Trapped In The 80’s
Trapped In The 80's
- Played August 2017
- Sandusky, OH
- 60 minutes
- 2-8 players
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- What People Say
Have you ever noticed sometimes a year passes and it seems like nothing has changed? Other times you return to a place or visit an old friend and you realize a lot has changed in your life and the place/people you’re visiting. This is definitely the case in our return visit to Sandusky. We almost forgot Sandusky’s only escape room company had changed their name to Escape Rooms by Franknicky. A year ago we visited them just as they were leaving their old location and moving into their new location (a historic building in the heart of Sandusky). Just a few minutes away you’ll find the Sandusky harbor, Cedar Point amusement park, and a very large selection of restaurants and hotels. Parking is easy to find because of the laid back abandoned town Sandusky has become over the years, but it’s incredibly safe and scenic which is nice. A familiar face greeted us outside the front doors of the building, and we were reminded of his kindness and good character within minutes. Much has changed in the past year, but thankfully the important things stayed the same.
When we were told we’d be playing Trapped In The 80’s every gen-X team member on our team was in pure ecstasy! Is there an option to stay trapped in the room forever? Do we get to hang with Genesis, Madonna, Mr.T, Molly Ringwald and John Hughes?! Wait, what?! What do you mean John Hughes and his ultimate 80’s film has gone missing, and we only have 1-hour to get it back?!! Oh right, it’s a game…. it’s… just… a… game. Humor aside, the story introduction was compelling for those of us who understood the nostalgic significance of our mission, but it did leave the rest of the team not really caring if the lost movie was found. The spacious front lobby of the old home is used as the introductory area of the game, which might disappoint some enthusiasts if they’re accustomed to lobbies with chairs, couches, tables, entertainment, drinks & snacks. None the less, the team had a special mission and we were determined to live in…er…um…review the room!
The room quality follows in line with where the company itself is located. It’s an old historic building and certain limitations were to be expected. We were informed that cameras and microphones were soon to be installed because originally the building owners didn’t want them. In the meantime our GM needed to be in the room watching and/or listening at all times in order to help us out (and for any safety reasons). It was a bit awkward at first, but we soon realized we needed the help anyway. The room itself was designed in perfect 80’s fashion with as many authentic 80’s toys, books, movies, posters and whatnot you could imagine. It was a bit messy in design, but this too made the design more authentic. The walls and furniture were quite sturdy and well built. In terms of set design it was great but of course the limitation of not being able to modify the building’s structure prohibits some of the more fancy designs you’d see in most escape room companies today. In the end, it’s decent room quality.
We’ll put our summary of fun and immersion together for this room because they both face the same dilemma. If you lived through the 80’s or you’re a fan of 80’s culture, you simply can’t help but love this room. In fact you might honestly find yourself wanting to stay in the room and interact with all the things around you instead of playing the escape game. The best part of all? You’re given a playlist of roughly 30 songs at the beginning of the game, and the running soundtrack becomes your timer…it’s absolutely genius and pure joy! We’ve never seen (or heard) anything like it before! There’s more fun interactive moments with 80’s culture items, but we don’t want to spoil anything. The reason why there’s some room for debate and won’t receive scores of 11 out of 10 in fun and immersion, is because the target audience is slightly limited. Others might take a mild interest in some of the fun things you can do in this room, but it definitely won’t hold the same meaning or nostalgic value if you’re turned off by 80’s culture. In the end we ended up with something between decent and incredible for scores…
From a less subjective perspective, the puzzles are where this room really shines! In fact this might ironically be the one area which deserves the most praise but probably receives the least from players in this room. The owner/designer of Escape Rooms By Franknicky is one of North America’s best puzzle designers hands down! After seeing several of his puzzles, we’re still amazed at how he creates combinations of tech, mechanical, physical, and creative puzzles unlike anyone else in the industry. Again this area of the game probably won’t capture people’s attention as much because the puzzles sometimes lack in-game context and might be unfamiliar to people on how to interact with them, but believe us when we say they are worth seeing! If a master story writer and/or set designer one day partners with the designer from Escape Rooms By FrankNicky they might very well become the industry’s super hero team (but we digress)! Overall the puzzles were great but as with all creative masters of any given field, it might not appeal to everyone’s tastes or get the appreciation it deserves…
So in the end would we recommend this room? Yes! …and possibly no. It should come as no surprise you need a certain level of appreciation, knowledge, nostalgia, or interest in 80’s culture to enjoy this room. Most ages and experience levels will have a role to play which is good, but there are quite a few puzzles that range from uniquely fun to uniquely challenging. Ideally you’ll want a group size of 3 to 6 people depending on the level of engagement you desire with the various puzzles. We can’t wait to see what Escape Rooms By Franknicky has in store next…
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