There’s magic in Alexandria, Virginia. Go experience it.
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Date played: November 1, 2015
Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-6
Price: $28 per ticket
From the moment we exited the elevator, we entered the world of Escape Room Live Alexandria.
That world included a reception area and a spacious, styled, and decorated lounge and function room. The space was comfortable, inviting, and designed unlike any other escape room we’ve encountered.
This production value and styling extended to the The Wizard’s Apothecary: The Power of the Rings. The set was remarkable and believable, in so much as wizardry was believable.
The King’s wizard is missing and only you, as the wizard’s apprentice, have the skills necessary to find him. You have 45 minutes in his study for this task.
Escape Room Live Alexandria is not legally allowed to lock players in rooms. Thus, they created a win condition completely divorced from escape. The game didn’t suffer because of this.
As one would expect from a wizard-themed game, puzzles unfolded in unique, magical ways. The uses of sensors to create moments of magical happenings were clever, creative, and exciting.
This game also had a magical hinting system through one of the props in the room. Thus the fiction was sustained throughout the entire experience.
This technique made requesting a hint fun (which is impressive because asking for a hint is decidedly not fun).
The Wizard’s Apothecary had one massive choke point in its gameplay. There was a single prop that affected so many puzzles that it created multiple bottlenecks as various members of our team vied for it to solved different puzzles.
This didn’t wreck our experience, but it forced us to stand around waiting… Which isn’t awesome when the timer is ticking down.
The games at Escape Room Live Alexandria are only 45 minutes long.
Normally I find 45 minute games too short. In this case, however, it was 45 minutes without much fluff or tedium. It worked because all of the puzzles were strong… But I would have loved to see a few more challenges and an extra 15 minutes of play.
Before the game started, a staff member quickly delivered the game set up and walked us through a poster of “don’ts” in a lighthearted, but serious manner. It was well performed.
The staff at Escape Room Live Alexandria were all exceptionally welcoming. They even opened early for us and then held our suitcase in their closet while we went out to lunch. They earned a lot of appreciation from a pair of weary travelers.
Should I play Escape Room Live Alexandria’s The Wizard’s Apothecary: The Power of the Rings ?
A magical room calls for magical solutions. Escape Room Live Alexandria’s brilliant and seamless use of sensors elevates the gameplay to a level that few escape rooms rival.
The Wizard’s Apothecary felt like another world with its own physics and logic. The puzzles were creative and challenging.
Escape Room Live Alexandria minded all details: the décor, rules, hinting systems, gamemasters’ performance, and even the hilariously hidden camera. All of this added up to a fun, inviting, and worthwhile destination.
Escape Room Live Alexandria is an hour on the metro from Washington DC’s Union Station, or 20-30 minutes by Uber, but it is worth the trip if you can spare the time. Plus, downtown Alexandria is adorable. You can round out a half-day excursion with eating, drinking, shopping, and general site-seeing.
Every member of our team enjoyed this game. In fact, one player mentioned that her only disappointment was that she didn’t get to solve all the puzzles because they happened while she was solving something else.
Book your session with Escape Room Live Alexandria’s Wizard Room, and tell them the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Escape Room Live Alexandria comped our tickets for this game.