• Haunts

    New Hope Haunted Train Review

    Location: New Hope, PA
    Date: October, 2017
    Duration: 45 minutes
    Price: $49 per ticket

     

    Each October, we put on our best autumn scarves and trek out to New Hope, PA for a day’s worth of seasonal activities. In 2017, we were excited to tack on a spookier experience to the trip with New Hope & Ivyland Railroad’s Haunted Halloween Train.

    new hope trainWith most of the town already transformed for the season through the decor of mums, pumpkins, and cobwebs on each corner, the train station was no different. As darkness fell, we arrived at the platform to find the scene set through different colored lighting amid life-sized skeletons and spiders. We purchased our tickets for our ride on the vintage locomotive through someone dressed up and already in character. Instead of tickets, we were given corpse tags.

    new hope trainOnce on the train, we were able to find our seats, purchase drinks, and get settled in as we braced ourselves for what was sure to be a trip out of the ordinary. As our journey began, the lights dimmed and flickered to darkness. Before we knew it, our train we riddled with creatures crawling, climbing, and creeping their way through the aisles and seats to interact with us. While the experience was not over-the-top scary, there were enough startling moments to get a good rise out of us and the entire ambiance really nailed a sort of creepy-fun Halloween experience.

    The trip built up to a moment where our train stopped as we came upon a scene of a man flipping an explosive switch to have us sent back to the station. The effects here were great and it was an awesome climax to our journey.

    As we arrived back at the station, we were funneled through one exit where the final surprise of the experience was a blacklight clown room complete with 3-D glasses.

    Once we made it through, we found ourselves where our night had began. We had survived.

    Verdict:

    While not a very scary haunt, this experience was enjoyable as it perfected a fun and creepy Halloween vibe. Between the decor and ambiance, the vintage train, and the actors in character and in costume, it felt like a classic haunted house! Being able to board the train in a town with so many other fall activities and given the chance to order some cocktails on our trip were definite pluses.

    New for 2018:

    This year’s experience has switched gears a bit theme-wise with “The Undead Speakeasy & Bootlegger Express”. Boasting an “undead gang serving up the deadliest embalming cocktails in town”, you’re warned that the crew does not take kindly to outside guests. The experience runs on select dates from 10/11 through Halloween.

  • Haunts

    Top 10 Most Anticipated Haunts of 2018

    lockchix haunt

    This fall, if you are looking for guidance as to where to find the best haunts and top scares, look no further. Below is your skeleton key to unlock our top ten most anticipated Halloween attractions. Not only does this list highlight the must-hit stops, but we will be updating it along the way as we traverse these this season.

    Bane Haunted House

    Address: 630 W Mount Pleasant Ave Livingston, New Jersey 07039

    Cost: $28 GA / $48 VIP

    Attractions: Haunted House & Escape Rooms

    Why We Are Excited: Bane takes the haunted walkthrough to the next level by playing on guests’ fears of being seperated, placed in confined spaces, and traveling in the darkness. Expect to traverse through handfuls of different sets and worlds while being forced to interact with (and sometimes escape) some boogeymen along the way. This experience allows for groups up to 3 to enter at the single time. But be warned, you might just do a portion of the haunt alone!

    Night of Terror at Creamy Acres

    Address: 448 Lincoln Mill Rd Mullica Hill, New Jersey 08062

    Cost: $35 GA / $60 VIP

    Attractions: Haunted Hayride, Haunted Corn Maze & 2 Haunted Houses

    Why We Are Excited: Night of Terror serves up both quality and quantity. The ratio of value to low price of admission is absurd at this haunt. Boasting several haunted houses and a haunted corn maze, the real star of the night is their hayride. The level of detail in their set pieces, actor makeup, as well as their use of animatronics is by far the best in the area. It’s become a staple to our spooky season as we’ve been attending it for years.

    13th Hour Haunted House

    Address: 105 West Dewey Ave Wharton, NJ

    Cost: $35 GA

    Attractions: 2 Floor Haunted House, 1 Dark Maze & 5 Escape Rooms

    Why We Are Excited: In the past, their highlight included a two-story haunted house, however, 13th Hour has taken thing to the next level by adding a dark maze which they’ve woven a narrative into. Paired with their set of five varied escape rooms, 13th Hour is certainly worth a day’s visit.

    Read our Review here!

    Brighton Asylum

    Address: 2 Brighton Ave Passaic, New Jersey 07055

    Cost: $35.99 GA / $65.99 VIP

    Attractions: 3 Haunted Houses & 2 Escape Rooms

    Why We Are Excited: Set in a creepy warehouse, Brighton Asylum is consistent with their level of horror. New to 2018, they’ve added The Bleeding Grounds portion to their repertoire. The LockChix are very excited to find out what’s next inside the Asylum.

    Read our Review here!

