Present, December 2018, were: Granny, The Ant, Panda, Teenage Avenger, Aunty Ant
One day, I think, I’ll figure out the way the twisted minds at Trapp’d work. If we do enough of their rooms, maybe their logic and layout will start to make sense to me. Today was not that day. I love the Trapp’d rooms, I really do. They are so different from so many other rooms around. But they do also, sometimes, annoy the hell out of me, maybe because they are so different from so many other rooms around. Sometimes it feels like they are not quite playing fair, that they should signpost their clues a bit better. However, half the fun of their games is that they are challenging. The randomness is thrilling, and bloody frustrating. It is probably much more authentic than normal escape room logic, but then can also make absolutely no sense at all.
To be fair, most of the irritants in this game were of our own making. We got hung up on a couple of clues that didn’t come into play until much later on (if at all), and then we solved an actual clue out of order, which threw us completely for a while. Maybe that particular snaafu is something that Trapp’d could tidy up, or maybe we were just being hyper-observant. At least it gave us a huge rush when we finally worked out how it slotted into the narrative.
And there is much in this room to love. The medieval house and village set is fun and all the puzzles stuck to the theme admirably. The (very few) modern padlocks looked a little out of place on the olde-worlde chests, but the use of mag-locks as ‘magic-locks’ was inventive and less anachronistic than it could have been. Two of these locks very much kept the teenagers entertained – as did some of the props. Kids in a silly mood could cause a whole heap of chaos in this space, and I wouldn’t fancy letting them loose on their own.
Difficulty level is hard to judge. One puzzle wasn’t intellectually challenging, but the adults found it problematic – Panda and Teenage Avenger were much better at it. I’m fairly sure the kids would have struggled on their own though; there was plenty for 5 of us to do and some of the puzzles were quite complex. As a mixed team though it worked well, once we got into the swing – this is the most young-person-friendly of the Wellingborough rooms.
I thought any similarities to The Forsaken from a few weeks earlier, might have helped us out, but we still took ages, and a few clues, to really get going. Not helped by the three irritants NOT of our making. Firstly, the darkness. Not too bad in the ‘house’, worse in the ‘village’. We actually brought our own torch, after Forsaken – I would highly recommend this. Secondly, the story brief. I would recommend NOT reading this before you do the room, as it is rather misleading on what you need to do and might lead to an anti-climactic finish. And thirdly, not the twinkly, tinkly medieval soundtrack itself, but the fact that the music drowned out the audio clues being given by the GM.
If peasants in the Middle Ages spent their lives squinting into the gloom and shouting ‘Huh?’ then Drakon is a supremely authentic historical experience.
Like I said, fun, but really annoying.
- Storyline: I read the brief, and I had no idea what was happening. The game made more sense to the kids, who hadn’t bothered.
- Theming and Set: Fab, and unique, in my experience.
- Searching: Quite a bit, in low-level light. BYO flaming torch (mind the thatch).
- Puzzles: Thinking outside of the box is required.
- Physicality: Nothing too strenuous apart from exploring the HUGE space.
- Scare factor: The gloom is a little spooky. One potential shock – unless you’re mucking about like Teenage Avenger and miss it completely..
- Company Age Guidance: “Suitable for ages 10 years and over. Players of 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.”
- Age suitability: OK for any over 10s, with plenty of adult support.
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; End of the Line; Salem