Colonial Escape Room – The Chesapeake Bay Butcher [Review]

The Chesapeake Bay ButcherΒ is one of the best escape rooms in Williamsburg, VA. Here are our recommendations forΒ great escape rooms in Williamsburg.

Thrills and Kills

Location:  Williamsburg, VA

Date Played: October 1, 2021

Team size: 3-10; we recommend 3-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33 per player, 3 person minimum

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: uneven floors, low lighting

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Chesapeake Bay Butcher was a legitimately terrifying escape room. This was one of the scariest games that we’ve found on the East Coast of the United States.

As is the case with most horror games, the puzzles and gameplay would be unimpressive in a vacuum. It’s the way Colonial Escape Room blended these with fear and the environment that made this game special.

A gross toilet locked shut, the floor below is covered in torn up paper.

The decision to play this one is really simple. If you want to be scared, and you’re near Williamsburg, go play it. It’s rare to find escape room-based horror of this caliber on this coast.

If you’re not looking for horror, then you should go play literally anything else.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Horror fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Legit terrifying
  • Compelling scary set that incorporates regional theming
  • Outstanding active gamemastering

Story

As proper true crime fans, we thought we had figured out the identity of the Chesapeake Bay Butcher. The hard work has paid off, and now it’s time for the easy part… sneak into his house and confirm our suspicions.

Setting

The Chesapeake Bay Butcher was set in a rundown home with strong hoarder-meets-serial killer vibes. The set and set-based interactions drove much of the horror. This game was scary in large part because the set was intimidating.

An old, rundown livingroom with a yellow rain coat hanging from a hook, a doll on a rocking chair, and an old TV with empty beer cans beside it.

Gameplay

Colonial Escape Room’s The Chesapeake Bay Butcher was a scary escape room. The puzzles weren’t too challenging. It’s your fear tolerance that adds the challenge.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, puzzling, and moving through the space.

A large redheaded doll sitting on a rocking chair, beside it is a stack of old books and empty beer cans.

Analysis

βž• The Chesapeake Bay Butcher had a good onramp. It gave us time to understand the gameplay and get familiar with the character before it turned up the adrenaline.

βž• The Chesapeake Bay Butcher was legitimately scary. The gamespace opened up as we played. By continually moving through it to solve puzzles, we never had time to get comfortable in it, and our unease persisted throughout the length of the game.

βž• Colonial Escape Room led us through the experience at their pace. They do this for every group with active gamemastering and control over the space. We lost our sense of time.

βž• The set was well designed. It captured a particular horror vibe, with a local flavor. The spaces in the set were distinct, yet intertwined. It felt right, and was sufficiently foreboding, and then scary.

βž– If Colonial Escape could avoid a long list of “do not touch” items, while still delivering on aesthetic vision, we could further immerse ourselves in the experience. A few too many times we had to remind ourselves not to touch – no game there.

βž• The puzzle content was solid, and worked well with the horror. The ratio of puzzles to scare felt balanced… and intense.

βž– The finale puzzle required the house lights, which eased the tension as we approached our escape. We would have enjoyed a more bombastic, scarier finale.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot

Book your hour with Colonial Escape Room’s The Chesapeake Bay Butcher, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: We traded local beer for our tickets to this game.

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