Trapped Puzzle Rooms – Heist Heist Baby [Hivemind Review]

Heist Heist Baby is an audio escape game created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN.

Heist Heist Baby logo featuring casino chips.

Format

Style of Play: audio escape game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

You’ll need to sign up for a free Discord account if you don’t already have one.

Recommended Team Size: 4-6

Play Time: about an hour

Price: $15 per person, with a 3 ticket minimum

Booking: book for a specific time slot

Description

This is an audio game played over Discord. It is played via voice chat, and uses pictures sent by the game host. Each user had their own stream of pictures to use – open, enlarge, go back to – independent of the rest of the team.

Illustrated image of a casino floor.

Hivemind Review Scale

Trapped Puzzle Rooms – Herbert’s Laboratory [Hivemind Review]

Herbert’s Laboratory is an audio game created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN.

Herbet's Laboratory banner.

Format

Style of Play: audio game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper. Note, the game is played through Discord so players will need to quickly make a Discord account if they don’t have one.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: about an hour

Price: Tickets are $15/person, with a 3-ticket minimum.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

When players log into Discord voice chat, the game master sets the scene, describing and providing pictures in some cases, of what the party sees. The individuals are allowed to explore the room and take actions by asking open-ended questions to the game master, who then describes what you see or what happens. This is a mix between an escape room and a role-playing game.

An overhead view of a laboratory. Each area of the room is labeled.

Hivemind Review Scale

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

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Herbert’s Laboratory was a delightful combination of Dungeons & Dragons and escape rooms, and it was a truly awesome experience. I know that this game will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it hit all the right notes for me. The game incorporated some intriguing elements that are impossible in the real world. The puzzles did not necessarily have a “correct” solution, so our team had fun trying obscure solves. The game master was able to create clear and immersive imagery for the players. I’d strongly recommend this game to anyone who is open to the idea of an audio escape room!

Peih Gee Law’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I thought this was a very charming game: cute story line, nicely done graphics, and a fun host. Playing this game felt very much like playing an old-school point-and-click adventure game – and that’s not a bad thing. I love old-school adventure games, and this was a fun way to experience it with my friends.

Puzzlewise, it was more of “figure out how to manipulate items in a certain manner to get a desired result” and less about solving a self-contained puzzle, although it did have those also. The puzzles themselves were on the easy side. However, it was fun getting to play in the sandbox of the scenario Trapped Puzzle Rooms had created for us, and I liked that we could be creative with a solution. I think that while the puzzles themselves were a little simple, overall the execution was very well done and an enjoyable way to spend an hour.

A Herbert's Laboratory Discord chat.

The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Really fun game for groups who cannot physically be at a live escape room. Different experience than in-person, but held up very well in comparison. Puzzles were engaging. Audio imagery was well done. Felt like you were part of a fun adventure with friends.

Theresa Piazza’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Herbert’s Laboratory is delightful. Trapped Puzzle Rooms uses the digital elements of this new game to their advantage, allowing players to “do” things that would otherwise be impossible in a physical escape room. There’s a wonderful story, and our DM (I mean, our gamemaster), was great, indulging our jokes, desired actions, and sometimes ridiculous requests. Only light puzzling was required, which left plenty of room for exploration and descriptive storytelling. While some traditional escape room players might have difficulty embracing this style of game, those who have played RPGs previously will have no problem sliding into this theatre of the mind. Trapped Puzzle Rooms has one other room available in this format (with a third on the horizon), and I’m eager to play it!

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

Trapped Puzzle Rooms – Very Potter Escape [Review]

The Heroes Who Shall Not Be Named.

Location: St Paul, Minnesota

Date played: August 20, 2017

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $24 per ticket

Story & setting

We took a journey to a school of wizardry, but absolutely not the one you’re thinking of. We had to break the rules and sneak into the Headmaster’s study to steal the Elder Wand before it was seized by nefarious forces.

Very Potter Escape was lushly decorated in shades of brown, red, and gold. It had a medieval fantasy vibe. It generally looked great.

In-game: A red gold, and stone room with broom sticks, an animated wall portrait, and a strange telescope.

Puzzles

As we solved the puzzles in Very Potter Escape, we mastered each school subject. Along the way, we interacted with the more recreational aspects of school such as magical creatures and sporting equipment.

The puzzling varied from mechanical to observational to logical.

Much of the puzzling felt magical. We maneuvered physical items and the school revealed its hidden secrets.

Standouts

Very Potter Escape captured the look and feel of an imaginary wizarding school that so many of us have fallen in love with. Without naming the characters, creatures, places, or stories, Trapped Puzzle Rooms recreated a world that adoring fans will recognize and the uninitiated can still enjoy.

The puzzling was varied and largely physical. We picked up props and figured out how to use them to conjure the magic. This could take a little doing.

We loved many of the puzzles in this escape rooms. They were simply a lot of fun.

Very Potter Escape included both padlocks and more tech-driven locking. These were distributed such that they made sense in the setting. When Very Potter Escape responded with tech-driven opens, they felt appropriately magical.

The hint system fit seamlessly into the story.

Shortcomings

Magical opens didn’t always give enough feedback. With a small team, it could be difficult to notice what we had triggered.

While Trapped Puzzle Rooms derived magical opens from technology, I would have loved to see more magic derived from manipulation of space. We know these types of schools have a lot of secrets hidden within their walls. There was opportunity for larger scale surprises.

The final few puzzles didn’t feel as exciting as the content offered by the vast majority of the experience.

Should I play Trapped Puzzle Rooms’ Very Potter Escape?

If you’ve enjoyed reading about a magical school of witchcraft and wizardry, or watching movies about one, you should absolutely visit Very Potter Escape. From the décor to the props to the puzzles, you’ll get to spend an hour making little bits of magic yourself.

Very Potter Escape was a mostly linear escape room. You won’t have to skip any dungeon classes to visit the pitch.

There is, however, still a lot of puzzle content in this escape room.

Note that you don’t need to know anything about magical schools to succeed at Very Potter Escape. You will likely have a lot of fun even if you miss the references.

Similarly, you don’t need any experience with escape rooms to fully enjoy this experience. It will be challenging, but likely still a lot of fun.

Book your hour with Trapped Puzzle Rooms’ Very Potter Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Trapped Puzzle Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.