Pretty Sure This Was a Spaghetti Western… – Room: Wild West – May 12, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy one whiskey, one scotch, one beer.

Avoid if… you hated Back to the Future or think time travel is stupid.


THE BASICS

Amazing Escape Room:

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

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

The Room

Description (from the company website): Step on through the swingin’ doors and transport yerselves back to the late 1800’s town of Santa Fe. The American frontier held much promise for those who could make their way to the other side of the Mississippi. Survival of the fittest is the law of the land in these here parts. But something feels off in the Old West. Figure out what ain’t right and skedaddle before time runs out. Ready those quick reflexes and that sharp wit, ’cause this duel at high noon ain’t yer normal showdown.

Difficulty (1-10): Not rated

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: The lobby has a bench, a water cooler, and a handful of locks on the wall with a story that somewhat teaches you how to use them.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in NJ. Drive or get a cab/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:

Logistics:

Description of the room: The room looks like a saloon, wanted posters and all, but is severely lacking in bar-room furniture (other than the 3 bar stools).

Understanding of the Mission: Find your way into a mad scientist’s lab and disarm a bomb. (Wait, what?)

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: Under 10 minutes (watch the videos)

Our Suggested Party Size: No more than 4. The room is rated up to 8, but really you can do this with 2-4 easily.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Not particularly.

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

Just the 2 of us this time, Jason and Valerie.

Worth the time and money? Yes and no

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • There are a bunch of restaurants nearby (Japanese, Chili’s, tex-mex); Google Maps to the rescue!

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Where’s Ben Stiller When You Need Him? – Room: Night at the Museum – April 15, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve ever wanted to throw a raging after-hours party at your job.

Avoid if… the idea of being locked inside a museum makes you want to die of boredom.


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

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

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

The Room

Description (from the company website): Oh snap. You and your restoration specialist colleagues got a little out of hand. Now, you are going to be in trouble with the big boss if you don’t remedy the situation you made – but you have limited time to rectify your mistakes.

Not your usual Night at the Museum.

So, what happened to set you off? Perhaps you and the other restoration specialists cannot quite remember why you got so rowdy during your visit to the museum. You were just trying to let off some steam. Then, the unthinkable happened: You destroyed a piece of artwork.

The valuable painting is lying around you in tatters, and you are well aware of the faux pas. Fortunately, your supervisor is not due back for a whole hour. That should be time enough for you to work your magic, right? At least, you hope it is! Regardless, you and your team must figure out how to piece the priceless “victim” back together to keep your jobs and reputation intact.

Now get going and find those clues: That painting is not going to restore itself!

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

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

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 12

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

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


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took 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 small room that appears to be a section of a museum exhibit.

Understanding of the Mission: Well, now you’ve done it. You and your co-workers threw a huge party in the museum one night after closing while your boss was out of town. Now, as you come to, you realize that you’re locked in the museum… and someone trashed one of the prized paintings.

Now, you have to find the pieces of the painting, restore it, and find a way to get your supervisor’s key and out of the locked museum before the museum opens in the morning (in 60 minutes).

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 13:30

Our Suggested Party Size: Around 8, depending upon your escape room experience

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph, Eric, Steph, and Heather

Team Disturbed Friends (Steph, Jason, Eric, Mike, Steph, and Heather)

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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I Always Thought It Was a Feast “FOR” the Eyes… Not “OF” Eyes! – Room: The Frightful Feast – November 16, 2017

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ll try anything – food wise – once.

Avoid if… cannibalism makes 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

Description (from the company website): You and your teammates wake up in a poorly lit cell and can’t quite remember how you got there. As you come to your senses, you can just make out three monstrous voices planning a party. It seems they’ve decided to have you over for dinner…in a manner of speaking. The ghastly group has left you unattended for just one hour to attend to the last details of their frightful feast, giving you just sixty minutes to avoid becoming tonight’s main course.

Can you escape this disastrous dinner before the next course? Only time will tell. Good Luck.

Difficulty:: 3/3

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27

Identifier: R2 (replaced Dr Panic)

Party Size: 2-8

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:

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start in a room with a table set for 3 people and several pieces of furniture. Almost looks like a kitchen. Almost.

Understanding of the Mission: You’re trapped in a room where, if you don’t get out in an hour, you’re going to be prepped for a very ghoulish dinner.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 15:22

Our Suggested Party Size: We were 6, which was pretty perfect. 8 would be a little too crowded.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Tara, Heather, and Katie

Team Disturbed Friends (Eric, Tara, Heather, and Katie) escaped the kitchen and easily avoided becoming dinner!

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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

We made it out of the tornado alive!!!

