We Ended Up on the Wrong Side of the Tracks – Room: The Great Train Heist – May 25, 2019 – FAILED!

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you wish you were a gun-slinging, train-robbing, son of a gun.

Avoid if… you get motion sickness (from the trains, of course) or you’re a goody two-shoes.


THE BASICS

Amazing Escape Room (Freehold):

Address: 2 Monmouth Avenue, Freehold NJ 07728 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 732-333-0448
https://amazingescaperoom.com/freehold/

The Room: The Great Train Heist:

Description (from the company website): The year is 1865 and you’re in the height of the Railroad Boom. The big tycoon and well known snake oil salesman, Thomas “Doc” Durant, has just come through your small town promising everyone vast riches and the cure to all their woes.

Doc is a real swindler and has secretly robbed the town’s bank, leaving everyone penniless. Tonight, he plans to sneak out of town on his personal train right after the big poker game at the Phoenix Saloon. You have 60 minutes to break into Durant’s train and save the town by taking back the cash.

Difficulty (1-10): N/A but we were told it was their hardest one

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: up to 10

Staging Area: Lobby is mostly standing room but plenty of space. There is a mini-game on one of the walls that will essentially teach you how to use most of the locks you may encounter.

Metro Access/Parking: There is a parking lot for the facility (and the other stores there). We suggest driving or Uber/Lyft.


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 the car of a train fully equipped with a bar, some seating and tables, and paraphernalia you would expect in an old west saloon.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve all the puzzles left behind to determine the whereabouts of the money stolen so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

Did We Escape: NO, and we’re still pretty pissed about it.

Time Remaining: 🙁

Our Suggested Party Size: There’s definitely enough room for 10 but we suggest you limit your group to 6-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? For the most part

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Val, Steph, and 4 strangers

Worth the time and money? If they clean up the inconsistencies and tighten the clues, then yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Chili’s – we went there for a quick bite and some drinks after; it’s 5 minutes away

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By the Pricking of Our Thumbs… – Room: Something Wicked – February 1, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy the spookiness of camping out at night.

Avoid if… the smallest noise when camping overnight causes you to lie awake in terror.


THE BASICS

Rush Hour Live Escape Games:

Address: 1, Towne Centre Blvd #3100, Fredericksburg, VA 22407 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 540-684-6695
rushhourliveescapes.com

The Room – Something Wicked:

Description (from the company website): A malevolent evil radiates from the woods of Deep Creek Forest. People are disappearing without explanation, including a team of paranormal investigators who were sent in. You and your team have been called in to find the source of this supernatural power that has been inhabiting the forest. Be prepared, because all indications show that something WICKED has moved in!

You have 60 minutes!

(Website description above has been merged from two sightly different descriptions on the website.)

DifficultyDifficult

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 6-8 players

Staging Area: There is a huge lobby with plenty of couches to relax before your experience. There are also lockers for your convenience to store your stuff while you are in the rooms.

Metro Access/Parking: Plenty of parking since the location is in a shopping center.


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 a forest that has a small campground surrounded by trees, a small cemetery, a wood cabin, and fenced-in garden. It’s dark and creepy.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the source of the evil that has been inhabiting the woods and if there is a way to banish it.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 15:30 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 7 and that seemed to work just fine

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D., Brittany, Heather, Tara and EricWorth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We didn’t have time to grab food or drinks, but you’re in a shopping center, so you have plenty of options.

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We’ll Take that Coding Error Any Day – Room: Glitch – December 1, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoyed the first Matrix movie and aren’t turned off by stark white rooms.

Avoid if… you get anxious being in a stark white room that doesn’t have a lot to look at.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Arlington:

Address: 2301 Columbia Pike, Suite C, Arlington, VA 22204 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-232-2546
https://www.escaperoomarlington.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): Have you ever had a dream, that you were stuck in an escape room, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream and unable to escape? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the escape room you’re trapped in? Jump down the rabbit hole and find out.

