💪 Difficulty: Puzzle level hard, family friendly.
⏲️ Time duration: 1 to 2 hours game play.
🔢 Capacity: Not specified.
🛒 If you PURCHASE due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
TL;DR... THE QUICK VERSION
➲ Premise: Gold bars galore are locked behind a vault--for robbery success, you'll need to figure out its 6 security codes.
➲ An all-inclusive and very affordable game pack that turns your home into an escape room.
➲ Some preparations required (taping, cutting, scattering of clues), remember to replicate back side of papers to be cut.
➲ Prop components are all paper based due to budget, but everything still looks great without much compromise.
➲ Play involves moving about and searching for hidden clues, emulating certain aspects of an escape room.
➲ Puzzles focus on finding digit codes, enough variety to keep players engaged, most suitable for beginners and teens.
➲ 𝙀𝙎𝘾𝘼𝙋𝙀 𝙈𝘼𝙏𝙏𝙎𝙏𝙀𝙍 🙂 subjective rating: 💪 3 to 4/10 difficulty (team of 1), 🔢 ideal team size of 1 to 3.
In "The Bank Job", you and your team are a gang of bank robbers, infamous for your safe-cracking skills. Your intel suggests a shipment of gold has just been delivered to SOVO Bank... Locked in a secure vault and under heavy surveillance, can your team pull off the crime in the nick of time? You're safe for now but after sixty minutes you need to make a critical decision: finish the mission fast... Or abort and run now!
THE UNABRIDGED EDITION
Trapped Escape Room Game Packs are ready-for-play game kits that transform any ordinary living room (or any space of your choice in your home, really) into a makeshift escape adventure in just minutes. It's affordable, it's convenient, and it's play-in-your-pajamas friendly.
Designed by The Fantastic Factory from the UK, and distributed by SolidRoots from the USA, these handy game packs aim to bring the authentic feel of an escape room experience--not just the puzzle components--to its audience. While most competitors offer their products in a tabletop board game format, Trapped wants you to physically move about, actually hunt for clues around the house, and work together to crack the codes, just like in an actual escape room venue.
Correspondingly, when you first open the package, there will be instructions on how to properly set up the playing field. In "The Bank Job", your team's main objective is to bypass all of SOVO Bank's security measures and surveillance, and rob the vault clean of its valuable gold bars. Hence, you'll be taping security cameras at strategic corners, hanging up system keypads on the wall, and locking away precious metal behind cabinet.
There is some taping and light scissor-cutting involved, and although I much prefer an experience that is 100% ready out of the box, the total preparation process takes no more than 10 minutes, a reasonable and justifiable price to pay for the fun soon to follow.
(And since I'm hovering the topic, I did find it counterproductive, illogical even, to print instructions for clues on the back of papers meant to be sliced up. This effectively destroy the gamers' lifeline. An easy remedy would be to replicate the backside prior to cutting--though undeniably, this is still a minor design flaw.)
Production value-wise, The Fantastic Factory has indeed conjured up a fantastic merchandise within its intended budget and price range. Costing at about $15 to 20 USD per game, understandably, the game kit only contains paper-based materials. While this choice may lack the bells and whistles of 3D components, they still look pretty darn good. Graphics appear attractive and theme appropriate, and the full package screams professional no matter inside or out.
Another perhaps overlooked feature of an all paper-based package is its light weight and portability. Everything fits inside a small "lunch bag" sized envelope, making it an easy option to bring to game night by hand or inside a handbag.
The actual game consists of the team first looking through the exposed props (security cameras, laptop screen), then probing around the room for hidden objects (shredded paper in the bin, for instance), and finally putting related pieces together to figure the multiple solutions needed to unlock the bank vault.
The physical scattering of various clues does in fact emulate certain aspects of an escape game seemingly well. However, to say this is a superb at-home version of an actual escape room experience is a bit of a stretch. Because ultimately, most participants would probably end up organizing and analyzing all collected info at one single central location--a table, perhaps--and this will sort of turn the Trapped Game Pack into a tabletop game. Just sort of.
The puzzles, whether solved on a table or not, are still delightfully enjoyable. Due to the confines of seeking only digits-based answers, nonetheless, almost all puzzles boil down to isolating pictures or icons with number printed next to them, which then arrange into combo codes in question. In this particular regard, it may arguably become repetitive.
I did, however, find there is enough variety of puzzles to keep my interest from start to finish. Among them are a decoder puzzle, a "follow the instructions" type of logic exercise, and pattern recognition and matching activity. A few steps are more hands-on, (or more feet-on for the final step,) and they will be loads of fun for younger thieves wannabes.
Although labeled as hard for its puzzle level, if you're an escape room enthusiast, take this rating with a grain of salt. Those who have done an upwards of 20 to 30 escape rooms will be predictably capable in winning "The Bank Job" within 45 to 60 minutes, possibly shorter even if assisted by clues. However, for the mainstream public and the target audience of kids age 8 and up, this provides a more than sufficient challenge for hours of brain-churning entertainment.
In the end, the verdict is easy to make: "The Bank Job" is an inexpensive offering (one of the cheapest on the market with physical, tangible parts) that brings an hour or so of wholesome puzzle-solving fun for the entire family. It is an pleasant introduction of escape room culture to those unfamiliar with the concept, an engaging and excellent experience for puzzle lovers of low to medium experience. If stealing isn't your thing, "The Carnival" or "The Art Heist" are also available.
★ Sometimes, it isn't what you can see that you seek--it is what you can't see that you need.
READY FOR FUN?
"Trapped Escape Room Game Packs (The Bank Job)" is available for purchase HERE.
If you PURCHASE due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
⤻ Full disclosure: Complimentary game access was generously provided for review purposes.
⤻ All media credited to and provided by contents owners. No copyright infringement intended. ⤻ Speed code for on-site search: TFFBank