Secret Agent Men… – Adventure: Espionage – January 21, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love the James Bond (or Austin Powers) franchise.

Avoid if… you waffle on making important decisions in a timely manner.


THE BASICS

5 Wits Adventures – Arlington:

Address: Ballston Quarter Mall, 3rd Floor, 4238 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-997-9694
https://5-wits.com/arlington/

The Room – Espionage:

Description (from the company website):

Espionage is a covert spy thriller, placing you in the role of a secret agent.

The evil CABAL Corporation is threatening to launch a false flag event, inciting worldwide chaos… unless your team of agents can stop them! Your mission: dodge lasers, crawl through real air ducts, hack their computer system, and put a stop to their nefarious plan; and think before you act — with several possible endings to your mission, your mistakes could have global consequences.

Difficulty (1-10)none given

Time Limit: 30 minutes

Cost: is based on how many adventures you purchase:

    • 3 adventures: $39.99 per person (can use over different days/doesn’t expire)
    • 2 adventures: $36.99 per person
    • 1 adventure: $29.99 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Minimum of 2; maximum of 12

Staging Area: There is a very large lobby where you can check out previous groups’ scores and buy some merchandise. Additionally, they have party rooms for corporate/private events.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in Ballston Quarter Mall so you can take the metro to the Ballston-MU Station, or drive and park in the parking lot (or on the street).


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the adventure:

This is the video we took just after we completed the adventure:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this adventure for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process that we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start off outside in an alleyway with graffiti on the walls. You need to find your way into the experience, and then have your choice of entrances for the first room.

Understanding of the Mission: Infiltrate the safe house, find a way to disarm the missiles, and escape the safe house without being captured.

Did We Escape: Yes, in multiple ways (and multiple times)

Scores: 93%, 96% and 97% (our best score to date)

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 is good

Did the adventure challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Heather, Brittany, Tara, and Chris

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Punch Bowl Social – it’s less than a 30 second walk from 5 Wits and has good food and drinks and more games, if you haven’t had enough

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Interview with Time to Escape (Lakewood, CO) – February 17, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

In preparation for enjoying a nice long, holiday weekend out in Colorado (mostly in Colorado Springs), we were recommended by the owner of another escape room company to check out Time to Escape on our way back from Denver. So, we reached out to Arianna, who invited us to check out her location in Lakewood, and we stopped in to see what Time to Escape was all about.

While we were there, we played throughThe Burning Castle, a theme that involved time travel and the infamous Vlad Tepes (a.k.a. Dracula), himself. Afterwards, we sat down with Arianna and found out how she came up with the inspiration for the rooms themselves.

Additionally, she’s offered our readers a $5 discount on tickets when using the code ERG5D ($5 off per ticket) when booking the rooms.

Check out the video interview below [and apologies for the audio; Jason forgot his recording equipment on this trip]:

Have you done any of the rooms at this location? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for our review of the Burning Castle. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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Interview with Puzzah! (Denver, CO) – February 17, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

A few months ago, we had planned a nice long, holiday weekend out in Colorado, mostly in Colorado Springs. We’d been chatting with Ryan, the co-owner and co-founder of Puzzah!, who invited us up to check out his location in Denver. So, we took one of our days to head back North to see what Puzzah! was all about.

We elected to do their Kazam room, since we were intrigued by this option of getting to do bonus puzzles (or “buzzles” – a new term [accidentally] coined by Mike). After the room, we were able to chat in-depth with Ryan and his lead designer, Nick, as to what makes doing a room at Puzzah! a unique experience.

Additionally, they’ve offered our readers a 10% discount on tickets when using the code ERG10 when booking the rooms.

Check out the video interview below [and apologies for the audio; Jason forgot his recording equipment on this trip]:

Have you done any of the rooms at this location? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for our review of Kazam. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

Interview with Rush Hour Live Escape Games (Fredericksburg, VA) – February 1, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

When the opportunity came up to try out a few new rooms at a location we hadn’t done before, we – of course – jumped at the opportunity.

