Location: Alexandria, VA
Players: 2-10 (We recommend 4-6)
Price: $28 per person
Time to Escape: 45 Minutes
Edgar Allen Poe’s study has been opened up recently, as rumors of a secret manuscript have taken the nation by storm! Discovery Channel’s Destination America is the first on the scene, ready to seek out this lost tale, but unfortunately, one of the two reporters hitting the scene first have gone missing. You are a paranormal investigation team hired by Destination America to seek out this manuscript, and discover what happened to the missing crew member! Act fast, though, as the lingering spirits have grown restless…
Boasting a comfortable lobby, Escape Room Live Alexandria makes quite the first impression, that carries into the room itself, as no cost has been spared to bring Poe’s chambers to life! Hollywood style sets and lighting heighten the spooky vibe, and gets your blood pumping for an exciting escape! We’ve seen great sets before, though, and they’re nothing without great puzzling, so how did that go?
Along with the set, there were several technological interactions to help you get immersed in the story, and are well hidden, adding to the supernatural aura of the room. You are separated into two groups at the beginning, and locked away from each other by a door in the middle, demanding teamwork in a puzzle-centric way. The final few steps through the room are a fantastic climax, and many of the puzzles along the way hearken back to the literature of Poe, which was fun for the Poe aficionados among us.
Unfortunately, with a large amount of tech, can come technical difficulties. We experienced only one, but it caused several cascading problems. In fact, due to the malfunction, we took a hint after minutes of aimless wandering, which informed us we needed to do the thing we had already tried twice and written off. To add insult to injury, we were denied the ability to get on the leaderboard because of it! We don’t usually try for best times, but the fact we would have made it without this “hint” made our quick victory feel a bit hollow. The experience went by entirely too quickly for the money, and we escaped in around half that time, even with this being one of the hardest rooms Escape Room Live has to offer. While the technical puzzles were impressive, there wasn’t a whole lot we hadn’t seen before in other rooms, and many of the fun looking props and set pieces did not play into the solving of the room at all. A couple parts of the room seemed to be leftover puzzles that were scrapped, but left in as red herrings, which was disappointing. Our customer service experience was just alright, as our GM was there to greet us when we escaped, but then quickly disappeared soon thereafter, leading us to wonder if we were going to take a picture, and with whom.
While the set of Poeanormal Activity impresses, the game overall is lacking in depth of puzzling. Newcomers will enjoy this room much more than enthusiasts, since they will probably speed through the room. I had a good time, however, but feel that the technical and customer service snafus dulled what could’ve been a more engaging experience. Sign up to investigate the Poeanormal Activity here!