ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you enjoy a good ocean cruise.
Avoid if… you have a fear of drowning, or just really, really hate Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie.
Escape Room Live Georgetown
Address: 3345 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (click address for Google Map)
The Room – Titanic:
Description (from the company website): Aboard the beautiful, new Titanic, you are surrounded by opulence on the journey of a lifetime… until you hit an iceberg. Trapped in your state room, can you find a way out using your ingenuity and wits before the water rises above the porthole?
Difficulty (1-10): 8/10
Time Limit: 45 minutes
Cost: $28 + tax per person but use ERGUYS15 when booking to save 15% off per ticket.
Party Size: 8-10
Staging Area: This is probably the swankiest location we’ve seen. Tons of seating AND A BAR (wine and beer, for Escapers only). There are also free lockers to stash your belongings before you enter the room.
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 (at Wisconsin and M, head down the hill towards K Street). We suggest Uber or Lyft.
This is the video we took before we entered the room:
This is the video we took just after we completed the room:
Description of the room: You enter the room and find yourself in the opulent quarters on the unsinkable cruise ship, the Titanic.
Understanding of the Mission: Simple… escape your quarters and the level before time runs out (and your porthole fills with water).
Did We Escape: No (we needed another 30 seconds (Jason’s estimate) or 2 minutes (Mike’s estimate))
Time Remaining: grrrrrrr
Our Suggested Party Size: 6 should work fine
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes (Jason begs to differ)
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Whitney, Birgit and Mindy
Worth the time and money? Yes (if for nothing else than aesthetics)
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s Georgetown. Take your pick
|JASON SAYS:||MIKE SAYS:|
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|I’ll be honest (which is what I always am when I write these things). I had 0 (zero, zip, zilch, nada, none, bubkis, squat) interest in doing this room, but it’s the one the ladies picked, so I succumbed to peer pressure (this time…) and went along for the ride. Having had such little interest (I mean, let’s be honest here: we all know how this is going to end, just like when I didn’t want to see the movie when I was 15), the only thing I knew was that the production value would be high (as we’d already done the Mummy room here).
Well, I can’t say I was disappointed with this room (as far as looks go), but the entire experience left so much to be desired for me… Read on.
|So, out of all the rooms at Escape Room Live Georgetown, this was the room that was last on my list. I fully waited years to see the movie after it hit the theaters because of all the hype, and the only good things about it were Kate Winslet, and then Leonardo DiCaprio dying at the end (the fact that she pretty much killed him made for the perfect ending). So, I relate my goal to do this room to my goal to see the initial movie. We teamed up again with some of the ladies from Escape Room Woodbridge, and they wanted to do the room… so it got moved up in the rotation.
Now, the location itself does a great job in designing the set and in establishing some pretty good puzzles, clues and an overall good experience, so I was hopeful that they all would overcome the theme.
|This entire story is delivered by the ships Captain. Instead of your general announcements, the Captain informs you that, well, he messed up, and the ship lost an epic(ally short) battle with an iceberg. So, while you’re trying to enjoy your lavish stay on an unsinkable ship, you’re going to have to fight (read: solve puzzles) for your life.
Rating: 6/10 (Note: I rated this low because, well, IT’S THE FREAKING TITANIC AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.)
|You are boarding the unsinkable Titanic, and are back in your quarters when all of a sudden, the Captain gets on the intercom and tells you that he accidentally hit an iceberg and the unsinkable ship that you paid a buttload of money to travel on is now actually sinking.
WTF… lavish cruise and now you’re going to have to battle your way topside to find out that There. Isn’t. Enough. Space. On. All. The. Lifeboats!! Being one of the two guys in the room (the rest of our team were ladies), we were pretty much screwed even if we completed the room.
And I’m not Billy Zane-ing my way onto a lifeboat.
|Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and yes, you’re accepting because you paid to be here and people had to LITERALLY die so you could experience this escape) is to get out of your room and to the elevator to the deck so you can secure your space on a lifeboat.
