Escape Authority

In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: Magic Mirror

RATING: 1 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 10:00

Have you ever been consistently told by several different people that something is so bad that you should never even consider going? Sure you have – so you probably also understand that for all the wrong reasons, that just makes you want to go even more. Until you arrive.

It’s A Trap!’s website spins a compelling backstory for Magic Mirror – one that unfortunately does not truly carry over from text to their physical space. They tell of a hermit on the outskirts of town is who is in fact an evil Shadowcaster. As members of the King’s Guard, you’re sent to investigate his “Wizard Hut,” but clearly the hermit is one step ahead of you.

As you enter his cottage, you find you are trapped inside as the doors magically seal themselves.

If execution matched delivery, this could be something pretty cool.

Unfortunately players quickly realize this home made venture was crafted by folks who are “jack of all trades, but master of none.”

Magic Mirror’s scenic quality is of embarrassingly home made levels. The art direction shows how little time went into researching the period it was intended to represent (1980s wood paneling doesn’t come close to reading as medieval hut.)

Perhaps most offensive of all is the room’s centerpiece- a magical “tree” – with its sparsely sprouted silk leaves straight from Walmart’s clearance bin – wilting of disrepair and neglect.

Nothing about this space came close to making me believe I had been transported into the story world.

Sadly to the contrary, I was painfully aware I was instead “trapped” in a budget escape room for the next hour.

The game play is Impossibly basic, lacking in coherent flow and layout. Any one of those things would make this game a noteworthy kind of bad.

And then you meet the Cosplayer.

The really, really bad Cosplayer. Now to be fair – you cannot completely blame the “actor” – though three of the four I encountered across It’s A Trap’s games *were* very bad on their own — but it’s clear that direction plays a major part in why they are so forced and awkward. And forced and awkward they are — in fact you as a paying player will be forced to awkwardly interact with them and jump through ridiculous hoops for no other reason than to help the Cosplayer escape from their own mundane boredom.

I’m sorry, but filling time with foolishly written dialogue is not an Escape Room puzzle. And that’s not even the worst of it.

Enter: The Wizard Dance-off™. Yes – you, Escape Room aficionado can have the opportunity to literally join hands with your fellow players and pointlessly dance in a circle around The Walmart Clearance Tree™ — and for how long, you may ask? Well, until the Cosplayer gets bored watching you do it and literally throws your next clue into the room.

Insulting isn’t a word to describe it. Juvenile, amateur – perhaps the best summation is “joke.”

Overall

It’s A Trap! is just bad.

Even several years ago, with It’s A Trap!’s Magic Mirror only being my fifth Escape Room, we found the puzzles to be far to easy and escaped with more than ten minutes to spare — that after the Cosplayer added more than five minutes of forced bad cosplay on to the end to make it seem like we got our money’s worth.

While it may sound like my overlying issue is having an actor involved in the game – that couldn’t be further from the truth. Two of the very best games I’ve played have live actors that greatly add to the experience. It’s A Trap! neither pulls it off nor even comes close.

Based on opinions from people we trust, we visited It’s A Trap! with the lowest possible expectations – and were still let down. If you have the “you should see everything once” mindset that I do, go ahead and book your ticket – but just understand that at most, It’s A Trap! will likely be a check-mark on your game list – and perhaps at best, something you and your friends will laugh about – or at – once it’s over.

Please enjoy this image of The Cosplayer hijacking our team photo as if she were the most important part of our group of friends.

Venue:  It’s A Trap!

Location: Winter Park, Florida

Number of Games: 0

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.

Cost: This venue has permanently closed.

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It's a Trap - Magic Mirror
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