We braved the traffic going South on I-95 from Alexandria, VA on a Friday night to Fredericksburg, VA to visit Rush Hour Live Escape Games. We completed two of their rooms, Something Wicked and Tomb of the Red Queen, and had the opportunity to chat with Paul, one of the owners, about his location, rooms, and how they create great experiences for their customers.

Check out the video interview below:

Have you done any of the adventures at this location? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for our reviews of Something Wicked and Tomb of the Red Queen. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

Interview with 5 Wits Adventures Arlington (Arlington, VA) – January 24, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

As part of our due diligence of keeping track of all the escape rooms in the metro DC area, Jason started a conversation with Zephyr, the Sales and Marketing manager at 5 Wits Adventures in Arlington, VA. He wanted to check on their timetable for the grand opening of their new location in Ballston Quarter. After a few months, Zephyr confirmed that they were ready to do a soft opening and invited us in to check out some of their experiences.

While we were there, Jason was also able to spend some time with Dawn, their Operations Manager, and find out what makes an experience at 5 Wits Adventures a bit different from your typical escape room, and how they came up with their design philosophy.

Check out the video interview below:

Please note that 5 Wits Adventures prefers not to be listed as Escape Rooms, but Adventures (they are a very different breed of interactive experience), but for purposes of consistency within our blog, this is tagged as an Escape Room Interview.

Have you done any of the adventures at this location? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for our review of Espionage and the other adventures after we get a chance to do them. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

We Didn’t Sign Up for This – Room: The Experiment – June 2, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you ever wanted to work in a high-tech lab.

Avoid if… being in a white room for an extended period of time may remind you of your stint in a mental institution.


THE BASICS

One Way Out Escape Rooms:

Address: 2264 Lakeside Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24501 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 434-329-7329
https://www.lynchburgescape.com

The Room – The Experiment:

Description (from the company website): Dr. Prescott Joule, Physicist, has hired your team to look after his lab while he is away on a scientific mission! The moment you enter the lab you’re confident that something strange is going on. You may be in for more than you bargained for! Can you figure out what he is up to?

Difficulty: Medium

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $18 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

Staging Area: a very large lobby with a reception desk, small fridge with bottled water (free to players) and some seating along the walls.

Metro Access/Parking: in Lynchburg, so you’ll have to drive or figure out the public transit system.


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:

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: You are in a high-tech lab with lots of scientific gizmos and doodads.

Understanding of the Mission: You and your team are hired to look after a lab for a wacky scientist. Little did you know that YOU have become part of his scientific research. Can you figure out what the experiment is and escape within 60 minutes?

Did We Escape: yes

Time Remaining: 13:00

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 3, which seemed to fit our group (but we’re good friends and work together pretty well). We’d likely recommend 4-5.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Rohan

A professor thought he’d experiment on The Escape Room Guys. The Guys messed with his results.

Worth the time and money? yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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We Ended Up on the Naughty List – Room: Escape Santa’s Workshop – December 9, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… Christmas songs are on your radio or playlist as soon as HALLOWEEN is over.

Avoid if… you ever got coal for Christmas, which led to a deep loathing of the man in the red suit (Claus, not Satan).


THE BASICS

Exit Plan:

Address: 201 Royal St SE, Suite F, Leesburg, VA 20147 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-777-4710
https://exitplanva.com

The Room – Escape Santa’s Workshop:

Description (from the company website): The Elves have gone on strike. They are tired of the long hours and low pay and have hopped a plane to Palm Beach before completing the final gifts for delivery.

You have 45 minutes to complete the remaining toys and save Christmas. It is not that simple, though. These elves were particularly vindictive and have created a series of puzzles to prevent anyone from being able to finish what they started. It is up to you!

