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:

Continue reading

The Penitentiary Was Truly a Punishment – Room: The Penitentiary – July 15, 2017 – FAILED!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve always wondered what it’s like being behind bars.

Avoid if… you are claustrophobic or scared of the dark.


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) (Note: this is the most recent and differs from the original storyline we were told): Saint Temple Prison is one of the most infamous military prisons in history. No one has ever escaped it. Until one night, all the prisoners vanished. They were never seen or heard of again. Rumors say the incident was related to a rampage killer named Richard Ramirez, aka “The Night Stalker”. Another prisoner found a weird-looking machine in the cell of “The Night Stalker” and disappeared the next day…

You wake up one day and find yourself locked in a cramped cell. You are cold and alone. Silence surrounds and holds you. Suddenly, you realize this is the mysterious cell in which “The Night Stalker” died. Your heart is pounding. No matter if this is a game, you know your only goal is to escape.

Difficulty (1-10): 5/5

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-12

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

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

Logistics:

Description of the room: This is supposed to be a prison, and as such you start off in cells that are opposite each other. There are 3 rooms (to start), including the 2 cells.

Understanding of the Mission: You wake up in the cell of an infamous prisoner and all you know is that everyone who stays in this cell disappears. So, you need to get the hell outta there!

Did We Escape: No; read on to find out why.

Time Remaining: :-/

Our Suggested Party Size: Minimum 6-8

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? No

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Losing Our Minds Implies We Have Minds to Lose… – Room: The Haunt – June 28, 2017 – PLAY TEST

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like a good urban legend about the local haunted house.

Avoid if… you dislike paintings that seem to watch you.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Woodbridge:

Address: 12668 Darby Brook Ct., Woodbridge, VA 22912 (click address for Google Map)

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

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and your friends have decided to explore an abandoned home. After looking through every room, all seems much ado about nothing. Then you find yourselves in the parlour….let’s see if you can get out before you go cuckoo!

Difficulty (1-10)Not listed

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: N1 (Replaced Lights, Camera, Murder! room)

Party Size: Up to 5

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

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: A dark and creepy parlor in a haunted house, set in the early-to-mid 1900s.

Understanding of the Mission: Get out with your wits intact so you don’t become one of the undead spirits in the house.

Did We Escape: We called this one a draw due to technical difficulties stopping us from getting out in time.

Time Remaining: :-/

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-5

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Team Disturbed Friends (Jason, Steph, Mike & Diana) dealt with the ghost and escaped with their sanity intact.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Fair Winds Brewing Company – We hit up this place on a previous visit. Great place for beer flights, beers and some food truck grub.

Continue reading

Rather It Be a ‘Nocturnal Emission’ – Room: A Nightly Reminder – June 10, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like a good mystery, groping around in the dark, or you’re just plain weird.

Avoid if… you are claustrophobic or are prone to getting seizures. This room is NOT for kids.


THE BASICS

Immersion Escape Room:

Address: 2125 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 434-249-8797
https://www.immersionescaperooms.com
hello@immersionescaperooms.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): For months, Dave has been haunted by a tragic memory. Every time he closes his eyes he is forced to re-live devastation and loss. This room, a specially made experience for two people, is a dark and intense exploration into the mind of our main character, and it is up to you to save him from himself. Enter the dream and help Dave recover, because in 30 minutes he will wake to the greatest adventure of his life. (see House Arrest).

Note: This experience may be intense for individuals who are sensitive to low light situations, confined spaces, and eerie audio/video effects. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A, no record or success rate listed

Time Limit:  30 minutes

Cost: $15

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2 (you CANNOT do this with one person)

Staging Area: The location is downstairs in the strip mall and does not have an outside door to the parking lot (you have to go in through the building and down the stairs). Waiting area is clean, several chairs; place looks nice and cozy.

Metro Access/Parking: There’s no metro or anything nearby, but there is plenty of parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

Logistics:

Description of the room: You are in a mostly-dark room that’s about 3′ x 12’… we can’t describe anymore without spoilers, but even that small space seems… smaller for some reason.

Understanding of the Mission: We set out to learn what’s keeping Dave up at night and how he became a conspiracy theorist.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: About 3 minutes (we had some technical difficulties at one point, so we lost about 3 additional minutes).

Our Suggested Party Size: Must be 2 people. It’s physically impossible to do this on your own.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? YES

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

His Roar Was More Like a ‘Meow’… Room: Lion’s Den – June 10, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… your sleuthing skills are high and you love the smell of books.

