Editor’s Note: Today’s review comes from my lovely wife, Kara, who was interested in taking on reviewing one of the many rooms we experienced during our 23 room marathon in Northern Virginia. Special thanks to her for taking a little bit of the work off my plate, and for writing such an excellent review of our favorite room of the trip!
Location: Herndon, VA
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 4-6)
Price: $28 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
…and for my final trick…
From the Escape Room Herndon Website:
You’re an apprentice for Carter the Great, the best magician this town has ever seen. Unfortunately for him, he’s been sharing the theater with his biggest rival, The Great Danton. Danton said he will be unveiling his newest trick at tomorrow’s performance. If his trick truly is amazing, it’ll surely put your show out of business. You must sneak into the theater at night and figure out the source of Danton’s new power otherwise Carter will surely be finished!
After three already amazing rooms, we were raring to start the Magician’s Workshop! To be honest, I definitely had some reservations. We have already escaped a really great magician-themed room (see my husband’s thoughts on the Illusion room) so was curious as to how another room could stack up. But, as already mentioned, we were in high spirits after escaping the 8-Bit Escape room, so my optimism was on full blast.
If I was expecting to play with one or two kittens (or puppies! Or bunnies! – Whatever your fancy!), the Magician’s Workshop was like the door opening to a mountain of kittens!!! The room started out deceivingly simple, and it wasn’t long before the room astoundingly expanded to a plethora of amazing puzzles. The transitions between the rooms were exciting from the beginning, and the game flow and connections were so smooth and intuitive. The theme was consistently and expertly woven into all of the puzzles, which were a great mix of non-linear and linear activities that easily kept our whole room busy and entertained.
The child (and adult) in me was excited to see a lot of familiar magician elements and props. I really enjoyed the creativity in how they were implemented, and we were able to interact with them in really satisfying ways. (You may even find yourself performing a trick or two!) There were so many a-ha (or as I like to say – ohhhhh) moments that were had, and – true to the theme – I was constantly amazed at how well multiple clues were made to be both obvious and hidden in plain sight. There were a couple of multi-part puzzles that, though you reached a point where you might realize what would happen, were really exciting to see play out. What I would consider the climactic puzzle revealed a really neat, magical effect and turned our ohhhhh’s to ooooh’s (read: very impressed).
We learned that many of the props were handmade, and it was clear how thoughtful and careful Escape Room Herndon was in building this room. (I can only imagine how one of them in particular was painstaking to create.) The set design and soundtrack were very appropriate, and really immersed you into the Great Danton’s workspace. And, if for some reason you got lost in the magic and wonder of it all and forgot why you were there, the puzzles and clues did a great job of reminding you of the storyline. There was a lot of creativity that went into this room and so many moving parts to manage, but their team’s efforts seemed well worth it because it culminated into a phenomenal room!
I struggled to think of a low point for this room. There was one small red herring that may be distracting/misleading, but I think the game flow was pretty good at keeping you moving with other things. I did expect a little more to happen after one puzzle was triggered (and it did have a really cool effect), but was not disappointed overall.
The Magician’s Workshop was my favorite room of the trip, and my favorite magician-themed room of all time! After playing, we learned that it was their newest room and had only been open for about a week. Considering how many rooms (understandably) tend to improve over time, I was even more impressed with how amazing The Magician’s Workshop already is. Book your time in the Magician’s Workshop here!
Full Disclosure: Escape Room Herndon provided comped tickets for this room.