Molly’s Horror Room

7.2 Overall
Room Quality
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Molly’s Horror Room

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There’s never a vacation for our ERA members….or should we say, ERA team members never go on vacation without using the opportunity to reach out to new escape rooms and report back to all of you who faithfully follow us! We’re always thinking about our followers and doing our best to expand our knowledge of the industry and the many rooms and companies within it… This time our adventures took us to Fairfax, Virginia on the outskirts of Washington DC.

With a gracious invitation from the kind folks at Room Escape DC, we decided to go visit and play a few of their rooms. The location was a bit difficult to find because their signs are quite small, but there was plenty of parking and the lobby was fairly nice with lots of available seating. We didn’t see any snacks or refreshments available, but the staff seemed kind and were actively engaged in talking to us and making us feel welcomed… And then it got a bit strange… We were told the rooms would be located in another unit within the office plaza, so out the front door we went, around the other side of the building, down some stairs and then we were flanked by two more people escorting us into a doorway (the immersive feeling of potentially being mugged was incredible! *nervous laugh*) We made it though, and we were happily introduced to our new ‘guards’ which ended up being the owners of the Room Escape DC. It should be noted that of all the owners we’ve had the honour of chatting with in upstate Virginia, the crew at REDC were by far the nicest and most welcoming. Ok onto the first of our two rooms – Molly’s Horror Room!

You’re a paranormal investigator tasked with finding out how a small child (Molly) went missing, and what happened previously that would shroud this little girl’s home life in mystery… The intro was a fairly good video that described our mission and the obligatory safety rules one needs to follow. This took place in a small staging area which seemed to work well. Our game master (also the creative designer for REDC) seemed a bit nervous and/or uncomfortable at times, but this isn’t uncommon for creative personalities so we did our best to reassure him we only look scary on the outside. But in all seriousness, the pre-room experience was decent and we were happy to begin our investigation…

The room quality was fairly standard and didn’t hold too many surprises. A fairly simple and straightforward design that held consistent quality props, building materials, and nothing visibly out of place like wires, nails, or signs of it being an artificial bedroom. We did take note that the floor could’ve used a throw rug instead of keeping the plywood boards exposed, but this didn’t take away from the overall room design. The adjacent room was probably a bit better in this regard as they used all parts of the walls, ceiling, and floor for design… Again, nothing that wowed us, but nothing that was poor either — a fairly well designed room.

The immersion is where this room really finds its strength. Molly’s Horror Room had some really good use of sights and sounds. We especially enjoyed how the story was developed within the room which is something most escape rooms fail to do effectively. The theme and atmosphere was consistent and had us feeling pleasantly tense throughout the experience. You can tell the REDC staff are enthusiasts because the smallest of details were paid attention to, right down to the choice of wallpaper, toys in the room, pictures on the walls, and other non-game atmospheric elements that were present. Kudos need to be expressed here!

The puzzles had a few mixed reactions from our team. On the one hand, they were engaging, creative, and fit the story fairly well. On the other hand we felt there were a few too many locked boxes with standard three, four, and five digit sequences, and a couple pieces of information that didn’t tie into the solutions as seamlessly as we’d like to see. Conversely, the second half of the experience was really enjoyed by everyone as the puzzles seemed to be more inclusive, intuitive, and used less digit locks. Some team building components and a few more inclusive puzzles could be added to the puzzle mix, but for our group of five everyone seemed to enjoy themselves so it’s mostly a good experience with the puzzles…

And did we have fun? Yup. Our team ranged from experienced players (200+ games) to inexperienced players (two previous escape rooms), and those in between. What we noticed was the newer players seemed to appreciate the overall experience a bit more because of the immersion, whereas the more experienced players tended to take a more balanced approach in appreciating some aspects of the room, while hoping for a bit more in other areas. In all cases, everyone had fun which is what matters. So if you’re new to escape rooms, come play this room. If you’re an experienced player, bring a couple new players with you so you can appreciate the strengths of this room even more! What’s really important to note is the level of customer service people can expect from the Room Escape DC team! There simply isn’t a company we came across in Northern Virginia who treated people better and we’re looking forward to hearing more about the good things coming from the REDC crew!

We want to hear your thoughts! Be sure to comment in the section below or send us a message via ERA’s email, Facebook, or Twitter… As always, happy escaping!

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