Steel Valley Nightmare and Escape Room Review – My First Time

(Last Updated On: November 19, 2021)

Have you ever done an escape room? Here are 10 tips to beating an escape room, and my quick review of the Steel Valley Nightmare Escape Room in Ohio.

In October, my family and I went to an Escape Room. It was my first time in an escape room, and I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

We went to the Steel Valley Nightmare and Escape Room in Girard, Ohio because we were there visiting my father in law and sister in law for their birthdays.

Why would we go to a horror themed escape room? Well – because Halloween.

Needless to say, I was scared because what most people don’t know about me is I love all the goofy and cute and fun things of Halloween. The horror and the gore and the creepy stuffs? Not so much!

Still, not wanting to seem like a wimp, I went for it.

Image via Steel Valley Nightmare and Escape Room on Facebook

Going in, I was still nervous as hell. And, I really wished I’d had some cocktails prior to give me some liquid courage.

When we got in, the host made us sign wavers, and then locked us in. YIPE!

Then, he proceeded to tell us how the game worked, and told us we could choose easy, medium or hard.

No one has ever escaped hard mode…

Spoiler alert: We didn’t even escape EASY mode!

Now, I won’t reveal anything that happened inside because I promised I wouldn’t. But, it was definitely scary for me because I jump at allllllll the things.

Still, there were lots of laughs, and we did have a good time. We were also just one puzzle away from escaping.

Would I do an escape room again? Yes!

Would I recommend this one? Yes, especially if you’re into horror and a little bit of crude humor.

I would NOT recommend it for anyone under 18, however.

About Steel Valley Nightmare and Escape:

Address: 160 Trumbull Ave, Girard, OH 44420

Phone: (330) 360-8496

Booking information: Book online here
Book in advance though because they sell out often. Especially near the holidays and pretty much every single weekend!

What is an Escape Room?

The term “escape room” typically refers to a 60-minute real-life adventure game.

You and your team will be locked in a themed room for an hour to complete your goal and “exit” the room. If you want to make it out alive, you’ll have to scour the room for hidden clues and solve tricky puzzles. Look beneath the carpeting, rummage through the books on the shelf, and examine the artwork on the walls more closely.

You might come upon a series of numbers for a combination lock or a good old-fashioned padlock key. Everywhere you look, there’s a potential clue to help you escape an escape room or solve a riddle. But hurry, for the minute you enter the escape room, the clock starts ticking!

To succeed in an escape room, you’ll need to work together, be quick, creative, and patient. Escape rooms are ideal for family holidays, corporate team-building, and simply having a good time with friends. Even if you don’t leave the room, the entire team will have a great time and create memories that will last a lifetime. While it’s fun to bring a large party to an escape game, you can also have a great time on your own!

What drives the popularity of the top escape games? they are an entirely new approach to interacting. Players are plunged into a whole other universe with narratives that feel like Hollywood blockbusters by combining a communal activity with interactive adventures and hard riddles. It’s no surprise they’ve become so popular.

Tips for Beating an Escape Room

The difficulty of escape rooms is high. Most groups, like mine, fail to break free. It’s not that people are incapable of solving problems. It’s often a strategic issue. Other times it’s a matter of not being knowledgeable about the trivia inside.

Our first room comes to mind. We were completely baffled for the first 15 minutes. We didn’t make it through without help, needless to say. However, as we progressed through the rooms, we began to notice what worked and what didn’t. The biggest key – PAY ATTENTION TO EVERYTHING!

Escape rooms might not be as difficult as they appear on the surface, but you can quickly run out of time if you’re not paying attention, working together, getting hung up on the wrong details, etc… All you have to do now is figure out what to do. Here are ten essential components for a successful escape!

  1. Assemble the Ideal Group

What matters is who you know, not what you know. You’d like to play with a fun group. Finding a group of intelligent people isn’t always the goal. You should play with folks with whom you are familiar. Remember, there’s a strong chance you’ll be panicking within the first 15 or 20 minutes and scrambling about with your hints alongside these people. In that situation, who would you choose to be with?

Choosing a suitable group size is also a wise idea. While some rooms may accommodate up to eight (or even ten) people, you may prefer to limit your group to four to six people. It’s really hard to beat a room alone or with only one other person. There aren’t enough puzzle solvers. Eight individuals yelling passionately in a 15 × 15 ft. room, on the other hand, will give you a headache and confusion. It is usually advisable to stay in the middle.

  1. Prepare ahead of time and keep track of your schedule.

You want to spend as much mental energy as possible “in” the rooms to beat them. These rooms believe me, are mentally exhausting. Any time you spend rushing to the escape room because you’re late or anxiously looking for parking as the store calls to inquire where you are, you’ll be exhausted once you’re inside. You want to arrive relaxed and ready to take on the world! As a result, make your reservation a few days in advance and arrive 15-30 minutes before your game.

