Escape Authority

In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: Superhero – Save the City

RATING: 2 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 3:54

Even Clarity and the superhero Champion Squad weren’t powerful enough to save this terrible venue from permanently going out of business!

In the wake of the Lunar Magnet incident that plunged NYC into darkness, Superheroine Clarity is attempting to disrupt Dr. Void’s network and block the device’s signal. However, her mission has been thwarted by an attack on the Champion Squad’s Headquarters!

Commissioner Morgan is sending you, the best officers on the force, to assist Clarity in her attempts to take down the evil Dr. Void.

Superhero: Save the City is It’s A Trap!’s first attempt at a sequel story, meant as a follow-up to Super Villain: Rule the City. Surprisingly to some degree, on that level this game’s story worked somewhat well. Or as well as It’s A Trap! was capable of pulling off, at least.

Although set in superheroine Clarity’s apartment, for some reason she finds herself trapped outside the window.  Perhaps the biggest surprise, or maybe just freak luck has our encounter with Clarity the Cosplayer the closest thing to an actor we’ve ever seen across It’s A Trap!’s seven games before its demise.

Honestly, our Clarity character was decent. Unlike six others we’ve encountered previously at the venue, she was the only one that exhibited an understanding of what it means to be an actor: how to deliver lines, pacing and timing, and more importantly that she is not the star of this story – the guests are. Dare I say – her professionalism almost made it fun to interact with her throughout the game.

Superhero: Save the City spans two rooms of Clarity’s apartment – one depicting the apartment itself and the other the hidden secret lair of the Champion Squad. The decor is clearly stuck in the 1970s, offering a unique approach that makes the room’s decor somewhat stand out.

It’s no secret that “apartment games” are typically very bland affairs in the scenic department, so it’s nice to see one of our least favorite venues try to buck that trend, at least a little bit.  The mood is a mashup of real world and comic world, and it works as well as one can expect from It’s A Trap!, which is both a compliment and not.

The puzzle’s in Clarity’s crib could use some work. They struck our team as being a bit bland, and none really carried that sacred “ah ha!” moment of solution that we always hope to find.

Despite the purported tech of the Champion Squad’s lair, this game was in fact a very low tech affair. An over-abundance of number and letter locks feels a bit out of place in the storyworld It’s A Trap! tries to achieve.

Superhero: Save the City commits a cardinal sin of escape room design with a puzzle that requires guests have prior knowledge in order to complete. Since the venue has permanently closed, we’re more free to speak in terms of spoilers than we normally would be. In this case, players are forced to identify songs playing on the radio by title and artist, to then match them to records in Clarity’s collection – a task you’d be quite hard-pressed to completely if you were unfamiliar with music from the 1970s. Although the Cosplayer is present to walk those of you born past 1980 through this step, that’s no excuse nor justification. A good puzzle stands on its own and can be solved without a game master’s hint.

Overall

Superhero: Save the City was a teeny tiny step up for It’s A Trap!, but at the end of the day it was barely just ok. And in truth, perhaps the only reason it felt like a small step up to begin with was due in full to our Cosplayer being a heck of a lot closer to a real actor than any we’ve ever encountered from the venue.

Believe it or not, it makes me sad to harp on how bad actor interactions could be at this place. To the uninitiated it surely sounds as though I’m just not a fan of actors in games, when in actuality that could not be farther from the truth. I love interacting with an actor in a room – when it’s done correctly – something It’s A Trap! could simply never master.

At the end of the day, while some fault certainly goes to their cast of Cosplayers, I firmly believe the venue owners were far more to blame. At times, an actor can only be as good as their director – and these folks just have no idea how theater really works.

Now, It’s A Trap! has permanently closed forever. That fact not withstanding, we still advise you to spend your money and your time at a venue that actually provides a quality product. There are more and more of them opening up seemingly each day in the Orlando market – and even at its best, It’s A Trap! was just never one of them.

 

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! - Superhero: Save the City
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