Present, in June 2021, were: Granny, The Ant, Panda, Teenage Avenger
Another brand-new game this week – Trapp’d replaced both their rooms in their Northampton town centre branch during lockdown. Clearly the refresh has proved popular, as we could only just about get a space for our second choice, End Of The Line. Not that we were disappointed – The Lost Temple of Yumiko appealed, but we do still love an escape on a train.
This is a heist game, with the aim to snatch a stash of gold before blasting your way off the train. We did have a sense of deja-vu; having played Sabotage and The Great Train Robbery, there are similar thematic elements from both.
The train is pretty well recreated, with the extensive space having a good carriage feel, without bothering with hyper-realism. Trapp’d have gone indeterminate retro, for the most part. I couldn’t place an era or a location but it generally hangs together. The one obvious anachronism actually threw us slightly, an element looking so modern in the vintage set that we initially dismissed it from being an active part of the game. It would be quite an easy fix for Trapp’d, so hopefully this new room will continue to evolve.
Puzzles are a very Trapp’d mix of padlocks and fun GM-triggered interactions. We nearly tripped up immediately over a fairly obvious search fail – although interestingly TA pointed out that over-vigilant searching could apparently bypass the first section of the game completely. We didn’t test this theory out, maybe they have a fail-safe, but it is certainly an unusual design choice. Padlocks are probably dominant, but they have mixed in enough other progress elements and physical tasks to add to the fun. One such task, a physical game that wasn’t particularly on-theme and could hold up a team indefinitely, I was unsure about – the mechanics maybe need a tweak to make it fairer to play.
We seemed to need a lot of hints. Our GM, Lou, was bright and professional, and good at cluing us just before we got frustrated with our situation each time. We escaped with 15 minutes to spare, so I did wonder if she had been over-generous with the nudges. Looking back, we did suddenly click with the puzzles in the rush to the end, so I can see now that she was trying to keep us up to the pace earlier on. But it seems indicative of a lack of flow in the room. Some of the hints we needed, we felt we wouldn’t ever deliberately have made that connection ourselves.
The room definitely ends with a bang rather than a whimper – the last ten minutes felt all action and made up for some of the lulls and head-scratching of the earlier stages. We stumbled out giggling with our loot. But overall it was a slightly bitty experience, a solid enough game with a couple of niggles and requiring just a few too many logic leaps to be a completely smooth ride.
- Storyline: Steal the gold off the train. Not the most cunning plan in history, but followed through.
- Theming and Set: Has a good go at being train-like, with some fun touches.
- Searching: A bit, less as the game goes on.
- Puzzles: A lot of observation-type puzzles.
- Physicality: Nothing too strenuous, although more than average manual dexterity type tasks, one way or another.
- Scare factor: Mostly family-friendly, although briefly some darkness and loud noises, if you don’t like that type of thing.
- Company Age Guidance: “Suitable for ages 10 years and over. Players of 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.”
- Age suitability: Pretty good room for 8+, I would have thought. Room to bring in a buggy if necessary.
For other Trapp’d games, see also: Exordium; 46 Below; Abigail; Dead Mans Cove; VX 2.0; Victor Frankensteins Reanimation; The Outlaws of Red Rock Madame Curio’s Cirque Delirium; Molten Creek Mine; Salem; The Forsaken; Legend of Drakon; Atlantis