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RETRO RAD PIZZA ADVENTURE |
TRAPPED PUZZLE ROOMS (TRAPPED TAKEOUT)
🗺️ Based In United States
⏲️ 6-12 HOURS TOTAL! ▪ 💪 N/A ▪ 🔢 N/A
📚 Inside this puzzling pizza box, you’ll find six pizza slices, each whisking you away to a different animated world and providing 1-2 hours of enigmatic entertainment. Wowzers! That’s 6-12 total hours of puzzling!
Retro Rad Pizza Adventure | Trapped Puzzle Rooms Trapped Takeout
THE (QUICK) GUIDE
THIS, IN A NUTSHELL, IS...
▪ Classified As: Play At Home » Puzzle Game In A Box
▪ Many puzzle game sessions packed into one box, disguised as your favorite takeout food item of all time--the pizza pie. The story relates the pizza aspect by having you retrieve all of the world's missing toppings, a sly way to invite players to solve many interesting formats of puzzles over a span of hours to days! (Breaks are encouraged between sections.) This product is heavy on references and nostalgia of the 1990s, and will likely make you giggle throughout with Trapped's signature sense of humor.
YOU'LL ENJOY THIS, IF...
▪ If you're of child age during the 90s, and love good throwbacks of cartoons and shows that you watched as a young lad/lass.
▪ If welcome paper-based contents, with a good portion deriving from classic puzzle formats that you may have seen prior.
▪ If you want one comprehensive item to buy that will eventually cover multiple hours or even days of puzzling joy.
▪ If you're a follower of the company, are familiar with its quirks and kinks, and a fan of its unconventional humor.
▪ If you enjoy these similar/related options: The Curious Elevator and The Curious Stairs of Mr. Hincks.
SOUNDS GREAT, NOW WHAT?
📖 CONTINUE READING THE REVIEW BELOW!
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📝 The company recommends having pencils and tape handy while playing.
📝 Per company, only open pizza slice boxes or click on website tabs when told to do so. Don't jump ahead!
🧐 Based on everything discussed below in the review, with my team of 1, the difficulty subjectively feels like a 5/10 for most puzzles, but could go up to an 8 to 9/10 (!) for the hardest puzzles, (which may differ from the company's official rating). As such, I recommend a team up to 2 or 3 for some combined brain power. Just be patient and courteous when sharing the "pizzas"! 🍕
THE (FULL) REVIEW
Dinner is served! | Trapped Puzzle Rooms Trapped Takeout
▪ Having previously reviewed this company's audio-led escape game options and its "The Heist" avatar-led remote experience, I am fairly familiar with Trapped Puzzle Room's creative directions. This team values innovation, humor, and that "it factor" that sets its products apart from competitions, and the new food takeout line achieves just that: it's cute, it's fun, and everybody loves to eat! It's got just enough intriguing allure to have people wondering, "Hey, what's exactly is in that pizza box?"
▪ For "Retro Rad Pizza Adventure", everything comes prepackaged in a large pizza box as expected, and the overall look most certainly makes it a stand-out in the "puzzle in a box" category. Upon opening the cardboard box, there really are six individual, triangular slices of pizzas that come apart neatly. While the construction is modest, I appreciate the little details found in the interior. Plus, the idea and execution largely win me over, so this is one of the most fun unboxing I've done in recent memory!
▪ Collectively, there are 8 self-contained puzzle sessions total in each adventure: a prologue, 6 main chapters, and an epilogue. Essentially all puzzle materials are paper-based, which is a logical route to take given the total budget, sales price, and the amount of entertainment jampacked into one package. Though reasonable, it's still something to be aware of before purchase.
▪ To neatly store away a relatively high amount of contents into small, triangular "pizza" boxes, all the papers are tightly rolled up and taped, and will need unfolding and flattening prior to game play. A bit of an inconvenience, expect to dedicate 10 to 15 minutes of prep time prior to each puzzle session. Nonetheless, once I got accustomed to the routine, it was hardly a hassle.
▪ There will be two components that make up the game: the physical, tangible items you receive in the pizza box, and the online website that functions as a supplemental narrative, puzzle guide, and answer verification system. While I can't show you the site as it contains major spoilers, its design fits the retro theme perfectly. The colorful shapes that make up the website background somehow scream 80s aerobic VHS tape or high school sitcom (think "Save by The Bell"). I don't know why exactly, but it works!
▪ Within the first 15 minutes, players find out the major conflict is that a villain has stolen all of the world's pizza toppings, except pineapple, and ewww, who likes pineapple pizza, right? So your main objective becomes saving all the other toppings by traveling around the world in a rad pizza adventure. But real talk? I understand the culturally-established joke, but I happen to love Hawaiian pizza. So should I continue the game or leave it be? After all, there's little at stake for me, a pineapple lover. 🍍
▪ As the title of the game implies, this is a game with plenty of throwback references, and it banks a lot of its features, jokes, and overall appeal on nostalgia. Specifically, even though some design elements and the word "rad" seem to imply the product would center around the 80s, this is not the case. Every reference, from start to finish, will be catered to the people born in the late 80s to early 90s, and will focus on their childhood classics to evoke some hit-the-spot-perfectly callbacks. I happen to fall into this age range, as do many other puzzle enthusiasts; and as a perfect target audience, I was having a ball!