Difficulty (1-10): 6/10

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $29 per person – Use ERGUYS15 to get 15% off per person when booking your reservation for any of their rooms

Identifier: T1 – temporary theme for the holidays

Party Size: 2-8

Staging Area: EXIT Plan has a great reception area (two, actually) with lots of chairs. There is a large flight of stairs to reach the main lobby. Note: this escape room experience is not in their main location, but in a small office that is next to the main parking lot.

Metro Access/Parking: This spot is in downtown Leesburg in the historic district. Lots of street parking, and there is a small lot right behind Macdowell Brew Kitchen.


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:

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: You enter Santa’s workshop, complete with presents, Christmas tree, fireplace, and package wrapping area, along with a live “elf” sitting in a chair by the door.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the components to the remaining presents and get them into Santa’s bag before Christmas is ruined.

Did We Escape: No

Time Remaining: 0 – we probably needed another minute or two

Our Suggested Party Size: This room is rated 2-8 people, and we had 4 experienced people, which should have been enough.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

The Escape Room Guys attempted to save Christmas, and failed to complete the last task. Damn those dastardly elves!

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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We Were Named to a List of Top Escape Room Bloggers – News – January 7, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM NEWS:

Hello all!

We just found out that we were named to a list of the Top 48 Escape Room Bloggers to Follow in 2019, being ranked #11 by an escape room marketing and seo (search engine optimization) company called SEO ORB. The top 48 were chosen from over 300 escape room blogging websites.

Check out the write up on us!

Obviously, we’re honored to have made the list, which features a number of other great blogging sites. We worked hard on establishing our grading rubric to ensure that we covered all rooms we do consistently and fairly, and spend hours trying to write our reviews to provide an accurate representation of our experience, while not giving away spoilers to ruin the experience for others.

This blog started off as a hobby in February 2016… an experiment (if you will), to see if we could provide a service to the emerging escape room community and help grow the popularity of this type of event. It was also a way for us to refine our way of thinking of what escape rooms should contain to give that overall great experience., and we continue to refine as we go.

We ended 2018 with 4x the number of unique visitors and hits to the website than we had the previous year, so it’s encouraging and exciting to see how our little experiment is taking off, and we’re looking forward to what the future might bring. Thank you to all of our readers, whether you are new to the site, or are a frequent visitor.

Um, Escape or Die!? Can We Get 500 Extra Clues? – Movie Preview: Escape Room Movie – December 26, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM NEWS:

So, for a little while now, we’ve seen rumors and then brief snapshots of an Escape Room movie. Being the enthusiasts that we are, as well as loving a good thriller, we were a bit intrigued as to how the crew was going to take an escape room experience and turn it into a cinematic experience.

The local DC rep from Columbia Pictures reached out to us to see if we’d be interested in attending the DC premier of the movie. Since we already promote reviews and games, and worked with the Solver team last year on their movie, we agreed spread the word.

This movie opens in theaters on January 4.

The premise: (from the press release)

You find yourself in a room – no windows, only one door, and it’s locked. The madman who’s locked you in has set up a series of fiendishly clever and difficult puzzles that, when solved in the correct order, will lead to the key and your salvation. And to add to the difficulty, he’s set a ticking clock, with one hour to complete the puzzles and escape… or face the consequences.

What sounds like a horror movie is one of the fastest-growing entertainments in the world: the escape room phenomenon. Armed with only your wits – and the variety of strengths of the people in the room with you – players have been cracking codes, deciphering enigmas, and unlocking hidden caches as quickly as they can. Each room has a secret plot, with players piecing it together as a fun, team-building experience. Since the dawn of the concept in 2010, escape rooms have popped up all over the world at an amazing rate by satisfying human nature’s hunger for fun and escape from reality.

