What the hell is this? – Read This First!

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And, now to answer the question “What the hell is this?”

This is a business run by two guys (Jason and Mike) from Alexandria, VA (originally from New York, and Pennsylvania, respectively) who have developed a very unhealthy addiction to (or obsession with) Escape Rooms. What started as an innocent social activity with a group of friends snowballed into a monthly (or twice-monthly… or thrice-weekly) habit.

After telling people about the rooms and recruiting others for our “team” (Disturbed Friends), the light bulb turned on and we decided to start reviewing all of the rooms we’ve done, and offer consulting services for companies that create and run escape rooms.

Thus this blog was born…

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Escape Game Review – Mob Treasure by Crux Club – February 22, 2021

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW/NEWS:

With the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns still in effect, escape room locations are working on online games (which we’re calling online escape rooms), while other companies are capitalizing on creating escape room games (like board games and puzzle books).

THE PROJECT:

Jan Van Damme, from Crux Club HQ, creates outdoor puzzle hunts, which “are similar to an escape room, but take place outdoors. The goal is to accomplish something in the world, not get out of a room.”

Van Damme’s new venture, however, comes in the form of an escape room style puzzle book, which means that there is a story leading you through an interactive book of theme-related puzzles based on those you might typically see in an escape room.

Enter Mob Treasure, their new Kickstarter, which is live through Thursday, March 4. They’ve crushed their funding goal, so the funds for the project will be collected and awards delivered this May (per their projection).

Check out their Kickstarter here at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/janlucvd/mob-treasure-a-puzzle-book-treasure-hunt.

And, what’s really cool about this adventure is that it is based on a true story!

(photo taken from Crux Club’s website)

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Wizarding 101: Pay. Attention. To Your Surroundings! – Room: Wizard’s Tower – November 29, 2020

You do have to pull the sword from some stone, but she didn't kill me!

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy magic (think Harry Potter), castles, wizards (fantasy in general).

Avoid if… you dislike rats, potions, and towers.


THE BASICS

Time Emporium Escape Rooms:

Address: 391 Denver Ave, Loveland, CO 80537 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 970-619-8639
https://time-emporium.com

The Room – Wizard’s Tower:

Description (from the company website): Explore a fantastical world where things aren’t always what they seem. In this exciting new adventure, you will travel back to the age of swords and sorcery. Can you harness all five elemental runes, unlock the mysteries of the Wizard’s Tower, and prove yourself worthy of the challenge? But be wary, brave puzzle-solvers, because if the crystals fall into the wrong hands, the entire world will be in danger.

Difficulty (1-10)Hard

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 6 Max

Staging Area: Small waiting area with merch and a couch.

Metro Access/Parking: There’s a parking lot for the facility and the adjacent store. Unsure about metro access.


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: I did the post FB Live for this and trailed into the Pre-room FB Live video of room 2, so sorry for the abrupt ending here as I split the video. ~J

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 a freaking Wizard’s Tower. I will say nothing more.

Understanding of the Mission: Retrieve the Time Medallion by solving all the puzzles of the Wizard, whose tower we have encroached upon.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 0:55!

Our Suggested Party Size: This room is listed 6 max, but 4 would be a sweet spot. This would be incredibly challenging for 1 person due to the amount of things to do, IMHO.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

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Worth the time and money? Absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

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At Least There Was a Blonde Bombshell in the Room… – Room: Bombshell – October 18, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re interested in the Mafia, bombs, and cold hard cash.

Avoid if… you’re scared of tigers, don’t like enclosed places, and find sewers disgusting.


THE BASICS

New Mexico Escape Room – McLeod (there are 2 locations):

Address: 4401 McLeod Rd, Suite B, Albuquerque, NM 87109 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 505-289-1002
https://nmescaperoom.com/

The Room – Bombshell:

Description (from the company website): For decades, the city’s greatest criminal syndicates have answered to one man, Vittorio Bosargio. He is known as the Don of Dons, holding power over multiple criminal organizations, but lately his judgement has been questionable and unstable. He is slowly slipping into madness. You’ve been summoned, along with other organizational heads, to meet in a secret location and discuss the fate of the highly respected, but faltering Don. Unfortunately, your betrayal doesn’t go unnoticed. Someone has double crossed you, and now it’s a race against the clock to survive. Don’t end up ‘sleepin’ wit’ the fishes.’ Can you outsmart Don Vittorio Bosargio?

CAUTION: This game requires some physicality where players may have to kneel into low positions, crouch, and climb up and down steps. There are also uneven and moving floors, and small spaces. Please feel free to contact us directly with specific questions regarding the physical aspect of this game.

Difficulty (1-10)6/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person (all bookings are now private)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 4-6

Staging Area: LARGE open lobby area; I don’t recall there being any seating, but there are vending machines and hand sanitizer available.

Metro Access/Parking: Parking available right out front and additional along the side of the building. Unsure about public transportation.


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:

I’m apparently really terrible about taking post-room videos… ~Jason

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start in a room with a large animal crate, a some other scattered crates, and an elevator door towards the back.

