This game is Gold! Rush to play it!
Can you feel the fever?! El Dorado county is hiding the richest secrets of the country right below the surface. Kanaka Jack is rumored to know the location of a hidden mine – finding it will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams! This is an escape game with an explosive secret that will bring the whole family together. Raid Jack’s cabin, unlock the entrance to his hidden mine, and blast your way out!
When we were over in LA last year we were gutted that we couldn’t make it down to Temecula/Murrieta to play the games at Mind Trap as we’d heard great things. Fortunately for us, Mind Trap now offer their Gold Rush room as a live avatar room so we could finally play!
When we play regular escape rooms we mostly play as a team of two, yet for online games we seem to enjoy playing in a bigger team, perhaps it’s the lack of regular socialising? Either way, we were joined for this game by the lovely James and Charlie from Deadlocked.
Pre-game we were sent a link that contained all the details we needed plus a snazzy little intro video that explained the story of our mission. Having familiarised ourselves with the story, we clicked the link at our allotted time and joined the zoom call.
Once connected we were welcomed by Nathan who was our host for the game. After a lovely chat with Nathan about all things escape rooms we were then handed over to our live avatar ‘One Eyed Bill’ and were ready to start our hunt for the gold.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that live avatar escape rooms are quite a new concept, especially when you play a game like this that runs so smoothly. I don’t know when Mind Trap started running their games online, but even if they told me it had been years I’d have believed them.
Some games just lend themselves really well to being put online and this game is one of them. In person, as a team of four, I think we’d have blitzed through this room, but online where we only have one pair of hands, it took much longer. That’s not to say it felt painful or drawn out, we just had to take a bit more time to take in our surroundings.
The inventory system they have chosen to use worked well, giving us a 360 degree view of the room and allowing us to enter codes to get a closer look at the items we had discovered. If that wasn’t enough, there were also items in the inventory that we could interact with and manipulate to help us solve the puzzle.
Tech aside, this room was lovely. It was beautifully staged and in person I bet it would have been incredible. There was music playing the entire time that felt appropriate to the theme and nothing in the room really felt too out of place (ok, perhaps padlocks did, but I like padlocks so I don’t care).
Communication with your teammates will always be the main puzzle in rooms like this, working out who should speak and when. Aside from that, there is some searching, a good amount of observation, and some decoding – basically no long winded puzzles that felt dull or out of place.
With great signposting in the room it was easy to work out where to go and more importantly, where to start. When we acquired combinations we knew exactly where to put them and didn’t have to try the combination in a multitude of locks.
I have obviously mentioned padlocks, and there were a fair few, but there was a good amount of tech used too. There were a number of items we solved by physically (or remotely) interacting with items which was really rather satisfying and kept an element of surprise about what may happen next.
All the puzzles felt like they belonged in the game and nothing really felt shoehorned in or added to slow teams down. There’s nothing worse than doing a Wild West themed room and then coming across a 10 minute sudoku puzzle!
Nathan did a great job of operating as two personalities, on camera he was Nathan, yet behind camera he was One Eyed Bill and there was never any overlap. When there was interaction between the two it was done in a simple yet effective way.
One Eyed Bill was a wonderful host/avatar and played his role to perfection. Often we’ll do a room and the host will subconsciously guide us in a direction but there was none of that here. One Eye didn’t do anything without us specifically saying what we wanted him to do, and it worked well.
The host can make a poor game better, they can take a standard game game and make it great, or a great game and take it to a new level – One Eyed Bill did the latter. His interactions with us never felt rehearsed or painful and although there was nothing truly outrageous, he went with the flow and played the game as he saw it – great fun.
This is a must play room. It’s as simple as that. A wonderful host, a beautiful set that seems to keep surprising you, and a hugely satisfying ending. If you’re local to Mind Trap then play it in person, if not, then get it booked online while it’s still available.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: 10
- Price: $60 for two zoom connections ($15 extra for each additional)
- Devices: Desktop/Laptop
- Platform: Zoom
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: Yes
- Time Zone: California (PST)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 44 minutes