When producer Ori Marmur tried out an escape room with his family, he saw the potential for a film – and because audiences worldwide have embraced the concept, it could be a film whose themes had global appeal. “I thought it was very immersive and incredibly fun, sort of a living boardgame,” he says. The project seemed to be a natural fit with a classic locked-room mystery setup, and with producer Neal H. Moritz, he began to shepherd the project. Quickly, they hit on a way to raise the stakes, making the ultimate escape room: one that is not only hyper slick and incredibly dangerous – when the clock runs out, it means death.

Our Take:

We’ve done a number of rooms where a serial killer or madman has us trapped in their lab or lair, and we have to figure our way out before he/she returns. Now, we’ve even done a few rooms that had a “Saw” feeling with them, so the overall theme of the movie isn’t that far a stretch. What is interesting is that the room turns deadly AFTER the characters begin playing. From the looks of the trailer and the press packet we received, it simply looks like the six strangers have agreed to do a room together that is billed as the most immersive room yet, and has a $1 million prize for escaping. Let’s just hope none of them show up drunk or stoned (this has happened to us).

As the experience progresses, they have to make their way through and figure out their own role in the game and how the rooms were specifically created for each of them… and not die in the process.

We were pretty psyched to see that Adam Robitel, who directed Insidious: The Last Key also directed this one, so that brings some legitimacy to the movie being a true thriller.

Stay tuned for our review of the movie. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Check out the trailer below (from Columbia/Sony Pictures YouTube channel):

Planning on seeing this movie? What are you most excited about?

Comment on the post below and let us know!

Logistics:

Rated PG-13 for Terror/Perilous Action & Violence, Some Suggestive Material and Language.

Columbia Pictures presents an Original Film production, Escape Room. Starring Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, with Yorick van Wageningen. Directed by Adam Robitel. Produced by Neal H. Moritz and Ori Marmur. Screenplay by Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik. Story by Bragi Schut. Executive Producer is Rebecca Rivo. Director of Photography is Marc Spicer. Production Designer is Edward Thomas. Editor is Steven Mirkovich, ACE. Music by Brian Tyler & John Carey.

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You’re Not Dropping a House on US!! – Room: Tornado – November 23, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you feel like you’d be able to keep it together after a natural disaster.

Avoid if… clutter makes your OCD go haywire.


THE BASICS

Can U Xcape:

Address: 95 East 10th Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 570-951-2265
info@CanUXcape.com
http://www.canuxcape.com

Room – Tornado:

Description (from the company website):

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”

Your room has just been hit by a tornado and you’ve barely survived. But there is no time to rest! The weather authority has just reported that another tornado is heading your way! You have 60 minutes to escape the rubble before the next storm hits and finishes you off. You better act fast because…

This room will blow you away.

BONUS MISSION:

Guess who forgot to put a first-aid kit in the storm shelter? Yep, that would be you. You and your team have suffered injuries from the first storm and need medical attention! Find a first-aid kit to patch yourselves up before you exit. It would be a real shame if the storm shelter became your tomb.

Difficultynot rated, but the escape rate for the room is 35%, and the success rate for securing the bonus is 15%

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 per person (plus a booking fee)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8.

Staging Area: there is a small lobby that is located just outside the Game Masters’ control center and next to a hallway that leads to all of their rooms. Plenty of seating for small parties as they wait to enter the rooms.

Metro Access/Parking: there is a large parking lot outside, so drive away!


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:

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: You enter your house, which has been decimated by a previous tornado. Things are strewn everywhere and walls have even collapsed. How will you find what you need and escape before the next tornado hits?

Understanding of the Mission: pick your way through your destroyed house and escape before the next tornado hits.

Did We Escape: yes

Time Remaining: 7:43 (broke the current record by about 3 minutes)

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 was good

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Alex, Mark, Dylan, Erin, and Heather

We (Alex, Mark, Dylan, Erin, Mike and Heather) escaped the second tornado!

Worth the time and money? absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Quaker Steak & Lube – great restaurant with some awesome happy hour specials (drink discounts and half-priced appetizers) and a huge selection of wing sauces and dry rubs

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