The game that we won 3 times in 10 minutes
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Date Played: August 8, 2019
Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $30.99 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
This is going to be a weird one.
Extreme Escape’s Trapped Below was a mess of contradictions. The near constant clash of high and low quality made this game especially difficult to review.
The set looked beautiful… but it was undermined by confusingly exposed technology and baffling sound design.
The puzzles were well designed and fun to solve… but they were oddly retriggerable. It was a rough game to solve with only one flashlight.
We loved the opening sequence… but the end sequence was botched because multiple gamemasters kept telling us that we hadn’t finished everything when we most certainly had done so (and originally in record time… before we were sent back in to finish the game two more times.) There is truly nothing more confusing in an escape room than standing in a game once you’ve solved every single puzzle, while being told repeatedly that you aren’t finished.
There was a lot to love in Trapped Below… and there were some regrettable oversights (most of which were completely fixable). If you’re looking for a solid adventure and puzzle game, and you’re ok with low lighting and some sloppiness, there’s plenty to enjoy in Trapped Below.
That said, I know that Extreme Escape is capable of making this one great and I hope that they do.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Scenery snobs
- Players with at least some experience
- A cool set
- Fun interactions
We entered an abandoned mine in search of a lost treasure. We had to find the treasure and plot a path out of the mine.
We entered a mine shaft and stepped into an old elevator to descend into the unknown.
Armed with a single flashlight, we explored a thoroughly designed mine shaft set. Low light frequently hides weak set design. In this case, most of it was beautiful.
The only glaring flaw with the set design was some exposed technology.
Extreme Escape’s Trapped Below was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.
➕ Trapped Below started off in a pretty convincing elevator. It then opened up into a mine with a detailed set to explore. It was a fun gamespace and it looked great.
➖ The experience would have been far better with a few more flashlights.
➕ The gamespace was beautifully constructed.
➖ The tech wasn’t embedded well enough. There were exposed wires, which looked sloppy and also a little confusing.
➖ One early design decision made us cranky. It was a frustrating mechanic that wasn’t adequate for the puzzle gating at that juncture.
➖ The sounds design was unbalanced. The prop that should have made the loudest noise was quiet compared to other triggers.
➖ It was possible to re-trigger puzzles we’d already solved, which was surprising and confusing.
➖ As noted in the reaction, we won this game 3 times in 10 minutes. In each of the first 2 wins, the hints directed us back into the game upon our exit, telling us we’d left a puzzle unsolved.
When we couldn’t determine what we’d possibly skipped, we solved the game again. After we triggered the ending a third time, we had the opportunity to speak with the staff. At that point, everyone came to understand that after we’d revealed and solved a specific puzzle, we’d moved it back to its starting position because it was in our way. This entire sequence of events deflated the experience.
➕ Although Trapped Below had a rough start, and our playthrough had a less-than-explosive conclusion, the majority of the game played smoothly. The puzzles generally flowed well.
Tips For Visiting
- There are plenty of food options in Extreme Escape’s plaza.
- There is a parking lot.
Book your hour with Extreme Escape’s Trapped Below, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Extreme Escape comped our tickets for this game.