RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 6:37
In a world that has become so obsessed with the telephone, I suppose it only makes sense that one of them would eventually try to trap us.
You are a famous British detective that decided to investigate this case and catch the serial killer. You followed his trace and fell into one of his traps. You have only 15 minutes to save yourself from becoming one of his victims…
A modest, albeit clever backstory justifies why we are literally trapped inside an iconic red telephone booth straight from the United Kingdom. But this time, we have no teammates to rely on. There’s no one here to help us, which means I either solve this entire game solo or can only blame myself for my failure!
Have you ever seen a telephone booth before? Well of course you have! Now think about how small the space is inside once you close the door. Can you imagine being trapped inside, the door locked behind you?
That’s right, this super-unique game for one takes place entirely within the tiny confines of a space barely bigger than that of an authentic phone booth. And while that might seem insane – here’s something very important I’d like to take a moment to stress: I personally am extremely claustrophobic. I do not at all do well in tiny confined spaces.
I point this out because I want to be clear that at all times I was completely comfortable playing Mousetrap. The space is definitely ridiculously small when compared to an average game, but not to a fault that made me feel like I needed to get out else suffer a panic attack. This was a legitimate concern of mine walking in, but I’m happy to say it ended up being a total non-issue.
Regarding the scenic itself, there’s not much to say, but that’s completely appropriate given the theme. It’s literally just a red British style phone booth, inside which you’ll find a telephone and a phone book – nothing more, nothing less – but this time surrounded by opaque white windows so as to fully separate the player from the outside world.
When playing a 15 minute mini-game, one shouldn’t expect a large amount of puzzles – and while that certainly rings true (get it? because telephone?) here, it was honestly surprising how well hidden the game itself could be when there’s little to no way to actually disguise it.
Mousetrap was certainly on the easier side, but truthfully it almost needs to be. Though I’m certainly a very experienced player, one needs only to put themselves in the shoes of a relative newcomer to imagine how daunting playing an entire game solo can become.
The puzzles make use of the limited space well, and even included a physical moment that requires taking something apart – a gameplay tactic that I’ll always be a fan of.
Of all the new games at Komnata Quest, in a sense Mousetrap was one that intrigued me to some degree more than the others. As simple as its execution, it’s a daring and bold design choice. And as such, though clearly it did not cost a large chunk of money to produce, it was still a gamble for Komnata Quest. I’d suggest that it’s a gamble that paid off.
I don’t want to give the wrong impression by this game’s 3 key score. One must remember that it is the policy of Escape Authority to rate all games relative to each other – meaning Mousetrap needs to be compared directly with all of our favorites, including Komnata Quest’s own existing 5 key rooms. On that level, they are unquestionably not equal- but standing on its own as a mini game, Mousetrap is an incredibly clever concept that is executed impressively well.
I think what intrigues me the most about Mousetrap is the potential this type of concept can have. Beyond being an appetizer for your venue, and something that could be used as a tool to explain to a potential curious walk-in customer just what an escape room is in the first place – the travel and promotional potential of something like Mousetrap really is only limited by the marketing imagination Komnata Quest has. This game could easily be set up in the food court of a local shopping mall, or at a public park, or brought to festivals to expand brand recognition. It takes up almost no room, and is no doubt very cost effective to disassemble and reassemble – after which point it begins generating instant free press for the Komnata Quest brand.
As a designer myself I really am intrigued and enamored by the potential impact a mini game can have for a brand – and though Mousetrap may not be something that appeals to, say, a family group looking to work as a team, there’s simply no denying the obvious benefits it can have to further the brand recognition of what is already one of my favorite venues in the United States.
Venue: Komnata Quest
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Number of Games: 9
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 15 minutes
Capacity: 1 person
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $15 per person
We thank Komnata Quest for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.