Rating: 6/10 (Again, same as above.)
|Escape your quarters before your porthole fills with water and make your way to the deck and the lifeboats.
A good mission, but only one mission point, which gets kinda boring. Maybe they could have had us free other people from the lower class decks (i.e. open up those accordion fences on our way topside).
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|I never know how in depth I should go with this rating because I always want to start describing specific puzzles and I know I can’t.
The main gripe I had with this room was that it was mainly linear. I think there was only one puzzle we could solve in tandem with anything else and the bulk of our time was spent running around looking for stuff (that I will say is quite well hidden, if you don’t know what to look for). I did like that the puzzles were mostly physical, something we haven’t really seen much of (and what I mean by that is that not everything was straight-up brain power). That was probably the only refreshing thing, for me, about this room.
Mike and I spent a lot of time arguing about this room, probably more so than ANY of the other 40-ish rooms we’ve done to date. Yes, there were some unique puzzles, sure, but toward the end of the experience, I felt like now we’re just solving puzzles because they ran out of ideas and felt like more was needed. Even after our GM came in after time ran out (and don’t even get me started on him…) to show us the remaining puzzle, while he was saying, oh you only needed to do this, doing it himself took longer than even he expected, which just infuriated me more. So, while this part of my review seems like it’s getting a low score, the puzzles themselves were ok. Again, except for the next to last 2…
|There were some cool puzzles in this room (I wasn’t expecting anything less with Escape Room Live), and there was a pretty good mix of tech puzzles and the standard combo locks.
There were only 5 of us, so we started off pretty well by searching the room and finding stuff to do. Having done enough of the rooms, there were a few things that I saw in the room that I assumed was part of the puzzles/clues and knew what to look for on how to operate it (but just because you know what the thing is doesn’t mean that you know what will open it (or the combo) or what you’ll find), so that only takes you so far.
I did like that there were a number of puzzles that you had to manipulate in certain ways. Definitely got you thinking.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|And here we go. Nothing was terribly complex. I feel like I say that a lot. And considering that we failed this room, it probably sounds odd for me to say it. However, I didn’t want to be there, so I chalk it up to apathy (and my refusal to get clues). We should have had no problem with this room, however at one point we were all stuck on one puzzle that we were literally missing 25% of the puzzle (read: 1 piece) to solve, so that was a huge time suck. I feel like one of the other puzzles was implemented in the wrong order and that we shouldn’t have been trying to solve it without solving something prior. Idk; it’s mid-August and this room was literally 2 months ago yesterday (to when I am writing this).
|I think there was a really good mix here. We solved some things right away and tore through part of the room really quickly. However, we hit a stumbling block in two parts of the room, and the team spent way too long on one puzzle (after a miscommunication with the GM on clarifying something about what we were and were not allowed to do). I actually left the item I was stumped on and was the last one to try the other puzzle, and ended up solving it in about 30 seconds, so our Rule #8 didn’t bite us in the ass too badly.
I won’t say that the puzzles were overly complex, but one of the last ones did take a little bit of time to solve.
I would recommend to Escape Room Live to provide whiteboards or notepads in each room so groups can take notes and try and puzzle things out. We try and remember to take our Boogie Board with us to every room, and I don’t know if we would have been able to solve the last clue (before we failed) had we not had it.
|Mike’s generally a bigger stickler here than I am, but I think I might win that battle this time. Something was definitely amiss for me in this room. While the technological features in the room were pretty slick (though not as slick as the Friday the 13th room), and as I just said above, there seemed to be something out of order, we spent way too long on one puzzle to have been solving it in the correct order, and one of the hints we asked for pretty much cemented this notion in my head. I really wish I could remember it to go into more detail; maybe a revisit one day when it isn’t busy/booked is warranted.
