Create your own Art Gallery, and then rob it!
The obscenely-rich Harrington family invites you to an exhibition of their priceless art. Upset that his family hoards wealth, though, their youngest son, Charles, asks your party to steal a painting…
Fearing detection, Charles leaves only a series of clues to help you find the right artwork. But you’re not alone! Charles has also convinced one of the staff to help you escape…
Can you find the painting, steal it and flee the scene – all in 60 minutes?
If you’ve ever thought that you’d like to try an escape game, but are hesitant to spend the £15-£20 (or more) per person without knowing if you’ll like them, then the Trapped series could be just what you’re looking for. Trapped brings the escape room to you and is perfect for beginners and veterans alike, depending on the game you choose.
There are currently three games available to play in the series: The Bank Job, The Carnival, and of course, The Art Heist. We had previously played The Bank Job, rumoured to be the most difficult of the games, so felt well prepared to take on stealing the painting in The Art Heist, as that is marketed as being medium difficulty.
On a rainy afternoon I turned our living room into an art gallery, and later that evening, we entered the room for a night “out,” filled with puzzles, art, and a bit of thievery. (Option to add wine for an added air of pretentiousness.)
A blend between an escape game and a board game, the Trapped series games aim to bring the escape room to you; any room can be an escape room, after all. The game itself is paper-based and The Art Heist provides everything you may need to set up and complete your mission within the box, including low tack double-sided tape to turn the room of your choice into a proper art gallery. The only thing you may need to provide is something to take notes on. And of course, the venue.
The game itself is relatively open to begin, and you can choose whether you work on each puzzle as a team, or utilise the non-linear structure to your advantage. If you set up everything according to the instructions, you will have created a gallery style picture wall, and with the inclusion of several security badges to allow the team to take on different characters if they so wish, the game has the potential to be as immersive as you want, depending on how far you choose to take it.
It’s worth noting that the set-up guide included with the game gives a handy list of everything that should be contained within. This is useful, but in the case of The Art Heist, can be confusing. Some of the components listed are contained within an envelope that you are instructed not to open until you reach a certain point in the game. Because of this, we (as well as a few other teams) thought that some components were missing from the game until I peeked in the forbidden envelope and discovered our error.
Logic, observation, codes, patterns, and a bit of physical manipulation – if you’ve done it in an escape room expect to find it in The Art Heist. Apart from padlocks of course. While difficulty is subjective, The Art Heist is (in my opinion) on the easier end of the spectrum, even for being classed as Medium difficulty, so puzzle fiends are unlikely to find many challenges, apart from the occasional leap of logic.
On the subject of logic, while it’s no secret that I love a good logic puzzle, the final puzzle in The Art Heist significantly slowed the pace of the game, felt a bit out of place, and ended up being rather anti-climactic due to the slow nature, and left us thinking, “Is that is?” It might have been less anticlimactic had we had another task after, or if there was a way to implement the information for our escape, but I suppose it’s somewhat limited by the fact that the game is entirely made out of paper.
The Trapped games have one of the most unique clue systems we’ve seen in any play at home game. Like most of the escape-style games that can be played at home, the clues for each puzzle are delivered in a granular manner, beginning with a cryptic one and getting progressively less and less cryptic as you take more. The genius in the delivery is actually the method in which they are delivered.
Like the other games in the series, the clues for The Art Heist are available in a booklet, but in order to ensure that players only see the clue for the puzzle in which they need, the clues are scrambled and require the special decoder card to read them. It’s incredibly clever and less fiddly than if each clue were provided on an individual card.
Newcomers to the world of at-home escaping, Trapped have raised the bar for my expectations from an escape room in a box. The Art Heist is possibly on the easier side for hard-core escape enthusiasts but would be perfect for a family get-together. The games are completely reusable if you’re gentle, so I think I know what I’m taking home for Christmas this year.
- Note-taking implements may be useful
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 37 minutes
Website: Available from a number of escape rooms or on Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trapped-AH001-Waiting-Puzzles-Friends/dp/B08556DXN3)
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience and it was gifted by Golden Bear, but this has not influenced our review