Room Escape DC offers life-sized puzzles
BY JAMES STEMPLE, STAFF WRITER
Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes. At Room Escape DC, however, puzzles come in the form of being locked in a room with a time limit on how fast you can escape. It sounds a bit daunting at first glance, but Room Escape DC puts an emphasis of fun and intellectual challenge.
With the addition of their two newest rooms—titled “Horror Room” and “Black Death,” respectively—Room Escape DC possesses the largest escape room facility in the DMV area—with more on the way in coming months.
The premise of an escape room challenge is to—as the name suggests—escape from your confines (claustrophobes beware!) through different kinds of puzzles that emphasize teamwork and communication. Without teamwork, you may find yourself going over the set time limit for the rooms.
The concept of escape rooms came to the owner, Egor Bond, from his friends in Europe who are involved in similar types of escape rooms abroad.
“A friend of mine who opened this type of business in Europe pretty much inspired me with the business model. He was really excited about the business itself and how creative this is,” Bond said in an interview over the phone. He added, “This isn’t as much a business as much as it is a hobby.”
It’s not unusual for groups to not finish in time; in an article published in the Fourth Estate last year on Room Escape DC, it states, “Roughly three in ten groups finish in time.”
When asked about not making it within the time limit, Bond said, “If a group is getting really close to escape we usually give them an extra couple of minutes so they can make their way out on their own, or we come in and show them how it was supposed to be solved.”
If worse comes to worst, your group might just have to accept defeat—and try again next time, of course!
The newest additions, “Black Death” and “Horror Room,” pose new challenges for potential players.
“Black Death,” according to Room Escape DC’s website, puts players in an abandoned hospital that was cleared out due to an outbreak of a deadly virus; “Horror Room” puts you in the shoes of a paranormal investigation team solving a supernatural mystery. The new additions have a thrilling/scary aspect to them, and require a good deal of teamwork and communication to solve.
The new rooms join the already strong roster of escape rooms located at Room Escape DC: “Dr. Panic,” “Save The White House,” “Dating Room,” “Joker’s Trap,” as well as, according to a press release, the first rolling mobile escape room, titled “Jail Bus.”
“We have two rooms that are usually recommended for first time players, which [are] ‘Dr. Panic’ which is a scary one, and Save The White House,’” Bond said.
These rooms all offer different kinds of challenges and stories for players to escape from. Each puzzle is individually designed for that specific room, so you won’t find yourself repeating the same challenges in each room.
“Some involve technology like micro-controllers, some photography, some simple methods of deduction, some are based on how well you can listen to others, or communicate with others. Every puzzle is individual,” Bond said in a phone interview.
Even with the new additions, Room Escape DC plans to build even more rooms for their puzzle participants to escape from. Bond hopes to open his newest room this coming summer, and if all goes well, to open more after that.
“Right now we’re going to open one more room, which is not going to be a classic understanding of escape room. It’s going to be like a performance with actors involved.”
Room Escape DC is located just up the street from Mason at 3949 University Drive. Because of this, the facility offers a 20 percent discount to all Mason students to lure students away from the classroom, which Bond hopes will bring awareness to his business.
For more information, and to book your challenge, you can visit Room Escape DC at roomescapedc.com