungle. Based on local legend that a hidden tomb in the area holds a golden treasure of immense value, your group decides to face the danger and attempt to enter the tomb, steal the priceless treasure and get out alive!

Difficulty (1-10)6/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

Staging Area: Lobby has a lot of space to sit on couches and chairs, and the tables have a few puzzles to work on and get your mind revved up before starting your room. The front desk attendant will also offer a small bottle of water. Restrooms are right next to the lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .4 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to N. Payne St.); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter an ancient tomb, a la “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and find some scattered artifacts.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the lost treasure and escape the tomb before you get sealed in!

Did We Escape: Yup, and we weren’t chased by a giant boulder or pissed off natives either (so, we’re essentially better than Indiana Jones).

Time Remaining: About 17 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 9, which may have been a few too many, so we’ll recommend 6-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yeah, everyone contributed, but maybe not on multiple puzzles.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Dalia, Chris, and Kevin.

Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Mike, Dalia, Jason, Chris and Kevin) found the idol and escaped the tomb! Photo courtesy of Escape Quest's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Mike, Dalia, Jason, Chris and Kevin) found the idol and escaped the tomb! Photo courtesy of Escape Quest’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Hocus-f%#&ing-pocus – Room: The Wizard's Apothecary – December 19, 2015 – FAILED!!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve fantasized about getting your Hogwart’s admission letter.

Avoid if… you think the Lord of the Rings is overrated.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Live:

Address: 814 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 800-616-4880
http://www.escaperoomlive.com/our-rooms

The Room

Description (from the company website): The King’s Royal Wizard has gone missing! You, his faithful apprentices, have been summoned by the King to find him. Disturbingly, you find that the wizard has left behind his Spellbook…

Difficulty (1-10): 5/10

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 8-12

Staging Area: Escape Room Live Alexandria has a large, open space complete with cow skin rugs and couches with ample seating located in the middle of all the rooms, so there is plenty of space to hang out if you get there early. The requisite restrooms are in the back and the decor includes extremely wacky artwork.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .7 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to Columbus Street); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter the wizard’s chambers nicely decorated with potion bottles, skulls, magical items, and a pedestal containing the Wizard’s spell book.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out what happened to the King’s Wizard.

Did We Escape: NO!!!

Time Remaining: *EPIC FAIL* [Wasn’t entirely that epic… -Jason]

Our Suggested Party Size: We actually had 10 because it was a special event, but we feel that was way too many, and suggest no more than 8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? No, but that’s our own fault. We overbooked the room and that left people standing around with nothing to do. We’ve learned from that mistake (we now cycle in our group of disturbed friends into the rooms).

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Jen, Brittany, Corey, Dalia, Rohan, Stephanie and Jennifer.

Team Disturbed Friends (Jen, Mike, Brittany, Jason, Corey and Rohan) failed to find the wizard! Photo courtesy of Escape Room Live's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Jen, Mike, Brittany, Jason, Corey and Rohan) failed to find the wizard! Photo courtesy of Escape Room Live’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Probably, but not on our night. *SOUR GRAPES* (however, we’re all smiling in the photo, so we didn’t have a bad time LOL).

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s Old Town, but we recommend:

Continue reading

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – Room: Escape from Venus – December 27, 2016 & January 27, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re good enough friends with someone that you don’t mind being locked up with them for up to an hour.

Avoid if… you’re claustrophobic. Or don’t have anyone you consider that good a friend.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

Address: 3949A University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-865-4178
info@roomescapedc.com
https://roomescapedc.com/escape-rooms/escape-from-venus/

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your partner are astronauts exploring the awesome enormity of outer space. You’ve been dazzled by stars, and dodged black holes, and watched as celestial storms raged over the surface of foreign worlds.

Then: in the distance, a fast growing light. You have inadvertently flown into alien territory, and one of their defensive vessels has open-fired on your ship. Your ship has been vitally damaged. In a last-ditch effort to save yourselves, you land on the nearest planet: Venus.

Luckily, you have lost the alien trackers: for now… You only have one hour to repair your ship, and restore power, before the aliens hunt you down. The only way to tackle this captivating challenge is together.

Two brains. One hour. Zero time to waste. Can you and your partner crack this cosmic conundrum?

Difficulty (1-10)1 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $75 for both people ($37.75 each person)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2 people only

Staging Area: Room Escape DC has a lobby with multiple tables, couches/chairs, vending machines, a sign-in station and two restrooms.

Metro Access/Parking: No metro access, so you’ll have to drive or Lyft/Uber. But there’s plenty of parking in adjacent garages.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: The room is small, but it’s only for 2, so adequate for the people. Sparsely decorated, it’s believable enough to be in a space craft. There’s writing on the floor, lights all over, and a computer on a desk next to a large locker with multiple cabinets.

Understanding of the Mission: You are locked on a space craft that has crash landed, and you need to repair it within 60 minutes.

Did We Escape: Yes, details to come

Time Remaining: We’ll get into this later; Final Thoughts at the very bottom.