Avoid if… you hate libraries.


THE BASICS

Company Name:

Address: 2125 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 434-249-8797
https://www.immersionescaperooms.com
hello@immersionescaperooms.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): The Silver Lining computer virus is spreading and the world is now on the brink of total collapse. Alfred Roland, the CEO of Locus Industries, is harnessing its power to locate items of great value without remorse of the destruction it is causing. He is hosting a party at his private manor and Dave has been put on the guest list, thanks to some help from a friend. Jump into Dave’s shoes and sneak into Alfred’s study to disable the core of the virus. It’s a stealth mission, and security is on high alert at this corrupt billionaire’s abode.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A, but the record is 42:15 and it has only a 41% success rate

Time Limit:  60 minutes

Cost: $25

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8

Staging Area: The location is downstairs in the strip mall and does not have an outside door to the parking lot (you have to go in through the building and down the stairs). Waiting area is clean, several chairs; place looks nice and cozy.

Metro Access/Parking: There’s no metro or anything nearby, but there is plenty of 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 start off in a library surrounded by books. There’s a desk, a full wall of bookcases, and a podium with a map.

Understanding of the Mission: We had to break into the office and find out how to steal the virus. And then escape.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining:12 min

Our Suggested Party Size: A slightly larger group (7/8) is great for searching this room, as there’s a lot to look for.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Amanda, Mike, Corey, Brittany, Rohan

Team Disturbed Friends (Rohan, Amanda, Mike, Corey, Brittany, Mike and Jason) infiltrated the Lion’s Den and found the code for the computer virus!

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

I Don’t Remember Putting on That Ankle Bracelet… Room: House Arrest – June 10, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you live in a messy house or apartment. Or you think escaping death is thrilling.

Avoid if… you are prone to wetting yourself or truly believe the moon landing was faked.


THE BASICS

Company Name:

Address: 2125 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 434-249-8797
https://www.immersionescaperooms.com
hello@immersionescaperooms.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): The world is heading for a catastrophic collapse since the release of Silver Lining, a cloud-based computer virus developed by Locus Industries. Dave Benson, Chicago journalist and conspiracy theorist, knows this and Locus will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. Enter his apartment and retrace his steps during the final moments leading up to Locus’ arrival at his door. Does he get out in time? The story is in your hands.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A – website lists a 40% success rate with a record of 36:45.

Time Limit:  60 minutes

Cost: $25

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8

Staging Area: The location is downstairs in the strip mall and does not have an outside door to the parking lot (you have to go in through the building and down the stairs). Waiting area is clean, several chairs; place looks nice and cozy.

Metro Access/Parking: There’s no metro or anything nearby, but there is plenty of 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 enter a small studio apartment that is somewhat in shambles. Obviously, the person living here has other things to be concerned about than regularly cleaning the place.

Understanding of the Mission: Escape your locked apartment before agents from Locus Industries show up and cart you away.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: Roughly 2 minutes.

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 would have been the sweet spot, but 7 didn’t hurt us

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Amanda, Mike, Corey, Brittany, Rohan

Team Disturbed Friends (Rohan, Mike, Corey, Brittany, Amanda, Mike, and Jason) embraced our inner conspiracy theorist and escaped our apartment before being captured by some very bad men.
Photo courtesy of Immersion Escape Room’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Good will always TRIUMPH! – Room: Good vs Evil – May 7, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like beating your friends at any sort of game.

Avoid if… you’re a sore loser.


THE BASICS

Laurel’s House of Horror:

Address: 935 Fairlawn Ave, Laurel, MD 20707 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 240-278-4545
http://www.laurelhaunt.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): “Good vs. Evil” is a brand new escape room that challenges groups to race each other. The winning group will be rewarded a special prize at the end: a gift card! Join us for this 45-minute game and find out…who is the smartest group?

Difficulty (1-10)not listed

Time Limit: 45

Cost: $25 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Minimum of 6; max of 8

Staging Area: It’s in an old movie theater that is supposedly haunted, so pretty damn creepy.

Metro Access/Parking: Not metro accessible at all. The theater is in a strip mall so there is plenty of 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: Each team starts off divided into 2 groups with a shared wall between them. You have to help your teammates get out of their room while they help you do the same. The opposing team has the same types of puzzles, but different solutions.

Understanding of the Mission: Get through to the final room to secure your own exit. And let your opponents out if you feel so obliged.

