Escape Room Fairfax – Molly’s Horror Room (Review)

Location: Fairfax, VA

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

Price: $27 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Who you gonna call?

Theme:

From the Escape Room Fairfax website:

Molly loved songs, and dolls, and teddy bears just like any other girl. Then two years ago, little Molly disappeared…Her room looks exactly as she left it, untouched (by the living). Lately, Molly’s parents have noticed strange and frightful disturbances. First, only bumps in the night. Now, Molly’s parents fear for their lives. They keep Molly’s room locked tight, to keep-in whatever (or whoever) is haunting them.You and your team are from the Department of Paranormal Investigations, and you’ve been invited to investigate Molly’s room. Unfortunately, you, too, will have to be locked-in. Will you uncover the secret of missing Molly? You’ll have to rely on wit, courage, and the clues you find hidden throughout Molly’s room. This cold-case will be hard to crack, and night-lights won’t keep these ghosts at bay. Can you handle the horror?

First Impressions:

Sometimes after reviewing a business several times, it becomes hard to give a first impression, as we’ve already had several impressions. So far, Escape Room Fairfax had proved to be serviceable, with average to good, if not great rooms. However, I really enjoyed their mural for Molly’s Horror Room. I have selected my favorite part, and shared below for your viewing pleasure.

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All shall love me and despair!

High Points:

Molly’s Horror Room stood out to me as a very enjoyable haunted room. It wasn’t overly flashy, but subtle touches created a great spooky ambiance. The storm brewing outside, coupled with a growing sense of unease as we worked through the adventure, developed a great atmosphere for horror themed puzzling, and I really loved how crazy the set became the further we delved. There were some cool sound design touches that evoked the theme in an immersive way, and a few good surprises kept us on our toes but didn’t overdo it with constant jump scares. The storyline was appropriately mysterious, and it was fun to uncover the truth behind the hauntings, which all culminated in a fantastic climax that mostly paid off the story ideas well. The puzzles themselves were a mixed bag, but two larger scale set pieces were a great time to solve using, and provided some fantastic late game moments of revelation. Though the game itself is fairly basic, first generation fare, there are a few spots of tech that do an excellent job bringing a sense of the supernatural into the game.

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I always love when a business spices up the entry doors to their rooms. It doesn’t even have to be all that elaborate, a little bit goes a long way.

Low Points:

On a general note, if you’re going to have a dark room, please provide a one to one ratio of flashlights to players. This room does not, and it’s generally frustrating, especially if you’re one of the folks doing without. As previously mentioned, the game here can be somewhat basic, and while escapes like this can be excellent, this one was mostly average, puzzle-wise. The room was also somewhat older, with a few of the props showing some real wear and tear, especially on some of the more tactile props we used. The connective tissue of the game was rather loose, and a few times, the puzzles made little sense between clues and solutions. Two in particular have some very weird logic that only sort of makes sense, and even then, only when you already know the solution. One more egregious example makes little sense at all, and has a solution that just feels completely random, even after the lock is open. Cluing overall is somewhat ambiguous, and it takes a lot of guess and check from time to time just to figure out what items are trying to say. The room doesn’t need to be made easier, but a bit of intuitive signposting would greatly help this room from having as many choke points as it does. As the room is supremely linear, this problem can compound quickly, and a larger group is definitely going to have a few folks waiting around for something to do. Finally, though the room does have a really engaging story and atmosphere, a little more closure during the climax would be nice, as a few story threads remain dangling at the end.

Verdict:

Molly’s Horror Room is certainly the spookiest room at Escape Room Fairfax, at least of the ones we experienced, though the puzzles are fairly basic and the game itself isn’t quite as exciting as the atmosphere and storyline. As an adventure, I recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of the supernatural and macabre, but as an escape room, it’s just ok, so I’d advise looking into other rooms if you’re seeking a more complete experience. Book your time exorcising Molly’s Horror Room here!

6.5/10 (Alright)

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

 

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