Escape Room Arlington – Mind Trap (Review)

Location: Arlington, VA

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 4-5)

Price: $28 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

The Doctor will see you now.

Theme:

From the Escape Room Arlington website:

The good Doctor has always been a fan of clever games, especially over a vintage bottle of Amarone and an exquisite Foie de Veau painstakingly crafted with… extra special ingredients. After foolishly accepting an invite to one of his prestigious dinner parties, you find yourself trapped inside his dining room. Your task: crack the fiendishly clever puzzle he left behind, before the dinner bell chimes. Bon Appetit!

First Impressions:

The many escape rooms that are a part of the Ravenchase family have been some of our absolute favorite experiences in Virginia, and I have been wanting to visit their Arlington and Herndon locations for quite some time. The expectations were high as we stepped into our first Ravenchase room of this trip, and we absolutely were not disappointed at all!

High Points:

Mind Trap boasts a beautiful set, presenting us with an extremely well appointed dining room fit for someone of such… discerning tastes. As we started our adventure, nothing seemed amiss quite yet, but small hints peppered throughout the room hinted at the horrors that were to come. The dichotomy between that which the Doctor presents willingly and those things he keeps hidden is expertly designed, and this portrayal really benefits the room’s immersion and delivers a great surprise as it is revealed. The puzzles are somewhat non-linear, and kept our team entertained throughout with some fantastic tactile interactions, some of which are strange, but very intuitive. Most also involve some surprising reveal that we really enjoyed. Everything within the room matters, and the challenge in figuring out how to interact with the room is very well implemented. The connective tissue of the room is well signposted however, so we never felt an inkling of frustration while we explored the dingy halls of the Doctor’s madness.

The sinister nature of the Doctor pervades the entire room, and most interactions and puzzles are well designed to portray just how insidious he is. Scares are spaced just far enough to be effective, while still filling the room with enough horror to keep our team on their toes. The climax of the room is superb and totally unexpected, leading to a thrilling escape for the whole group. It’s really quite a simple addition to the room, but it works extremely well, injecting the experience with some fun psychological terror.

Low Points:

One particular puzzle takes some jostling to make sure everything falls together correctly, forcing the solve to become somewhat overlong. A few of the props have started to feel a little worn out, with dents and dings from seeing so many players come through. A couple of the puzzles within can feel a bit random, not really tying into the story quite a well, and feeling somewhat less immersive overall. Though the story is a great set up for the game, it doesn’t quite evolve, and we would’ve liked to find out a bit more about the good Doctor and those who came before and never left. It feels as though there’s just a little bit more beyond the final door that could be explored.

Verdict:

Mind Trap is an excellent room, especially for those that enjoy the sinister and spooky! Approachable for newbies, while still presenting a fun challenge and great surprises for veterans, I wholeheartedly recommend checking this experience out if you find yourself in Arlington. Book your dinner party with the good Doctor here!

8/10 (Great)

Full Disclosure: Escape Room Arlington provided media discounted tickets for this room.

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