ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you’ll try anything – food wise – once.
Avoid if… cannibalism makes you queasy.
Room Escape DC:
Address: 3949A University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 703-270-0377
The Room – The Frightful Feast:
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.
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Cost: $27 per person, but use ERG15 to take 15% off your price on games booked between Mondays and Thursdays
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
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 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
Worth the time and money? Yes
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
|JASON SAYS:||MIKE SAYS:|
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|Having already done all the rooms at Room Escape (again), we were waiting with baited breath for this room to open. The room it replaced was the room at this location we rated lowest, so again, we were looking forward to this. Room Escape DC is pretty damn decent with their build-outs, so I figured it would be pretty good.
The theme sounded fun, and we recruited some regulars, a novice, and even an ERV.
Read on, friends!
|We were looking forward to Room Escape DC’s new room once they started advertising it because we hadn’t been here in awhile since we completed all of their rooms… but that in itself says something about this location. You get a really good, consistent experience here and once we find some great rooms (for a number of reasons) we often prioritize going back to the same location until all the rooms are done.
And then waiting MONTHS for them to design and start a new room is like a crack whore waiting for her next fix… ya get all jittery and twitchy until you hear that it’s coming soon.
|You wake up, having no recollection of how you got where you are, and overhear some “people” in the next room talking about making dinner. Once you realize you’re locked in the room, it clicks that they’re not talking about have you OVER for dinner…
|You and your group wake up in a cell with a case of short-term amnesia. As you’re becoming aware of your surroundings, you hear three voices planning the dinner menu. After a few moments, you are horrified to realize that YOU are the main course for the dinner! They have a few last minute plans to take care of, and head out… leaving you with 60 minutes to avoid becoming the entree, with enough for leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
I liked the premise of this room, and – being the huge dork that I am – recall a similar premise in The Hobbit where Bilbo Baggins has to rescue Gandalf and the Dwarves from a trio of Trolls who were arguing as to how to prepare them all for dinner.
|The mission had multiple parts, which, if you’ve read any of our reviews, you know we enjoy. However, you don’t know that going in until you get about 2 minutes into the room, so that’s all I’m saying about this. I don’t want to give it away. Just rest assured that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
|On the surface, it appears as if you simply have to find a way to get out of the ghastly kitchen that you’re in, and avoid becoming dinner. However, once you start moving around the room, you discover that maybe the mission isn’t as easy as you were led to believe…
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|Hooray, more things we haven’t seen! Other than the written clues (and anything having to do with reading, really), everything in here was something new.
My favorite part of the room was probably the dinner table. </enough said> It was fresh, worked well for the theme, and had multiple parts that were spread about the room for you to solve it. That’s basically a perfect puzzle right there, aside from the one part that was (perhaps deliberately) ambiguous. You’ll know it when you see it, unless they took our criticism to heart.
There are visual clues aplenty, so keep your eyes peeled (or just wait out the hour and they will be peeled for you). Get it? That’s a dinner joke. Peeled, like potatoes. See what I did there? (Oh god, Mike made a similar joke…GET OUT OF MY HEAD.)
|With Room Escape DC, we expect to see a lot of diversity in the puzzles and locks that we find in the rooms. Here, we weren’t disappointed and were treated to a number of new experiences.
There were a LOT of puzzles in this room, and they used all different sections of your brain.
I guess that they were just trying to get the juices flowing in case you didn’t finish the room in 60 minutes…
Juices flowing… you’re the main course?
*Taps microphone* Buehler… Buehler?
I digress… you end up using almost all of your senses in this room, and it’s often difficult because you also have to be paying very close attention to what you’re doing at the time in order to solve the puzzles (and with chaos going on around you and a ticking clock, it’s easier said than done). When doing puzzles that relate to one specific sense, it’s important to figure out a way to quickly reset or restart that puzzle if you don’t catch everything the first time around.
There were some takes on old school puzzles, and even some twists on some puzzles that you’ll find in video games like Resident Evil. I do like rooms that include actual things that you have to work out logically or decipher, and I wasn’t disappointed here.
And, they do a good job with their room design, so you won’t find a room filled with combination locks, so be sure to examine everything carefully.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|There were, thankfully, some new things here. (Getting a little tired of repeating myself on this one…) There were many subtleties in the new puzzles we encountered. Eric accidentally solved one of them, but we later were showed how you would actually do it if done “correctly”. The early puzzles weren’t terribly difficult, but they did make you at least think. There was one puzzle that I started on, but I generally hate that specific type of puzzle (hell, you can buy it as a handheld game for home use, but I don’t know why anyone would want to do that) and once I walked away, Katie figured it out in about a minute (damn you!).
