We Definitely Weren’t in Kansas Anymore… – Room: F5 Tornado – September 23, 2017

We made it out of the tornado alive!!!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy getting a little physical or tornadoes fascinate you.

Avoid if… you’ve experienced one in real life.


THE BASICS

Trap Door Escape:

Address: 34 A Speedwell Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 973-971-9800
https://www.trapdoorescape.com/locations/f5

The Room

Description (from the company website): A tornado is quickly approaching! Can your team make it to the barn in time to ride out this epic storm? You will have to crawl, climb, push, pull, and of course, think your way through this obstacle course escape experience.

IMPORTANT: F5 is a physical game! This experience involves obstacles and physical activity. Players should be able to climb over and crawl through obstacles, as well as crawl on the ground (with the help of teammates!).

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $35

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

Staging Area: The storefront is on a main street in Morristown; there’s plenty of space to spread out and relax (there’s a coupla couches).

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in NJ; drive or Lyft/Uber.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video I took before we entered the room:

This is the video I took just after we completed the room:

Logistics:

Description of the room: You’re in a…field. There’s wind. And a barn. I’m saying literally 0 more about it.

Understanding of the Mission: There’s a twister coming and you need to find a safe place to hide. Break into the barn, then into the storm cellar and wait it out.

Did We Escape: Yep

Time Remaining: 13:28 (This would have been like 30 had we not struggled with one puzzle…you’ll know what I’m talking about when you keep reading.)

Our Suggested Party Size: I think 6 is pretty perfect here, though you could definitely do it with 4 skilled escapers.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Karyn, Valerie, Kim, Amanda, and Mike

Worth the time and money? HELL YES

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Horseshoe Tavern – we went here between rooms. Food was good; service…not so much. :/

Continue reading

I’m Better with Paint-by-Numbers – Room: Gallery Heist – January 28, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you know the difference between impressionism and pointilism.

Avoid if… the thought of going to an art gallery bores you to tears.


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

Address: 720 I St SE, Washington, DC 20003 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 301-502-2043
https://www.escapeartistdc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website):As well-known detectives, you are accustomed to solving mysteries. However, this one may have you a little stumped until you can unearth the clues.

A valuable painting has been stolen from the art gallery, right under the noses of daytime guards. It is up to you to crack the case and bring the culprits to justice. To make matters worse – the gallery manager, lackadaisical in his duties, does not check every room in the expansive gallery and locks you in. No worries, though. Your way out is simple: You just must find the missing artwork and figure out who stole it.

Feeling a bit dismayed? Just look around you. All the aesthetically appealing artwork is there to view. It is also there to tell a story. In fact, if you want to win your way out, the answers you need are embedded in the artworks themselves. Now get started: You are running against a clock!

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $20 (for adults; $16 with Student ID)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 3-10

Staging Area: Decent sized waiting area with plenty of things to keep you occupied while you wait. FYI, to access the site you’ll have to go up half a flight of stairs. Then, to get to the actual escape rooms, another flight of stairs.

Metro Access/Parking: Eastern Market is a few blocks away. We recommend that or Lyft/Uber unless you want to roll the dice on driving and finding street parking.


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 what appears to be a small art gallery that has a trunk in the center of the room.

Understanding of the Mission: Search the gallery for the clues to find the missing painting and the culprit who stole it.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 6:40

Our Suggested Party Size: We were 3 people and didn’t have a hard time with this. We’d say 4-6 (at the higher end if you’re inexperienced).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Pawns ARE the Weakest Piece in the Game – Room: House of Pawns, Episode 3 – January 28, 2018 – PLAY TESTED – FAILED!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you ever had a fantasy of being a burglar in the Watergate scandal, or a private investigator ransacking an office.

Avoid if… you get anxious just walking into someone’s vacant office, let alone having to search their desk for a pen in the fear that someone walks in on you while you’re doing so.


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

Address: 720 I St SE, Washington, DC 20003(click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 301-502-2043
https://www.escapeartistdc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Esteemed scientist Kumar is dead, and “foul play” is on everyone’s lips. With the Asteroid Bill past the Senate floor, and the Concorde project on schedule, the plot is thickening fast.

Your duty as an oil lobbyist to identify who axed Kumar and why. Was it Frederick O’Connor in a rage of jealousy? After all, Kumar was reportedly having an affair with O’Connor’s wife. Could it have been Mrs. O’Connor herself, a politically ambitious woman who would rather not have had her Kumar antics revealed? Or perhaps someone else altogether with an ulterior motive unbeknown.

