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.

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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7 Sins; 7 Doors… Mmmm… Sin-ful-icious – Room: 7 Deadly Sins – May 7, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you have any vices whatsoever, or loved the movie “7even”

Avoid if… you are a church-going, God-fearing person.


THE BASICS

Laurel 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): “Seven Deadly Sins” is the most unique, and easily the most challenging escape room experience we’ve ever created. In five and a half “ancient” and elaborate rooms, you and a group will be tested to your absolute limits to overcome intricate puzzles, time-sensitive obstacles, and a difficult environment. More intense than our original rooms, all of your senses will be tested to escape the seven sins.

You enter through Pride (the first room) – will you leave with Pride, or be Envious of the ones that escape?

Difficulty (1-10)not listed

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $25 per person

Identifier: R1

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: You walk into a circular room with a table in the center, at TV on the wall, and 7 doors (including the one you walked in through).

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the puzzles to figure out how to get out with your Pride intact.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: Exactly 11 minutes.

Our Suggested Party Size: At least 6 (1 for each door)

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? hell,yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: No idea, other than the Five Guys nearby. (There’s a Chuck E. Cheese next door, if you’re into that sort of thing. And like terrible pizza. And annoying, bratty kids… and creepy animatronic mice)

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You Abducted the WRONG Group, A#&hole! – The Kidnapping – April 17, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you think blindfolds are a great way to get the, um, adrenaline pumping.

Avoid if… the sight of even your own blood makes you faint.


THE BASICS

Breakout Games Falls Church:

Address: 1073 W Broad St. #201, Falls Church, VA 22046 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 571-297-1510
https://breakoutgames.com/dc

The Room

Description (from the company website): The kidnapping begins with you and your fellow captives waking up handcuffed and blindfolded in a strange room. With nothing but collective brainpower, hidden clues and 60 minutes on your side, you have to free yourselves before the kidnapper returns. A heart-pumping thriller from start to finish, you can expect a rush of non-stop fun.

Difficulty (1-10): unlisted

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $26 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 7

Staging Area: a large lobby with couches and chairs, a water cooler, and a camera kiosk.

Metro Access/Parking: West Falls Church Metro, then a .7 mile walk (about 17 minutes). Location has ample parking out front.


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: A dark room with a cot and a number of pieces of furniture. It looks like a lot of people spent a short amount of time here.

Understanding of the Mission: Escape the blindfolds and handcuffs, and then solve the murders to find the key to escape the room.

Did We Escape: Yup

Time Remaining: 5:30

Our Suggested Party Size: Okay, so we actually had 8 because we bought a Groupon, but their suggested size of 7 will work if you have a few newbies in the room. If all of your team has done a few rooms, then 5-6 should suffice.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Team Disturbed Friends (Wayne, Brittany, Corey, Heather, Mike, Jason, Mark and Katheryn) outwitted their kidnappers and solved the serial murders. Photo courtesy of Breakout Games DC’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It was later at night, so we didn’t go out. There are a number of places in Falls Church, so use Google.

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

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

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

Avoid if… you are all thumbs.


THE BASICS

PanIQ Escape Room Washington DC:

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

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

The Room

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

Difficulty (1-10)4.5 of 5

Time Limit: 60 minutes

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

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

Party Size: 2-7

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

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


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time Remaining: Less than 0.

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

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

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

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

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

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

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you get off on ghost stories.

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


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

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

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

The Room

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

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

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

Difficulty (1-10)3 of 3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8

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

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


OUR EXPERIENCE

Logistics:

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

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

Did We Escape: Or course

Time Remaining: Just over 5 minutes. *gasp*

Our Suggested Party Size: 6-8

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

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

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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

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