“We want this to be storytelling,” says Alex Gerasimov, who, along with his wife Damira Gerasimova, opened Insomnia Escape in Glover Park three years ago. The two of them design the escape rooms together, with the intent that each clue works as part of a larger narrative.
Wonderful set pieces abound in the four escape rooms on offer at Escape Room Insomnia DC, particularly in Mafia, where players are immersed in a world of bootleggers, federal agents and La Costa Nostra during the days of prohibition.
We played and reviewed 152 room escapes in 2016. These 13 rooms are the games that we wish we could play again.
The Alchemist Insomnia Escape – Washington, DC
This mystical heist elegantly wove puzzles throughout an intricate environment without losing the thread of gameplay. Clever technology and game design showed us a memorable adventure.
we see people go crazy in our rooms when they get to interact with their environments. Levers, secret buttons, props, they love it! People are so used to playing on their devices, that funnily enough, actually touching objects feels different!
The best escape rooms in town all make it a point to have an engaging atmospheres too. There is always a theme, or basic story, to an escape game. Be it zombies or mysterious murders, creating the right atmosphere is tougher than it seems!
Insomnia stands by these values, offering complete historic immersion. Their prohibition era room, for example, presents a uniquely local escape room D.C. experience – making it a must for all escape game lovers!
The library staging was both believable and fantastical. Despite the wealth of objects in the room, it wasn’t cluttered. Through the furniture and props, Insomnia Escape achieved an ornate and mythical ambiance that was dead-on.
Additionally, The Alchemist told its story through the puzzles. It used a variety of interactions to continually escalate dramatic intrigue.
The library of the Master of the Order was an intricate, beautiful, and fun environment to explore for an hour.
If you like artful design, story, and beautifully hidden technology, then yes, this is your game.
The Alchemist was mystical and magical. It transported us into a solidly constructed, carefully crafted alternate universe. Furthermore, our mission was clear and we felt like characters in an unfolding fantasy heist.
This is an ideal place to go with close friends or a random group of people who may not know each other that well (i.e coworkers). Mixed ages work well for this event too.
You will definitely get a team building experience from this!
Insomnia Escape really brings you back in time. They recently opened their second room but both of them have high quality designs and stunning sets. Both of the tracks require you to think out of the box and insert yourself into the era. To find out the solutions you really have to immerse both in style and thinking.
Cosa Nostra – During the classy 30’s at the time of Prohibition as a cop under cover, you have to earn the trust of one of the biggest smuggler families of the city and find evidence in connection of the Maffia.
The Secret Society – The Order of Alchemists found the Philosopher’s Stone. You should sneak into the Alchemists’ library and find the stone to stop them.
Insomnia has built a vibrant room that captures the 1930’s about as well as I imagine any escape room ever will. It’s attractive, entertaining, and includes some wonderful set pieces.
Insomnia Escape managed to assemble a collection of functional props that are of the era (or at least feel like it), and used them to build a room that felt like another world.
Cosa Nostra was beautiful and it is fully illustrated by their incredibly well-produced intro video (which was not available when we played the game). The video was largely shot within the game and will give you a sense of what is to come.
The room(s): The spot, which opened in November, has one room: a speakeasy with a Mafia subplot. Two more are in the works, including a room that involves an Illuminati-like society. We didn’t make it out of the speakeasy in the allotted hour, but often you’re given more time. “It’s like going to the movies. I want everyone to see the movie to the end,” Gerasimov says.
Sample challenge: Make sure you strike those piano keys correctly.