Mars or bust!
They say humans have inhabited earth for thousands of years. They are wrong. Humans have slowly been destroying earth for thousands of years, exhausting this once peaceful planet and everything that lived in harmony with it. 50 years ago, the predictions were publicised, earth would be in ruin and extinction would close in on us. But no one took notice. A blind eye cast towards the â€˜experts’ and our trends continued. Overpopulation, nuclear atomic wars, engineered disease. All very real threats we regret to ignore. So wrapped up in universal destruction; deforestation caused by agriculture, driving catastrophic climate change and ultimately, global warming were the cause of our debilitation. Things we were subconsciously aware of but chose to ignore. We chose to destroy our beautiful home and now, the reckoning is upon us.
Once again there was a decent sale on at Trapp’d so this time we found ourselves doing a day trip to their Northampton and Billing Aquadrome venues.
‘Trapp’d: Billing Aquadrome’ is located a few miles outside of Northampton so we ended up getting a taxi there which took around 15minutes (and cost around £15). Once we arrived, the first challenge was to find the venue, fortunately there were some helpful staff in the main complex and they were able to point us in the right direction.
When you enter the building it has the same feel and decoration as all the other Trapp’d venues: black walls covered in ‘graffiti’ by successful, and unsuccessful teams.
We were greeted by a few of the Trapp’d team who were setting up for the day ahead, and introduced to our GM for Exordium, Riley.
The health and safety briefing and backstory took place in the main reception area before we were led down the corridor to the entrance to the room. It seems to be a Trapp’d policy to blindfold you when you go into their room, but this definitely adds to the mystery and suspense for what you are about to encounter.
Exordium is listed as the easiest room at this venue; with a 19 minute record, so we were keen not to embarrass ourselves early on – and it really was early.
This is a great room for beginners yet enthusiasts should still get a bit of a kick from it as there are a nice range of puzzles to keep you busy, logic, minimal searching, and observation. In this room, the key is to not over complicate anything, sometimes it really is that simple.
There were a number of padlocks in the room although they didn’t bother us at all and didn’t detract from the experience, well not once we’d discounted a number of things that we thought could be giving us a code – like I said, keep it simple.
Communication makes this room easier and there were a few times we found ourselves shouting to each other from different parts of the room.
Some puzzles needed you to remember things from one part of the room and then use them in another. With nothing to write notes down on this can make the process take much longer than perhaps it should.
There was one puzzle which the room built up to that for me at least felt like it was slow and laborious. I liked that it was done in a way to make it harder to just guess without completing it but the process of getting there was quite painful.
Trapp’d rooms can sometimes come off as feeling a bit edgy or grimy, probably due to the abundance of black paint before you go in, but Exordium certainly bucked that trend. We knew what we were there to do and as soon as we took the blindfolds off we had the impression that we were on a space station on Mars.
There was a lovely flow to the room and a good sense of adventure about it. There were little nick nacks and items stuck to the wall purely for aesthetic purposes but it was very easy to discount these and focus on what were actually puzzles.
With this being the easiest room at the venue they had put some decent signposting in to help you navigate the large space and work out what related to what.
Not sure if this falls under puzzles or room design, but we did this room as a two and there is one task where having more people would make life much easier, but fortunately Trapp’d have included a work around to make it doable as a smaller team (that’s where we received the nudge).
A solid and fun ending to the mission made it clear that we had completed what we were sent there to do, I do like a defined ending.
Like all Trapp’d rooms there was no timer anywhere in the room so you have no idea how long you’ve been in there (escape rooms seem to be like a time vortex).
Clues were delivered over the speaker system which kept it on theme. Riley was able to see and hear us at all times and was obviously keeping a close eye on us as at one point he gave us a little nudge to assist just when we needed it.
This room is a good warm-up room or I could imagine it would also be a great family room. It is on the easier side so enthusiasts will probably fly through it, but it’s enjoyable and has some nice design touches that we haven’t seen elsewhere.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 25:12
Address: Crow Lane, Great Billing, Northampton, NN3 9DA