TimeTrap Escape Rooms – Pudding Lane [Review]

“I hear there’s a plague… would you care for some hand sanitizer?”

Location:  Reading, United Kingdom

Date Played: March 7, 2020

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: Between £18 – £30 per player depending on how many players you have and whether you book during peak or off-peak periods

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Pudding Lane was a really strong escape game. The set and puzzles were lovingly built and we enjoyed it from beginning to end.

In-game: Storefronts on Pudding Lane.

For all of its beautiful and clean execution, Pudding Lane wasn’t a game that packed an overt wow factor. There were plenty of moments that we truly adored, without any that blew our minds… and it wasn’t a problem. At all.

We took a day trip by train out of London to Reading to play a couple of rooms and wander around town, and that day was a delight, just like this game. If you’re near Reading, we wholeheartedly recommend a stroll down Pudding Lane.

Who is this for?

  • History buffs
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A beautiful set
  • Storytelling that played off of historical events
  • Strong, tangible puzzles

Story

It was the 4th of September 1666, 2 days into the Great Fire of London. Tensions were high as the people anxiously speculated as to the cause of the tragedy.

Was the fire an accident or was it malicious? Some blamed the Dutch; others were convinced it was the Catholics.

We had to set out into the abandoned streets of London to investigate the cause before the fire gave way to violence.

In-game: The cobblestone street of Pudding Lane.

Setting

From cobblestones to bricked archways, the storefronts of 1666 London looked as good as they felt. Ample effort went into material selection and weathering. It felt right.

In-game: A brick building at night lit by lantern.
Archways are always an indicator that someone went above and beyond.

Gameplay

TimeTrap Escape Rooms’ Pudding Lane was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game: View through the window of an armory storefront.

Analysis

➕ We appreciated Pudding Lane’s historical setting. Through this escape game, we learned about The Great Fire of London. As tourists to Reading – and London – this was especially welcome.

➕ TimeTrap Escape Rooms crafted a lovely set for Pudding Lane. They went the extra mile with materials and detailing.

➖ While the set looked great, we encountered some unappetizing wear on some of the props.

➕ The gameplay flowed well. The puzzles were tangible and varied. They encouraged teamwork.

➕ TimeTrap Escape Rooms adapted some classic escape room puzzle types, dialing the difficulty up or back, respectively, to balance them for escape room gameplay.

➕ There was an eggscellent challenge in Pudding Lane.

➖ In the second act, the gamespace was crowded. We played with only 2 people. With a larger team, we expect it would be difficult for everyone to maneuver and participate, even though different puzzle paths could be solved in parallel.

➕ The penultimate scene was unexpected in style and set up the finale well. We enjoyed being able to make a decision that impacted the conclusion of Pudding Lane.

In-game: the game clock and hints presented as a pocketwatch and journal.
Pocket watch game clock & journal hint system.

➕ While the hint system was clearly operating with modern technology, TimeTrap Escape Rooms had set it up in adorable housing. This was thematic and constructed to match the historical setting.

Tips For Visiting

  • TimeTrap Escape Rooms is conveniently located near the train station.
  • At least one member of your team must be agile enough to climb over a barrier.

Book your hour with TimeTrap Escape Rooms’ Pudding Lane, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Book Pudding Lane

Disclosure: TimeTrap Escape Rooms comped our tickets for this game.

Deadlocked Escape Rooms – The Time Machine [Review]

There’s no such thing as too much Energen

Location:  Reading, United Kingdom

Date Played: March 7, 2020

Team size: 2-4; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: £25 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Great Scott! This game was fun.

Structurally, Deadlocked did something utterly genius with Time Machine. While it was functionally a 90-minute escape room, narratively it was a 60-second escape room. Because time travel. It’s the kind of idea that’s so good that I know tons of creators will read this and wish that they had come up with it.

In-game: A spaceship's interior, through the window a sun burns bright.

From a gameplay standpoint, Time Machine was delightful. Experienced teams won’t need anywhere close to 90 minutes to complete this game, but the lengthy clock was a lovely affordance for newer teams.

The set was a mixed bag. It looked really good for a homemade set, but it looked noticeably homegrown. The power of Deadlocked was in what they did with their sets to create magic, surprise, and drama… which they did regularly from the moment we entered the door.

If you’re in London, we highly recommend hopping a train to Reading for a game or two. Deadlocked’s Time Machine was a fantastic game crammed with love and ingenuity.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The intro
  • The core conceit of the game
  • Smart and smooth scene transitions
  • The primary gameplay loop was super clever

Story

The crew of the Wexell Corporation’s Time Machine had vanished during its maiden voyage. To make matters worse, they had also created rifts throughout the timeline, profoundly altering history.

Along with our trusty robot sidekick Wexie, we had to traverse the timestream and right the wrongs of the previous crew.

In-game: Wexi overseeing the timeship.

Setting

The Time Machine had a crafty and innovative set. The magic of this game was in its transitions and scene changes.

Upon closer inspection, the seams and reclaimed materials didn’t look sharp. It had a decidedly homegrown look about it that still worked, even when there were ample opportunities for more refined construction.

In-game: Closeup of a homemade looking spaceship made from tubing and reminant hardware.

Gameplay

Deadlocked Escape Rooms’ The Time Machine was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game: Energen tubes, the "Next Generation of Energy."

Analysis

➕ At Deadlocked Escape Rooms, we were greeted in character. The introduction to The Time Machine was high energy and hilarious. The acting was phenomenal.

➕ The Time Machine was a 60-second escape room, but we had 90 minutes to solve it. Brilliant concept. We loved this little twist on the escape room format, which was explained clearly and humorously. The gameplay supported the concept. Although we encountered some looping game mechanics, they never grew old or tiresome. The setup added pressure, which upped our energy.

➕/➖ The set did a number of incredibly cool things. However, while we appreciated that Deadlocked Escape Rooms built The Time Machine with reclaimed materials, the set construction was sloppy. The seams showed.

➕ Overall, we enjoyed the puzzles and the gameplay.

➖ The puzzle flow of the final act felt a bit choppy relative to the smoothness of the rest of the game.

➕ Deadlocked Escape Rooms minded the details of the scenario they’d dreamed up, which built cohesion in the game world. These were small details that made us smile.

The Time Machine used a small physical footprint well. As the game progressed, Deadlocked Escape Rooms build in new intrigue with personal touches and fun reveals. One late-game reveal was game-changing.

➕ Our robot helper Wexie was adorable and entertaining. She joked with us, establishing her own character. Her hints were a lovely part of the experience.

Tips For Visiting

  • The Time Machine is at Deadlocked Escape Rooms’ Reading location.
  • One teammate needs to be able to crawl.

Book your session with Deadlocked Escape Rooms’ The Time Machine, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Book The Time Machine

Disclosure: Deadlocked Escape Rooms comped our tickets for this game.