▪ Those who fall out of range can still have fun, though the seemingly customized experience will probably feel less snugly fitted. Generally speaking, if you have a comfortable grasp of the follow examples of pop culture--Captain Planet, Hercules, Power Rangers, and DuckTales--you should be good to go! If you don't, the narrative will still be coherent, though less impactful on your heartstrings. In this case, most of your enjoyment will rely on the puzzle-solving aspect instead.
▪ Each pizza slice represents a puzzle session featuring a specific throwback TV show, a geographical locale, and its subset of challenges to overcome. Because of this setup, there are tons of variations with limited repetitions to venture through, and the audience will be unlikely to become uninterested. I particularly enjoy the "excursion around the globe" idea (which is a retro-reference in itself, you'll see) and the development team's way of grouping certain shows, themes, and pizza toppings together based on geographical locations. There're lots of funny and smart ideas to uncover in this pizza delivery--and I'm here for it!
▪ As alluded to before, each chapter includes a TV show-inspired video clip that serves as an introduction, and this video clip employs beloved show characters as visuals with amusing and well-acted dubbed-over dialogs from Trapped's cast of talented voice actors. While I will not comment on the usage of certain IPs, I do find each animated clip lovely, enjoyable, and heartwarming as they take me down the road of reminiscence and back to my much more worry-free childhood days.
This pizza adventure is doggos-approved | Trapped Puzzle Rooms Trapped Takeout
▪ The prologue starts with some simple, escape room-style puzzles that involve a prop and some light Google searches. This warm-up, however, is not at all reflective to what's to come in the following 6 to 12 hours of head-scratching fun. In fact, internet search becomes prominent and is plainly expected for a handful of challenges: Because some dated cultural reference (from the 90s) and knowledge pertaining to a specific field of study are incorporated into puzzle designs, and they are not considered general, everyday knowledge, you must be comfortable and efficient at online research--as you will be doing that quite often. If you're into this, you will have a blast; if you're not, however, this may not be your cup of tea, or your slice of pizza pie.
▪ To much of my surprise, Pizza Adventure can actually be considered a "The Greatest Hits" album of classic puzzles. A lot of familiar puzzle formats and tropes are recycled and repackaged into this eclectic Italian meal. Some utilized elements include but are not limited to: portmanteaus, Tribond, Stepdown, etc. There are plenty more familiar players that I've encountered during game play. While this approach may not be the most creative, I do appreciate the company's attempts to make them its own. A lot of clues and the solutions are drenched with humor and personality, and it's these extra touches that I find worth supporting.
▪ Undoubtedly, Pizza Adventure in an all-American endeavor and it's best enjoyed by people who are born and raised in this country and culture. That is not to say you won't succeed if you're a foreign puzzler, but it may be that much more difficult, or you may do that many more Google searches, to land on the same correct solutions. For instance, recalling specific commercial tag lines is crucial for one puzzle, and a solid mastery of compound vocabulary words is important for another. This may affect your satisfaction, though whether positively or negatively depends on your own experience and preference.
▪ Of the most difficult challenges, two particular chapters test the players' scope of knowledge spanning from astronomy to classic art, and I will bet good money that these aren't topics that just roll off the tongues of most game night participants. Meanwhile, some jigsaw-based puzzles seem to have multiple acceptable solutions, which could confuse and lead users down the path of failure ultimately. Altogether, these are exceedingly difficult puzzles to proceed without hints, they go beyond the boundary of being challenging into the area of being frustrating. Some tweaking are needed and encouraged.
▪ Overall, of the massive amount of 20 to 30 puzzles offered, there are substantial portions that are great, some are okay, and a few are duds. Still, there are more hits than misses, and some have brought me such delight and memorable "ah-ha!" moments that I still fondly remember. In particular, my favorites are "Normal 90s Teenagers" and their day in high school, and "Pizza Orders" made by various movie and tv stars of household name status. These are brilliant, and I'd love to see more.
▪ This took me a long time to completely play through, as it is an ambitious project with loads and loads of contents, much more than I've initially expected, to be honest. While it officially claims to provide 6 to 12 hours of entertainment, with my on-and-off gaming, it took me a good month to finish. Hence, for most, Pizza Adventure will be a wise, long-term puzzle investment.
▪ This large pizza is sold at $55 per box, and that translates to roughly $7 to 8 per game session. Objectively, this is a cheap enough ticket price to justify for multiple fulfilling game nights. If you're splitting the cost among friends to play this at home as a team, it becomes even more affordable. I would also recommend this as a reasonably priced, novelty puzzle item for gifting.
▪ The pandemic has really pushed Trapped Puzzle Rooms to experiment with all forms of brainteasing entertainment, and the realization of the nascent Trapped Takeout line is nothing short of curious cuteness. The freshman attempt with "Retro Rad Pizza Adventure", like its food inspiration, has both pros and cons for consumption. But again, like a real pizza, there's more to like and to enjoy than not. It's a good beginning to something new, and I look forward to covering "Taco Twosday" fairly soon!
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Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. TPRPizza.