Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date played: June 25, 2017
Team size: 2-10; we recommend 4-6
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $29 per ticket
In a first for us, the creators of this escape room reached out shortly after we played to acknowledge that we surfaced a number of issues while playing the game. They have assured us that they have remedied them. While we’re publishing the review of the escape room as we played it in June of 2017, it seems like future players should have a better experience.
Story & setting
Our team of time cops had to chase a Carmen Sandiego-style nemesis into Philadelphia’s past. Could we identify where he was going and catch him?
Time Trap had two profoundly different acts and sets to go with them. The escape room began in a time ship and continued in a historic setting. The ship had a sterile look about it, like Apple was suddenly selling time machines. The mystery historical setting had a warm and homey feel.
Time Trap’s puzzling was in keeping with what we’ve come to expect from Escape Entertainment: a focus on reasoning and challenging puzzles, with a few of them built around large, tangible set pieces.
There were some strong physically interactive puzzles that encouraged teamwork.
The time travel component worked well and the different sets elegantly juxtaposed against one another.
We spent some time working through a pair of great big set pieces. These were satisfying to solve.
Escape Entertainment lost power just before we began our game, and things were… off (including our start time). At the beginning of the game, nothing worked, so we exited, and restarted. Once things got rolling, we still had a tech failure mid-game.
Not all of the big set pieces had sufficient camera coverage, so our gamemasters were blindly dropping useless hints to us. Then, because they didn’t have microphone coverage, they didn’t even know that they were feeding us useless information or that we were becoming frustrated by them.
There were parts of the set that were falling apart and the Time Trap had only been operating for a month.
One early puzzle left us completely baffled. We ended up deducing our way through it using an alternative method of solving it. Even after getting the description of the proper way to solve the puzzle during the post-game walkthrough, we were happier with our workaround.
One of the big set pieces could have used a better set of controls to make manipulating it easier.
Should I play Escape Entertainment’s Time Trap?
There were some great ideas at play in Time Trap, beautiful set pieces, and strong puzzles. Unfortunately, during our playthrough, these were outweighed by flaws in execution.
With a stronger, more resilient set, and better in-game surveillance, Time Trap could be a strong room escape. In its state when we played, it was a mixed bag.
There were puzzles worth solving and plenty worth experiencing in Time Trap. I think these elements would be an approachable and challenging for all skill levels. When we played, however, it felt like Time Trap was in public beta testing, and that’s was not acceptable. I’m glad that they’ve fixed the technical and construction issues.
Book your hour with Escape Entertainment’s Time Trap, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Escape Entertainment comped our tickets for this game.