REVIEW: MOLTEN CREEK MINE - TRAPP'D

NORTHAMPTON
Trapp'd Escape room review

Since playing Trapp'd’s highly enjoyable games at their Peterborough venue, we decided to make a trip to their Northampton branch with high hopes of the two games they had on offer. 

Trapp’d seem to have a knack at opening venues in quite unusual but very accommodating locations for escape rooms. This was no exception, being situated in what appeared to be an old workshop/factory building located in the middle of a terraced housing estate. 

Our second game of the day was Molten Creek Mine. 

The support beams in the mine that you and your team have been working on have given way and the mine is beginning to collapse! The walls are crumbling, the ceiling is caving in, the entrance is now blocked and every second you spend in there means less and less oxygen.
The rescue team is trying their best to race against the clock in order to save you all, but the chances are looking bleak. The creeping realisation of the life or death situation is beginning to dawn on your fellow miners and panic resonates. You are left with one option, find another way out… or die in this soon-to-be catacomb! 

Unfortunately, there was no introduction to the game by our GM, it was merely the case of providing us with (much needed!) shoe protectors, hard hats, asking if we were ready, and finally being informed that a critical tool provided in the room for searching was as good as useless! 

Once inside, we immediately appreciated the work that had gone in to creating the environment, with the décor and dim lighting being perfectly on point with the games mining theme. It even had an impressive mine cart on rails centre piece, although this was sadly not incorporated in to the game play.  The space itself was large (easily accommodating of the maximum team size of six) with a satisfactory amount of props to investigate, and being a mine, was very, very dirty. So much so that we would highly recommend only wearing clothing and footwear that you don’t mind potentially getting ruined!

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In terms of game structure and puzzles this was a fairly linear, padlock heavy game that involved the most amount of searching that we have ever encountered in any escape room, with some search aspects we felt certainly crossed the line of unfair. To put it in to context, the searching made up at least 80% of the game, the remaining 20% of ‘puzzles’ can only be described in the loosest sense of the term as they were some of the most simple and uninspired in terms of design that we have experienced. We found one puzzle in particular to be completely out of context to the room and another which gave no direction at all to what the solution could be. We’d even go as far as saying that should the search elements be removed from the game, then the remaining puzzle-solving itself would result in a lot of teams escaping in around the ten minute mark.

One of locks that we encountered was so worn out that almost all of the numbers could not be read on four of its five dials, resulting in us wasting significant time trying to open it long after we had the combination. For something that is so cheap to replace this really is unacceptable! In addition to this there was a large amount of ‘objects’ that were accessible to players in the game area but didn’t appear to part of the game, turns out they weren’t and thankfully we asked before starting to rifle through them, but in reality they should have never been in the room in the first place. 

Clues were delivered simply by us calling out to the GM, who would then reply over the speakers in the room but this in itself was troublesome as there was no speakers in the latter areas of the game, meaning to hear a response we had to return to the first room and ask the GM to repeat the clue. There was also no sense of remaining time and while we appreciate that a screen would have taken away from the theme we do feel that a more novel themed appropriate approach could have been sought to provide teams with how much time they have left.

The rooms description also stated that the mine was collapsing, however this was non existent once inside and although we understand this would be very difficult to execute as a real time visual a simple auditory accompaniment of creaking and collapsing noises that escalated as the game went on would have really helped with the atmosphere and sense of urgency that the back story alluded to.  

With all of the missed opportunities in this room the finale was unsurprisingly lacklustre. In fact we can only recall a couple of times when we have escaped a room with the whole team being so underwhelmed by the overall experience, especially when it took place in such a good setting.

With that, unless you love excessive searching and getting dirty, we simply couldn’t recommend this room to enthusiasts or casual players as quite frankly aside from the quality décor it’s wasn't the gold mine we were hoping for - rather sadly it was just the pits.

NEW-REVIEW-SCORE-1-STAR-FIN-2019

Molten Creek Mine - Trapp'd Northampton
Rating: 1

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