Location: Arlington, VA
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 2-4)
Price: $28 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Care to see how far down this rabbit hole goes?
From the Escape Room Arlington website:
Have you ever had a dream, that you were stuck in an escape room, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream and unable to escape? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the escape room you’re trapped in? Jump down the rabbit hole and find out.
Escape Room Arlington has some fantastic rooms available, and great rooms always energize us for more. Our only regret was that this was the last room available here during this trip! After a previous “problem in virtual reality” room proved to be incredibly disappointing, I was looking forward to what could be done with this theme when in the hands of such capable designers!
The set design of this room is fantastic, with a black and white color scheme inside of a Spartan room that slowly becomes more dynamic, opening up in surprising and interesting ways in order to evoke the feel of breaching new areas of a virtual reality simulation gone wrong. Lighting and sound design work well in this regard as well, and the opening video creates a feeling of ominous urgency that carries throughout. Props are very cool, and many allow players to interact with the room in interesting ways. One in particular is something I haven’t seen in an escape room before, but it’s inclusion is a lot of fun, and gave us an item that was great fun to play around with. The game begins with a great reference to the Matrix, allowing players to make a decision that will affect their gameplay, and the room plays as a homage to the sci fi masterpiece while still remaining it’s own thing.
Glitch is fairly non-linear, and the multiple puzzling paths allow for groups to take a divide and conquer approach to the adventure that generally keeps everyone engaged with the game. The game flow works well and is absolutely chock full of wonderfully abstract puzzling to wrap your brain around. While abstract, the thinking behind these conundrums is generally very logical, and there aren’t any leaps or red herrings to be found within. Everything remains within what could be a very broad theme, but remains tight through an obviously well crafted vision of design.
We came across a particular technical failure that stymied our progress for a while, and it took a bit for everyone to realize that there was a problem, but once it was identified, our Game Master was quick to correct the issue. One puzzle caused a lot of confusion, as even though it was solved at some point, there was no feedback once it was solved, and we kept coming back to it long after we retrieved the items it unlocked as it wasn’t clear that this is what caused the box to open. In fact, there were several moments at which we solved some of the more technical puzzles, and there was very little feedback to notify us what had happened due to our solve. The ending was a little anticlimactic, but there wasn’t much story-wise to build off of, as this ended up being more of a puzzle room than a narratively driven escape, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would’ve been interesting to have a bit more story injected into the experience.
Glitch is a fun room that combines clever tech, hidden secrets, and some fantastic Matrix references in order to deliver an adventure that’s densely packed with puzzles! While there are a couple issues here and there, I think this is a great room for veteran players who are looking for challenging puzzles, and new escapists who are looking for a cool way to start off their escaping career! You can book your time within the simulation here!
Full Disclosure: Escape Room Arlington provided media discounted tickets for this room.