Present, January 2019, were: Granny, The Ant, Panda, Teenage Avenger, Aunty Ant.
The final one of the three Billing Trapp’d games, and I think we saved the best for last. I wasn’t all that fussed about picking Exordium at first. The sci-fi story about recovering a tetrahedron from Mars to save Earth from climate change destruction didn’t grab me as much as the plot of their other two rooms. But overall, I think it delivered the best all-round experience.
One of the reasons I loved the idea of Escape Rooms in the first place was a childhood obsession with The Crystal Maze. I was about Teenager Avenger’s age when I first watched that show and thought ‘I want to do that in real life’. Maybe not the automatic lock-ins, with balancing on slippery poles and falling into water, but definitely the mental and mystery games. And, short of applying to be on TV, there was nowhere around at the time where you could have that kind of adventure and test out your skills.
So I was thrilled to find that Exordium was one of the most Crystal Maze-y of the games we have played, in vibe, at least. Fortunately, no jumpsuits or 90s haircuts, but a set straight out of the Futuristic Zone, pleasingly on-theme puzzles, and even a coveted remote-control car. (Still slightly surprised that it didn’t appear at the exit hatch carrying an actual crystal). The room has a fun doughnut layout, which adds a layer of anticipation to the exploration, and allowed us to do the faces pressed against the window while shouting instructions thing, for one section of the game.
The squeals of delight from me and Aunty Ant were maybe a little lost on the teenagers present – although TA has watched the Crystal Maze revival, it’s not embedded in his cultural subconscious in the way it might be for 90s kids. But both the teens thoroughly enjoyed the room and were able to get fully involved. Their enthusiasm might have meant getting the remote-control car well and truly wedged, requiring GM assistance to extract us, but in truth they were still better at driving it than the adults.
Exordium is maybe a little light on puzzles, and the GM told us we had rocketed through in just over half-an-hour, although we are convinced that the stopwatch didn’t restart immediately after the GM intervention, as the times did not add up. But we did have an absolute blast with this game, even if it did shatter my childhood illusion that I would be any good at driving remote-control cars.
- Storyline: Not sure it really made sense, but it was followed through.
- Theming and Set: Great fun – won’t keep NASA awake with it’s authenticity, but feels like a sci-fi film set.
- Searching: Not search heavy.
- Puzzles: A mix of mental, mystery and a bit of physical skill (which we lacked).
- Physicality: Did quite a lot of running through the corridors mixed with lying on the floor. Not sure any of that was necessary.
- Scare factor: One moment stands out, but generally not scary at all.
- Company Age Guidance: “Suitable for ages 10 years and over. Players of 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.”
- Age suitability: Wouldn’t have taken Jack-Jack in here, not really space to babysit. Perfect for 10s or over.
At the same venue, see also: 46 Below