Escape Room Live Georgetown – Titanic [Review]

“Draw me like one of your french girls.” -Rose

Location: Washington, DC

Date Played: April 21, 2018

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 2-5

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Titanic was a puzzle-focused escape room for newer puzzlers ready to set sail. The themed challenges were a lot of fun. Titanic combined lock-based gameplay with tech-driven interactions. With the addition of more in-game feedback, Titanic could flow more smoothly and feel more immersive.

If you’re a less experienced player looking for an interesting puzzle game, this is a great place to dive in.

If you’re more experienced, this a value judgement. Know that you’ll move quickly through this 45-minute experience, but there are some cool puzzles to grapple with. 

In-game: a chaise lounge beside a porthole in a large stateroom.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with little to moderate experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Interesting puzzles
  • The chaise longue
  • The Escape Room Live lobby & bar

Story

In our stateroom aboard the Titanic II, the unthinkable happened: We hit an iceberg. (No one could have seen that coming). We needed to escape our room and find our way to the deck of the ship in time to board a lifeboat, or…

Meme: Frozen Rose holding Jack says, "I'll never let go, Jack." Next panel, Jack is gone, reads, "LOL JK."

Setting

Our spacious stateroom was sparsely furnished with a few lovely antiques, some wall decorations, and a porthole with an iceberg view.

In-game: a porthole looking out over the water, an iceberg in the distance.

Aside from being a touch too spartan and a little worn, the setting conveyed Titanic-style luxury well.

In-game: A portrait hanging on the wall over a mantle.

Gameplay

Escape Room Live Georgetown’s Titanic was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing and puzzling.

In-game: a series of bells labeled "TITANIC."

Analysis

Titanic delivered fun, tangible puzzles. We particularly enjoyed a deduction puzzle.

+ We enjoyed the nautically themed props and their use as puzzle components.

+ David especially enjoyed sprawling on the the chaise longue and making jokes.

– Although we appreciated the theming, we would have liked to internalize more story – of the space, our characters, or the impending disaster – as we progressed toward deck.

+/- There wasn’t a lot to find. On the one hand, we weren’t bogged down by searching through red herrings. On the other hand, the space felt a bit empty. It lacked depth.

– A few of the puzzles lacked feedback. In one instance, when we couldn’t tell if we were striking the right chord, we assumed the puzzle was out of play or broken. It was working, but it gave no indication of that.

– Later in our play through, we solved a puzzle out of sequence, before receiving the appropriate cluing. The resulting interaction opened, but was not in play. Since we’d been conditioned earlier to proceed with puzzles even without feedback, we continued to hack at this interaction until our gamemaster noticed and nudged us back toward another unsolved puzzle.

+/- We are glad we couldn’t advance out of sequence because we would have missed a substantial portion of the game and some of the best puzzles. We wish the gamemaster didn’t have to step in to redirect us.

+ The exit door was nifty.

+ Escape Room Live’s lobby and bar area is gorgeous; it’s a lovely place to hangout. I don’t normally get excited for lobbies, but this one is special.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is a parking garage few blocks down at M and Wisconsin. Street parking is a challenge in this neighborhood.
  • There are lots of restaurant options in Georgetown.
  • For baked goods, we recommend Baked & Wired. Be prepared to stand in line on the weekend.

Book your hour with Escape Room Live Georgetown’s Titanic, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape Room Live provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Escape Room Live Georgetown – The Mummy [Review]

Mummy may I?

Location: Washington, DC

Date Played: April 21, 2018

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 2-5

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

The Mummy was about adventure over puzzles. The large-scale, interactive set pieces were exciting to manipulate. While some of the props and interactions were a touch too temperamental, the escape room delivered well-timed cinematic and memorable moments.

If you’re a new player in the area, try this one out.

If you’re more experienced, this a value judgment. Know that you’ll move quickly through this 45-minute experience.

If you’re in Georgetown looking for a good adventure, checkout The Mummy.

