Alchemy at Home - Escape Room @ TRAPT

Alchemy at Home - Escape Room @ TRAPT


Posted 2020-05-30 by Danielle Nortonfollow
Alchemy at Home

It hasn't been easy entertaining the kids within the walls of the house this last few months. Trapt Melbourne has come up with a solution and offers this fun and challenging escape room style game - as part of their Trapt at Home series.

The Trapt journey begins a day before our session. We are sent the very ironic and amusing 'magic code' that enables us to preview the Trapt Almanac.

As soon as my kids see the screen, they insist that this has something to do with Harry Potter. I'm not sure, but the fact that we're pursuing the Philosopher's stone and that they have been anointed wizards and witches, is a big red flag for them and already their minds are firing on all cylinders.

One of the company's mages will lead us through the experience, being our eyes and, more important, our hands. (My knowledge of magical terms is limited and I admit I had to look up what a 'mage' was - it means a magician or learned person).

Unlike an escape room, this experience takes place entirely virtually on Zoom, and is fine for all ages (it's not scary or inappropriate). It's a quest and we have one hour to complete it.

We sign into Zoom using links and passwords provided and our mage, Jack, greets us and ensures that we are all in the room and explains the processes. We can choose a virtual background from their collection too. Of course, there are a few tech issues, but this is pretty standard for any zoom meeting.

We have all done escape rooms before, so we get the concept - we have to solve a series of puzzles (word games, physical activities, lateral thinking mind benders and number solutions) to achieve our outcome, all within a 50-minute time frame.

Via Zoom, we start to view photos in the archives and Jack walks us through the room, describing exactly what he can see. When he gets to something interesting, we can direct him to pick up items, shake them, look under them or inside them.

Just like in a typical escape room, there are locked boxes, confusing symbols, hidden clues and patterns everywhere. The challenge is to deconstruct these puzzles in the correct order so that one solution leads to the next.

We work on screen while Jack is roaming through the physical space, pointing his camera at the things he can see so we can observe them at close range. There are buttons to click on that lead, like portals, into different parts of the magical world. There's a playlist of spooky songs at one point, a recording to decipher at another. We power through and complete the puzzle, finding the Philosopher's stone before the time limit expires. "You need people with different skill sets," says one of the kids, and she's right. During our game, one of them was good at cracking codes, one was good at noticing minute details and one of them was engaged for a while, then got fed up and tuned out. It's a new medium, so it's understandable that for some people it will be harder to manage than others. That said, the rest of us LOVED it.

It can be frustrating to work together remotely. Kids, especially, like to use all of their senses and touch the ornaments and props in the room but Trapt Melbourne has done an excellent job of creating a virtual puzzle room that is interactive and fun. Our team was amazed by the level of engagement. Jack, the mage, was as encouraging as he was practical, there for us when we faltered and needed a nudge in the right direction.
What you need:**

  • A group. We had six players - two adults and four young teenagers.
  • A piece of paper and a pen for scribbling notes and deciphering puzzles
  • Two devices each (if possible). One for the Zoom meeting and one to see the extras interactive parts of the game.
  • When the Covid crisis is over, this is exactly the kind of game that should remain. People who can't leave their hospital beds can play this. Friends who live in different states can meet up and enjoy solving a puzzle together. It would be an excellent team building exercise for a remote team, or a group of co-workers who can't leave their site physically.

    And, as the kids in our group said, "If your mum won't drive you, you can still play."

    My Tip:

    Use the back arrow to look at previous screens in the archives. It can get a bit tricky.

    Trapt Melbourne will be opening up their onsite escape rooms again at the end of June and continuing online games.

    177432 - 2023-06-15 18:38:38


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