Difficulty: Not rated

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8 players

Staging Area: There is a large lobby with very comfy couches and the check-in desk. There are also tables with chairs along the hallway. Sodas and waters are complimentary.

Metro Access/Parking: Pentagon City Metro is 1.6 miles away, so we suggest you take the bus, Uber, or Lyft. However, there is a parking garage and some on-street parking if you decide to drive.


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: The room you enter is stark white, has a number of panels along the walls, and some framed artwork. There is also a table in the center. Very minimalist.

Understanding of the Mission: You are trapped in a computer program and have to figure out how to crash it so you can escape back to “reality”.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 15 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: We had a full contingent for the room (party size of 8) and that actually worked pretty well. There is a lot more to this room than meets the eye.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, and we had a mixture of veterans and Escape Room Newbies (ERNs)

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Lisa and her team

Did the Escape Room Guys and their team find their way out of the digital world?

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: You’re on the main strip of Columbia Pike, so there are a lot of restaurant and bar options to choose from.

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What’s the Point of Being Tomb Raiders without Lara Croft? – Adventure: Tomb – February 3, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you ever regretted not becoming an archaeologist.

Avoid if… dark tombs just make you think of curses.


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 – Tomb:

Description (from the company website):

The original 5 Wits adventure, Tomb has thrilled more than a million guests since it first appeared in Boston in 2004.

Your group takes on the role of a team of archaeologists, tasked with unsealing the newly-discovered tomb of a long forgotten Pharaoh. Once inside its pitch black halls, you’ll have only your wits and a flashlight to guide you. But tread carefully – the mighty Pharaoh is not happy with your intrusion into his resting place!

This tomb is filled with ancient riddles, deathtraps to outsmart, and tests of skill and courage. It’s up to you solve Pharaoh’s challenges, find his burial chamber, and set his spirit free… or fail, and face his wrath.

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 a tomb entrance and have to find your way inside. Once you do, you are in a large antechamber that is sparsely decorated with items.

Understanding of the Mission: Figure out how to enter the tomb, make your way through the tomb by solving the Pharaoh’s riddles, and find a way to release the Pharaoh’s trapped spirit… or spend eternity trapped with him.

Did We Escape: Yes

Scores: 99% with two secrets found

Our Suggested Party Size: 8 worked okay, but you can probably do 6 if you are all experienced players

Did the adventure challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Heather, Brittany, Corey, Tara, Eric, and Steph D.

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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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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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:

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

Haven’t We Done This Before? – Room: Save the White House 2 – September 13, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love books or movies about computer-based terrorism or hacker attacks.

Avoid if… the thought of hackers gaining control of our nuclear arsenal makes you lose sleep at night.


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/

Room – Save the White House 2:

Description (from the company website): A group of renegade hackers has taken control of the United States nuclear arsenal and have ordered a strike on several major US cities…you’d think it’d be more secure than that, but that’s not the point. As the Secret Service’s ranking agents, it falls upon you to disarm the attack before tragedy strikes.

Use your knowledge and skills to get the job done. The fate of the country depends on you. Good luck, Agents!

Note: If you played Save the White House prior to June 2018, this is a completely different room with new decorations, puzzles and story.

Difficulty (1-10)2 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 per person plus tax, but use ERG15 to save 15% on rooms booked for Mondays thru Thursdays

Identifier: R2 (replaced Save the White House)

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, some other furniture, and artwork and photos along the walls.

Understanding of the Mission: Hackers have taken control of the U.S.’ nuclear arsenal and are attempting to deploy missiles. As ranking Secret Service agents, it is up to us to figure out how to stop them.

Did We Escape: Yes and damn proud of it.

Time Remaining: About 18 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: Having done the first version of this room, we were delighted when they offered us to come in and review the new version. We’d say 4-ish would be fine for this.

Did the room challenge the entire team? As with the original, there was a lot of back and forth with this room. Thankfully, it was a little easier (in that respect) this time. Yes, though.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Just us

Jason and Mike donned their best Secret Service identities and stopped hackers from nuking the US.