All the evidence you need is in Frederick O’Connor’s office. The clock is ticking and you must figure out the plot before the time runs out.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $20 (for adults; $16 with Student ID)

Identifier: R3 (Episodes 1 and 2 have been retired)

Party Size: 3-10

Staging Area: Decent sized waiting area with plenty of things to keep you occupied while you wait. FYI, to access the site you’ll have to go up half a flight of stairs. Then, to get to the actual escape rooms, another flight of stairs.

Metro Access/Parking: Eastern Market is a few blocks away. We recommend that or Lyft/Uber unless you want to roll the dice on driving and finding street parking.


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’re now an oil lobbyist who has infiltrated Senator O’Conner’s office, looking for proof of who killed the scientist (Kumar) in an effort to kill the Asteroid Bill that has passed the Senate (the bill, from Episode 2, would advance alternative energy from the element discovered on the asteroid, using the formula that Kumar developed to turn it into efficient energy). Lots of intrigue here.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out who killed Kumar, and the role of the conspirators.

Did We Escape: No, but we had an issue with the timer and never had any idea how much time we had left (so we didn’t ask for any help at a point where it would have made a difference)

Time Remaining: less than zero 🙁

Our Suggested Party Size: We only had 3, and that wasn’t enough. We recommend 5-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Yes, however we think not knowing the story may make most of the puzzles and such feel out of place. Read on to understand why.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

We’re Just Pawns in a Much Larger Game… – Room: House of Pawns, Episode 2 – January 28, 2018 – PLAY TESTED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you live in DC primarily for the political scene.

Avoid if… you couldn’t make it through Season 1 of House of Cards.


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

Address: 720 I St SE, Washington, DC 20003(click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 301-502-2043
https://www.escapeartistdc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website):
Fossil fuel dependency may come to an end faster than expected if the Asteroid Bill passes, but not everyone is happy about the prospect of this game-changer. Sen. Frederick O’Connor’s college buddy may have found a way to convert one of the asteroid’s natural elements into abundant fuel. Can you, as a lobbyist for the alternative energy jetsetters, find the element and the formula to secure your freedom from the room?

Do not expect the key to be out in the open. It is hidden among clues everywhere you look. Your objective is to sift through all the chaff to get to the wheat — fast! You will have no time to waste flapping your gums when the world’s energy crisis could be moments from an astounding conclusion.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $20 (for adults; $16 with Student ID)

Identifier: R2 (Episode 1 has been retired)

Party Size: 3-10

Staging Area: Decent sized waiting area with plenty of things to keep you occupied while you wait. FYI, to access the site you’ll have to go up half a flight of stairs. Then, to get to the actual escape rooms, another flight of stairs.

Metro Access/Parking: Eastern Market metro stop is about 3 blocks away. If you drive, you’re going to be looking for street parking, so we recommend metro or Lyft (or rolling the dice and driving).


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’re locked in an office and have 60 minutes to find the formula for this alternative energy spectacle.

Understanding of the Mission: While locked in the office, you need to use all the clues hidden in plain sight, as well as your mental faculties (if you have any), to solve the puzzle and find the formula and element needed for this astronomically useful source of new found energy.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: ~7:30

Our Suggested Party Size: We only had 3, and that wasn’t enough. We recommend 5-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Yes. But we missed episode 1, and we feel that we lost some of the backstory (again, however, it wasn’t a requirement to play this room, which has since been retired and replaced with Episode 3.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Asteroids? Man, I Loved That Game!! – Room: Escape from Venus II: Collision Course – October 9, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve always dreamed of piloting a space ship.

Avoid if… you don’t cooperate or share well (or are claustrophobic).


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

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

Contact and Website: 703-270-0377
https://roomescapedc.com

Escape from Venus II: Collision Course

Description (from the company website): You and your teammate are en route to Earth after your recent close call crashing on and escaping from Venus. As you make your way towards our home planet, you pick up an incoming transmission, where you find out that an asteroid is on course to collide with Earth in a populated area for deadly consequences. Your small craft is the only one close enough to the asteroid to have a chance at destroying it before collision, though many of your ship’s functions (including the weapons you’d need and your communications system) were damaged on your previous mission. Will you be able to repair your ship and figure out how to destroy the asteroid before catastrophe? Try Escape from Venus II: Collision Course for an experience that will truly be out of this world.Did you and your partner lose the aliens trail?

Difficulty (1-10): 1/3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $75/pair

Identifier: R2 (Replaced Escape from Venus)

Party Size: 2

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 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: The room is small with a ship’s console on one end and a locker at the other.

