OUR RATING: Do It!
Your heart and mind race as the ticking of the bomb continues its haunting tone, tucked away in one of many locked metal crates. You look for the next clue, guess the next puzzle, think through any possible option for escape. You’re trapped.
Alicia: I remember sitting in my junior high computer lab (too many years ago) creating a haunted house version escape the room game, a point-and-click game requiring players to explore and analyse their surroundings in order to escape from imprisonment (my inspiration being the amazing game Myst merged with the heightened anticipation of haunted attractions). I have a fond memory of programming a skeleton to shake its bones and then there was the terrible difficulty of getting a different sound to play at each click. Anyways, what does this nostalgic door into my past have anything to do with TRAP?
TRAP, located at the back of Szimpla Cafe, is a real-life version of an escape the room game, but it’s not the first of its kind. Hungarian Parapark is well known for their Real Escape puzzles and experiments, and games of similar sorts have spread across Europe and are also really popular in Asia. We recently read an article on these games popping up in Hong Kong, with an intent to give youths a healthy outlet to reduce stress and tension and to explore a world detached from reality.
Despite the global expansion of escape the room games, before TRAP I had yet to experience what all of the fuss was about. I usually have quite a knack for puzzles, growing up with a family addicted to games, and always a fan of a logic puzzle or two. So, with this in mind, but still not really knowing what to expect, I was very excited to experience 40 minutes of in-your-face, now-or-never “figure your way out or else” mayhem. Stressful, scary? Yes, but oh-so-fun!
Adam: Searching for clues, rustling through boxes, trying to think as quickly as we can, Team Storefront tries to solve the multiple mysteries that surround us. I don’t want to give away too much, because that’s part of the fun, but be ready to test your knowledge – general and specific – as well as push your logic to the limits in this hair-raising experience. TRAP is the latest incarnation of a phenomenon of so-called “escape the room” games that involve immersive environments and puzzle solving skills.
TRAP itself originates in Hungary, where it’s multiroom puzzles have been challenging friends, families and co-workers to work together towards victory. For me, the concept behind TRAP is fascinating because it creates wonderful environments in which to learn, expand and experience the thrill of discovery and compatriotship. For a rapidly isolated and urbanised world, TRAP is a respite that allows communal escapism, and the improvement of logical reasoning skills. No doubt Vulcan has had such games for centuries…
The Berlin version is currently housed in one room and so is not yet as expansive as its Hungarian counterparts. However, a multiple room version is in development and sounds like it will be a fantastic adventure once launched.
Final Thoughts: TRAP Berlin is innovative and exciting – unfortunately, our skills were not up to it and we were blown to smithereens before solving all the problems. Thankfully, if you are having real trouble making it through one of the puzzles, your friendly host Balázs Lukács will give you some clues, but not enough to spoil the fun. We’re very excited for TRAP Berlin’s proposed expansion as we think it will make the puzzle solving all the more immersive.
P.S.: If you can’t make it to Berlin, test your own puzzling skills with the classic game Myst, which Alicia mentioned. Come on, get retro!