RATING: 0 Key RESULT: Loss REMAINING: X:XX
Set sail on a pirate adventure so bad that it actually put one of the country’s worst venues out of business permanently.
Can your crew find the source and learn its secrets before the Sisters send you to Davy Jones’ Locker?
It’s A Trap! crafts a narrative that never quite materializes with A Pirate Tale: The Legendary Cea Sisters. What on paper has the merits to potentially become a decent enough experience is, as usual at this venue, muddled beyond recognition by the triumphant return of The Cosplayer and his insistence to “be the star” no matter how much the story calls for it or how little we are clearly interested.
Even transforming him into a whole new category – The Cosplamatronic – a discount store animatronic voiced by The Cosplayer – wasn’t enough to ease the pain of his terrible performance, sinking this game to the bottom of the sea faster than its narrative could have ever thought possible.
It’s A Trap! tries to do something new with this room, setting it inside of a cave rather than the standard square box which has hindered all of their prior efforts. Naturally, their attempt does not quite pay off.
To be fair, rockwork is, in the design world, one of the hardest things to replicate on a budget – at least in a way which reads as authentic. The problem here is that It’s A Trap!s owners have consistently proven they are jacks of all trade but masters of none. Their clear lack of self-awareness has hindered the presentation of much of their product, where any average business professional would have had the foresight to bring in an experienced crew to do what they cannot.
There’s nothing wrong with not having a particular skillset – as long as you have the sensibility to contract the help of someone that does. It’s A Trap! lacked that sensibility.
We’ve never had a great puzzle experience at It’s A Trap!, but typically it is because they lack originality or creativity, or rely too heavily on forced interactions with The Cosplayer. A Pirate Tale: The Legendary Cea Sisters was an entirely different beast. This game suffered from the worst batch of logic leaps It’s A Trap! has ever produced.
Several puzzles were so disjointed that even after getting a hint from the Cosplamatronic, we still struggled to understand how that direction could be correct.
Another hindrance to players in this, the venue’s newest room, was the already evident lack of maintenance. Again, being this venue has permanently closed, we have the ability to speak in spoilers that normally would not be acceptable for a review. One puzzle tried its best to make use of various nautical knots. The problem is one or two of the ropes were damaged, and held together with its own knots that had nothing to do with the puzzle. At that point it was a guessing game of which knot is a clue and which knot is a band-aid.
Yet another problem puzzle involved following objects across a pirate map to ultimately get the combination to a directional lock (because, you know, escape room.) If you’re familiar with directional locks you’ll already know you get four options: north, south, east and west. That’s it. It’s pretty simple really. Then why in the name of Davy Jones did this map send us northwest or southeast on more than one occasion? Because escape ro... No. You know what. We’re not doing that this time. Because It’s A Trap! is one of the worst venues in the United States. Or you know, was.
It’s no question we as a site always go hard against It’s A Trap!, and perhaps there are some of you wondering why. Let me explain. Escape Authority exists to further this industry that we all love and have an infinite passion for. The best thing for the industry is for every game to be fantastic. The worst thing for it, however, is for a venue to have games so bad that an inexperienced player can go to it as possibly their first venue and walk out thinking “Oh, that’s what an escape room is? Well then I don’t like escape rooms!”
It’s A Trap! provided a detriment, not a service, to this industry. Their games were awful – and their owners were oblivious to that fact. On one of our first visits, we were asked to provide them feedback, which we were happy to do just as we always would be. We presented that feedback honestly and respectfully. We were promptly and repeatedly interrupted by one of the owners and told why every bit of feedback we had to share from our wealth of experience was incorrect, and why they’re doing it in a much better way that we “just don’t understand.”
We’ve said it before, but it continues to ring true – the statement “jacks of all trade but masters of none” is a profound way to define just what was going on behind the scenes of this venue. The simple fact is that their games were so bad because they refused to remove their own rose-colored glasses and listen to the feedback provided to them by their players. And thus spawned the phrase among locals in Orlando that this venue was more aptly to be called “It’s A Crap!”
From time to time we look at a game’s ticketing availability just to further our understanding of how things are going throughout the industry. We knew it was a very clear sign of their success when It’s A Trap! extended their Black Friday 50% off sale to run every single day moving forward – and yet, even at half price, their games were sitting empty. It’s clear that the public recognized the quality of the It’s A Trap! product, and no amount of padded reviews solicited by the venue was enough to keep them from ultimately going out of business forever.
So thus ends our tale – and while under most circumstances, losing a venue would be a sad story to share, sometimes, in the rarest of instances that venue is just so bad and so out of touch with their client base that they’d provide a better service to the industry by leaving it.
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.