Understanding of the Mission: Escape with your life before the explodes and kills you while you’re in the warehouse.

Did We Escape: No, and I’m not really sure how I feel about it.

Time Remaining: FAIL :'(

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6 is fine, though it WILL be a little cramped.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, and not always for the right reasons. (Read below)

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Stephanie D (and Oreo)

Oreo is a black and white kitten in the carrier next to her little purple purrrrr-buddy.
Oreo is a black and white kitten in the carrier next to her little purple purrrrr-buddy.

Worth the time and money? For the visuals and experience, yes. For the gameplay, no.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

We did not stick around for grub after, so we don’t have a recommendation.

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Interview with Wild Hare Escapes – December 17, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

Having played one of their online rooms, a Comedy of Terrors (get it?), we did a video interview with Wild Hare Escapes (J.R., Aaron, and Todd) to learn about their approach in creating fully digital online escape room experiences. Check it out below:

You can also check out their website for recurring promotions. They normally promote a discount with a puzzle that you have to solve, so check it out before you book.

Have you done any of the “rooms” with Wild Hare Escapes? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for our review of Comedy of Terrors. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

Interview with Time Emporium (Loveland, CO) – December 5, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

The gentlemen at the Time-Emporium in Loveland, Colorado genuinely love the escape room industry. Co-owners Jeff and Noah were on location in Florida installing there 3 rooms (Secrets of the Pharaohs, Murder in London, and Wizards Tower) in 2 new locations there and they took the time (again as this was take 2 since the audio never recorded the first time) to talk to Jason about all things escape rooms. Take 1 was originally done after escaping the Wizards Tower and before escaping Murder in London. Their immersion factor is off the charts! See what they had to say about their facility, and the industry in general, in the interview below.

Have you done any of the rooms at this location? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

Stay tuned for Jason’s reviews of the Wizards Tower and Murder in London. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Are there locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

Follow us on our social media channels:

Sleuths Rise to Watson’s Puzzle Challenge – December 2, 2020

Hello, everyone!

Thank you for participating in our puzzle contest for a chance to win a free copy of our book: Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book!

Did you enjoy this puzzle challenge? If you did, there are many other puzzles like this in our book. Links on where to get it are below (and these links will be updated on our main book page as more information becomes available).

THE PUZZLE:

While traveling in London, you are suddenly approached by a dirty little street urchin. He walks up to you and mumbles that his name is Wiggins. He hands you a crumpled cream-colored scrap of paper and mumbles that “Premierword smiths have rightfully won this challenge.” Wiggins scampers off into the crowd.

You glance down at the dirty scrap of paper:

THE SOLUTION:

 

Many participants recognized that the puzzle required a keyboard to solve the above cipher. However, a fewer number of super sleuths realized that the standard computer keyboard wouldn’t have been appropriate since they didn’t exist in the late 1800s.

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Not Sure if This Was Better or Worse Than Montezuma’s Revenge… Room: Pharaoh’s Revenge – October 16, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy Egyptian themes, pharaohs fascinate you, or you “enjoy” being entombed.

Avoid if… none of the above speaks to you or you are afraid of the ancient dead.


THE BASICS

The 47 Seals

Address: 1513 E Mulberry St, Fort Collins, CO 80524 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 970-472-8000
https://www.the47seals.com

The Room – Pharaoh’s Revenge:

Description (from the company website): You’re part of a large archeological dig team that’s looking for lost artifacts near the Valley of the Kings. After a routine supply run, you return and realize something went terribly wrong. The other members who stayed behind at the dig site are lying outside of the field office, barely conscious and near death. Now it’s up to you to figure out what caused this sickness and help the team before it’s too late.

Your time inside the room is limited. Do you have what it takes to solve the clues and puzzles to save your team?

Difficulty (1-10)Easy to Moderate

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $20

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-10

Staging Area: The 47 Seals’ rooms are within Fort Fun. From the entrance to Fort Fun, go straight past the counter to the staircase in the back and up said stairs to find the rooms. There’s a small waiting area with lockers and couches (but take your stuff in the room since one key opens ALL the lockers, meaning you don’t get to keep the key with you, the GM does).

Metro Access/Parking: There is a large parking lot for the Fort Fun facility.


OUR EXPERIENCE

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

I am not entirely sure why this one recorded the way it did. Sorry. ~Jason

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

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start in a room with a center pillar and symbols on all the walls. Plenty of space for a larger group if you have one. It’s a very clean-looking room; feels like there should have been some sand on the floor.

Understanding of the Mission: Solve all the puzzles to figure out what caused your colleagues to fall ill and cure them before it’s too late.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 15…ish

Our Suggested Party Size: This is one of the few rooms rated up to 10 people that could actually FIT 10 people comfortably. However, I still wouldn’t recommend more than 6, 8 people tops. There wouldn’t be enough to do (though there IS the space).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D (And we forgot to take a photo after…)

Worth the time and money? Yes.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Sherlocked! Book contest opens! – November 18, 2020

Hello, everyone!

