He Lost Something, But It Wasn’t His Mind… – Room: Search for the Lost Professor – June 2, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve ever wanted to explore an ancient Maya/Aztec/Incan ruin.

Avoid if… you truly believed that the world was going to end on December 21, 2012 (the end of the 5,125 year Maya calendar).


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 – Search for the Lost Professor

Description (from the company website): World renowned archaeologist, Professor Wayne Marshall, went missing in the 50s and you have just come across his old research notes hidden in the old Archaeology building on campus. Rumors have circulated around the college since his disappearance.

Reading through the Professor’s notes you find evidence of a major discovery deep in a South American jungle. With this information, you’ve packed your bags, plotted a course for a long-lost temple. If you can find it and what happened to Professor Marshall you will add your names to the pages of history, but only if you make it out alive.

Difficulty: Easy

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: This is 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 enter a very dimly lit stone-walled tomb with artifacts all around. The website tells you that the room will be very dark, so if you wear glasses make sure and bring them.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out what happened to Professor Marshall and escape within 60 minutes to make names for yourselves as renowned archaeologists, or be trapped in the tomb forever.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 19:40

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 3, which may be too few based on the number and complexity of the puzzles. 5-6 would be a good fit.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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Well, That Was Certainly Fishy – Room: Bowl Voyage – April 30, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you have one of those lights in your bedroom that makes it seem like you’re sleeping under the ocean.

Avoid if… shimmering lights make you queasy.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

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

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

The Room – Bowl Voyage

Description (from the company website):You and your teammates are the prized collection of Wilfred Larium, senior citizen and rare fish collector. You live happily in his aquarium, for fish, but stormy waters are on their way: Larium’s rambunctious granddaughter, Lily, is on her way to his house for a visit. The last time she visited, Wilfred gave her a choice of any of his fish to take home with her. You never saw the last pick once he was selected, but the look of horror on his face when placed in the energetic hands of Lily will haunt you forever.

The only way to escape is to find a way to get Wilfred to take you out of the tank so you can make make your way into the sewer line before Lily arrives. Do you have what it takes to escape the chaotic kid before you’re sleeping with the fishes?

Difficulty (1-10)1/3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 per person, but use ERG15 to save 15% off your price on games booked between Mondays and Thursdays

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-4 people

Staging Area: Small-ish lobby with plenty of seating and vending machines

Metro Access/Parking: No metro access, but ample garage/lot 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 a small room that has swimming lights and is decorated like a fish tank.

Understanding of the Mission: Find out a way to have your owner take you out of the aquarium so you can escape before his granddaughter, Lily (squisher of animals), claims you as a new pet, thereby shortening your already short life span.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 22:30

Our Suggested Party Size: 2 was good

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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We Were Cured of the Disease in this Room, but What about the Rest of My Problems…? – Room: Antidote – May 21, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re looking forward to the Zombie Apocalypse.

Avoid if… you hate needles and anything scientific.


THE BASICS

Escapology:

Address: 930 Old Monrovia Rd NW, Huntsville, AL 35806 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: EscapeHuntsville@starsandstrikes.org
https://www.escapology.com/en/huntsville-al/

The Room

Description (from the company website):

Nevada Desert, United States, May 25th, 2015.

Dr. Walter Brandt is a high-ranking chemical weapons specialist for the United States government, part of a secret department that is only recognized by a series of mysterious numbers and letters. He has been developing powerful viruses capable of eradicating enemy forces with swift pace and deadly accuracy.

Foreign powers have noted Dr. Brandt’s work and have recruited him to develop a powerful virus capable of killing their enemies in hours. He has gone rogue and has become a threat to the US and potentially the entire human race.

You are a team of scientists investigating Dr. Brandt’s abandoned laboratory. You’ve been tasked with finding the only known antidote to virus TS-51 before it gets passed into enemy hands.

However, during the investigation a clumsy member of your team bumps into a shelf, sending vials of the highly contagious virus crashing to the ground. One of them breaks and sends plumes of deadly vapour into the air.

Immediately, everyone is infected but that isn’t your biggest problem. The chemical detection sensor has picked up the threat and shutdown the facility. Total decontamination will begin in 60 minutes (eliminating all biological organisms inside)!

Your only chance of survival is to scour Dr. Brandt’s laboratory to find the antidote. He has hidden it from the government through a series of riddles, puzzles and codes that only the smartest can figure out.

If you do not find the security override code and antidote within 1 hour the facility will self-destruct, and there will be no escape.

Rely on your team, intellect, and keen sense of observation to solve the riddles and unlock the secrets to find the antidote and to escape the facility.

Time is of the essence. Do you have what it takes to defeat Dr. Brandt and save yourselves and the World from destructive chemical warfare?

Difficulty (1-10): 6.8/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $29

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-6 (not actually listed, but you can’t do this with only 1 person)

Staging Area: Stars and Strikes is a bowling alley with a small arcade, bar, private party rooms, and 3 escape rooms in the back (by the bar)

Metro Access/Parking: This place is in Huntsville, AL. I don’t recall seeing any public transit, so you’re going to want to drive. Large parking lot, though.


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: The room is essentially a lab. There are cabinets, rolling carts, transparencies, tubes, beakers, etc. Felt like we were actually in a lab.

Understanding of the Mission: You’re investigating the Doctor’s lab to find the only known antidote to the virus he created and someone on your team accidentally exposes everyone. You now find it even more urgent to find the antidote and escape.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 2:07 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: 4

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

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Dwayne, Patrick, Mike, Jeff

Worth the time and money? Yep

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • We didn’t go anywhere: There was a bar outside the escape room.