In-game: A massive sphinx head on the wall of an Egyptian tomb.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Beautiful set pieces
  • Exciting, set-based interactions
  • Cinematic moments
  • The Escape Room Live lobby & bar

Story

As archeologists, we were exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb when the main doors sealed shut. We needed to escape because… Egyptian curses aren’t favorable.

In-game: A blue glowing ankh set in sandstone.

Setting

The set felt small; there wasn’t a ton of room to walk around. (Note for the claustrophobic folks: It’s not that small.)

The props felt enormous. The Egyptians had carved life-sized – and larger – stone depictions of their gods to guard this ancient burial place.

The floor was covered in real sand and the entire set was a bit sandy.

In-game: A sarcophagus leaning against the wall of an Egyptian tomb.

Gameplay

Escape Room Live Georgetown’s The Mummy was a standard escape room with a compelling set.

Core gameplay revolved around observing and determining interactions.

Analysis

+ The set had scale. The space may have been smaller, but the props and scenery felt immense.

The Mummy was an adventure. We interacted with it and it reacted to us.

– While we weren’t a rough group, our gamemaster repeatedly told us not to touch or investigate the set pieces with our hands or other in-game props. The continual admonishment diminished the fun of exploration. More player-proofing would go a long way; we felt like we needed permission to play.

– We found one search puzzle more frustrating than fun, especially given the small search tool and the admonishment for certain types of set exploration.

+ We loved one particularly larger-than-life set piece’s reaction. It engaged and impressed the entire team.

The Mummy looked worn and not in a ruins kind of way. Escape rooms with sand wear more quickly than most and need additional maintenance.

+ The initial room setup subtly clued late-game gameplay. This small detail probably makes a big difference for many teams. It was thoughtfully designed.

– One prop fit exactly into a place where it didn’t belong. We ultimately used it for a completely different purpose where size and shape meant nothing. This was confusing, unsatisfying, and avoidable.

– The gameplay relied on a run book: a journal contained a good portion of the clue structure. While the run book made some sense narratively, in an escape room with a visually interesting set, it was disappointing to have my nose in a book.

+ The opening and closing puzzles were cinematic. Escape Room Live Georgetown designed the puzzle flow around memorable moments. It worked. The final puzzle was a great choice.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is a parking garage few blocks down at M and Wisconsin. Street parking is a challenge in this neighborhood.
  • There are lots of restaurant options in Georgetown.
  • For baked goods, we recommend Baked & Wired. Be prepared to stand in line on the weekend.
  • The floor is covered in sand. We recommend closed-toe shoes.
  • Note that this is a 45-minute game. If you are experienced player, it will move quickly and feel short.

Book your hour with Escape Room Live Georgetown’s The Mummy, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape Room Live provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Brainstorm Escape Games – Black & White [Review]

Black and white and gray.

Location: Norcross, GA

Date Played: March 23, 2018

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Black & White was a neat concept. It didn’t need the extra hype of the storyline, which it didn’t deliver on. There were some good puzzle, but one was nonsensical and essentially broken.

If Brainstorm Escape Games cleaned up the nonsense, and dropped the over-the-top story that didn’t exist beyond the setup, this one could be worth a visit.

In-game: A black & white checker boarded room.

Who is this for?

  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Some good puzzles
  • The look of the space

Story

We were sucked into an old black and white TV program. If we couldn’t escape before the end of the show, we’d never see color again.

In-game: A chess set with a black bishop and white queen affixed to the board.

Setting

Black & White was a giant checker board. The set and props were boldly painted to conform to this aesthetic. It was a cool aesthetic.

Upon closer inspection, a lot of the props looked like they could benefit from some refinement.

While everything was black and white, nothing else about the set gave us the sense that we were trapped in an old television show.

Gameplay

Brainstorm Escape Games’ Black & White was a standard escape room with a tough onramp that gave way to a generally low-difficulty game.

Core gameplay revolved around observing and puzzling.

