TIMETRAP – Imaginarium

Having completed TimeTrap’s (now closed) “Rebellion” room previously, I was looking forward to returning to try out another! Previously, I loved their set design and creative puzzles, so when we found out they had an “Alice in Wonderland” themed room, I could only imagine how much their creativity could come into play!

This was my 90th room, so quite special (although maybe not as special as 100 will be!). I admit I did therefore want to go for a reliable company, rather than trying somewhere new. TimeTrap are consistently very good – great set design, creative puzzles and unique themes which you are unlikely to see popping up everywhere (no crazy scientists or Egyptian pharaohs here!). I am so glad we did this room – it has gone down as one of my favourites.

Tea party anyone?

The Set

Rather than throwing us into Wonderland, we are instead thrown into Lewis Carroll’s brain. Not only is this already unexpected, but it gives the designers a lot to play with.

The room may not look much on the face of it, but much like Wonderland you start to notice the unusual and exciting things the closer you look. This is quite key – the room was expertly crafted so you don’t notice something unless your attention is drawn to it, and not a moment sooner.

For the first time in a long time I had no idea what was going to happen, and that excited me. I had multiple moments where I was shocked, surprised and in awe, and even exclaimed “I am loving this room!” less than halfway through! To be able to capture that excitement again was a real gift.

I only have one small quibble here – there were a few times when we tried to get into the ‘reset’ areas, or were expecting them to open, but they didn’t. I appreciate it may be hard to hide these reset areas, but would far rather have an overt sticker/label/padlock making it clear that we shouldn’t be distracted, than waste time trying to figure out these areas!

The Game

The game had many rabbit holes to fall down, with winding tunnels which somehow made sense. There were many puzzles I didn’t see, but that’s ok! There were 4 of us in this room, and we naturally split into 2 pairs at various points, and individuals at other points.

The puzzles were all wonderfully varied, with countless puzzles I’d never experienced before, and some where were like returning to old friends. In particular, I could have spent an hour in the first section alone – all the puzzles were different, but perfectly themed to come together to form the “senses”. Each puzzle also had a difference mechanic – from flipping switches to a dexterity puzzle, so there is plenty to do regardless of your skillset.

The flow as well worked perfectly – we were never stood around scratching our heads, or wondering what there was too do, but we also didn’t need to run around like headless…rabbits? We always had a vague idea of where we were, and where we were trying to go, and it was clear whether we were still missing puzzle pieces or not.

I honestly can’t praise this room enough.

We didn’t actually use any hints, so I can’t talk about the hint system. However, we did escape with a time of 35:08 – the record for the month, and close to Top 3 for all time! Even though this is pretty quick, I did not feel at all short changed or disappointed when we escaped – if anything, I only wished I could’ve been slower and experienced it more!

Accessibility

The location is up a flight of stairs, and the room is up an additional flight. The room itself is very spacious, for the most part, with a place to sit and ample air conditioning if required. It is brightly lit, with no loud noises.

The first ‘half’ of the room is based around the senses, and as such there are puzzles related to sound, sight (including colour) and hearing.

Outside the room

Our GM, Hannah, was lovely. She was very excited when we escaped, and it was clear she had enjoyed the opportunity to sit back and watch the pros 😉 Her briefing was excellent – the whole company has a theme (a time travelling professor), so it’s nice to see how each story works. The waiting room is also very nice, and I can imagine would be a nice area for someone to wait if they weren’t going into the room. Alternatively, there is a “Walkabout” opposite the rooms for a quick pint!

As a nice bonus, we also received a pin to commemorate our visit, and a password to access behind the scenes information about the room! This is the first time I’ve experienced this, and I loved it.

Was it worth the money?

We paid £25pp for 4 of us. It was certainly worth this, and more! I also advise purchasing one of their fabulous T Shirts!

TL; DR

Pros; Set design, puzzle variety, multilinear

Cons; Back alley, accessibility, I can’t do it again!

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