Wellingborough, Nov 2018
Of the three games at Trapp’d Wellingborough, Forsaken is the one with the least exotic theme – you’re merely infiltrating a Satanic cult, not an underwater city or a dragon’s cave. It is however decorated with equal gusto, and perhaps because it sets itself a less impossible standard to live up to, this was the one where the visuals exceeded my expectations.
Along with the usual very long backstory (available to read but ignored by the host), there were two specific warnings offered before we started. The first was that at some point the High Priest of the cult we were infiltrating would enter the game. Without going into specifics, that was an pretty minimal bit of theatre but still a nice little addition to the game. The other warning was that the game involves performing some simulated acts of Satanic worship. If that sounds offensive rather than funny you should probably give this game a miss. That was however perhaps the most amusingly memorable element for me.
As with their Drakon game, my teammates’ biggest dislike in Forsaken was the low light level used. This time we had hand torches, but ones that suffered seriously from failing batteries, with no replacement provided when a torch failed altogether. (Asked about it after the game, our host muttered an excuse about the dying torch “making the game spookier”.) That was a shame, because otherwise Forsaken might have been narrowly my favourite of the three games at this branch.
Both our groups also spent some time failing to find the way to continue because we were treating the room’s decor too gingerly, but that’s probably on us. Some of the mid-game puzzles involved something that felt somewhere between mildly tedious and wilfully obtuse, but at other times showed flair and imagination in its game design.
Repeating comments I’ve made on some of my other reviews of Trapp’d games, Forsaken benefits from ambitious decor but falls short of its potential due to minor issues – in this case first and foremost the lighting problems. The physical game area is enviably large, but a bit sparse in a way that makes it feel under-utilised. They could do more with the immersive elements, making them a bigger part of the game. Perhaps Trapp’d’s recent extremely rapid rate of expansion has meant too little attention invested in fine-tuning and polishing each new game; as it is, Forsaken is an entertainingly blasphemous escape room which is certainly worth playing, but could have been better. Oh, and nag the gamemaster to equip all your players with a decent torch.