Analysis

+ When our teammates heard the setup for this game, everyone wanted to play it. We were running ahead of schedule and we just couldn’t say no.

– The opening puzzle was staggeringly obtuse. It was needlessly difficult to get started, due to lack of in-room cluing and abundant ambiguity. This was the kind of puzzle that teaches new players to just guess at things in escape rooms.

– Much of the gameplay came from laminated sheets of paper rather than the interesting environment. This felt like a missed opportunity.

Black & White put a brilliant twist on a time-tested escape room standard puzzle.

– There was a frustrating search mechanic: a small tool, a large space, and no direction.

+ Black & White came round to a satisfying final solve. It tied back to the opening, albeit abstractly, and worked well.

– The mid-century TV story felt bolted on. While the black and white aesthetic was cool, it didn’t feel like a period television set. That plot had no obvious correlation to the puzzles. The plot could have just as easily not existed, and the escape room might have been better for it. We didn’t need to make sense of that wacky black and white world, we simply puzzled in it.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking out front.

Book your hour with Brainstorm Escape Games’ Black & White, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Brainstorm Escape Games provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Nashville, Tennessee: Room Escape Recommendations

Are you traveling to Nashville, TN for a concert, bachelorette party, or other festivities?

In preparation for the escape room conference in Nashville July 27-29, 2018, we took a trip down to Music City and explored its booming escape room scene.

You can play some great games in downtown Nashville. If you have (or can rent) a car, we also recommend you drive 30 minutes south to Franklin, TN and 40 minutes southeast to Murfreesboro, TN. These recommendations cover Nashville, Franklin, and Murfreesboro together, which collectively make one fine escape room market.

Here are our escape room recommendations near Nashville, TN to help you choose the games you’ll enjoy most.

A collection of guitars including a Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, and Fender Telecaster.

Market standouts

  1. The Blind Pig, Murfreesboro Escape Rooms
  2. Gold Rush, The Escape Game (or just about anything at The Escape Game)
  3. Pharaoh’s Chamber, 60 Minute Escape
  4. Treasure of Pacari, LiveMinds Adventure Escape
  5. The White Room, EscapePoint

Set & scenery-driven adventures

Puzzle-centric

Newbie-friendly

Games with actors

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

PanIQ Room – Primal Quest [Review]

Grunt loudly and carry a bigger stick.

Location: Washington, DC

Date Played: April 22, 2018

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: ranging from $24 – $36 per ticket depending on weekday/weekend and team size

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

Primal Quest was our first prehistoric escape room. It was a puzzle-focused game with enjoyable puzzles, set against a fun theme. The setting and the gameplay felt split from one another, as the set was prehistoric and the puzzles were modern. Pulling the puzzles and environment into a more cohesive unit could make this interesting game great.

If you’re in the neighborhood, it a fun playthrough.

In-game: A fire on the other side of a wooden cage.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Interesting puzzles
  • Some good moments

Story

We were hostages of cannibal cavemen. Before they returned from hunting, we needed to escape or we’d be the meal in our last supper.

Setting

The cave was dimly lit and dusty. PanIQ Room had treated the walls to give them a more cave-like vibe. Some rooms had been heavily augmented to create a cave feel while others remained fairly modern. The cave was decorated primarily with animal hides, bones, and a glowing fire pit.

In-game: The walls of the cave with a pelt on the wall, and light shining in from above.

Gameplay

PanIQ Room’s Primal Quest was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, and puzzling.

Analysis

+/- Primal Quest was our first prehistoric escape room. It was thoughtfully but unevenly themed in terms of set decor and props. Some portions of the game felt like they had received a lot of attention, while others strongly resembled the office building that housed the game.

– Some of the decor needed maintenance; it looked worn.

– A few modern details remained exposed. The escape room would have been better had these details had been hidden away.

– The set was dusty. After crawling through one low doorway, our pants were covered in grit. Especially considering PanIQ Room’s location in Georgetown, we recommend a cave aesthetic that looks and feels dirty without the actual dirt.