Our Suggested Party Size: Well, it’s a 2 person room, so 2.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes (thankfully hahaha)

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Dalia, Tara, Eric, Mark, & Katheryn

ERG Jason and Dalia, ERG Mike and friend, Tara and Eric, and Mark and Katheryn completed their missions and escaped from Venus. Photos courtesy of Room Escape DC’s Facebook page

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

The Horror… The Horror… – Room: Molly's Horror Room – December 16, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you get off on ghost stories.

Avoid if… the little girls from “The Shining” scare the crap out of you.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

Address: 3949A University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-865-4178
info@roomescapedc.com
http://roomescapedc.com/horror-room

The Room

Description (from the company website): Molly loved songs, and dolls, and teddy bears just like any other girl. Then two years ago, little Molly disappeared…

Her room looks exactly as she left it, untouched (by the living). Lately, Molly’s parents have noticed strange and frightful disturbances. First, only bumps in the night. Now, Molly’s parents fear for their lives. They keep Molly’s room locked tight, to keep-in whatever (or whoever) is haunting them.

You and your team are from the Department of Paranormal Investigations, and you’ve been invited to investigate Molly’s room. Unfortunately, you, too, will have to be locked-in. Will you uncover the secret of missing Molly? You’ll have to rely on wit, courage, and the clues you find hidden throughout Molly’s room. This cold-case will be hard to crack, and night-lights won’t keep these ghosts at bay. Can you handle the horror?

Difficulty (1-10)3 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8

Staging Area: Decently sized lobby with plenty of seating and a sign-in station. Two separate restrooms located off the main lobby. Also has vending machines.

Metro Access/Parking: Parking garage around the corner and next door, but no metro.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: A little girl’s bedroom complete with creepy dolls and age-appropriate artwork. It doesn’t look like it’s been touched for awhile.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out what happened to Molly before time runs out and you become part of the ghost story.

Did We Escape: Or course

Time Remaining: Just over 5 minutes. *gasp*

Our Suggested Party Size: 6-8

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Team Disturbed Friends (Katheryn, Mark, Stephanie, Mike, Tara and Jason) solved the mystery of Molly's disappearance (we did both Horror Room and Black Death in the same night, so ignore the sign on this one). Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Katheryn, Mark, Stephanie, Mike, Tara and Jason) solved the mystery of Molly’s disappearance (we did both Horror Room and Black Death in the same night, so ignore the sign on this one). Photo courtesy of Room Escape DC’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • The Green Turtle – sports bar w/ standard bar food. There was karaoke going on the night we were there.
  • The Wine House – stop in for a glass of wine and dessert.

Continue reading

We Stomped the Black Widow – Room: The Black Widow – August 25, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you binge-watch CSI or Criminal Minds.

Avoid if… you don’t like spiders.


THE BASICS

Escape Quest:

Address: 1127 King St, #200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
http://www.escapequestinc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your friends are locked in the gothic lair of the beautiful and infamous Black Widow serial killer. Known for marrying and burying her husbands, you must discover how and why she killed them and get out before she returns and makes you her next victim.

Difficulty (1-10)no rating given

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8 people.

Staging Area: Lobby has a lot of space to sit on couches and chairs, and the tables have a few puzzles to work on and get your mind revved up before starting your room. The front desk attendant will also offer a small bottle of water. Restrooms are right next to the lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .4 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to N. Payne St.); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter the room and find yourself in the Black Widow’s parlor.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out what happened to the Black Widow’s former husbands (the how and why she killed each of them) before she returns.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 33:11. This is our fastest time to complete a room. Only one other team finished faster than we did (by 1:30), but they used two clues while we used none.

Our Suggested Party Size: There was plenty to do in this room, so we suggest 6-8, though it could be done with as few as 4.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, at times

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

Team Disturbed Friends (Jason, Tara, Mike, Eric and Stephanie) stopped the Black Widow from claiming another victim. Photo courtesy of Escape Quest's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Kim, Kris, Jason, Tara, Mike, Eric and Stephanie) stopped the Black Widow from claiming another victim. Photo courtesy of Escape Quest’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

It's Pronounced "Nuc-U-Ler"… – Room: The Bunker – September 11, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love caves.

Avoid if… nuclear war is one of your paralyzing phobias.


THE BASICS

Escape Quest:

Address: 1127 King Street, Ste. 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
http://www.escapequestinc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your team of elite soldiers are given a mission to infiltrate a top-secret military bunker and to stop a nuclear missile about to be launched . You have 60 minutes to stop the launch and escape the bunker before time runs out!

Difficulty (1-10)7/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: Lobby has a lot of space to sit on couches and chairs, and the tables have a few puzzles to work on and get your mind revved up before starting your room. The front desk attendant will also offer a small bottle of water. Restrooms are right next to the lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .4 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to N. Payne St.); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter an underground bunker that looks like it was built during WWII. Lots of military equipment around.

Understanding of the Mission: Rescue a comrade, find a way to stop the launch of a nuclear weapon, and escape the bunker.

Did We Escape: yes

Time Remaining: This one was close. Single digit minutes remaining.

Our Suggested Party Size: We thought 6 was perfect.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Tammy, Bill and Stephanie.

escapequest_bunker

Worth the time and money? yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading