Trap’t – Time Chasers: Race for the Cure [Review]

Hold onto your top hat; we’re going steampunk time traveling.

Location: Stamford, Connecticut

Date played: November 25, 2017

Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

The 2017 Golden Lock-In award, the REA logo turned into an open padlock with a golden ring around it.
2017 Golden Lock-In Award winner

Story & setting

As members of the Time Chaser Corps, we needed to manufacture and deliver a cure for our terminally ill President Palmer. (There might be a few pop culture references.) We would travel back in time to glean information from those who had not survived this disease.

In-game: An elaborate ceiling hanging light, a wall of assorted clocks, and an illuminated control console.

Time Chaser Corps Central was bright and open. It had a steam punk-meets-lab aesthetic that fit the theme.

During Time Chasers: Race for the Cure, we traveled to different settings, in different times. With each shift, the aesthetic shifted completely. I’d tell you where we traveled, but… spoilers.

Puzzles

Time Chasers: Race for the Cure was packed with puzzles. These required observation, dexterity, logic, decipherment, counting, and reading comprehension, among other skills. There was more than something for everyone.

In-game: A blue and purple glowing wall hanging.

Standouts

Trap’t researched thoroughly to fit this narrative together around historical characters. They paid attention to historical details at every turn. They even went out of their way to justify the inclusion of modern technology in historical settings. While Time Chasers: Race for the Cure doesn’t teach history, it doesn’t contradict it either. It fits right in with our known narrative.

Trap’t minded other, nonhistorical details that enabled smooth puzzle flow. For example, they used unique input forms at a crucial juncture that could easily have had players wasting time on unnecessary mixups.

In-game: Three steampunk goggles with different colored lenses.

While the narrative of Time Chasers: Race for the Cure was laid out from the beginning, the sets still managed to surprise us. In one instance, Trap’t substituted the expected reveal with an initial unexpected open. This was a nice touch.

We particularly enjoyed puzzles that used common escape room techniques differently. These were dispersed throughout the different sets.

Written clues were well designed so as not to be arduous. Reading took place in bright lighting.

With Time Chasers: Race for the Cure, Trap’t raised the level of their set design. In this escape room we traveled through 4 different sets, each a common escape room setting, and each more aesthetically pleasing than the majority of escape rooms with these themes.

Shortcomings

While the sets looked great from afar, upon close inspection, there was room for improvement. Some of the wall hangings were more polished than others. Additionally (and this is nitpicking), they could remove price tags and the like from their purchased props.

Time Chasers: Race for the Cure took us through multiple different settings, but our time wasn’t balanced. We entered the third set for only a short puzzle segment. Trap’t clearly put a lot of effort into constructing this segment and we would have liked to have spent more time puzzling through it.

We encountered multiple counting puzzles in Time Chasers: Race for the Cure. If Trap’t is looking to improve the puzzle distribution, we’d vote for fewer counting puzzles.

One puzzle was unnerving in that it seemed to require us to do something potentially unsafe (if you know what you’re looking at). This puzzle was brilliantly clued and perfectly safe, but it was unsettling all the same.

Should I play Trap’t’s Time Chasers: Race for the Cure?

Time Chasers: Race for the Cure combined multiple escape room sets into one cohesive narrative. This was a fun premise and exciting to explore.

Time Chasers: Race for the Cure was a challenging puzzle game. There were a lot of puzzles to work through. While most of these resolved pretty quickly, a few required a bit more process to implement.

We recommend Time Chasers: Race for the Cure for players who’ve completed a few escape rooms already. There’s a lot to puzzle through. Escape room veterans will also have an additional appreciation for the brief stopovers in familiar escape room settings and the framework that ties all of these together. Everyone else should play a game or two before enjoying this one. It’s worth leveling up your escape room skills to play it.

Time Chasers: Race for the Cure was a big leap forward for Trap’t. This is a special game and we really enjoyed racing through it.

Book your hour with Trap’t’s Time Chasers: Race for the Cure, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Trap’t comped our tickets for this game.

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