Regardless, the decor and aesthetics fit the room well. I didn’t feel like I’d spent *that* much money on my 1-way ticket to a watery grave (and there was no bed, wtf?), but the room itself could have been laid out better (or just been smaller; if my high school architecture teacher were there to see it, he would have said ‘what a waste of space’) and everything wouldn’t have been crammed in the final room.
|So, this room was really well done in terms of how it was decorated. You really feel that you are in one of the nicer class cabins of a luxurious cruise ship (I’ve been on other cruises, and the rooms are NOT quite that big LOL). It would have been nice to see some more luggage and clothing and personal effects (it was supposed to be a 7-day cruise, after all) and the ship hit the iceberg on day 4.
The clues and the puzzles fit the overall theme of the room, so they were well integrated into the whole experience. However, I do have an issue with some of the puzzles/locks since we’re talking about 1912… they may have been a bit advanced for that timeframe.
I did like that the time was measured in your porthole filling with water. That was pretty unique and added to the experience.
My one gripe about this room is that it went linear really quickly. It started off with us all working on our own things, but then we had to solve one puzzle to get to the next and that left a few of us standing around or searching needlessly.
I do like that Escape Room Live Georgetown does their leaderboard based on the best time of the size of the group completing the room… as long as you don’t ask for any clues.
I also liked how we had to ask for a clue.
|Do I really need to write this? I think I’ve made it clear by now, sorry.||I was having a good time in the room until we got stuck one one puzzle… we FAILED to follow Rule #9 in an effort to make their leaderboard, and that really bit us in the ass. By the time we did ask for the clue, it was too late for us to actually solve the last two clues in total.|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|So, this is probably where my biggest gripe is. At some point, I was working on a puzzle in the corner (and that’s all you’ll need to know once you get in there) and over the speaker I hear our GM telling me I don’t have to mess with that; it’s not part of the game. Well, 40% of our team (myself and one other non-ERG) heard this and promptly turned away from it. It turned out being a pretty big part, actually, and I’m still not sure what made him say it in the way he said it to lead us astray (which, ironically, is only an ‘h’ away from ‘ashtray’; dunno why I’ve never noticed that before).
Anyway, I pitched a bit of a fit about it outside, and as you probably noticed in the exit video, I was angry. Mike, I think we’re going to have to start rating GM’s separately from the overall score.
|Our GM was pretty hands off, which we requested from the beginning, and stepped in to answer some clarifying questions. One point of contention that Jason and I had in this room was that we interpreted a direction given by the GM very, very differently. Jason (and others) swears that he told them that a certain thing was not part of the room, and I (and another person) clearly remember him saying something about the wires not being important to what we were working on. I argued that we knew that what we were working on was a puzzle because we had not encountered any red herrings to that point, and we were stuck… until I completed that puzzle. I would estimate that we lost about 10 minutes on that one puzzle.
Now, that being said, the GM should have come back across the intercom and clarified his direction once the rest of the team stopped working on the puzzle and moved away from it.
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|They were useful, but not blatantly. Though, I guess at some point we just wanted to get through with it.||We waited too long to ask for a clue, and when we finally did, he told us that he wasn’t giving it to us because we were already trying to solve it the way it should have been done.
Had we had just 2-3 more minutes, we would have solved those last two puzzles.
|Anger Level Score||ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score|
|Ok, if I type any more, I’m going to get more angry and I’ve got another escape room to do in 3 hours, so I’m just going to leave the rating and be done.
Rating: ????? Fists – 5/5
|I’m rating this as a 4 because of our own stubbornness in waiting to ask for a clue so far into the game, which led to our failure.
I still hate that movie. LOL
Rating: ?♂️ ?♂️ ?♂️ ?♂️ FacePalms – 4/5
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 6.75/10
Final Thought: We shouldn’t have failed this room, but there were factors in play that led to our demise (whether it be a miscommunication with the GM or our own reluctance to ask for a clue). The room isn’t overly complex, and would be a good one for newbies or Escape Room virgins to do with a group.