  1. Approach the situation with a positive mindset.

It’s amazing how much of a difference this makes! Don’t be arrogant, but go in believing in yourself and your ability to succeed. Accept the challenges. If you are stuck on something for a few minutes and have to utilize a clue, don’t get too frustrated. Also, maintain strong communication with your game group.

If you’re playing with strangers, make an effort to introduce yourself and get to know one another. Because you’ll all be working toward the same goal, be polite, enthusiastic, and supportive.

Luckily, we had enough people in our group that we had a private experience.

  1. Be familiar with the room’s regulations.

It is critical to understand this. Certain items in the room may be off-limits. Disrupting them can cause a puzzle to be messed up. Or in our case, messing with things could result in injury. Don’t do dumb stuff. Use common sense!

Also, the number of hints you will receive and the game’s length are other important considerations. Be aware of the methods used to provide hints. Companies assist in a variety of ways. In our case, we had to holler for the game master to give the hints, and we didn’t have many available to us…even in easy mode.

  1. Pay attention to the time.

In an escape room, one hour goes by quickly. It’s a lot like those late-night video gaming marathons where you peek at the clock and find it’s 1 a.m. after setting out to play a handful of games at 9 p.m. What happened to all of my time? In the escape room, it’ll be similar, so keep an eye on the clock. This is also important for deciding how long to wait before asking for a hint.

  1. Come up with an adhere to a steadfast, consistent strategy.

When you’re stuck on a task for 10 minutes or more, it’s tempting to quit due to frustration. Doubts begin to sneak in, heads begin to hang, and thoughts about how you’re a failure who will never live up to your parents’ lofty expectations may begin to whirl in your mind. They should be ignored. Maintain your concentration on the current work. You’ll work it out eventually.

Ask for assistance though if you don’t know what to do. When you solve a problem, don’t get too caught up in it. Instead, go on to the next stage and continue the work until the game is over or until you run out of time. The majority of groups finish the room in the last 5 minutes or run out of time on the final step – exactly what happened to me my first time.

  1. If you notice something, say something.

When it comes to beating an escape room, communication is crucial. Many puzzles have connections to numerous elements in the room. As a result, you can come across something with a specific sign on it that corresponds to something on the other side of the room. If you and your teammate both came upon the same item and didn’t say anything, you’ll most likely miss the significance of those parts. Talking to each other about what you find in the room can help you notice the important details and win. You’re all on the same team, so work together.

  1. Make sure you don’t take up the space for too long.

What I mean by this is, if you’re in a spot in the room and are struggling to figure out if it’s important to solving the puzzle, MOVE. We had to get good at this quickly because one person standing in a spot trying to solve something for too long meant other creative minds didn’t have a chance to try and figure it out.

Speak up and take turns looking at the different items so everyone has a chance to put in their two cents. You may find they see something and it clicks in a way for them that it didn’t for you. For example, one puzzle that we got hung up on in the first room had several of us perplexed, but as soon as we stepped away, one team member instantly got it!

  1. Make GOOD use of your hints

Groups that flatly refuse to use their hints are asking to fail. You will likely get stuck. It’s okay! Don’t think of it as your ego being on the line. Everyone gets trapped at some point. Escape Room areas are meant to be difficult to navigate, and it’s not uncommon for no one to solve the puzzle or notice the critical object needed to proceed. You’ll be able to escape out of your bind with the help of the hints.

The team that waits 20 minutes for a clue despite their game master’s numerous requests to offer assistance has most likely squandered too much time and is now doomed. If you’ve been trapped on a step for more than 5-10 minutes, it’s a good idea to seek assistance. Take the hint if a game master suggests using a clue.

I kind of feel like this is what caused us to run out of time in ours. In our first room (we had three to get through), we spent FAR too much time trying to figure things out before asking for a hint. And, if we’d asked sooner, we would have had the extra 5-10 minutes we really needed to finish the game.

10. Don’t blindly dismiss anyone’s ideas

Our group made this mistake with one of the puzzles. I feel bad looking back that we dismissed her thought because when we asked for a hint, she turned out to be right. So, a little louder for the people in the back – DON’T DISMISS ANYONE’S IDEAS! It might be the clue that you’re not seeing!

Above All, Focus on Having a Good Time

Though you want to escape, remember that escape rooms are there for fun. It’s meant to be a good time. If you run out of time, don’t get angry and leave in a bad mood. It’s a game, so laugh it off. Maintain a positive relationship with your group, whether it’s your close friends, family, or random strangers.

Everyone wants to have a good time, and that should be the primary objective. When playing your first escape room, or event your fiftieth, this is extremely important to remember. It normally takes a few attempts for someone to succeed. Recognize this and try not to let whether or not you win decide your overall pleasure.