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I Thought This Was the Airport Shuttle?! – Room: The Jail Bus – July 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you loved Prison Break (the tv show), or always thought you’d be able to figure a way out of jail in the event you were *coughs* wrongly convicted.

Avoid if… you can’t even watch The Green Mile or Shawshank Redemption.


THE BASICS

Room Escape DC:

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

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

The Room

Description (from the company website): You are facing life in prison, and you have one last shot at freedom. Will you take it? You and your gang of bank robbers have run out of luck and are on your way to a life sentence in the toughest prison in America. Luckily for you, one of the guards suddenly passes out, the victim of severe food poisoning. You’re still handcuffed, but you have 40 minutes to find a way off the bus and find freedom. Can you find a way to make crime pay? Only if you escape the Jail Bus, the top-rated escape bus in the US!

Difficulty: 1/3

Time Limit: 40 minutes

Cost: $27 (+ tax per person + cost of delivering the bus onsite), but use ERG15 to save 15% off your price on games booked Mondays through Thursdays

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: Wherever you have them park it

Metro Access/Parking: It’s coming to your location, so you would know better than we would. 🙂


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video Jason took before he entered the room:

This is the video Mike took just after he completed the room:

Logistics:

Description of the room: The bus is an airport-shuttle style bus with a cage inside. Can’t really say more.

Understanding of the Mission: After the guard passed out from food poisoning, you and your fellow convicts have to do everything in your power to get yourselves out of the handcuffs and off the bus so you can be free again. Otherwise, back to jail, and this ain’t the Hilton… hell, it’s not even a Motel 6.

Mike (left) and Jason (right) had their mug shots taken right before they completed the Jail Bus.

Did We Escape: Yes (both Jason’s and Mike’s team escaped)

Time Remaining:
14:00 – Jason
13:05 – Mike

Our Suggested Party Size: It gets a little cramped, so we wouldn’t recommend more than 6.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, for the most part.

Members of our team (other than the ERG):
Jason’s Team (first one below): Ryan, Cheryl, Scott, Mike, and Mark
Mike’s Team (second one below): Stacy, Kelly, Devin, Tara, Gary, and Judi (5 Escape Room Virgins and one newbie)

Jason’s company.
Mike’s Company

Worth the time and money? If you can get a large enough group to offset the transport fee, absolutely.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • We both did this during work hours… at work, so really can’t go drinking anywhere. Lunch, well, that’s another story.

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Who’s the Ghost with the Most? – Room: The Handbook – March 27, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re a fan of ’80s nostalgia.

Avoid if… insects give you the heebie-jeebies.


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 poor dead souls! You’ve really screwed up. Your only mortal friend has been kidnapped by a dastardly bio-exorcist in hopes of escaping The World Of The Dead. Can you decode his name and save your friend before it’s too late?

Difficulty (1-10): Not Listed

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 – Use ERGUYS when booking to get either a percentage or set $$ amount off per ticket (whatever promotion is running)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 7

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: The room looks like the attic of a house with some furnishings, including a smaller replica of the neighborhood.

Understanding of the Mission: As a newly deceased person, you need to figure out how to navigate the many rules of the afterlife using your handy handbook. However, you decide to take a shortcut and hire a bio-exorcist, against the explicit orders of your caseworker. Now, your memory has been wiped, and you have to remember the ghost’s name to rescue your living friend from the World of the Dead.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 4:28 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-5 people would be perfect

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes… and no. Read our ratings below.

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

The ERG and team of Disturbed Friends (Mark and Alphonzo) rescued their friend from a horrible marriage to a bio-exorcist!

Worth the time and money? We agree on the overall answer on this, but for different reasons. Jason says “yes, but more so from a nostalgia point of view (at least until the new movie comes out…whenever that is).” Mike says “yes, the room was worth doing despite an initial starting issue (our fault) and ending issue (their fault).”

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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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, but use ERG15 to take 15% off your price on games booked between Mondays and Thursdays

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:

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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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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 – RETIRED

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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Oops, We Didn’t Mean to Set Off that Booby Trap! – Room: The Lost Tomb – June 12, 2016

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love the Indiana Jones movies (the first three; we don’t recognize Crystal Skull)

Avoid if… you need constant stimulation (giggity).


THE BASICS

Escape Quest:

Address: 1127 King St, #200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (click the address for a Google map)

Contact and Website: 703-574-8175
http://www.escapequestinc.com

The Room

Description (from the company website): You and a group of explorers stumble across a hidden temple deep in the South American jungle. Based on local legend that a hidden tomb in the area holds a golden treasure of immense value, your group decides to face the danger and attempt to enter the tomb, steal the priceless treasure and get out alive!

Difficulty (1-10)6/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 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

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter an ancient tomb, a la “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and find some scattered artifacts.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the lost treasure and escape the tomb before you get sealed in!

Did We Escape: Yup, and we weren’t chased by a giant boulder or pissed off natives either (so, we’re essentially better than Indiana Jones).

Time Remaining: About 17 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 9, which may have been a few too many, so we’ll recommend 6-8.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yeah, everyone contributed, but maybe not on multiple puzzles.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Dalia, Chris, and Kevin.

Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Mike, Dalia, Jason, Chris and Kevin) found the idol and escaped the tomb! Photo courtesy of Escape Quest's Facebook page.
Team Disturbed Friends (Brittany, Corey, Gina, Shanell, Mike, Dalia, Jason, Chris and Kevin) found the idol and escaped the tomb! Photo courtesy of Escape Quest’s Facebook page.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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