Madame Curio’s Cirque Delirium – Trapp’d – Peterborough

Present, May 2019, were: Granny, The Ant, Panda, Teenage Avenger, Jammy Avenger, Cynical Panda Crew

Mostly Escape Rooms are a cerebral activity, where the only muscle being flexed is the brain. Occasionally games need a little physical skill, hand-eye co-ordination or simply a bit of running about (is that one just us?) But Madame Curio’s Cirque Delirium is on a whole other level, a very different entry into the Escape Room genre.

The Trapp’d website background story makes this sound a borderline horror room (particularly if you have a thing about clowns, with their emphasis on the circus). And the first impression might be that it is dark and spooky with faintly sinister music and possible peril lurking in the many corners. Then all that is swept away with sheer fun of realising just how much of a playground this space really is.

We tackled Cirque Delirium with four teenagers and this was a perfect choice for them. The series of fairground games to explore can be played in pairs and in a non-linear way. Granny and I stepped back to let the kids take control (painful for control freaks like us, particularly when it all looked so fun) so maybe 6 was slightly too big a group, but the space and range of ‘puzzles’ in here will cope with decent-sized party, especially of younger kids. Team work was also required, and anything which gets two teenage boys and two teenage girls to communicate harmoniously is doing well.

So many fun aspects in here, with, I reckon, at least four or five elements that must be unique, in UK venues at least. It wasn’t just the teens who were squealing in delight with each new discovery. As mentioned, it is not the most brain-taxing room, but does still include sections of mystery and puzzling, as well as requiring fairground skills of steady hands, patience and good aim.

The storyline here is kind of shaky, barely relating to the room description. However, progression through the area is clever, with the design incorporating many bonkers theming ideas (hook-a-duck, dodgems, clues from the ticket booth) and it does push you to explore, even when it is tempting to just stay and play in the first zone. The shriekingly silly finale is worth the slightly frustratingly dark middle section, and we tumbled out of the room in a fairly fast time without feeling at all short-changed.

I can see how this game might not suit everyone – if you come here with expectations of conventional puzzles, or of genuine scares, then you may be wrong-footed and struggle. Embracing it, however, and indulging your inner kid (or just being yourself, I suppose, for Teenage Avenger and Panda) is well worth it. A very individual Escape Room – memorable, silly, inventive and extremely entertaining. All the fun of the fair!

  • Storyline: Well, escape the circus. Not really a circus, and it’s not clear why we’re escaping. But who cares, it is great!
  • Theming and Set: Bit battered in places, but wackily brilliant.
  • Searching: Some, not much.
  • Puzzles: Some maths, some letters, but mostly playing.
  • Physicality: Needs two types of physical ability – fairground skills and also plenty of clambering.
  • Scare factor: Only a traumatic childhood event with mini-golf could make this scary.
  • Company Age Guidance: “Suitable for ages 10 years and over. Players of 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.”
  • Age suitability: Ages 8 and up would have fun in here. Everyone should have fun in here.

Also at this venue: Outlaws of Red Rock

For other Trapp’d games, see also:  Legend of DrakonThe ForsakenAtlantis; Exordium46 BelowAbigailDead Mans CoveVX 2.0Cartel; Victor Frankensteins Reanimation; Molten Creek Mine; End of the Line; Lost Temple of Yumiko; Salem