Worth the time and money? Yeah

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

It’s OK to Hear Voices… Issues Only Start When You Start Answering Them Back – Room: Voices – November 8, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy horror, children, and horror movies with children in them.

Avoid if… you don’t like kids, dislike being scared, or have any sort of mental illness.


THE BASICS

Twisted Exit:

Address: 44920 Valley Central Way, Unit 106, Lancaster, CA 93536 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 661-547-8602
http://twistedexit.com/contact.html

Room – Voices:

Description (from the company website): Thirty years ago, the Richardsons moved into this house only to be driven away by pure evil. Upon putting boxes in the attic, the Richardsons’ daughter Evilyn, stumbled across a beautiful doll. In the weeks following their move into the new home, the family started being terrorized by a spirit trapped in the doll. But little Evilyn refused to be parted from it. Fed up, her parents decided to do away with the doll, but soon realized they had made a grave mistake.

One night the Richardsons went into their daughter’s room to say good night and found her dead at her vanity. In shock and – as they cradled the lifeless body of their daughter – they heard a distant voice whispering “I told you not to throw me away.” They ran from the house leaving everything behind and never returned.

​You and your team will have to summon all your courage to rid the house of the evil that has held it for the last three decades. But the task won’t be easy. You need to find the spirit’s name to chase it from the house, but you have to work quick. When the spirit gets bored or thinks you may be getting too close to revealing its name, you may not be able to leave the house. You may join Evilyn and be trapped for the next 30 years. (ERG note: edited for case, grammar and punctuation).

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 (Use code ERG10 for 10% off your booking)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

Staging Area: Small area with counter and several chairs.

Metro Access/Parking: This location is in a shopping center, but this was my first visit to CA so I drove everywhere.


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 the Richardsons’ living room (tv, lamps, couch, coffee table, etc.) and have to make your way through a locked door to Evilyn’s room. That’s where it gets weird…

Understanding of the Mission: Figure out who the spirit really is and why she’s haunting the house. Then, of course, get out, unless you want to remain trapped for eternity with her.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 10 minutes even

Our Suggested Party Size: I would say 4-6 is fine. While 10 will by no means be cramped, some of you may get bored.

Did the room challenge the entire team? It was only me (Jason), so yeah.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Just Jason. (I did not take a picture at this room. Totally forgot because I was talking with Greg for a while.)

Worth the time and money? Yes. Absolutely.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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1 BR/1BA for Rent; Previous Owner Missing – Room: The Apartment – November 8, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… murder mysteries or just anything suspenseful.

Avoid if… you’re afraid of the dark or don’t like to be scared.


THE BASICS

Greatest Escape:

Address: 44820 10th St W, Suite 103, Lancaster, CA 93534 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 661-494-1198
https://greatestescape.us/contact.html

Room: The Apartment:

Description (from the company website): This is exactly the kind of thing that your mother has always worried about – the kind of situation that you thought only happened on TV. This is the stuff of nightmares.

You’ve been lured into a serial killer’s apartment. In order to survive, you have to play by his rules.

The clock is ticking. You have exactly 60 minutes to escape his sick game before you become his next victim.

But hurry – he’s watching you.

Difficulty (1-10)5/5 (Intensity 5/5)

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 – but use code ERG10 to save 10% off your booking

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10 (children under 15 MUST be accompanied by an adult)

Staging Area: Small waiting area with a few chairs and things to keep your hands busy.

Metro Access/Parking: This was my first time in California, so I just drove everywhere.


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 in the serial killer’s apartment. There are 4 rooms (living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) that you make your way through as the escape progresses. It’s dark (but there’s a flashlight to find) and damned creepy. (It’s also a damn decent sized apartment…)

Understanding of the Mission: Escape with your life so you don’t become his next victim.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 3:33

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6

Did the room challenge the entire team? Considering it was only me, yes. But it was a helluva lot of fun.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Just Jason.

Jason escaped with his life. And lost his appetite…

Worth the time and money? Absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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