Location: Melbourne CBD
Date played: 10 Jan 2015
Players: 2 (4-6 recommended)
Escaped: Yes! (but took a little longer than the time limit)
Fun room with good challenges and brilliant service.
Down the rabbit hole…
The incessant ticking of a clock reminds you that time is passing. And passing quickly. What are we meant to do? How do we get out?
Taking cues from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Trapt‘s Wonderland room has everything you’d hope for: cards, riddles, surprises and chess. You could almost imagine the Cheshire Cat sitting atop the bookshelf grinning at you as you try to decipher the puzzles before you.
The game masters have thought of all the little details that add to the quality of the experience. Clues are well hidden around the room, and although we needed to be prodded through a couple of different stages, they follow a logical pattern. Over-think clues at your peril – it is easy to miss what is in front of your nose.
The host explained to us before playing that all the rooms at Trapt do not require prior knowledge, allowing participants to assess the information before them to progress through the game. This room doesn’t quite fit that ethos, though: in the briefing we’re asked if we are familiar with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, specifically the absurdities of ‘up is down, left is right, right is wrong’. It’s an element of Carroll’s stories we’d easily have overlooked if unprompted.
You also need to have an idea about how chess works. That said, our host dropped in to observe the challenge and see how we solved it, and was quick to answer any questions we had to help us along in our quest.
Much like the Cheshire Cat, our host materialised over walkie-talkie and in person to grin and pose riddles. Afterwards, he confessed that some aren’t fond of this approach, but in tricky situations we think this kind of involvement aids the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of the room.
Wonderland is a brilliant room run by a great company. Follow the White Rabbit down the hole and saviour the joy as it all gets curiouser and curiouser…
Challenging and requiring a few prods, but not too much that you couldn’t figure it out with enough brains and time. A well-time hint on the walkie-talkie put us on the right track before we wasted too much time. The puzzles are mostly sequential, requiring you to solve one before you can solve the next. It’s logical, but if you had a large group you couldn’t split your efforts. Trapt believe larger groups will do better in their rooms (they recommend 4-6), however we observed on the night that we were not the only team to only have 2 players, so don’t let that put you off.
At first impressions, the atmosphere is great. The room is sparsely dressed but well themed and exceptionally finished. Sound effects add to the sense of urgency, but are all but gone later in the game.
Our hosts were warm, friendly, helpful and generous with their time. The rooms are actively monitored and you are supplied with a walkie-talkie to ask for help at any time, though they can (and will) pop into the room at crucial points to make sure you make it to the next clue.
About Trapt Bar & Escape Rooms
Down the stark-white stairs of 377 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, a dark wood-panelled corridor awaits. Hidden at the end of a long, dimly-lit passageway is a beautifully adorned cocktail lounge, replete with friendly hosts ready to serve you a drink or lock you in a room.
Opened in December 2014, Trapt has four escape rooms to enjoy: Wonderland, Biohazard, Prisonbreak and Transylvania. Incorporating a bar is, in our opinion, pure genius: it is somewhere you would go just for a drink, but when doing an escape room, it encourages you to stay and debrief with your fellow captors over a cheeky beverage. The prices for both escape rooms and drinks are reasonable, quality is high and vibe is relaxed and welcoming. Come for the puzzles, stay for the gin.