    Terror Behind the Walls

    Address: 2027 Fairmount Avenue Philadelphia PA 19130

    Cost: $45 GA / $65 VIP

    Attractions: 6 Haunted Attractions

    Why We Are Excited: This haunted walkthrough is based within the remains of the Eastern State Penitentiary. With such a spooky setting, we are excited to see if this notorious haunt can live up to the hype.

    Read our Review here!

    Frightland

    Address: 309 Port Penn Road Middletown, DE 19709

    Cost: $40 GA / $60 VIP

    Attractions: 8 Haunted Attractions

    Why We Are Excited: A little ways away, Frightland promises to deliver some serious scares in some serious amounts. From attractions that range from Zombie Prison to Ravenwood Cemetery, the LockChix will find out if these frights are worth the trip.

    Scary Rotten Farms

    Address: 151 Brick Blvd., Brick Township, NJ 08723

    Cost: $40 GA / $50 VIP

    Attractions: 3 Haunted Attractions

    Why We Are Excited: Boasting a new Twisted Tales haunt, Scary Rotten Farms provides a multitude of frights for 2018. We are especially excited for what their “Blood Nights” have in store later in the month.

    Bates Motel

    Address: 1835 Middletown Rd, Glen Mills, PA 19342

    Cost: $40 GA / $70 VIP

    Attractions: 1 Haunted Hayride, 1 Haunted Corn Maze and 1 Haunted House

    Why We Are Excited: Based just outside of Philadelphia, Bates Motel boasts 3 haunted attractions that are sure to startle its victims. We are very excited to see just how scary their famous hayride is!

    Nightmare at Gravity Falls

    Address: 1005 Farmingdale Rd. Jackson, NJ

    Cost: $25 GA / $35 VIP

    Attractions: Haunted Walkthrough

    Why We Are Excited: This outdoor haunt promises a 35 minute experience for the reasonable price of just $25. New for 2018, they’ve added an Asylum scene which is sure to shake guests to their core.

    Field of Terror

    Address: 831 Windsor Perrineville Rd East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

    Cost: $40 GA / $65 VIP

    Attractions: 1 Haunted Hayride, 1 Haunted Corn Maze & 2 Haunted Houses

    Why We Are Excited: Field of Terror provides a varied array of haunts that appeal to most thrill-seekers. New to 2018, there is the Circus of Terror Paintball Wagon Hunt for those who want to shoot some monsters.

    Read our Review here!

    night of terror

    Haunt Reviews Coming Soon!!!

  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ Review

    Game: 7 Deadly Sins
    Company: Komnata Quest
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: September, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 8 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket
    Story

    Sent to locate a missing agent, your team must infiltrate one of the most perverse locations in the city.

    Puzzles

    Interactions over the course of this room were not your standard lock and key, but they definitely included handcuffs.

    Typical to Komnata rooms, puzzles relied more on searching and task-based solutions. These included some audio and tactile puzzles that added to the sensual theme of the room.  

    Production Value / Immersion

    Seven Deadly Sins’ production was sensory overload from the get go. As our team navigated sections of this exotic escape room, the immersion was magnified by its sights and sounds. Parts of the room felt cheap and seedy, which normally would be a negative, but honestly worked for this perverse escape.

    Highlights

    An adult change of pace from normal themes with an interesting room set-up. Komnata nails the horror genre so well, but it was great to experience their take on a rare theme in this medium.

    One of the more memorable moments from this room was how it incorporated a fun video game aspect to the experience.

    Shortcomings

    As original as this room was, it wasn’t without its faults. The narrative takes a backseat to the overall shock factor of the rest of the room. Our team seemed to forget about what we were doing until the very end of the experience.

    It’s also a noticeably older room. Some triggers took several attempts and there was noticeable wear and tear markings on key aspects of the room.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    This escape room is definitely not for the shy & conservative. Make sure to leave the children at home during this experience geared best towards couples.

     
    Komnata Quest Seven Sinful Pleasures
    Book your Sinful experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Unreal Escapes ‘Battleship’ Review

    Game: Battleship
    Company:  Unreal Escapes
    Location: Staten Island, NY
    Date Played: September, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 10 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket
    Story

    A third World War has been launched. The US Naval fleet has been wiped out and the only remaining hope is the decommissioned USS Staten Island.

    Puzzles

    Battleship presented a very wide range of puzzles. Interactions ran the gamut from locks and hide & seek style searching to collaborative, multi-step tasks that had us spread out across several stations of the ship. In addition to variety, every puzzle was also thematic & practical. Our actions made sense with the goals of our narrative and puzzles were solved by thinking logically about what was going on in the ship.

    Production Value / Immersion

    The details of this set were second to none. It’s evident that Unreal Escapes values immersion in their escape rooms and it showed. Every key component felt at home within the setting. Additionally, there were no visible wires or backend equipment that stood out to our team. In every sense, Battleship felt like teams were on board a floating fortress.

