Location: Raleigh, NC
Players: 6-10 (We recommend 6-8)
Price: $30 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Why did the devil break all of his toys?
In Siler City, North Carolina, there is a clearing in the middle of the woods, and in that clearing is a spot where nothing ever grows. People have reported leaving objects in the circle, only to find them seemingly violently moved overnight, or gone altogether. Even spookier, some brave souls have camped in the spot, only to find themselves in a completely different place upon waking up. Scientists researching the site have brought back samples to their lab in Raleigh to study, in order to figure out an explanation for these phenomena, but the site has gone dark. You are the first team to enter the lab once it has been locked down and must solve the mystery of the Devil’s Tramping Grounds before you go missing yourself!
The mood for the room was very well set. We were led into a separate lobby just for our players, and were allowed to mingle before the game began, which it did with a bang. The actor explained the rules and story to us excellently, and hurriedly ushered us into the room.
Raleigh Room Escapes is headed up by theatre aficionados, and it shows in their sets and delivery. Tramping ground boasted a highly immersive set design, and the actor that introduced us to the room played his role very well. There were a few big props that added a lot to the game, and the overall story was woven throughout fairly well. Puzzles were mostly competent, if not cohesive.
This room was very poorly maintained, leading to a lot of wasted time. In some spots, what we thought were clues turned out to be unintentional red herrings written down by previous groups. A lot of paper props were torn up and worn, and some of the locks were unforgivably jammed. One puzzle in particular should have been simple to solve, and we worked out the method to do so very easily, but the puzzle itself was broken, making it a guessing game of degrees in attempting to solve it. To add insult to injury, I accidentally got the lock open while idly spinning the dials of the lock. The hint system is set to be more theatrical, and allow for a better chance to experience most of the room, but it felt highly out of place, and did not allow groups to take hints at their own pace. The twist was interesting, but predictable, and much of the set went unused. One big late game surprise was very easy to spot early on, and the method to revealing it was ambiguous at best. The open air nature of the bigger rooms allowed a lot of noise to bleed over from the Zombie escape next to us.
When Tramping Ground was good, it was really good, but at the points it failed, it became frustratingly bad. Unfortunately, the bad and broken outweighed the good by quite a bit, making the great parts very hard to recommend in light of the abundant missed opportunities. I feel that new players will be very confused, and though the theatrical parts of the room shine, it is very heavily marred by the poor flow and below average puzzling. You can book your escape from the Devil’s Tramping Grounds here.