Understanding of the Mission: On your way back home (finally) from your trials and tribulations with Venus, you find out that there’s an asteroid hurtling towards Earth and you’re the only ship available to destroy/deflect it, due to your proximity. Do you have the skills to destroy it and save your planet?

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 25:15 (that was a new record at the time we did it).

Our Suggested Party Size: um, it’s a 2-person room, so… 2.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): no one else

The ERG played chicken with a huge asteroid on a collision with Earth. Did we destroy it and save the planet?

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

A Cursed Crypt? Where the Hell Was the Cryptkeeper? I LOVED that guy! – Room: The Cursed Crypt – February 13, 2017 – PLAY-TESTED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve ever yelled “Goonies Never Say Die!” or did the truffle shuffle.

Avoid if… you’re scared of dead bodies. Or rats. Or spiders. Or the dark. Or graves. Or tombs.


THE BASICS

Company Name:

Address: 404 Elden St, Herndon, VA 20170 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 571-306-2279
https://www.escaperoomherndon.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You’re a group of adventurers who’ve stumbled onto the tale of Chester Copperpot, a reclusive treasure hunter who’s gone missing. Your travels have brought you in front of this Cursed Crypt.

Through the darkened chamber doors, the candle shivers, casting shadows upon the entrance to the tomb. There within its cold walls, a mystery awaits in the darkness. Symbols cover the walls. Skulls litter the floor, and the graves of the dead fill the room with fiendish surprises. Here in this crypt, your team must uncover the riddle and discover the hidden treasure Copperpot never could before the devil knows you’re there.

Difficulty (1-10): 6/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

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.

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 start off in a graveyard with a large stone wall, presumably the crypt. Can you find your way inside?

Understanding of the Mission: Find your way inside the Cursed Crypt, solve the puzzles, find the treasure, and secure the golden key that will allow you to escape from certain death.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: An even 10 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: 4 was great. 5 could work too.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

The ERG and their Disturbed Friends (Mark and Eric) went treasure hunting for pirate gold! Did we find the doubloons or were we sealed in the Cursed Crypt?

Worth the time and money? Yes, but it’s closing at the end of the February 2018.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

We have the Holy Hand Grenade, Sire! – Room: Kings Ransom – August 17, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love English history, or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Avoid if… you are useless in a hostage situation.


THE BASICS

Escape Quest Inc:

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

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
hello@escapequestinc.com
https://www.escapequestinc.com/

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your friends are locked inside the King’s royal chambers, tasked with finding a hidden coffer of gold and saving the King from certain death. His chambers are riddled with secrets and hide his most valuable assets. See their video trailer below.

Difficulty (1-10): 8/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $34

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

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

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 walk in and there’s a giant table in the middle, a throne, fireplace, and other items relevant to the time period.

Understanding of the Mission: The King has been kidnapped (gasp!) and it’s up to you and your friends to figure out where the gold is hidden to pay his kidnappers for his safe return.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 25:33

Our Suggested Party Size: 5-6 should work fine if you all have done rooms before.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): JJ & Kristy, Sara & Eric, Mark, Alphoso, Margaret, Eric

Team Disturbed Friends (JJ, Kristy, Sara, Eric, Mike, Eric, Margaret, Jason, Alphonso, and Mark) found the treasure and were able to ransom the king!

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper – a great place to stop for some fish ‘n chips, and a nice cold beer.
  • Vermillion – stop in for a drink and some appetizers.
  • But, it’s Old Town and there are tons of places to eat and drink.

Continue reading

The Games People Play… Room: The Game Museum: Evolution of Gaming – October 30, 2017 – PLAY-TESTED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve been gaming your entire life. Or a part of it. Or you just like games.

Avoid if… you think board games are for kids, or are so competitive at Monopoly that your friends/family won’t play with you anymore (remember: Escape Rooms are cooperative experiences).


THE BASICS

Clue Carré: Metairie Location:

Address: 2712 Athania Parkway, Metarie, LA 70002 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 504-667-2583
https://www.cluecarre.com

The Game Museum

Description (from the company website): Welcome to the Evolution of Games exhibit at the Clue Carré Musuem of Games. As humanity has evolved over the centuries, so has our ability to fulfill possibly our most primal need: to play games. From thousand-year old games like Go and Mancala through today’s video and virtual-reality simulations, we have filled our free time with cards, boards, dice, and all manner of monsters to defeat. This time, the monsters are the games themselves. Can you play through the millennia of game history in under an hour, or will you be left staring at the two most dreaded words in history: GAME OVER?

