Molten Creek Mine – Trapp'd – Northampton

Present, in March 2019, were: Granny, The Ant, Panda, Teenage Avenger, Teenage Avenger Crew

True story: my boss had been invited on a lads’ day out in Northampton – they were booked into Trapp’d, he told me, then on to posh restaurant, bar, club. “Which game?” I asked. “Cos if it’s the mine, you need to wear old clothes”. He checked with his mate. “No, not the mine.” His mate was wrong. Four lads, in their smart out-out gear, suede shoes, new black jeans, all ruined. Oops. Rule number one: if you’re doing the mine, wear old clothes.

As you can guess, Trapp’d has gone all-in with their decor for this game. Think less Northern rocky coal mine and more Wild West desert gold mine and you’ll be there. The first section of the room looks amazing, with a fabulous moving mine-cart on rails as the eye-catching central feature, and with masses of authentic props and an actual metal detector to go with the supplied hard hats. In terms of initial impact, it’s great.

From that point on though, this feels like a wasted opportunity. The exciting elements don’t deliver – the metal detector is unhelpful and the mine-cart’s role is a disappointment. Many, many of the props are red herrings, and the puzzles in the first section focus almost exclusively on unlocking a string of padlocks connected to one item.

The puzzles themselves were also somewhat frustrating. After a couple of pleasing solutions, we found ourselves struggling, either over-thinking or search-failing or not making the required (tenuous) logic leaps. Opening up the second section found a spectacularly bad example of this – not only was there absolutely nothing sign-posting the correct answer to a letter padlock, but there was also another item which matched the possible combination. That kind of ambiguity can be totally unnerving.

Overall, we weren’t impressed with the second section. It feels very much like the decorating budget was blown on the first set, and everything else was just patched together. Some elements completely don’t fit the theme (disco lights?) and the whole story-concept of escaping the collapsing mine disappears in the jumble of Escape Room logic. We stumbled out in just under an hour, covered in bright orange dust, having done a final digit spin on at least three padlocks (I found that out AFTER we left, had assumed that someone else on the team had discovered an item or solved a clue).

The fact that this wasn’t a terrible experience and that we largely had a laugh was mostly due to our gem of a DM, Dan, who was probably the most engaged and engaging host we’ve had at any venue. He was an absolute star and did his best to ensure that we didn’t get too frustrated.

It feels like there should be such a good game here. Strong concept, high quality initial set, great staff – and then just not followed through. Ironically, on the boss’s day out, they (all newbies) really enjoyed the mine and escaped in a far better time, so maybe we just weren’t the right fit. But out of all the Trapp’d options, this is the one I would recommend last.

  • Storyline: Theoretically good; in practice abandoned almost straightaway.
  • Theming and Set: First half, the pits (in a good way). Second half, in bad way. If you’ve ever wondered what you would look like with a Donald Trump-style tan, now’s your chance.
  • Searching: Far too much, in semi-darkness and under a ton of sand.
  • Puzzles: Mostly observational. Some stupid.
  • Physicality: Need to duck/crawl. Strenuous hand-washing (and laundry) required afterwards.
  • Scare factor: None.
  • Company Age Guidance: “Suitable for ages 10 years and over. Players of 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.”
  • Age suitability: Definitely not good for non-playing little ones.

For other Trapp’d games, see also:  Legend of DrakonThe ForsakenExordium46 BelowAbigailDead Mans CoveVX 2.0; Victor Frankensteins Reanimation; Madame Curio’s Cirque Delirium; Outlaws of Red Rock

Trapp’d website