Why do I feel like I’m being watched?
You and your team are a gang of bank robbers, infamous for your safe-cracking skills. Your intel suggests a shipment of gold has just been delivered to the SOVO Bank…
Locked in a secure vault and under heavy surveillance, can your team pull off the crime in the nick of time? You’re safe for now but after sixty minutes you need to make a critical decision: finish the mission or abort – and run!
Prior to Coronavirus there were a couple of big players in the industry for play at home games, namely ‘Exit! The Game’ and ‘Unlock.’ Now escape room companies are producing their own games and new commercial options are appearing – play at home games are big business! The latest commercial game that we have come across is by ‘Trapped’. They currently have three games available in their first series; Carnival (Easy), The Art Heist (Medium), and The Bank Job (Hard), all available on Amazon and a few other high street retailers right now, but also through a number of escape room companies directly (buy it from them rather than Amazon).
As we are now quite experienced with play at home games we decided to opt for The Bank Job, Trapped’s hardest game. We’ve played a number of ‘Exit!’ games and found their harder levels to be very very challenging, but fortunately we found the hardest level of this series was much more logical and we didn’t find any of it frustrating.
Unlike many games where the goal is simply to complete the game (usually within an hour), this one has an extra scoring system where you earn points according to how long it has taken you and how many clues you needed. We’re not overly competitive but we certainly had our eyes on those 10 points!
While a number of other games are set up to be played from a box, this game takes that one step further and you are essentially turning your living room (or other room of your choice) into an escape room. Trapped explain it quite well themselves:
- Turn your house into an escape room. Crack the clues, open the safe – exit the vault
- Escape room in a box. All the fun of a cooperative escape board game – without the board
- You all play at once. No turn taking. Adults, kids, teens and families can all join in at once
- Not a card game. Real codes to crack and tests to pass in this interactive family game
That actually sums it up pretty well. We played this game as a team of two but it would be perfectly suited for the whole family. Liz set up the game while I was working and then when I entered the living room I was suddenly confronted by pressure sensors, and CCTV cameras watching my every move – the game was afoot!
I think one of the things we liked about this game was that it wasn’t destructive like so many other games are. I’m sure the developers won’t be happy with me saying this, but if you’re careful you can reuse this game. Some items need to be cut, but that is clearly signposted and cutting them doesn’t actually solve anything, you still need to work out how to use the items. Being able to reuse it is actually a bonus as it means that if you have multiple family groups you can get it set up and make things competitive.
There’s nothing ‘special’ in this box and everything is basically paper/card, but it looks like it would be robust enough to withstand the kids getting excited over their puzzle solving. As you would expect from a commercial game, everything is well put together and with the price point they have chosen, I would say it is decent value for money.
As you would expect, all the puzzles in this game are somehow related to robbing a bank. We didn’t find any of the puzzles too challenging despite this being the hardest difficulty setting, but it should provide a good challenge for families or more inexperienced players.
The game has one clear goal that you are working towards and signposting was very good so you knew what to do with solutions once you had solved the puzzles. It played out in a non-linear fashion so we could solve whatever was in front of us in any order we liked which again makes it suitable for larger groups as everyone can work on something simultaneously.
Unlike a lot of play at home games, this one can also have a search element if you so choose. There are a number of pieces to this game and Trapped advise that you set them up and hide them around the room to add an extra element of fun (just don’t do like Liz did and forget where you hid them!).
Often I will look at escape rooms and wonder how designers came up with the puzzles, in this game I was fascinated by the clue system. I think it is unique, or at least I haven’t seen anything like it before and I feel very bad for the designer who had to create it. It wasn’t just a wonder of clue-system design, it worked really well and was designed in a way so that you couldn’t accidentally take a hint or see a solution for something unless you really wanted to.
Well done Trapped, clue systems can often let down play at home games but you nailed it with this one!
Christmas? Family holiday? Friends over? This could be what you’re looking for if you want a night of play at home escape room fun. Trapped takes the escape room out of the box and firmly plants it in your home. Experienced puzzlers won’t struggle with this game but there may be a few puzzles that have you scratching your heads for a few minutes.
- Calculator would be useful
- Notepad and Pen
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 44 minutes
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience and it was gifted by Golden Bear, but this has not influenced our review