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: The location is on a residential street, so look for the sign. The seating area is comfortably set with couches and chairs. We are told that a private room for parties is in the works as well if you want to book your corporate event there.

Metro Access/Parking: You’ll need to Lyft/Uber unless you are local and have a car. Street parking may be limited.


OUR EXPERIENCE

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: It literally looks like a museum exhibit. As you scan the room, there are games posted to the walls with descriptions of each, along with a logical timeline from Stone Age dice all the way up to the present.

Understanding of the Mission: We’ve entered the museum exhibit and have to play all the games and beat the room within our hour-long tour before the next group gets its opportunity.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 6:15

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6 is perfect. This room *can* be done with 1, but it would be very time consuming and you likely wouldn’t finish in time (there is a LOT to do in this room).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): None

The ERG got to play test this really cool room down in Metairie, LA (while we were on vacation in New Orleans for Halloween).

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • We’re not local, so we suggest Google. There is a shopping center nearby, so there are likely lots of places to chow down and get some drinks.

Continue reading

So This is What It Feels Like to Be a Sardine – Room: Abandoned Submarine – August 6, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love underwater thrillers like The Abyss or Leviathan.

Avoid if… you dislike dark, creepy, and eerie places.


THE BASICS

A-Escape:

Address: 353 New Leicester Highway, Office Suite F, Asheville, NC 28806 (click address for Google Map) – look for the red door

Note: Check out our interview with Kyle, one of the owners of A-Escape, for some more background on the design and what thinking went into the development of this room.

Contact and Website: 252-621-0341
www.a-escape.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Approximately three days ago  the U.S.S. Fortitude failed to check in at its scheduled time. What followed was a series of eerie communications from the submarine, followed by complete silence. The sub has gone dark, and the status of its crew is unknown.

Your team is being sent down to investigate. Just remember: In the deep, no one can hear you scream.

Difficulty (1-10): not rated

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $15 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8 people

Staging Area: A lobby with a few chairs and some puzzles on the walls. They have puzzles on the bathroom walls as well.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in Asheville, so you’ll need a car.


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: Your initial room (and part of the mission) is to travel  down to the abandoned sub in an underwater craft and dock with it.

Understanding of the Mission: Enter the submarine, SECRET MISSION POINT 2, find out what happened to the crew, and SECRET MISSION POINT 4.

Did We Escape: Affirmative

Time Remaining: 18:29 – number 2 on the Leaderboard!

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 was perfect

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Team Disturbed Friends (Corey, Brittany, Heather, Jason and Mike) solved the mystery of the missing submarine and made the leaderboard at A-Escape in Asheville, NC!

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: Lots of places in Asheville, so Google it.

Continue reading

Here, Kitteh, Kitteh, Kitteh… That’s a Bad Kitteh! – Room: Kingdom of Cats – July 15, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re a cat person more than a dog person.

Avoid if… cats acting like humans freaks you the hell out. Where is Cartman with a big box of catnip when you need him?


THE BASICS

Omescape DC:

Address: 2406 18th Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20009 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 202 644 0825
omescapedc@gmail.com
http://omescapedc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website but cleaned up a bit to make it readable): Welcome to the Cat Kingdom. The ruler, Austin Schrodinger, holds annual championship tournaments to select the wisest cat in the kingdom. Unexpectedly, you, as a human, accidentally set foot on their championship battlefield. According to the kingdom’s law, those in the battlefield must compete in the tournament or otherwise be imprisoned here forever. You have no choice but to accept the challenge and solve puzzles and riddles in the tournament.

Difficulty: 3 of 5

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: up to 8 people

Staging Area: The lobby is up a flight of stairs and has a small number of couches and tables. Also note that it’s above a restaurant, so be prepared for some…interesting…smells in the warmer weather.

Metro Access/Parking: Woodley Park / National Zoo and then walk .7 miles across the Calvert Street bridge into Adams Morgan. It’s Adams Morgan, so parking at night and on weekends can be really tricky. We suggest Uber or Lyft if that’s an option.


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start off in a parlor that is heavily decorated with cat art.

Understanding of the Mission: You are being forced to participate in the annual tournament to find the wisest cat and solve the riddles and puzzles to win the tournament… as humans… or be locked up in prison forever.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: about 26 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: 4

Did the room challenge the entire team? No

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Valerie, Heather, Mark, and Shannon

Worth the time and money? Maybe? If you have kids.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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