I dig it!
Location: Herndon, VA
Date Played: October 11, 2022
Team Size: 2-7; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: Varies based on number of players, i.e. $30 per player for 4 players
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Graverobber’s Dilemma surprised us by starting in the lobby, before we even set foot in the formal game space. We were given a quick story intro, a mysterious box, and a few vague instructions. This unique start set the stage for a game with a compelling storyline that had us increasingly creeped out the more we discovered about the main character. In fact, the narrative was so disturbing that one of us who is always the first to volunteer for bizarre actions in scary rooms actually hung back a bit this time!
The set was immersive and fun to explore, with details that were both interesting and weird, yet supported the story perfectly. Only later in the game did the set appear slightly less developed, but a few impressive props captured our attention and more than made up for lack of decor.
Puzzles were similarly interesting and weird, with one that was a bit stomach-turning if we thought about it too much. (Once again, I am astonished at the things we do in horror-themed escape games.) There was a good variety of puzzles, simple and multi-layered, tactical and logical, that will appeal to many different players. They were fun and satisfying to solve.
Only the ending was confusing, as we didn’t realize we’d actually completed the game and looked around for what to do next. Better defining the end of the experience would provide players with a more satisfying conclusion.
Graverobbers Dilemma is a must-play if you are anywhere near Herdon, VA and are looking for a fun, horror-themed game that is more creepy than outright scary. And while you are visiting Escape Room Herndon, check out 8-Bit Escape, Maritime Mutiny, or the Magician’s Workshop – you really can’t go wrong!
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Fans of the macabre
- Any experience level
- Compelling story
- Interesting, highly-detailed set
- Thematic and oh-so-creepy puzzles
Our team of grave robbers was looking to steal a valuable diamond from a recently-buried body. But instead of a diamond and a corpse, we’d found only a box and an address. We headed to the specified location to find the body, and more importantly, the diamond.
We entered into a cozy den, with a floor-to-ceiling fireplace that dominated one end of the room. A desk and polished antique furniture hugged the walls and an animal-skin rug added to the ambiance. But it was the blank eyes staring at us from all angles – preserved animals mounted on walls and positioned around the room – that set us on edge almost immediately.
Escape Room Herndon’s The Graverobber’s Dilemma was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling.
➕ The story started out simple enough, but as the game progressed we learned more details about the main character and his mental state; this added depth to the experience and significantly enhanced the eerie vibe of the room. We were impressed at the creativity and detail that went into the narrative.
➕ Set design early on was immersive and progressed fluidly along with the storyline; it even included a few surprise moments that really wowed us. We talked about them long after the game ended.
➖Later, the set became less detailed in comparison, appearing almost unfinished. While set pieces were still impressive, there was an opportunity to add more décor and nuance that would further define the space and have an even greater impact on player experience.
➕ Puzzles were unique with unexpected twists; several times our team of experienced players thought we’d recognized a familiar puzzle, only to be pleasantly surprised when it was not solved in the typical way.
➕ One puzzle specifically was multi-layered and involved teamwork and communication; though not complicated, it was unique and fun to solve and provided a memorable reveal.
❓ While definitely a horror-themed room, The Graverobber’s Dilemma was more unnerving than outright scary. There were a few mild jump scares, but no actors in the room. I am usually a chicken when it comes to horror, and although I may have said “ew!” more than once during the hour, I still really enjoyed the room.
➖ Puzzle flow was strong until the very end, when our team didn’t realize we’d completed the game. There was an opportunity to make the ending more defined so players can experience a more exciting and satisfying final moment.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- We enjoyed a late-night meal at the Silver Diner in Reston, VA. In addition to diner fare, they had a nice selection of vegan options.
- Our local reviewer recommends Wooboi Chicken for killer chicken sandwiches and Weird Brothers Coffee for, well, coffee.
Book your hour with Escape Room Herndon’s The Graverobber’s Dilemma, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Escape Room Herndon comped our tickets for this game.