RATING: 1 Key RESULT: Win REMAINING: 4:18
Sometimes, writing a review can be uncomfortable, even for us. But it’s our role to push forward and be honest to help our readers to make the most informed decisions we can.
Follow Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr.through the dense jungles to find and retrieve a very valuable artifact, the Ark of the Covenant. Work together through the boggling-brain teasers to make the greatest archaeological discovery in history!
Let me start right off by answering the question we both know you have: No.
No, this venue did not somehow license the rights to use the Indiana Jones IP from either George Lucas or the Walt Disney Company. So I’ll just leave this here.
Copyright infringement not withstanding, once inside, the Treasures of Egypt has as little to do with Indiana Jones as it does Egypt itself. There is little-to-no connection to any sort of storyworld present, despite a few printed pieces of paper found inside locked boxes that force an otherwise disconnected attempt at narrative onto players with mentions of Indy and Marion, as well as a whole lot of bible versus. Because Raiders of the Lost Ark?
Scenically, we almost have nothing at all to discuss. The first room, intended to be, I suppose, a jungle (?) is clearly an existing office that came with the location. Although the blinds are drawn (yes, blinds, in the jungle) added effort to block out the adjacent office park is achieved (?) by draping thin fabric down the wall, accented by a sparse dressing of plastic vines. It’s certainly not a jungle, but I’m not sure what it actually is. But there’s a whip and fedora, because Indiana Jones.
The second room, intended to be, I suppose, the inside of an ancient pyramid (?) is clearly another existing office that came with the location. But there’s a couple of vases on a table. Because, um, I don’t know. I honestly don’t even know. It’s almost more of a bad Egypt museum exhibit (at a museum about to go out of business) than it is full of lavish Egyptian treasure, as the title might imply.
Maybe this whole thing is a metaphor? Urban jungle? That’s why the jungle is almost indistinguishable from the office park it in fact inhabits?
I know this is going to be hard to believe – but the puzzles were by far the worst part of Treasures of Egypt. Yes, worse than the IP-infringing story. Yes, worse than the empty office-jungle-with-window-blinds. Worse.
There were so many steps that just made no sense whatsoever that the game felt more like an obligation to complete than a challenge, or certainly a pleasure. Puzzles were so full of logic leaps that some hints required subsequent hints to explain the first hint before even attempting to move forward with the puzzle itself.
In the office-jungle, the game flowed a bit more smoothly – at least relatively speaking. But once into the office-tomb-museum, every bit of flow completely fell apart, forcing us to trudge forward like slaves building the pyramid itself as we reached the pinnacle of logic leap finales. It. Made. No. Sense. At all.
And another critically important factor to consider: this game has a huge capacity of ten people per group. Ten. We played as a party of two, and at many times, there was not enough for both of us to be working on simultaneously at a given time. Just imagine if we brought another eight people with us to tackle IP-Infringeana Jones.
So here’s the thing. Who’s to blame for a game like this? I know you’re probably casting eyes toward the venue – and normally, so would I. However, to understand this situation – all of this situation – required a bit more digging on my part. At the time of our visit, The Trap carried different branding, as a franchised location of Mouse Trap Escape. As it turns out, that parent company provides – for a fee – everything you could possibly need to open the world’s best game, such as “the full story, room design layout, speciality locks [spelled incorrectly] or artifacts (if a part of the story) and all supporting artifacts.”
They assure that these games are tested and proven, and each garner “excellent reviews.” Excellent reviews. Like this 1 Key post.
Mouse Trap Escape offers for purchase a myriad of different themes, including this Indiana Jones game, 2009’s The Hangover film, as well as the classic TV show Friends. We find it very hard to believe they’ve obtained IP rights to use – let alone sell – any of them. They most certainly did not get said rights from the Walt Disney Company – because simply put, Disney isn’t in the business of doing that.
The bigger problem here is that franchisees and potential clients look to companies like Mouse Trap Escape with trust – believing with good reason that they have their best interests at heart. As the “experienced business” to a potential newcomer, why would you even assume they’d sell a story that they don’t have the IP rights to use? And while “I didn’t know” isn’t exactly something that would hold up in front of a copyright judge, you really do have to feel for those who find themselves put in this situation. Perhaps even worse in this case, a game is sold under the implication that it’s a solid, quality attraction – and again, to a potential newcomer, why would you doubt the “experienced business?”
We had the opportunity to meet the entire family behind The Trap. They’re wonderful, kind, passionate people, and frankly we’ve put off posting this review of Treasures of Egypt for many months because we legitimately felt bad about sharing our honest opinions on this one. But at the end of the day, we are not here to review people, but the product they offer to our readers. This product is not good, and that cannot be on us to apologize for. And while we firmly believe at its core, the real blame here shifts to the franchiser who sold this product – and while we firmly believe that in a sense, The Trap and its wonderful owner-family are just as much the victim here – this product is not good. And frankly, what pushed us to finally publish this review was hearing the disappointment experienced by some of our local readers who gave it a shot on their own.
Sometimes writing negative reviews is fun, and can even be funny. This time really wasn’t – even if we tried to be. It never feels good to tell good people that they’re on the wrong professional path, and we never take joy in being the ones to do so, but this is the kind of game that is an honest detriment to the industry as a whole. If Treasures of Egypt were your first escape game experience, you may very well walk out saying “Oh, that’s what an escape game is? Well we don’t like escape games then.” This is the kind of game that’s so poorly structured that it could inspire new players to never play another game after it. Good people or not, it’s the role of Escape Authority to stand up for the industry we love, and continue to be the honest source you’ve come to trust.
Venue: The Trap
Location: Tampa, Florida
Number of Games: 4
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 10 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $28 per person
We thank The Trap for inviting us to review this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.