Primal Quest started off in a limited space with only a few challenges available. This offered an on-ramp for newer players.

Primal Quest escalated in difficulty and intrigue.

Primal Quest contained interesting, satisfying puzzles of varied types. We generally knew how to approach them, but to solve them, we had to think a little differently than we had upon initial glance. The puzzles resolved cleanly.

– The puzzles were escape room-y and generally felt modern, even though we were in a prehistoric setting. This created a schism between the setting and the gameplay.

– One heavy prop may stall a team of younger or smaller people for substantial time on a puzzle where hints won’t be any help.

+ We particularly enjoyed the late-game puzzle embedded in an early set piece.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is a parking garage few blocks down at M and Wisconsin. Street parking is a challenge in this neighborhood.
  • There are lots of restaurant options in Georgetown.
  • For baked goods, we recommend Baked & Wired. Be prepared to stand in line on the weekend.
  • This cave is dusty.
  • At least 2 players will need to crawl or otherwise get through a low doorway.

Book your hour with PanIQ Room’s Primal Quest and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: PanIQ Room comped our tickets for this game.

Escape the Netherworld – Haunted [Review]

Puzzles, poltergeist, and a sassy gargoyle.

Location: Stone Mountain, GA

Date Played: March 23, 2018

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public or Private

REA Reaction

Haunted was exciting. The puzzles, set, and in-character avatar gamemaster delivered both intensity and humor. For a company as talented as Escape the Netherworld, it was disappointing to encounter standard purchased puzzles. Haunted was at its best when it was an original creation, which was most of the game.

If you’re anywhere in the Atlanta area, seek out this haunted escape game.

Haunted team post-game photo.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Beautiful and imposing set
  • In character gamemastering
  • Finale

Story

After our uncle, a genius parapsychologist had passed away, we learned that he had trapped and almost subdued the horrific Night Hag, a beast who had haunted the family for centuries. Now it was up to us to vanquish the creature or suffer her vengeance.

In-game: A gargoyle with intense eyes.
Image via Escape The Netherworld.

Setting

Our uncle’s laboratory had his workspace in the middle, surrounded by various contraptions and large captive creatures in glass chambers. The whole place had a steampunk haunted house vibe. It looked great.

Portions of the game took place in low light.

Gameplay

Escape the Netherworld’s Haunted was a standard escape room with a compelling set and a higher level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

Analysis

+ The steampunkish set was captivating. Escape the Netherworld built some incredibly detailed set pieces. Some of these only delivered ambiance and did so without misleading us. The gamespace was a fully designed environment and visually interesting.

Haunted felt big. From the set and tangible interactions to the reactions of the space, this escape room had scale.

+ Our gamemaster was a character in our adventure. His avatar chatted with us throughout the game. By this, our third game at Escape the Netherworld, the staff knew our team, and knew how to sass us. And at 11pm, in the 10th game of the day, this was exactly what we needed. It was a riot.

– While the story worked well, it was less innovative than Escape the Netherworld’s other two escape rooms, Sasquatch and Nosferatu.

Haunted included a few purchased puzzles that felt out of place in our uncle’s haunted steampunk lab. Some of these purchased puzzles appeared many times in various Atlanta area escape rooms.

+ The puzzles flowed well in Haunted. They were accessible, non-linear, tangible, and fun.

+ The dramatic ending sequence punctuated the victory. It was memorable and engaged the entire team in the win.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking out front.
  • Food: We enjoyed the nearby Metro Cafe Diner.

Book your hour with Escape the Netherworld’s Haunted, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape the Netherworld comped our tickets for this game.

Odyssey Escape Game – Titanic [Review]

…   _ _ _   …

Location: Alpharetta, GA

Date Played: March 25, 2018

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Titanic shared a sweet story through escape room gameplay. While the sets had some interesting features, they felt largely empty. The puzzle design was uneven, with some puzzles more successfully executed than others. It was a good escape room, but it wasn’t as epic as the subject matter demanded.

If you’re in the area, you might want to check this one out.

