Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Date played: August 9, 2015
Team size: up to 10; we recommend 7-9. It’s nice to have an odd number.
Price: $28 per ticket
Theme & story
You and your friends wake up in a jail cell after a crazy night out in Boston. You think that you’ve been arrested, but soon discover that it’s not the police who are holding you captive.
The game began with the players handcuffed together in pairs within a cell.
The jail cell design was a compelling, fun way to begin the game.
The game started very strong, but then the story veered off course, along with the puzzles.
The Drunk Tank included a wonderful variety of puzzles and challenges.
It was physically involved in a way that I wish more escape rooms were. Trapology managed to include physically interactive challenges without requiring athleticism.
The room incorporated far more puzzle variety than we ever expect from a new company.
This wasn’t a lock and key room and that was one of its finest qualities.
Most of its puzzles work really well. There is one puzzle early in the game that has the potential for the players to render it unsolvable through user error (in our case this almost happened, but one of our more industrious teammates slipped his handcuffs, giving him the mobility he needed to overcome the problem).
The other problematic puzzle is the final one. It was mechanically a little wonky and one of the clues was so very difficult to see that we looked right at it multiple times without realizing that it was there.
The slow decline of a good thing
From a quality standpoint, this game really had one of the strongest openings we’ve seen. As the game progressed, the story became a conglomeration of different pop culture references and story snippets from famous crime/ prison television shows and movies; some worked better than others (Shawshank Redemption reference FTW!).
As the story lost focus, so did the puzzles. I found myself repeatedly wondering why items and puzzles were in the game. A good story requires some editing; that’s what this game needed.
None of this ruined the experience, but Trapology was flirting with greatness in this room.
Plays 10 people
It was a tight fit with 10 people locked in a jail cell, but even within the cell everyone was engaged. Everyone stayed engaged as the game unfolded.
It’s a true 10 player room in part because the handcuffing of players forced teamwork, rendering simple tasks considerably more challenging in a great way.
The downside here is that this game managed to keep everyone engaged through a large volume of red herrings. The rules tell players up front that there are things in this room that aren’t helpful; that was no lie.
Should I play Trapology’s Drunk Tank?
Boston is a city with surprisingly little room escape competition. Trapology is a great addition to the landscape.
The Drunk Tank is a game that starts strong, but loses itself along the way. It could use a little more focus, and the puzzles could fit into the story quite a bit better, but the game was fun right up until the end.
We left feeling a little sore over that one aforementioned clue, but it was a solvable puzzle with a necessary clue that we we failed to see. That being said, a loss due to scavenging feels worse than failing to solve a puzzle. That’s room escapes; you never know what’s going to get you.
The Drunk Tank is a room on the good side of average. It’s Trapology’s first room and it is one of the best first attempts we’ve seen. They have a lot of space in their facility and we have high hopes for their next game.
Book your hour with Trapology’s Drunk Tank, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Why is your team’s lack of success about the Yankees???? I thought the Red Sox were in last place… 🙂
Have you gotten a chance to attempt Trapology’s Hustler Room? It has some similar qualities in design (great puzzle variety, minor physical activity, intuitive and fun gameplay), but drastically improves upon set detail and gets better rather than worse as it goes on. It would be worthwhile trying it out if you get the chance.