Peterborough, Feb 2018
The second game at the Peterborough branch of Trapp’d is their Western game, though since you start locked up and need to secure a gemstone before escaping, it has prison and heist elements thrown into the mix as well.
At their Northampton branch, I found their Molten Creek Mine game to be perhaps the most authentically dirty games I’ve ever played, and we emerged from that almost as besmeared as if we’d actually been trapped underground for an hour. Red Rock is not quite at that level, but there’s still an admirable quantity of Wild West dust and sand, so I strongly suggest dressing down for the game and accepting the plastic shoe protectors provided.
Trapp’d provide backstory in the form of a printed card that reproduces the game story from the website, for players to read before they enter the room. While that’s a pretty perfunctory approach to setting the scene, I do like their convention of blindfolding players to lead them into the room, so that the game starts with a reveal of the surroundings and with no transition from lobby area to escape room.
We struggled at two points in this game, both due to what I’d classify as observation fails on our part. The first of those seemed like a bit of an unnecessary gotcha at the start of the game, which in other respects had a strong start with an emphasis on the physical. The tone of the game varies thereafter, but always returns to a hands-on style involving big props and tasks that successfully evoke a Western bandit heist.
The set is brashly full-on rather than meticulously polished, with some rough edges such as an obvious fire door and some left-over markings that could be mistaken for clues, but it wasn’t hard to suspend disbelief. Similarly for the game content: I found it an energetic and entertaining game whose weaker points were very easy to overlook.
Each of the four Trapp’d games I’ve played so far (those in Northampton and Peterborough) had its own distinctive style and strong points, but of the four Red Rock was the one I’d recommend the most enthusiastically. Just don’t play it wearing your Sunday best.