In-game: The helm of the ship with a large wheel.
Image via Odyssey Escape Game.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level
  • People who will never let go

Why play?

  • A sweet story
  • The final set

Story

We were crew aboard the Titanic when it collided with the iceberg. We had to send a distress signal, retrieve the Captain’s personal effects, escape to a lifeboat with them, and return them to his wife.

Setting

The deck of Titanic was spacious with a bit of nautical equipment. It was also dark, given that it was night at sea.

Throughout Titanic, parts of the set looked fantastic, but the space between those great props often felt overly large and empty.

Gameplay

Odyssey Escape Game’s Titanic was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing and puzzling.

Analysis

+ The setup for the game was intriguing and justified the tasks that we were presented with.

– The most interesting props on the deck of Titanic weren’t part of the game. They were only decor, yet they looked intriguing and interactive. As our gamemaster explained, Odyssey Escape Game wanted to preserve these props and asked us not to play with them. It was disappointing because these things were begging to be part of a puzzle.

– The earlier puzzles asked us to follow a series of instructions. We found ourselves with overlapping instruction lists, which became confusing, and led to puzzle flow problems. Additionally, in one instance a solution required us to disregard order where order was explicitly indicated.

+ One thematically relevant puzzle had a nifty user interface that worked better than most escape room implementations of this type of puzzle. It was satisfying and fun to solve.

– The narrative of Titanic was too level. Although the story was sweet and the puzzles worked pretty well, it felt like it was relying on the game clock to provide drama, because the story itself never really escalated.

+ The final set was a fun location.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with Odyssey Escape Game’s Titanic, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Odyssey Escape Game provided media discounted tickets for this game.

BBC Sherlock Escape Room: 19 Questions with Time Run’s Nick Moran

I loved Time Run. I enjoyed Sherlock. Earlier this week, we were finally able to announce that these two incredible worlds are about to collide in Sherlock: The Game is Now.

I asked Nick Moran, Creative Director at Time Run, more about this collaboration. It sounds to me like a trip to London will be in order. Read on and decide for yourself.

1. Room Escape Artist: Tell us about your new project.

Nick Moran: Sherlock: The Game is Now is our next project, which has just been publicly announced this week. It’s a collaboration between the Time Run team (Josh Ford, Director, Sheena Patel, Producer and myself) and Hartswood Films, the creators of Sherlock. It’s a live game, set in the world of the TV series. This is not a pop-up, or a small-scale temporary event; this is a proper, full-scale escape room experience. We’re excited!

A silhouette of Sherlock Holmes flanked by profiles of John Watson & Mycroft Holmes. A yellow spray painted overlays the image.

2. How did this come about?

Incredibly organically. Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue, and Mark Gatiss came and played Time Run. Conversations started… and it just seemed to make sense. I wish I could say it was some grand orchestrated plan, but honestly, it was just a project we were all excited by. Naturally they love puzzles and mysteries – and have created a show bathed in them. Our business is puzzles and mysteries. It was a natural fit.

3. What was it like working with writers Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss? You can be brutally honest. There is no way that they read Room Escape Artist.

Steven and Mark are great! Obviously, you hear stories about all sorts of projects and collaborations, but honestly, Hartswood Films is an absolute dream to work with. They’re fun and unbelievably clever. They understand we love and respect the show, and that we’re trying to create an experience that exemplifies everything that’s great about the show, but in a live environment. To that end, they’re up for anything. They’re open-minded, generous, and enthusiastic about the available possibilities. It’s been such a satisfying creative process. They really got into the mindset of this alien format. They’re cinematic thinkers – and yet suddenly they were working on something entirely new – and they were totally game, no pun intended.

So, hopefully we’ve come together to make something really cool.

4. Is this ‘alien format’ a traditional escape room? Or more akin to Celestial Chain? Or something else?

This definitely plays more like a traditional escape room than Celestial Chain.