Note: Because we paid to do the other three rooms, and had a lengthy discussion about who we are and our thoughts on the rooms, the GM (this time that’s General Manager…) wanted to get our take on the competitive room and allowed us to go through it for free, provided we give him feedback at the end. We ended up pointing out a few issues with the Evil set of rooms that would have delayed or prevented the team in that room from completing the mission altogether.

We also feel that it is not fair to do the standard rating scale on this room, since each of the different teams would have different experiences, but we have provided our feedback on the experiences in those categories below.

Did We Escape: Jason’s team did (and eventually let Mike’s team out)

Time Remaining: The experience lasted about 35 minutes until Team Good solved the last puzzle and won the game.

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 8 (2 teams of 4). That was pretty perfect.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Team Good: Jason, Eric, and Alphonzo

Team Evil: Mike, Eric, Mark and Katheryn

Worth the time and money? Yes, especially if you’ve got a group that’s done a few rooms before and is really competitive. Like ours.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We’re not familiar with Laurel, so we’re going to have to leave you to Google for a recommendation. But we did go to a Five Guys for lunch beforehand that’s 2 blocks away.

Continue reading

Zombies Normally Feast on Brains… Ours Went a Bit Hungry That Day – Room: Resident Horror – May 7, 2017 – FAILED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love zombie movies, or the Resident Evil movie or video game franchise

Avoid if… you neither like zombies nor being touched by one (or participated in way too many (in)voluntary lab experiments)


THE BASICS

Laurel’s House of Horrors:

Address: 935 Fairlawn Ave, Laurel, MD 20707 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 240-278-4545
http://www.laurelhaunt.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Come experience our newest escape room “Resident Horror”. Work in a specially-designed laboratory to help find a cure for the un-dead break-out before it’s too late. Hit the wrong button and you’ll let the zombies loose!

Difficulty (1-10)Not listed

Time Limit: 25 minutes

Cost: $15 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8.

Staging Area: It’s an old movie theater that is supposedly haunted.

Metro Access/Parking: Not metro accessible at all. The theater is in a strip mall so there is plenty of 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 start off in a lab with a zombie chained up in the inner room.

Understanding of the Mission: You have to figure out how to get to the next room without getting killed by the zombie and then find the antidote to the zombie plague.

Did We Escape: NO. We needed like 3 more minutes.

Time Remaining: See above

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 (our 8 was a little crowded)

Did the room challenge the entire team? No. There were times that 1 or 2 people were standing around.

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

Worth the time and money? It’s cheaper than a normal room because it’s only 25 minutes. Probably worth tacking on as a second room of the day, but I wouldn’t go specifically for this one.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: Just call it a day and go to Five Guys.

Continue reading

After Seeing Michael Myers’ Home, I Wanted to Purge… – Room: Escape the Movies, Revision 3 – May 7, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you [still] love horror movies.

Avoid if… the Purge made you want to, well, purge, or if you are afraid of the dark.


THE BASICS

Laurel’s House of Horrors:

Address: 935 Fairlawn Ave, Laurel, MD 20707 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 240-278-4545
http://www.laurelhaunt.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): “Escape the Movies” is all-new in 2017, with revamped puzzles and features. You and a group will experience four distinctive rooms, with iconic scenes from your favorite record-breaking horror films, including Halloween (Michael Myers), Purge, Saw, and The Conjuring 2. Solve intricate puzzles and race the clock to escape. Your limits will be tested in an attempt to truly Escape the Movies… or become our next victims trapped inside the haunted theater!

Difficulty (1-10)not listed

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $25 per person

Identifier: R3

Party Size: Up to 8.

Staging Area: It’s in an old movie theater that is supposedly haunted, so pretty damn creepy.

Metro Access/Parking: Not metro accessible at all. The theater is in a strip mall so there is plenty of 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: The theater didn’t look as creep-tastic as it did last time, but they still do a yearly haunted house.

The rooms were just as well done as they were last year, probably even better this year. The themes were more clear than last year too. Made no mistake about which movie was which. (And no, you don’t need to have seen the movies to get through, which is good.)

Understanding of the Mission: Make your way through the 4 movie themed rooms with (or without, if you’re a dick to the GM) help from the GM. All you need to do is escape. With your life.

Did We Escape: By the skin of our teeth (again)

Time Remaining: 2. Freaking. Seconds. [You’re welcome! ~Jason]

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 was prefect, but there was room for 2 more.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes (omg yes…)

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

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We aren’t familiar with Laurel, but there’s a Five Guys 2 blocks away.

Continue reading