Esme had always been a little…. odd, but that was what made you all such good friends. Recently however she had gone from being the eccentric, outgoing girl to a suspicious, shy recluse. Her behaviour so bizarre it appeared the Esme you once knew had become a distant memory. Fearing for her safety you take it upon yourself to discover why your friend has become a ghost of her former self and decide to follow her one evening, hoping to uncover something to bring her back to her senses.
Following at a steady pace, careful not to be seen, you make the trip across town and towards the tall, abandoned church. Watching from afar you see her adorn a dark, hooded robe and descend into the cellar below. Your head tells you to run, but your heart confirms your actions, knowing you cannot leave your friend to what awaits her in the darkness. Sneaking silently and peeking through the keyhole of a large, ancient door you see what is only dreamt of in nightmares.
Twelve hooded figures chant something in an unrecognisable language, stood in a large circle around your friend who lays helplessly on a pentagram carved into the floor and stained with blood. Candles and dried flowers scattered around her limp body signalling that she is the next sacrificial lamb. Fear grips you, you know you must get Esme away from this sick cult before she is lost forever.
Are you willing to risk your own life to save your friend’s soul?
The honour of the final game of our two week, 59 game escape room went to Forsaken at Trapp’d Wellingborough. We had already played Atlantis and Legend of Drakon, and as we completed each of those in less than 35 minutes we got free doughnuts (it was national doughnut day apparently). So we took a break and went for a little stroll between games before returning back to the venue ready to take on this game that we had heard so much about.
Trapp’d Wellingborough is really convenient to get to as it is in the town centre with parking all around it, and plenty of places to pop to if you’re looking for a bite to eat. When we returned to Trapp’d we had eaten our doughnuts so were feeling suitably high on sugar and ready to rock!
Forsaken was a room we had heard quite a lot about, some people really love horror rooms and this is one that seems to often get mentioned. When a game comes with a warning like this, it’s bound to get your attention:
“WARNING: This room could be religiously offensive to some players. In this room you will simulate summoning the devil but we assure you that this is entirely role-play and is not in any way intended to be real. If you are uncomfortable with this in any way then you should avoid booking this room.”
It certainly got our attention! Forsaken is a game that very much plants itself in the horror realm, especially thanks to the live actor aspect who is very present in the room at points and interacts a fair amount with players. We were warned about this so that does take away some of the surprise, but there are also a fair number of jump scares thrown in for good measure.
So, with warnings heeded and the briefing given outside the entrance to the game, we were finally ready to enter and see what all the fuss was about.
Covid-19 Procedures: masks were required in all common areas of the venue, but we were told we could remove them in the game (we left them on). All staff were wearing masks and there was hand sanitiser in reception, although no NHS track and trace was in place. We did see one other team but never came into close contact with them.
I often find that it’s hard to get the ‘immersion’ wrong if you’re doing a horror room and the strategy is to make it dark, and that’s what Trapp’d did for Forsaken. Saying that, I quite liked the attention to detail in the first room although we spent far too little time here and before we knew it we were in the main space – and like the other spaces at Trapp’d, it was massive. I’m not sure if they do bigger rooms so they can fit in bigger teams, but the main area here could take a sizable team for sure.
There are certain things you have to do in this game as part of your mission, and how involved you get with it probably dictates how much you get out of the game. We decided to go with the flow but still very much stayed focussed on puzzles and the task at hand – which is probably why we ended up finishing in 23 minutes and getting the record time.
Generally we’re not fans of dark rooms, especially when not provided with a decent torch and I think that would still be the case for Forsaken. We were provided a torch, and it was pretty powerful, but we only got one (there were two of us) and we were told that battery life on it was likely quite limited. Perhaps most teams don’t like to split up in this game, but when you only have one torch it certainly limits the options available to you.
When you combine the darkness with the large space and the knowledge that there will be a live actor joining you at times, I can see how people get creeped out by this room. But just for good measure, Trapp’d have added a soundtrack to the room that adds to this creepiness.
I don’t know how old this game is, but unfortunately in places it was showing signs of wear. This meant for one puzzle, despite knowing exactly what needed to be done, we just couldn’t physically read the code – in the end the GM had to chime in to correct us as it was pretty illegible. It’s a shame as it really wouldn’t take long to fix.
Forsaken does require you to crawl at one point, but if that’s a problem there is a work around. Oh yes, and that warning they gave, do listen to it as it is very true. I can see people being very uncomfortable with certain aspects of this game, and the live actor element adds to that.
We found that like many horror rooms we’ve played, there really weren’t that many puzzles to be solved. Really the biggest puzzle/challenge was overcoming your fear to be able to concentrate, well that and the darkness. Signposting felt a little weak to us too and we often had items that we didn’t know what to do with.
The puzzles that were present were on theme (although didn’t really progress a story) and they resulted in a blend of padlocks (not easy in the dark) and tech (or the GM triggering from behind the scenes). Decoding, pattern recognition, logic, maths, directions, observation, following orders and minor search elements were all part of this game but ‘difficulty by darkness’ was ever present.
Our GM, Scott was also our live actor for our experience and he did a good job of being an eerie presence in the room, but never did he overstep the mark (especially in COVID times). We didn’t need any clues when we played as we seemed to be able to work things out easily enough, all we needed was a little assistance when we found it impossible to read something. When this help came, it was over a speaker system and we didn’t have to wait too long for it. Once again though, it would have been nice if a little effort went into making the clue a bit more in character and in keeping with the room.
We destroyed Forsaken, completing it in 23 minutes and escaping with the room record. It wasn’t a hard room but I can see why people may struggle, especially as it is so dark. I don’t know if bigger teams get more torches, but one per person would be nice. If you’re a fan of horror rooms and like a live actor, then you’ll probably get a buzz from Forsaken.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 23 minutes
Address: 50 Angel Lane, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 4LA