Where are the torches?
As you stumble through the doorway of Hallow’s house a gust of cold air hits you. Your eyes adjust as you look through the dark, foreboding room. The floorboards creak as you and the rest of your team carefully walk through the rickety, unstable hallway noting the thick layers of dust consuming everything when you suddenly see something in your peripheral vision. A doll, disturbingly beautiful yet creepy and untouched. You try to look away but her eyes follow you wherever you go. You leave the intimidating doll behind feeling her gaze burn the back of your head, and carry on through the derelict corridors. You swallow the feeling of immense fear at the back of your throat and push through the terror pulsing through your body.
You have to be logical, keep a cool head. You’ve dealt with unhappy spirits before, but something just doesn’t feel right. Something more sinister is in play now. One step forward and you freeze. There it is, there’s that doll. Realisation sets in… Abigail?
Trapp’d appear to be taking over the midlands, with branches in Corby, Northampton, Peterborough, Wellingborough, Stockport, and Kettering. With good train links between them, it’s easy to make a day of escaping at several locations, particularly when they run a good promotion, so after completing all of the games at the Corby branch, it was off to Kettering. We’ve enjoyed the games at the Corby and Peterborough, plus we’ve heard good things about the games in Kettering, so I was looking forward to this.
It was a bit later in the day on a Saturday when we arrived at the Kettering branch, and it was busy, but the staff we met still took the time to have a chat with us while we were waiting for our turn to become paranormal investigators. Introductions were made to our GM for Abigail, and any important information was relayed outside the room. Then it was up to us. What proceeded from there was a suitably creepy (not quite an) hour of entertainment, which, despite one annoyance, was completely enjoyable.
Puzzles were a bit of a mix. On the one hand, there were a number of more tactile, physical puzzles that involved interaction with your surroundings, as well as moving about the enormous space. As the game progressed, these became more observational, and involved the use of padlocks – not ideal, as the second half of the game plunges players into the dark. With only one torch between the two of us, this did mean that splitting up became near impossible, as only one person would actually be able to see. Make sure your communication skills are up to scratch, if only so you can easily communicate to your team that you would like the torch to investigate something a bit closer. As such, players will find that gameplay becomes quite linear, and you must follow a particular order in order to make your escape.
The puzzles were on theme, and comparatively easy, only really made more difficult in the low light situation. They were, however, varied in nature, and required a number of different skills, from listening to logic. Several were rather complex, and involved a fair amount of movement throughout the space (not easy with only one torch), and will test the memory.
We walked through the door, and immediately I was blown away. The space was massive (it’s nearly bigger than our flat) and well themed, with an incredibly creepy vibe. As we progressed through the space, it continued to sprawl in all directions, and it seemed never ending, offering a number of surprises. There was some wear in the room, which sadly took away some of the surprises, but this was minimal. The creep factor certainly added to the immersion; of course this is one of those instances where you get out of it what you put in, and those that let their imaginations run wild will certainly find this much more terrifying than others.
As we worked our way through, the scare factor was upped when the lights went out. This certainly added to the immersion in the story, however, it became incredibly annoying, as the resulting stumble around the darkness made little to no sense in the context of the story. After all, the premise is based on the fact that you are a team of paranormal investigators; it is only logical therefore that each member of the team would have a torch, rather than eventually only finding one somewhere inside. This was annoying enough as a team of two who like to split up, but I can imagine this being not at all fun for larger groups, unless an additional torch or two are supplied to larger teams, as many will find themselves left out of the action, unless they happen to be the chosen torch bearer.
Clues were delivered using a walkie talkies, but a secondary speaker system was in place. It’s a tried and true system, but it worked particularly well in this instance. As a team of paranormal investigators, being filmed for a TV show, it is completely feasible that the entire house would be covered with cameras, wired for sound, and you’d have walkie talkies.
Our GM was on the ball, and provided a few timely nudges to prevent frustration, particularly at one point when we were being rather stupid and failed to look at things properly. Not only that, she and the rest of the team were enthusiastic, and easy to chat with outside of the game.
With a description like the one on the website and from some of the comments on the UK Enthusiasts group on Facebook, I was expecting a game akin to Zoe. Luckily, it wasn’t quite that horrifying. Yes, Abigail is creepy, and there are a few attempts at jump scares, but this, for us at least, was not a true horror experience, and was more of a well done paranormal themed room.
Team: 2 Players – escaped in 36:03
Address: 143 Regent St, Kettering, NN16 8QQ