I have never tried a proper escape room. They are now very popular, lots of fun and excellent team building and bonding games where you give your brain a workout trying to solve a series of clues and puzzles to “escape the room”. I love puzzles and trying to solve clues so was happy to try out an At Home escape room game, one where the kids could join in as well, and that came in the form of The Art Heist.
Trapped do a series of family-friendly escape room packs to play at home which are suitable for 2-6 players aged 8+ and have a playing time of 1-2 hours (all depending on how quickly you can solve the puzzles).
The first game in the series is The Art Heist (Series 1, Room 1) and this has a puzzle difficulty rating of medium. Turn a room in your house into an Escape Room where players need to work together to solve all the puzzles, steal the painting and escape the room.
In the game pack is:
- Clue Reader
This is an interactive game for children, teenagers, adults and families and everybody plays together, there is no board or turn-taking, you just try to solve all the clues to escape as a team. It has real codes to crack, puzzles to solve and tests to pass. An escape room in a box.
In Art Heist, the obscenely rich Harrington family invites you to an exhibition of their priceless art. Upset that his family hoards wealth, though, their youngest son, Charles, asks your party to steal a painting?
Fearing detection, Charles leaves only a series of clues to help you find the right artwork. But you’re not alone! Charles has also convinced one of the staff to help you escape… Can you find the painting, steal it and flee the scene, all in 60 minutes?
I really liked how the games were packaged up, with very little plastic used at all with the components being mostly card and paper. The box contains an instruction sheet which tells a story to set the scene, along with multiple cards and clues to solve, a clue reader to decipher clues as you go along and even little props to really help make you part of the game. You just need to supply a pen and paper.
The Trapped Escape Room Game Packs turn any room in your house into an escape room, and that means you are not just sitting around a table. Clues and puzzles are placed around the room so players can wander around to any puzzle they want to. This does mean that each game will take the adults about 5-10 minutes to set up the room, but it really makes you feel a part of the puzzle and adds a real physical element to the game too. Being on your feet and walking round the room trying to hunt for clues or to match clues together makes the whole experience far more like a real escape room than sitting round the kitchen table would.
Setting up the game to play really is simple, the instructions are very clear follow. Whilst clues and puzzles are placed around the room, there is nothing that will make a mess or have players riffling through drawers or cupboards. We turned our kitchen into the escape room playing set, and for the most part, the instructions just told us to pop clues on surfaces or stick them to walls.
The premise of the game is simple, solve the clues and puzzles to steal a painting and escape the room. The Art Heist is a medium difficulty puzzle but to be honest we all struggled with it, the clues don’t need to be solved in a specific order but for the first fifteen minutes or so the clues didn’t seem to make any coherent sense and didn’t seem to relate to anything (even when we solved some). Maybe we were missing something blindingly obvious. We had to resort to the hints to get us on our way and to finish the game. We did finish eventually, somehow, but we wanted to know where we had gone wrong and after re-reading all the clues along with the hints, we were still a bit baffled as to where some of the solutions came from and we felt it really was just a bit too abstract, or somehow we missed something at the beginning and it followed through the whole game.
Overall, the idea of the game is brilliant. It is simple to set up and the idea of how to play is easy to understand, we just found the clues and puzzles a bit too heavy for children to solve and as adults we struggled (we did get there but not entirely sure how).
The concept of the game, working as a team to solve the puzzles, is excellent and setting clues around the room works really well making it a much more immersive and interactive experience, and it does get all players involved a lot more (we felt that weaker players wouldn’t get involved as much if everybody was just sat around a table, preferring to let others do the work).
Whilst the idea of the game is excellent and appealed to everybody, we didn’t enjoy The Art Heist as much as we should have, which is a shame. We felt the clues were too obscure or we misunderstood something and never really recovered.
A plus point for the game is that whilst it may be a one use game (once you have solved it you are not going to play again as the answers and solutions aren’t any different), it can be packed away back into its packaging and given to someone else to play so isn’t a throwaway game.
I would rate it as 3/5 – the idea is great, the components are good and the re-gifting (albeit clearly used) is a good idea but we just found the puzzles that bit too obtuse for full enjoyment of the game.
Available to buy from Amazon here.