In-game: a large and mysterious metal vessel. It could be a submarine or a space ship.
Celestial Chain

5. Without spoilers, what can people expect from Sherlock: The Game is Now?

So, when you arrive, you go to W- Oh… without spoilers. This is difficult.

You are at the centre of your own episode of Sherlock. You’ll get to step into the shoes of Mr Holmes and be the protagonist in your own adventure. You’ll experience amazing gameplay, beautiful environments (both familiar and unfamiliar) and journey through a world that doesn’t break from the moment you enter until the moment you leave. And (spoiler alert) – you’ll have a whole lot of fun, or at least, we damn well hope so!

The living room of Sherlock's cluttered London flat. The wall is graffitied, "THE GAME IS NOW."

6. Is this set in an existing Sherlock episode? Or is it inspired by an existing Sherlock Holmes story?

It’s an all-new adventure in the world of the show. It’s not set in an existing episode. Telling you any more… well, obviously, that’d be telling.

7. Do people need to have seen the show or read the books to enjoy the experience?

If you haven’t seen the show, it’ll be a great experience, but if you have seen the show, you’ll get a lot more from it. The show has dedicated fans worldwide and we want to respect them and the legacy of the show that they love. So, to answer your question succinctly: no, not at all. But it sure helps to have seen it, otherwise you’ll miss some of the fun details, references, and Easter eggs!

8. Since Holmes, Dr. Watson, Mrs. Hudson, Inspector Lestrade, and Mycroft are all characters in this game… who are we, the players, in this experience?

Naturally, you are… you. Once you have signed up, you are willing recruits of the Network. What’s the network? Well, it’s Mycroft Holmes’ web of recruits that seep out under the skein of the world.

Now, as the trailer says – and Mycroft says it better than I do – many of these particular agents suffered rather unfortunate ends. Sadly it’s time to turn to the public, as numbers are low (and the great unwashed are quite expendable). He doesn’t find this a particularly savoury thought, as you can imagine.

9. Many escape room players are over Holmes. They’ve played so many Holmes-themed escape rooms at this point. What are you doing to make this experience really capture the world of Holmes and set it apart?

Well, Sherlock and the works of Conan Doyle are as different as any adaptation can be! The show is the product of two writers who were utterly enamoured with the source material and set out to create their own, unique universe. The usual escape room fare is just slap-on-a-deerstalker-and-hope-for-the-best.

In Sherlock: The Game is Now you step into the world of high-octane, fast-talking, high-functioning sociopath, Sherlock Holmes and his sneering, supercilious brother, a world dripping with humour, pathos, action, and adventure. This game will be so much more than some loose, Sherlock theming: a battered pseudo-Victorian study, assembled from bric-a-brac, as you see in some poor escape games. Here, you are at the centre of an amazing adventure, in not just *a* Sherlock Universe but *the* Sherlock Universe. The show has become a cultural totem in and of itself. It stepped out of the shadow of Conan Doyle the moment it was born. It’s that world in which you play, which is markedly different from the typical escape room fare.

10. You have such a well-defined mythos of your own at Time Run. Is this connected in any way to the Time Run verse?

Haha, sadly no. Babbage and Luna are off gallivanting through time and space, alone. Although, as we’ve poured ourselves into the game, if bits of us didn’t seep in there somehow, I would be shocked.

Time Run’s lobby.

11. Will people experience the same level of world-building that we’ve come to expect from Time Run?

100% yes. Time Run very much had our game design ethos: a world that never breaks, from beginning to end. A world that makes sense. Games with logic, internally and externally. We try to maintain this ruleset across what we do because it’s our design ideology. It’s all about losing yourself inside a experience, one that just happens to be a game. It just wouldn’t be a Time Run game otherwise.

Lance of Longinus

12. Compared to the high level of detail you had in your original two games, how does this measure up?

Experiences live and die in the detail. Naturally, the same team is behind all of our games, so we sure hope it will measure up. However, these are, naturally, real world environments. There can’t be the same flights of fancy that Time Travel allows. It’ll feel similar in detail, but different in emphasis.