The puzzle contest begins for a chance to win a free copy of Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book! See rules and restrictions below.

THE CONTEST:

While traveling in London, you are suddenly approached by a dirty little street urchin. He walks up to you and mumbles that his name is Wiggins. He hands you a crumpled cream-colored scrap of paper and mumbles that “Premier word smiths have rightfully won this challenge.” Wiggins scampers off into the crowd.

Continue reading

The Game is Afoot… Book: Sherlocked the Official Escape Room Puzzle Book

ESCAPE ROOM BOOK PROMO:

So… many people ask “what have you done while being quarantined/socially distanced due to COVID-19?”

Well, we co-wrote a book and created puzzles for a Sherlock-themed escape room puzzle book! So, give us a little bit of love and click one of those “share on social media” buttons. We’d appreciate it.

Watch the video we made about how this project came to be:

We present to you: Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book

Last October, Sophie, an editor from Studio Press (an imprint of Bonnier Books UK), contacted us to see if we had any interest in creating a series of puzzles for a Sherlock Holmes-themed puzzle book. We were nervous at first because Sherlock is such a literary icon. However, when she assured us that the Conan Doyle Estate sanctioned this project and was on board, we couldn’t wait to get started, which we did starting in January 2020.

This is a pick your own path book (so it’s not something you read straight through from cover to cover). You assist Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they investigate a mystery (well, a couple of mysteries) and find yourself solving puzzles that you might normally find in an escape room. There are points where you decide how the story moves along and can encounter different endings (so you can read the book more than once!).

So, check it out. We think it would make a great present for the holidays, or for someone who likes puzzles and is bored at home.

WHERE CAN I BUY THIS:

(The links below will be updated as we get them along with dates the book will be made available)

(*Note: The Escape Room Guys LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com… in other words, we earn a small fee by providing direct links to products on Amazon in return for promoting them.)

UPCOMING CONTEST:

Next week you can enter a contest we’re conducting through our social media channels and this blog. Readers from the United Kingdom (where our publisher is located) and the United States (where we are located) can solve a puzzle to be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of the book. We’ll send a copy to 5 randomly drawn winners each from the U.S. and U.K. who solved the puzzle correctly.

So, follow us now on one of our social media channels (links below) or follow this blog to be notified when the contest starts. Full rules will be outlined when the contest starts next week.

Follow us on our social media channels:

Thanks to everyone (our families, friends, followers, escape room friends, and enthusiasts) and we really hope you enjoy this book.

Lots of love,

Mike and Jason

Can’t We All Just Get Oolong??? – Room: A Spot of Tea – an Iris Trenton Memoir – August 9, 2020

Fancy a spot of tea?

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if…you enjoy an English breakfast or quaint village eateries.

Avoid if… you don’t like to sit down on the job.


THE BASICS

Enter the Enigma:

Address: 3540 N. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80917 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 719-309-6862
https://www.entertheenigma.com/

The Room – A Spot of Tea: An Iris Trenton Memoir:

Description (from the company website): After the worldwide publicity from your impressive capture of the famed thief, Iris Trenton, you needed a vacation.

While strolling the streets of London you happen across a little hole in the wall cafe/tea room that intrigues you. Taking a seat you are admiring the decor when you here that familiar voice…..

“Greetings Detective….Welcome to Siri’s”. Iris Trenton stands before you dressed as a waitress. At this moment you receive a phone call from Scotland Yard informing you that Iris has broken out of prison and that all signs point to her being in London to steal the Crown Jewels. Obviously, this was a trap.

Can you best the master criminal again or will she prove your first encounter inside The Attic was pure luck?

For a more detailed story, go to Enter the Enigma’s Facebook page.

Difficulty (1-10)You’ll have the option of Medium or Hard when you enter, but it’s listed as “Very Hard 8/10”

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28

Identifier: R2 (this room is a true sequel to The Attic)

Party Size: 2-6

Staging Area: Small lobby area with lockers and a water cooler. With Covid-19, this actually works since you won’t have to sit around and wait for people (unless they’re in your party).

Metro Access/Parking: This is a sort of strip mall, so 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:

Never took one. I will dish on it in the review itself.

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 is laid out as a small café, complete with dessert display case and tables/chairs.

Understanding of the Mission: describe our understanding of what we needed to do

Did We Escape: Yes, technically (see below)

Time Remaining: After discussing it with Don, we agreed upon a whole 1 SECOND REMAINING! (Read on for explanation.) Also, LEADERBOARD!

Our Suggested Party Size: 2-4; you can pull off 6, but it might be a bit crowded.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

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

Fancy a spot of tea?
Fancy a spot of tea? And yes, that’s Rico.

We didn’t take a picture; we were too busy discussing the room with the owners. But this is one we were sent to use.

Worth the time and money? Yes, especially if you’re a mental masochist.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: We ended up just heading home after, but there’s some good restaurants nearby. Continue reading