    This room made excellent use of video screens, incorporating them in clever ways. And finally, we got to see a fun water feature, which we won’t spoil.

    Highlights

    For players that love a good narrative, the overall experience is incredible. Unlike some escape rooms we’ve done in the past, this experience gives you clear objectives that are engaging to complete. There’s a moment in the gameplay where everything within the story gets shaken up a bit. While this could be disorienting to some players, for us, this greatly enhanced the experience. Following instructions carefully, after a short time, we were able to get back on course.

    Holding true to the layout of a ship, areas of the room were a bit smaller size-wise, however we felt that there was plenty for teams to simultaneously work on. This lack of bottlenecking really added to our experience as well.

    Shortcomings

    Newer players might need some extra guidance in working through the non-linear style of gameplay. Otherwise, the only item that we were unsure about was one action which we were hesitant to commit to. However, in debriefing, it was noted that this item was to be adjusted to make this more clear.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    This naval thriller is a must play for the NYC area. Battleship is a great fit for any team looking for a real adventure.

     
    unreal escapes
    Book your Battleship experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘The Robbery That Changed the World’ Review

    Game: The Robbery That Changed the World
    Company: Komnata Quest 
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: July, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 6 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
    Story
    Your team was hired to recover a very important package. You must figure out a way to successfully break in and avoid alarms in order to keep from getting caught. 
    Puzzles

    Similar to most Komnata rooms, Robbery is more task-based and light on puzzles. There were many props throughout that would have been great opportunities to force us to work through riddles to obtain codes, etc. Instead, the game almost seemed to do the work for us rather than give us the chance to solve things on our own. 

    Production Value/Immersion:

    Also typical to Komnata, production and set were well-executed. The room is very active, as advertised and we really felt as though we were immersed within the story of a heist. 

    Highlights

    The game begins in a van where your boss explains your objective and you are provided with the necessary tools to perform your task. This was exciting and did a good job of setting up the story. The room progression was fluid and logical, leading up to a solid climax at the end.

    It is also worth noting that the tech in the game functioned well. It was easy to work with and dummy-proof. All props were well-secured and wires were well-concealed. 

    Shortcomings

    While the game was exciting and active, from a puzzle-perspective, it left us wanting more. We seemed to move quickly through each room and would have liked to have had to work through a bit more riddles in order to recover answers. 

    The end game puzzle was good but was not really designed for all of us to work on. There was plenty of space and props within that section that could have been better utilized during that final puzzle.  

    This Room is a Good Match for
    This room would be good for smaller groups of players. We played with a group of five, but we believe that the room would be a good fit for two to four people. 
    Book your Robbery experience here!
  • Escape Rooms

    Escape Room Live ‘Titanic’ Review

    Game: Titanic
    Company: Escape Room Live 
    Location: Washington, DC
    Date Played: July, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 10 players.
    Duration: 45 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
    Story

    During our voyage on the Titanic, (surprise!) we hit an iceberg. Our group had to find a way to escape the lower floor before the water rose above the porthole and it was too late.

    Puzzles

    The layout of the room was not linear but it opened up more space for us to break into smaller groups and tackle different tasks. Many tech-driven components kept things entertaining and a few puzzles required us to pay close attention to our surroundings.

    One end-game puzzle would not work for us. Upon seeing that we were plugging in the correct code but it was not working, the Game Master had us answer a ‘titanic trivia question’ instead and then simply told us the puzzle’s reveal. In the debriefing, she explained that even she had issues getting the puzzle to work. It was a bit disappointing to find out that this component was known to be unreliable.

    Production Value/Immersion

    This room definitely had a bit of a wow-factor upon walking in. Escape Room Live did a good job fitting out the area to feel like an ornate space. Communication with the Game Master was provided by her making announcements to the ship over the intercom. We always appreciate an in-theme clue system.

    Highlights

    escape room live DCWith interesting puzzles that all made sense with the theme, working through this room felt like we were on a ship. A few puzzles that forced us to pay attention to subtle details really felt rewarding once we had worked through them. The final tech element was cool.

    The lobby of Escape Room Live was expansive and included a bar area. After filling out our waivers, we were able to hang out at a large table and were given an LED pager to let us know when our room was ready.

    Shortcomings

    Even though the room felt like we were on a ship, it did not generally feel like we were on a sinking ship. The only sense of urgency created was the subtlety rising water in the porthole window. A futher-developed story or other effects to establish the true terror of our capsizing boat would have added so much more.

