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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Escape Room Review: Escape Room Loudoun – Sterling, VA

This is part of our series of Escape Room reviews.


  • Room Size:  (4-6)/8/8 people ( our recommendation/as played/max)
  • Overall:  2.0/5.0
  • Theme:     3.0/5.0
  • Puzzles:    2.0/5.0
  • Difficulty: 4.0/5.0
We were excited to see that a new escape room place opened up close to home – so we signed up right away. They currently have two room options.  We did the “Five Fingered Discount” room. Unfortunately we found it to be a disappointment compared to other rooms we have done. This is a brief review of our stay in the room. There are not really any spoilers in the notes below.

The Good

  • There were two rooms, with a fun transition to get into the second room.
  • There was a decent theme with some nice props, including a bank vaults and security gates.
  • There was one unique puzzle; a free-standing item that has some good craftsmanship to it.
  • There was a nice TV display that showed you how much time you had left.

The Bad

  • There were tons of worthless items that never got used and we found it very difficult to separate the noise from the actual clues.  A few red herrings makes it interesting, but too many proves to be frustrating and makes you feel like your efforts were futile.
  • There was only one puzzle that you had to put some thought into, but it was so cryptic you couldn’t figure it out without them sliding multiple clues under the door.
  • The attendant had to come in twice – once when an item irretrievably fell off of something, and another time to tell us exactly where to look for something (and we still couldn’t see it). We’ve never had attendants come in at other escape rooms (that I can recall).
  • The puzzles were solved in a mostly linear order, so you couldn’t work on one thing until you finished all the previous ones. This also meant that having one person in the room would have been almost as effective as the 8 of us. There was a lot of standing around and watching.
  • Apparently there was a cool laser thing and a bunch of other stuff that we didn’t even get up to. The guy told us that we had almost escaped, but we later learned that was not true and there was a lot we didn't see.
  • They said the room had a 20-30% success rate. That is too low in our opinion. We generally enjoy these rooms more when we are able to escape. I think some of these places also miss the point that people are more likely to post on social media when they escape, which is critical for a new business.

I think we’ll probably go back to the escape rooms that we enjoyed more in Herndon, Fairfax, and Leesburg before returning to this one.