Present, in June 2019, were: Granny, The Ant, Panda, Teenage Avenger
Boo! Everyone loves a good scare.
And scary Escape Rooms can really hit the spot, like being trapped in your own personal horror movie. It’s interesting that there aren’t actually that many genuinely terrifying ones about.
The fact that the ScareCon awards have their own Escape Room category does show that dark and thrilling games are a thing. But the uninitiated public’s perception seems to be that most rooms are horror-themed and aimed at Scream-agers – maybe based on the couple of Escape Room films. “Is it like Saw?” is a question I’ve been asked more than once. Can safely say that none of the rooms I have taken the children to have been remotely like Saw.
Equally, it is a shame when perception is that Escape Rooms are just for kiddies. The truth lies in the great variety of themes and difficulty levels available – the trick is catching those venues that suit your taste and demographic.
When you are escaping with kids, that taste and demographic can be particularly delicate to judge. Escape Rooms are not an especially good occasion to discover your child’s latent phobia of bats or clowns, for example. What some teens can sail through with ease will reduce others to gibbering wrecks. Which is how we ended up with ‘Abigail’, the opening game at the new Trapp’d Kettering branch. Recommended by a friend “no, it’s only a bit spooky. You’ll be fine”.
Reader, we were terrified. Panda and Teenage Avenger have never had much of an issue with ‘atmospheric’ rooms, but spent much of the second phase of Abigail curled up on a sofa, refusing to put their feet on the floor. TA was the worst (having taken the brunt of an early shock) and his fear was contagious. Not that Granny and I were immune too – the steady creep of dread and gradual build of tension did lead to some effective scares, heightened by the anticipation that any second something very bad could happen.
Plus, you know, creepy dolls.
We were impressed with the clever chills and sneaky scares – even if the appreciation didn’t set in until we were out of the dark and heart rates had returned to normal.
Definitely a room where an overactive imagination is not your friend; more pragmatic types might remain unmoved. Even so, they should find plenty to enjoy, as this is one of the more puzzle-heavy Trapp’d confections, covering a huge space in a mostly nicely (word used advisedly) done set, with a big variety of progress systems.
Slight bugbear in the walkie-talkie clue delivery – it was appropriate for the theme but we were too careless in leaving it lying around. Given the amount of travelling involved, it was always at the furthest, darkest, spookiest point from us at any given time, while seeming a tad unnecessary, as audio speaker contact with the GM was also possible.
This room isn’t ideal overall for anyone with audio/visual problems. Some puzzles require listening skills, and there are plenty of low/flickering light moments. If those cause no problem though, then definitely give Abigail a go. Because, despite the whimpering, clinging and actual screaming, we all had a great time. Everyone loves a good scare.
- Storyline: Actually quite relevant to the room. Most of it.
- Theming and Set: Starts off really well, gets a bit more minimalist.
- Searching: A bit of hunting around, only partially in the dark.
- Puzzles: Again, starts off with a strong mix of interesting ideas, gets a bit more padlocky after that.
- Physicality: Some ducking/crawling involved. But, sofas, so not too bad.
- Scare factor: If Annabelle (the movie) doesn’t freak you out, this would be fine. Anyone else might want to brace themselves.
- Company Age Guidance: “Suitable for ages 10 years and over. Players of 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.”
- Age suitability: Robust older teens only.