Before we close, let’s expand on a few of the details from the announcement:

13. When do tickets go on sale? When does it open? How long will this run?

We’re currently selling tickets from October 2018 through January 2019 and will open more dates further down the line.

14. Where will this experience be located? (And please let the answer be Baker Street.)

Oh, it’s a top-secret location. Or at least, mildly secret. Well, alright, it’s just a bit secret. But we won’t tell you where yet. That’ll spoil the fun.

15. Your facility will be 17,000 square feet. That’s is huge! How is that space being used?

There are five copies of Sherlock: The Game Is Now. There are also elements we can’t reveal just yet. Let’s just say it’s an immersive experience from beginning to end…

16. Your official announcement mentioned plans for a worldwide roll out over the next 5 years. Can you give me any hints on timing or location? Can I put in a request for New York?

I can’t answer, sorry.

17. What does a ticket cost? Private group booking? Minimum/ maximum group size?

Tickets cost £54 (~$72) per person. You have to book as a group of 4-6 players. And yes, all private group bookings.

18. £54 is a considerably higher ticket price than escape room players are accustomed to. What do you say to someone who’s looking to choose between playing two escape rooms at the more typical price or visiting Sherlock: The Game Is Now?

This isn’t for me a question of “or;” it’s a question of “why.”

When you want to create an experience based upon an existing show – and a premium one, at that – there’s a choice. Do you treat the programme with respect, or not? Do you invest in making it full of beautiful environments, and experiential touch points? Do you ensure that there’s enough staff so that every group has the best possible experience – a ratio over and above that of pretty much any escape game?

I’ve not been to any of the previous brand tie-in events, but I’ve heard tales of experiences that did not do justice to the shows or films concerned. That saddens me. When we say it’s a 90-minute adventure, we’re not lying; you’ll be in the world from the moment you arrive. The entrance will surprise and amuse. There’ll be actor-led elements. We’ve included AV content from the cast of the show. The lovely sets – some small, intimate and detailed, others straight from the series – are created primarily as a gift for the audience. There’s other elements we haven’t revealed, too.

I would say to an enthusiast: trust us. We’re enthusiasts, too, all of us. We are determined to do justice to this show and this experience. If you don’t find my answer convincing, I understand, but it’s the truth. Enthusiasts are smart people. They get that doing this kind of thing well isn’t easy. When you factor in everything – from the A/V elements from the cast of Sherlock to the large-scale production – you’ll understand. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.

19. Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask: Time Run closed in April. Are there plans for a new Time Run facility in the cards?

Oh, Time Run is just sleeping – and nothing sleeps forever, does it?

Escape Room Live Georgetown – Ghostbusters [Review]

“Ray. If someone asks you if you’re a god, you say . . . . . YES!” – Winston Zeddemore

Location: Washington, DC

Date Played: April 21, 2018

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 2-5

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

This officially licensed Ghostbusters was beautiful. Escape Room Live Georgetown pulled iconic characters and moments from the original Ghostbusters films and produced an experience that was a great escape room and a fun homage to the source material.

The difficulty curve on Ghostbusters was a bit steep for newbies, so I’d encourage players get at least a game or two under their belts before taking on these ghouls. Experienced players should note that Ghostbusters is a 45-minute game, so if you get in a groove, it’s possible to knock this one out quite quickly.

We think this one is worth checking out if you’re anywhere nearby.

In-game: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man peering in through a window.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
  • Collectors of spores, molds, and fungus.

Why play?

  • It’s an official Ghostbusters escape room
  • A beautiful set
  • Strong puzzles
  • Seeing some classic movie characters
  • The Escape Room Live lobby & bar

Story

Slimer, the Librarian, Mr. Stay Puft, and Vigo the Carpathian were on the loose in New York City. Who were Venkman, Spengler, Stantz, and Zeddemore gonna call?

Us. They called us.

In-game: The main set of the Ghostbusters firehouse. There is a large box in the middle of the room for manipulating hazardous objects.