I could have done without the musical puzzle, because it wasn’t totally clear what we were supposed to do with it, but we figured it out in time. Additionally, it was a little hard to follow after we did figure it out.
All in all, however, Room Escape DC definitely stepped up their game this time.
|We had an Escape Room Newbie (ERN) as well as an Escape Room Virgin (ERV) with us, in addition to some of our more experienced team members, and they all were able to solve some puzzles. There was a good mix for newbies and people with more experience, yet not too complex that newbies weren’t able to participate in the solving of some of the more complex or multi-prong puzzles.
Since we were all solving things at once, it was kind of hard to determine what was finished and what we still needed to do, so we lost a few minutes working on some things that had already been completed (but that’s our own fault because it’s the reason why our Rule #2 exists).
I loved the challenge of a few of the puzzles in this room, and the one place we got stumped was where we figured out how to solve it even as the GM was still speaking after we finally had to ask for a clue. But, overall, I don’t think that the room was their most difficult… unless our team was really just on their game that night.
I think that Eric and I are getting a bit too good at figuring out solutions to “locks” just by examining them, since we were able to solve two of them without the puzzles themselves. That actually sucked a bit because when we did find the puzzles later on, it was the other one of us who hadn’t opened the lock so we assumed that puzzle was still in play. When are you going to learn to read my mind, Eric?! It’s a good thing we communicate well.
|There was something about this room that I didn’t get. The props and puzzles in the room fit the theme, however they felt disjointed. The logical puzzle progression was there, but I couldn’t help but feel that there was still something missing. The story was fun, the puzzles were well thought out, but the whole thing just didn’t feel right.
Man, why am I having such a hard time writing this section…
I reserve the right to update this at a later date, but the rating is legit, for now.
|The room is not linear, which definitely is a plus if it’s rated for 8 people. I think that we all were able to work on our own thing, and then we started to drift together as puzzles were solved. I am glad that we start discussing the full room once we escape (or time runs out) so I can see how everything was solved and how the overall experience of the room works together.
There was a REALLY cool way for the GM to talk to us in this room. I kept looking at this thing just WAITING for something happen, and I wasn’t disappointed when it did… and in a very snarky, sarcastic way. Gotta love the attitude.
There were some good surprises in the room… Poor Katie jumped when we opened “something” and “something” happened that she wasn’t expecting. Welcome to escape rooms, darlin! LOL I think that even Tara jumped at another point, which surprised me since our other Newbie, Heather, is not a fan of scary things.
I liked the props and the decor. Some of the props were even a nice nod back to childhood, and who doesn’t enjoy a little nostalgia when you’re about to be killed and eaten?
|This was probably the most fun I have had in one of the rooms at Room Escape DC. The room itself was entertaining, the puzzles were clever, and hearing Tara scream at the end for no good reason (IMO) was hilarious! (Though I haven’t tried their VR stuff yet.)||Despite it not being a huge mind-fuck, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this room and had a lot of fun going through it… especially seeing a Newbie and an ERV really catching on to how the rooms are done.|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|Our GM (Jesse (sp?)) was having a good time chatting with us through the “device” in the other room.||Jessie was our GM, and she has a great laid-back and snarky attitude, so it was a perfect fit for the feel of the room itself. We did ask for her help once, and maybe a few times to clarify something (like a time check or a % check to see how far into the room we were).|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|Her (Jesse) favorite part of the room was when I asked for a hint about the dip switches. I’m still pissed I didn’t catch that…||We asked for one clue, but as soon as she started talking and we looked at what she directed us to, we knew what we had to do before she finished speaking.|
|RAGE Meter||ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score|
|Stupid painting on the wall! RAWRRRRRR
Rating: ??? “Angry”
|Maybe just a small amount for the one clue that was literally staring us right in the face…
Rating: FacePalms – 2/5
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 7.8/10
Final Thought: We’ve come to expect a lot of Room Escape DC, and maybe that’s not 100% fair, but it’s a high bar that they set for themselves. This room was just FUN, and was a good experience to bring some new people to, while also posing a little bit of a challenge to some of our regular players. We’re looking forward to the next one.