    Our Game Master chatted with us briefly inside the room after it ended but was nowhere to be found once we had made it back upstairs for our photo. We had to wait for one of the bartenders to come over to take our picture and were sort of left hanging before we departed.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Players who are looking for some solid and thematic puzzles who aren’t mad about splitting up and not getting to be a part of every one.

     
    escape room live
    Book your Titanic experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Escape the Room NYC ‘The Clock Tower’ Review

    Game: The Clock Tower
    Location: Manhattan, NY
    Date Played: August, 2018
    Team Size: 1 – 8 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
    Story

    With the professor is lost in time, it was up to us to fix his mistakes and find a way to get out.

    Puzzles

    The puzzles in this room really got our gears turning. Every puzzle made sense within the environment and spanned across an impressive range, covering everything from actions to logic tasks. We were either finding items and then trying to determine how they were to interact with the space itself or we were sitting and working through some sort of riddle. The room was large, but it was packed with just enough to keep even more experienced teams busy for the duration of the game.

    We were extremely impressed with how this room crafted puzzles that we had never seen before into the narrative and storyline.

    Production Value/Immersion:

    While not everything felt as thematic as we had hoped, this room included some larger than life set elements that we interacted with in very impressive ways. We’ve experienced our fair share of rooms that fail to incorporate video screens in useful or aesthetically-pleasing ways, however The Clock Tower really nailed this aspect.

    Highlights

    There’s a lot to like about this Escape the Room NYC experience. This room felt collaborative in ways that allowed teammates to seamlessly assist one another while also working on different elements of the room. Even better, this room was absolutely big enough for even the max size team to have plenty to do without being on top of each other.

    For an old rusty clock tower, this room incorporated tech as well as any room we’d seen previously and there were several moments in the room that had that true “wow” factor to them.

    Shortcomings

    While this room was certainly impressive, we felt that the narrative got a bit lost once the room truly got going. On top of that, the beginning and end of the room were uneven. We felt as though the beginning could have used a bit more prompting as to how to work through puzzles. Much of what we were doing felt a bit vague and that we were making assumptions in order to move forward.

    The end cap in particular of this great room provided a bit of frustration. A key element to a derivation in a puzzle was not made clear. Thus causing some errors in our calculations.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    The Clock Tower is a great for for larger groups (6-8), as there is plenty to work on during most of this game.

     

    escape the room nyc clock
    Book your Clock Tower experience here!
  • Immersive Experiences

    ABQ – Breaking Bad Bar Immersive Review

    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: September, 2017
    Duration: 120 minutes
    Price: $55 per ticket

     

    Spending a Friday night inside of an RV in Brooklyn may not sound like the most ideal situation – but it isn’t every day that you are given the opportunity to step into a yellow hazmat suit and cook up some cocktails in a mobile lab. As massive fans of the show Breaking Bad, as soon as we discovered this elusive pop-up bar experience, we immediately added our names to the waitlist. We were elated when we finally received the e-mail confirming our reservation. Up until this point, most of the immersive experiences that we had done that involved a popular IP had turned out to be sub-par. Pleasantly, ABQ Bar broke that mold.

    Arriving at 10 PM, we were unsure as to exactly how the night would proceed. Our navigation lead us to a lot surrounded by a chain link fence. Lacking signage or any identifiable markings, this turned out to be one of the more inconspicuous locations we had traveled to. There was still a shade of doubt in all our of minds as to whether or not we were even in the correct place. This all went away when a man in lab gear burst out of the RV and yelled at the previous group in full Jesse Pinkman fashion. Our location was confirmed – just what exactly lie ahead of us beyond the RV doors?

    We killed a bit of time inside the permanent bar on property while the staff reset the bar within the RV. Before we knew it, we were once again being yelled at by our host but this time, it was to line up to enter. The staff at ABQ were purposely and thematically brash and unapologetic. It was awesome. We were handed a cocktail as we boarded and were shown to a table.

    Once seated, not only did we happen upon our yellow hazmat suits, but we were also provided with beakers and chemistry gear galore. It was sticky, it was humid, it was uncomfortable. But that’s exactly how it should have felt. Our lab equipment ranged from different types of flasks to graduated cylinders to pipets. Over the course of an hour and a half, we were tasked to concoct two drinks guided by our experiment instruction sheet and our in-character host. The entire experience ran smoothly. Two of us worked on creating the base of the drink, while the rest of our group had a different solution to mix. There was certainly enough procedures for everyone to help out with. The tasks were involved enough that we were never bored and were kept fun by different staff members coming by to assist with dry ice features and powdered sugar set ups.

    From the yellow suits, to the Funions and ‘Kiss the cook!’ wall portrait, and even the in-character, in-theme hosts, this experience was super thematic.The drinks we created were certainly nothing to write home about (except for the blue one that glowed) as they were basically sugary vodka punches – but did we leave this experience happy? Yeah, bitch!

    Verdict:

    Un-yieling, just like the show it was based off of, this might not be an enjoyable experience for everyone. However, it fit exactly what we were looking for. Thematically, it all made sense & truly immersed each one of us into a world of cooking up some “Blue Sky” in a parked RV.