Bond's Escape Room - "Saddlewood Saloon"
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Photo + video property of ESCAPETHEROOMers
Difficulty Level: 6.5/10
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We arrived early on a Saturday morning at Bond’s Escape Room in Arlington, VA. We were lucky to find parking right downstairs. They are located on the second floor of a beautiful mall complex. Street parking would probably be difficult as it does get quite busy in this mall complex but there are lots of parking lots nearby. The lobby area feels very welcoming and the designs are very modern. There’s a large café-like seating area that they are using as a waiting area with plenty of games available. Also, it can easily be turned it into a party space. They also have a sister location in Fairfax, VA with 11 escape room themes! Since this is their new location and currently only have two functional escape rooms available - "Saddlewood Saloon" & "Enchanted Castle: Battle for Gahl-Zaan" and we’re going to attempt them both. They have a third room in the works that’ll be a continuation story of "Enchanted Castle: Battle for Gahl-Zaan" which is called "Elven Forest: Battle of Gahl-Zaan". I’m sure they’ll build more here seeing the capacity of the space that they can work with.
After watching the intro video, we were led into the “Saddlewood Saloon” room first. Our mission was to prevent the millionaire from destroying the town. He has plans to build a dam and block our town’s water source so Saddlewood will turn into a ghost town. We need to stop his evil plan! The first impression of the room was the set design and props used were very authentic. You immediately feel like you’re transported onto a Western movie set. The room feels very “aggressive player proof”. Most items are nailed down, so you won’t be able to break them even if you tried. This is the first room we felt a little worried in terms of what we were supposed to do because it’s very linear and there’s not much you are able to find or use right away. We were stuck for a bit on one puzzle and there’s not much you can do other than ask for a hint to move forward. The puzzle we got stuck on turned out to be quite humous. All the puzzles stayed on par with the theme of the room and what you would use in real life inside of a saloon. Our only suggestion would be perhaps to have some more puzzles and make it a little less linear. With the two of us, we escaped with ample time to spare so we would think this room would be great for beginner escapees to try as it won’t feel too overwhelming. For enthusiasts, I would say 2 is probably the most you’ll need.
We can’t wait to try their next room - “Enchanted Castle: Battle for Gahl-Zaan” which is going to be a bit more challenging!
*Check out our YouTube video above for a sneak peek of the location, interview with the owner, the room and more!
ETR Overall rating: 8.5/10
(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
**We don't want to go into detail and ruin any surprises for you, but you want more info like if the room is a multi-room or what other additional tips we can provide to you, feel free to email us.
Disclosure: We thank Bond's Escape Room for comping our tickets for this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.