DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE - Trapped! Escape Room
This is Matt's game No. 14.
Address: 600 N Mountain Ave Ste B204, Upland, CA 91786
Game: Down The Rabbit Hole
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 04/21/2018:
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE // Grade: A
"...Enthusiast's treasure, book it soon!"
Heard about this place when the owners of Containment (also reviewed) casually mentioned it in a convo. I figured, why not?
At home, I could already tell from the website that this place will not disappoint. I needed an "easy" room for only me and my sis, duo team, for some much needed quality sibling-bonding time, and "Down The Rabbit Hole" fits all the criteria. It's family friendly and not scary, great for beginners, and doesn't seem to need a lot of brains to conquer--just 2 would still be sufficient. (My sister has done 1 bad escape room before, and I have done 13 nice ones thus far.)
When we arrived at Trapped!, I was greeted by the host Michael. He was friendly, talkative, & very warm and welcoming. (He also informed me that the owners of Containment used to work for Trapped! No wonder they are all a very nice bunch!) Our female game master (forgot to get your name, sorry) then led us down the rabbit hole after a brief intro/backstory video. (Basic premise: find your lost doggie, then escape out before... you'll find out.)
The actual room experience began here... and what a sight! This Alice In Wonderland inspired game took place in a rabbit's burrow, and every inch was built and decorated with detail-oriented perfection. (Fun fact: Trapped! hired someone with Disney background to construct this, so you can expect Disney dark ride quality here.) Not only did the set look amazing, the game was designed ergonomically. Things that were not part of puzzles, or things that shouldn't move, were either glued or nailed down. Such strategy provided customers with great aesthetics without inadvertently introducing confusion when solving puzzles. So I liked that very much.
So things looked great, but what about them puzzles?
Well, this room is billed as family-friendly, so they gave us very clear starting points on what to do. Puzzles were mostly intuitive, appropriately themed, and successfully finding the delicate balance between doable-by-teenagers and challenging-enough-for-adults. It's strange, because they were straightforward, and yet you couldn't exactly fly through them without some mental processing. And yup, not even one single traditional lock in here, very befitting of the whimsical theme. As someone who's done a handful of rooms now, I appreciated the novelty and variety.
Some puzzles did take some leaps in logic, eg, my sister and I would solve the puzzle correctly, obtain a key item, and just drag that item around aimlessly without really knowing what to do. But fear not! "Rabbit Hole" has an immersive clue system and gives you unlimited hints! (Minor spoiler ahead.) As the story unfolded, we found out that we could talk to Mr/Mrs Rabbit, the owner of this burrow home through a "pipe". Inquire through the pipe, and a cute rabbit-y voice would help you out. Any time we got stuck, we utilized this system and moved things along.
In fact, I didn't quite fully understand how to solve several puzzles as intended. So in my previous draft of this review, I listed out some "shortcomings" of this game. The owner of Trapped!, Richard, actually reached out to me to further discuss such issues. Without spoiler, I want to commend Richard for always looking to improve upon his existent games!
Through our discussion, he made me realize that "Rabbit" is themed beyond my initial comprehension. There is a common motif sprinkled throughout the room that I missed on game day, and now that I was made aware, I have a newfound respect and a whole new level of appreciation for this fantastical creation. I mistakenly thought a puzzle was faulty, when in fact, the puzzle was brilliant in design!
In addition, I also reflected back to Richard that certain puzzle may not be obvious to the average players' eyes, and he assured me that they are already looking to tweak the game to produce a smoother, more satisfying game play. I was truly blown away from this excellent exchange and professional customer service.
With all this new info in mind post-game, "Rabbit" is undoubtedly a very solid, youth-friendly, light-hearted game overall. As someone who's more of a thrill seeker, I walked away feeling entertained, but not 100% satisfied... The lack of urgency in the theme might've contributed to this; but mostly, it's a matter of personal preference.
Rest assured, it's still a GREAT game. I am very glad I played it, but I do recommend a darker-themed room for adults with my similar taste. It's like the Alice In Wonderland ride at Disney: While I thoroughly enjoyed what it had to offer, it's no Indiana Jones. It's simply a calmer specie, but not necessarily a bad thing.
This room is perfect for people who squirm at horror elements, younger audience, or veterans looking for a change of pace. For what "Rabbit Hole" sets out to do, it pretty much does so flawlessly with *impeccable immersion*, so come falling down, down, down when you get a chance!