Trapped Puzzle Rooms – The Heist [Hivemind Review]

The Heist is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN.

Painting of a key.


Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Recommended Team Size: 3-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $26 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot


This is a standard live avatar-led game played over Zoom and using Telescape. It is set in an art gallery.

5 labeled plates on a wall in a museum.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Already one of my favorite places to play in person, Trapped Puzzle Rooms has entered the avatar-style game arena with equally high quality. This game was really good – led by a quality avatar combined with a well-integrated inventory system – players were able to follow all the action of the game and the story while still being able to view all the detailed game images independently. Next best thing to being in the room in person. The heist theme has been used for many games but The Heist included numerous innovative props and puzzles (as well as some very special online adaptations) that made the game challenging and entertaining. While I expect it is a great game in person as well, it is a really fun game worthy of online play at any time.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Breaking into an art gallery and retrieving a previously stolen artwork – a typical Sunday night, I’d say.

At its best, there were a lot of puzzles available at once without it feeling overwhelming. I liked the game structure where each artwork represented a different challenge. There was a great variety in puzzles, tech, lock types, and difficulty. The inventory website was used cleverly such that we could look at small details up close.

At its worst, all the puzzles felt a bit stuck to the wall with little room for secret openings. This for sure is due to the theme of an art gallery, but I think there could have been potential to use the big floor space better.

We had so much fun and made such fast progress through the game with its structure that I wished there would have been even a couple more puzzles. But we had a blast anyway!

Fro’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

This online version of The Heist had a lot going for it: visual appeal, an outstanding in-game avatar, and lots of varied content to take in and explore. My favorite moment was a puzzle solution that had been cleverly adapted for online play and managed to be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen in any escape room, live or online. Another interaction with a piece of artwork made me chuckle audibly. My only real knock on this experience was that there were moments when outside knowledge seemed to help our team, rather than in-game cluing.

This game epitomizes my idea of a two-star rating – a solid, fun time that I recommend wholeheartedly, but nonetheless, one that I feel would be even better to experience in person when the time is right.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Playing a game by Trapped Puzzle Rooms is always a treat — everything they pump out is beautifully designed. The Heist is their first leap into an avatar game, and the charm of the adventure really translated well. The puzzles were fun and interactive through a digital interface, aiding in the interactions and puzzle-solving through both camera and inventory. Our avatar was amazing, adding great character to the narrative. (Every host I’ve seen for any one of their games has been top-notch.) I would really love to see them use a camera stabilizer, as some moments were a bit shaky. Overall, this was a solid avatar-led experience that’s worth checking out!

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

After playing seven standout audio escape adventures from Trapped Puzzle Rooms, I was eager to finally try one of their in-person games, albeit remotely. The Heist is an enjoyable avatar escape room, and the Trapped Puzzle Rooms’ team’s attention to detail and passion for the medium shone throughout the experience. This game is a fairly standard take on an art gallery theme, though as with “real” art galleries, the highlight here was viewing a collection of beautiful original artwork! Relatedly, our avatar was played by Gabe, who is also the creative director and mastermind behind all the incredible illustrations in the audio games. Our team has been in awe of this artwork for months now, and it was a pleasure to finally meet the man behind them.

I’ve played numerous art gallery escape rooms, and while I didn’t find the interactions or flow of this game to be particularly unique, the puzzles were all clever, fun, and appropriately adapted for online play. The game uses Telescape for inventory management, and I appreciated how closeups of specific set pieces dynamically unlocked as we inspected them in real life.

Disclosure: Trapped Puzzle Rooms provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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