Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Mission Sydney - Trapped Review



Hi all

The second room that my team ever did in Australia was Vampire Castle at Mission Sydney, which we tried back in November 2014.  I enjoyed Vampire Castle, which was my first experience of a high tech escape room.  I also really enjoyed Dr M at Mission Sydney, which we did a little while later.  My team also enjoyed The Lost Mine at Mission Sydney, which we did about a year ago at the time of writing this review.  And finally, my team absolutely loved Unstoppable, which we escaped from in January 2019.

This time we were invited back by the owners to check out their brand new room, Trapped.  We were our usual 4 team of players.  Trapped was our 123rd room in Australian and our 80th room in Sydney. Here's the summary of Unstoppable from their website:

One day at a commercial building, a lift carrying passengers malfunctioned, resulting in 2 casualties.

You are detectives who are in charge of this accident. Although this was classified as a human error accident, the investigation has little progress due to lack of evidence.

You have recently received an anonymous message, which claims that a piece of crucial evidence was left at the building. Now, you and your team are heading to the scene for a further investigation.

Here’s what I thought:
·         the theming was really well done.  So many details were really well considered and well designed;
·         as mentioned in my earlier reviews, I have always enjoyed Mission Sydney rooms – they own the “high tech” corner of the escape room market in Sydney (and always have).  Although I have really enjoyed all of their other rooms, I found that at times, whilst really cool, some of the high tech elements didn’t always completely suit the theme;
·         both Unstoppable and Trapped are a step up in my view on the theming and storyline side of things.  There is some very clever use of items in the space in Trapped that make sense and are cleverly designed as puzzle elements.  This is an element that the majority of escape rooms get wrong – even though the puzzle elements can be great, if they don’t make sense in the room then they aren’t thematic.  I am happy to report that the puzzle elements in Trapped made sense in the space;
·         it feels to me like Mission Sydney has really appreciated the importance of a strong back story with Trapped – in many ways I think elements are more subtle and more natural than in their earlier rooms.  The storyline is strong and the puzzles make sense in that storyline;
·         they utilise walkie-talkies in their rooms.  Although not as good as the voice of God system that is quickly becoming the industry standard, it worked well; and
·         this room is family friendly – there are no dark rooms or scary elements.  I would suggest children over about 8 years old would be fine if supervised.
We really enjoyed Trapped.  On the constructive side, there was one puzzle in Trapped that we didn’t love.  It was not an awful puzzle by any means, but compared to the rest of the puzzles, it was a weaker puzzle.  Most people who have been to escape rooms will know what I mean – you see a puzzle, you solve it (or you are given a hint) and you look back at the puzzle and think the solution is not a perfect fit for the puzzle.  The industry term for this I think is an “inelegant puzzle” – it’s not wrong, but it doesn’t quite feel 100% right either.  We were also told by the game master that at the time that we escaped the room, there had been no teams before us who had solved that puzzle without a hint.  That confirmed for me (as I think it should for the owners) that the puzzle might need to be reworked. 

As always, the best measure of a great room was whether my team enjoyed it.  I'm pleased to report that we really enjoyed Trapped!

******NOTE that Mission Sydney currently has 2 different locations.  Trapped is at their new George Street premises*******

Where:                        Suite 502, 724 George Street, Sydney 

Duration:                     70 minutes

Themes:                      6 themes

Cost:                           Price:                           $45pp (but we played at the invitation of the owners)

Overall Rating:            A clever room with nice tech and strong puzzles

More details:               https://www.missionsydney.com/

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