Setting

Ghostbusters was staged in famed firehouse. The set was loaded with details and Easter eggs that called back to the original Ghostbusters movies.

This was a beautiful and fun environment to explore.

… And no, there was no pole to slide down.

In-game: Closeup of a Ghostbusters trap.

Gameplay

Escape Room Live Georgetown’s Ghostbusters was a standard escape room with nonlinear gameplay and a higher level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and capturing ghosts.

In-game: The portrait of Vigo the Carpathian.
He is Prince Vigo!

Analysis

+ In this licensed Ghostbusters escape room, Escape Room Live Georgetown made great use of the most iconic magician/ tyrant, god, and class 5 full roaming vapor.

In-game: The Librarian ghost.

+ The set looked fantastic and felt Ghostbusters-y.

– There wasn’t much of an on-ramp. Ghostbusters threw us into the deep end and it was difficult to figure out exactly how to make progress (especially for the newbies in the group).

In-game: A close up of the proton pack schematics and the Ghostbusters logo.

+ Once we got rolling and learned how the game wanted us to play it, there were good, satisfying puzzles.

– Most of the puzzles were technology-driven, with serious lag and delay. We found ourselves staring at solved puzzles for long stretches of time waiting for the puzzle-concluding sequence to trigger.

– One of the core puzzle’s input mechanisms offered almost no feedback. When I was inputting the solution, I wasn’t even sure that it was working until the puzzle resolved.

+ The hint delivery system made perfect sense given the source material.

“He’s looking at me Ray.”

+ There was a smart augmented reality sequence.

+/- The finale had a great interaction, but it was missing a satisfying puzzle. This escape room was begging for a final boss battle.

+ The Escape Room Live Georgetown lobby is really something to behold. It’s a massive full bar with ample seating and tables. This was a lovely place to hang out.

The Escape Room Live Georgetown bar. It looks posh.
Yup. That’s a bar. No, we didn’t drink before our games. We are professionals.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is a parking garage few blocks down at M and Wisconsin. Street parking is a challenge in this neighborhood.
  • There are lots of restaurant options in Georgetown.
  • For baked goods, we recommend Baked & Wired. Be prepared to stand in line on the weekend.
  • Plan to spend some time in at the Escape Room Live bar.

Book your hour with Escape Room Live Georgetown’s Ghostbusters, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape Room Live provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Amazing Escape – The Cabin [Review]

“I will murder you with stories of my childhood.”

Location: Norcross, GA

Date Played: March 23, 2018

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $25 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

The Cabin was a standard escape room in a dark, creepy setting. The darkness was the most challenging aspect of the game. While the story didn’t quite work, the vibe came through strongly.

If you’re a local and excited to play in the dark, check this one out.

In-game: A typewriter beside an exposed glowing lightbulb in an otherwise dim room.

Who is this for?

  • Best for beginners
  • People who like a little bit of creep factor

Why play?

  • The intro video
  • A fun teamwork sequence

Story

We’d gotten lost in the woods and stumbled upon a cabin. Once trapped inside, we realized the proprietor might not be such a kind soul, and should he return… we’d rather he didn’t.

In-game: Ceramic bottles and a fish in a dim room.

Setting

The Cabin was dark. There were a few pieces of furniture and some props to make it vaguely like a study. Mostly, I remember that it was dark.

Gameplay

Amazing Escape’s The Cabin was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and making connections.

Analysis

+? Amazing Escape opened The Cabin with a humorous intro video that was remarkably similar to the one at THE BASEMENT in Los Angeles.

– The Cabin required a lot of searching in barely any light. We found plenty of flashlights, but this was more annoying than entertaining.

– The early puzzles emerged by way of some childhood stories. This attempt at narrative didn’t quite work.

+ We might have been lost in the woods, but one fun puzzle series gave us some direction.

– The Cabin ended abruptly. We were surprised when we realized we were finished.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking out front.

Book your hour with Amazing Escape’s The Cabin, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Amazing Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.