Super Squad • Trapped Puzzle Rooms Audio Escape Adventures • Audio-Led Escape Game Review
Game Website | Company Website | Based In: Minnesota, USA
💪 Difficulty: Not specified.
⏲️ Time duration: 90 minutes limit.
🔢 Capacity: 3 minimum, to 6 maximum players. Private booking.
💬 Hints: Game master narrating and hosting can provide helpful nudges when requested by guests.
📝 Careful--note potential time difference between your location and the host's when booking.
🛒 If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
💪 Difficulty (as perceived by Mattster): 3/10 (team of 4). Easy breezy and oh so family friendly. Young ones encouraged!
🔢 Ideal team size: The distribution of superpowers works best with 4, so I'd go with 4.
One dark evening, you see a flash out of the city museum in the sky above. The museum seems to vanish for just a second… then reappear. Can you and your squad figure out what happened and save the world in time?
Audio-led escape games have risen in popularity due to an increased demand for at-home entertainment due to, you know, a certain nasty virus. From a production standpoint, it makes sense for companies to pursue such a route. While one can certainly livestream and provide remote escape room experience through an avatar, it may prove costly due to equipment and human resources needs. That also requires a physical set in existence.
Audio-led games, in contrast, are much more flexible and cost-effective to create and operate. Supplemented mostly with still images and sounds, they are much cheaper to produce and publish, and new titles can be brought to life under relatively short timeframe. As such, there lies the potential for companies to gravitate towards this option purely due to a financial advantage, and churn out less-than-ideal and sometimes uninspired products.
Trapped Puzzle Rooms Audio Escape Adventures, thankfully, do not at all fall into this category. What the creative folks behind Trapped have done during the early days of pandemic is to actually revitalize and popularize this sub-genre of escape games; and today, these games enjoy mainstream public recognition and even critical acclaims.
You see, what Trapped has realized and banked on is the advantage of having no physical set at all, but not just from a production standpoint, but from the customers' as well. In a live game, one must always handle all room sets and props with utmost care to prevent damages, and climbing above head's height is almost always certainly a cardinal sin. But in an audio-led, imagination-led room? Punch, kick, roundhouse your way through a greenhouse--there's no consequence.
And with that ambition and somewhat mischievous mentality in mind, "Super Squad" was born. "Squad" was one of three early publications (the other two being this and this) from Trapped that gained traction within the community for being innovative, different, and just plain wholesome fun. Their motto is, "Always aim to do something crazy that you can't do otherwise!" And that, they indeed do.
"Super Squad", in particular, explores the realm of superheroes, and what can transpire if players were given a chance to solve puzzles using a special kind of props--or the lack thereof--because what's needed to complete these challenges are themselves! The story goes: On a fateful night, a local museum is turned into a hub of mad science experiments, possibly resulting in the end of reality as we know it. Four ordinary citizens, through mistakes and good fortune, gain superpowers to stop the imminent crisis. So yeah. Brand new problems, brand new tools, and perhaps even multiple solutions.
As long as your solution makes sense, that is!
Aside from each of my team members' gaining their unique superpowers, there are a few tradition puzzles that one would otherwise encounter in an actual in-person escape room. You'll open a keypad, enter a password, and whatnot. One involves some well-known outside knowledge, and since 4 out of 4 of us all knew that info easily, I guess that's fair game? Overall, these puzzles are well done, and the mental puzzles lover in me is satiated.
But of course, the meat of the fun doesn't really start until everybody starts to flex their newly acquired superheroes muscles. And here comes my admiration for Trapped--they do not conform to the common, first ideas when one thinks of superheroes. You probably half-expect there to be someone with super strength, someone that flies, and of course, a resident laser-vision guy. NONE of that happened. Our powers were all pretty atypical and I applaud that creativity.
There are roughly eight or so tasks the participants have to complete in order to save the day. And due to the unfamiliarity of the situation, which is what makes "Squad" all the more unique and enjoyable, it may take a while to get the ball rolling. Once everyone's powers became a second nature, though, we were on a roll. We were able to divert crisis after crisis with ease, and everyone had their moments to shine as most "puzzles" are designed to be solved with everyone's all pitching in. Some may even be solved in a multitude of ways--hey, as long as your powers get the job done, right?
By the last few tasks, however, it did start to become a bit repetitive, though the smiles on our faces never left. Sometimes, the chance to bond and to team build is already rewarding enough.
A flashy climax with everyone showing off their unique skills once more, then it's all over. We struck our cool posse poses against the opportune lighting coming from the inside of the museum (see below, above "Extra Tips"), the squad has saved the world! And not a moment too dull.
Before signing off this blog entry, let's also make a quick shout-out to our host of the day, Anna, who is part of a long list of talented audio-led escape room game masters who seem to have gotten hosting these formats of games down to an art. All 3 staff I've met, Kaylene, Brian, and Anna are all lovely folks, and will take good care of their players.
Graphics of "Squad" takes on a comic book motif (therefore the colorful pixel dots) to suit the superheroes theme, reflecting the source where these characters come from. Quality is decent, though it has also immensely improved since then in recent titles. (See Pirate's Plunder.) I am sure I will continue to be blown away by the artist's latest endeavors.
All in all, $15 a person for up to 90 minutes of unconventional puzzle-escape fun? "Super Squad" is a super deal.
★ Jog down, in bullet points, what special abilities everyone has. When all else fails, use everything on you list!
★ There is PLENTY of time to finish the entire narrative comfortably in 90 minutes. Don't rush; enjoy every moment.
READY FOR FUN?
"Super Squad" is available for booking HERE.
If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
ESCAPE MATTSTER 😀
⤻ Full disclosure: Complimentary game access was generously provided for review purposes.
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