TimeTrap have found themselves a new permanent venue in Reading and opened up quite a good room – a non-linear game good for beginners and with a pleasing mix of puzzle types.
To celebrate a Team Judge moving-house party, we booked into TimeTrap’s new game soon after it opened. The theme of the room is, as the name suggests, acting as rebels after the death of King Henry I who was laid to rest in Reading Abbey – and the goal is to enter through a time portal and obtain the crown, which has been stolen, to restore it to the rightful monarch.
We were warmly greeted and briefed by our hosts on a sweltering summer day, and sat in the well-appointed reception area to await our briefing whilst they finished resetting the room. Most of the building had pleasant air-conditioning, which was very welcome on the day.
On entry we had a wide range of things to do and puzzles to attempt, quickly getting down to business with the core puzzle in the room which had several different sub-threads that needed to be woven together. There was no surfeit of padlocks nor annoying searches. Nearly everything in the room had a purpose and there were few if any red herrings.
As we progressed we probably could have managed ourselves a little better; two or three people independently “discovered” a thing and tried to go off and do something with it, only to be told that we’d already used it. Luckily in a small room we didn’t waste too much time with it.
There was no predominant type of puzzle and it was clear quickly what we needed to do with most of the ingredients. A few puzzle types we hadn’t seen before, which is getting to be a rarity nowadays.
Hints, and the timer, were on an iPad, with a walkie-talkie for additional backup and which enabled us to call in for help on the one occasion we thought that we were doing the correct thing but the puzzle wasn’t accepting our actions (we were; it had jammed and they quickly reset it). The hints generally came through at the right time for what we needed.
Additional plus points for having very powerful LED torches to counteract the rather dim location, puzzles that were resistant to user error, a carefully-designed setting, and well-thought out puzzles.
We got the crown and escaped with 17 minutes left on the clock and having used two hints.
A bread and butter escape experience with everything doing more or less what it should. One physical puzzle got a bit jammed necessitating a brief visit from the host and some percussive maintenance, which I’ll file under teething problems.
Accessibility: Entry via an external staircase; no lift in evidence
Capacity: One room which takes 2-6 players. We recommend 3-4.
Cost: We paid £95 for our team of 5. Prices range from £50 for 2 to £102 for 6. American Express is accepted.
Photo: Taken afterwards. I didn’t book the event so it might have been emailed to someone else.
Getting there: 5-10 minutes walk from Reading station. The entry is on Wiston Terrace, round the corner from where Google Maps sends you.