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

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

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


THE BASICS

Trap Door Escape:

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

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

The Room

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

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

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $35

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 10

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

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


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

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

Logistics:

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

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

Did We Escape: Yep

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

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

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? HELL YES

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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

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

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

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

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


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

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

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

The Room

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

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

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

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 45 minutes

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

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 3-10

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

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


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

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

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

Logistics:

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

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

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 6:40

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

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Worth the time and money? Yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

Escaping Detention Challenged Our Simple Minds – Room: Escape Detention – March 18, 2018 – PLAY TESTED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re a jock… or a princess… or a brain… or a criminal… or a basket-case… or were a goody-goody in high school who never had to sit in detention and now want to know what you missed.

Avoid if… sitting in detention will bring back horrific high school memories.


THE BASICS

EXIT Plan:

Address: 201 Royal St. SE, Ste. F, Leesburg, VA 20147 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 703-777-4710
http://exitplanva.com

The Room – RETIRED

Description (from the company website): Everyone gets in trouble at some point. What you do when you find yourself locked in a classroom with the other unruly students is up to you. Here’s the thing though, in an hour the monitor will return and chances are you will Never. Get.  Out. Whether you are a brain, an athlete, a basketcase, a princess or a criminal, it is up to you to start a ruckus and escape detention.

Difficulty (1-10)7/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $29 per person – Use ERGUYS15 to get 15% off per person when booking your reservation for any of their rooms

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

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.

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: A classroom from the 1980s, complete with teacher’s desk, overhead projector, terrarium, and a chalkboard.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve the puzzles in the room and find out how to escape detention before the monitor returns in 60 minutes, or stay trapped in Detention for eternity.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 4:35

Our Suggested Party Size: 4 was good, but can easily accommodate 6-10. We would recommend 6 if the group has done rooms before, and the full 10 if mostly ERVs (Escape Room Virgins) or novices/noobs/newbies.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

The Escape Room Guys (Mike and Jason) and their escape room gals (Heather and Steph) were sentenced to detention in a 1980s school room. Did we channel all the collective powers of John Hughes’ movies and escape without anyone “cracking skulls?”

Worth the time and money? Yes, but get in there before it’s retired in early April.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

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

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

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

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


THE BASICS

Escape Artist DC:

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

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

The Room

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

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

Difficulty (1-10): N/A

Time Limit: 45 minutes

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

Identifier: R2 (Episode 1 has been retired)

Party Size: 3-10

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

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


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

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

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

Logistics:

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

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

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: ~7:30

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

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

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

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

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

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

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

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


THE BASICS

Escape Room Herndon:

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

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

The Room – The Cursed Crypt – RETIRED

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

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

Difficulty (1-10): 6/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 4-6

Staging Area: A pretty large lobby with a few bar tables and chairs, and a lounge with couches and chairs and tables.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in Herndon so you’re better off driving.

OUR EXPERIENCE

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

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

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

Logistics:

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

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

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: An even 10 minutes

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

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

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

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

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

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

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

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

Avoid if… you are useless in a hostage situation.


THE BASICS

Escape Quest Inc:

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

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

The Room

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

Difficulty (1-10): 8/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $34

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

Staging Area: Lobby has a lot of space to sit on couches and chairs, and the tables have a few puzzles to work on and get your mind revved up before starting your room. The front desk attendant will also offer a small bottle of water. Restrooms are right next to the lobby.

Metro Access/Parking: King Street metro w/ a .4 mile walk (or take the free King Street Trolley to N. Payne St.); street/garage parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

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

Logistics:

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

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

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 25:33

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

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

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

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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

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Walker? I Barely Knew Her! Room: The Rising Dead – August 9, 2017 – PLAY-TESTED

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you love The Walking Dead.

Avoid if… you have a fear of hospitals… or zombies… or hospitals with zombies in them.


THE BASICS

Laurel’s House of Horror and Escape Rooms:

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)“The Rising Dead” is inspired by the hit zombie TV series, with hints of the hospital scene from the first season. This new game is one of our scariest yet, with the added pressure and motivation of a live-actor zombie. Can you get out of the quarantine room into the hospital lab? Bring your friends — you’ll need all the help you can get!

Formerly “Resident Horror”, this escape room experience has re-launched as “The Rising Dead” starting in August. A live actor is part of the experience* (incidental, but not intentional, touching may occur due to unpredictable activities of the dead).

Difficulty (1-10)3/5 (medium difficulty)

Time Limit: 45 minutes

Cost: $30

Identifier: R2 (revamped from Resident Horror)

Party Size: up to 8 people

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:

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

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start off in a hospital room that is connected to a hallway… and another room with a heavy lock on the door.

Understanding of the Mission: Make our way through the hospital, get to the lab, find the medicine, and escape before the zombies get us!

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 13 minutes

Our Suggested Party Size: We’d recommend 6 if you all have escape room experience; 8 if you have some newbies or ERVs (Escape Room Virgins) with you.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Mark, Eric, Shannon and three of the employees from Laurel’s House of Horror.

Team Disturbed Friends (Eric, Jason, Mike, Mark, and Shannon) found the cure and escaped the hospital of The Rising Dead! Zombie Heather photobombed us.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s in a shopping center in Laurel. Lots of places to eat. We had Five Guys before doing one of the previous rooms.

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