Having never tried a proper escape room before, I tried the next best alternative – an at home escape room in a box. Whilst the concept was great, the game itself was a bit of a let down due to some frustrating and obscure clues that just didn’t work for us. But not to be deterred and let one not so good experience put us off, we tried again. Last time we tried an art heist, this time we upped the ante and attempted a bank job.
The first game we tried is part of a series of escape room in a box from Trapped. We had already tried The Art Heist and were disappointed but decided to try the second game in the series, The Bank Job (Series 1, Room 2). Trapped are 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 Bank Job has a puzzle difficulty rating of hard. In the box is everything you need to turn a room in your house into an Escape Room where players need to work together to solve all the puzzles, crack the safe and escape the vault. After our experience with The Art Heist which was a medium level puzzle, we didn’t have much hope for this – but we were wrong.
In the game pack is:
- Code Reading Square
This is an interactive game for children, teenagers, adults and families and everybody plays together, there is no board or turn-taking, you just work together to try to solve the clues to escape. It has real codes to crack, puzzles to solve and tests to pass. An escape room in a box.
In BANK JOB, you and the other players are a gang of bank robbers! Intel suggests that if you’re a party to this one job, you’ll be set for life!
Locked in a secure vault and under heavy surveillance, can you work together as a team to pull off the crime in the nick of time? Sleeping gas has knocked out the security guards and everyone else in the building except you. You’re safe for now. But hurry! In sixty minutes you’ll need to choose your strategy: finish the mission or abort and run!
As with the other games in this series I really liked how the games were packaged up in a box that looks like a gift bag, with very little plastic used at all with the components being card and paper.
In the box you will find an instruction sheet which tells a story to set the scene, along with multiple cards and clues to solve, a code reading square for clues as you go along and even little props to really help make you part of the game. You just need to add a pen and paper.
Clues are placed around the room, no sitting around a table and not getting involved allowed, and ALL the players have to work together to try and solve the clues and puzzles, not necessarily in any particular order. This works great as if you are struggling you can go off to another clue and revisit later (this eliminates a lot of frustration, especially in younger less patient players).
If you do get really stuck on any clues and you and your fellow players are really struggling, there are hint reference numbers on the reverse of the clues which allow you to look for individual clues through a cipher. We thought this was a great way of doing it as it is impossible to accidentally see more clues than you wanted to, or even to be tempted to have a sneaky peek!
Now, we all struggled with The Art Heist and this was a more difficult game but the clues, whilst definitely harder, were much more coherent and related to other clues well. We did resort to the hints on a couple of occasions but were then kicking ourselves afterwards that we hadn’t seen what was so blindingly obvious!
Overall, The Bank Job was a really enjoyable game with brilliant puzzles to solve and so much more fun and less frustrating than its predecessor. It provided more of a challenge and the kids did need some help, but it is a team game and working together is key, and the kids did solve puzzles that the adults just couldn’t see the answer straight away – different ways of thinking is a big feature in an escape room game.
As with the previous game, it can be packed away back into its gift bag style packaging and given to someone else to play, so isn’t a throwaway game.
I rated The Art Heist 3/5 as it had obscure clues and was so frustrating, but The Bank Job was so much more fun, entertaining and enjoyable and worthy of top marks. The concept of the game is great, the components are good and the re-gifting (albeit clearly used) is a good idea.
The Bank Job is an excellent escape room game, one that gives the adult brain as much of a workout as the kid’s brains and you really do have to work together to solve the puzzles. A fun and entertaining game for family nights or even children’s parties.
Available to buy from Amazon here.