66 Minuten – Trophycollector – Escape Room Neuwied
Neuwied / 2-6 players / Price: 29 – 52,50 EURO per person/ rating: 8.5
Location: 56564 Neuwied, bei den Koordinaten: 50°25’43.3″N 7°27’20.5″E
Date of Play: 09.07.2022
Group Size: 3
In this article, you’ll find out what awaited us in “The Trophy Collector”. Our last trip to Neuwied only took place virtually in the highly recommended online live adventure game Showdown. After almost 5 years, we have now ventured back to Neuwied in person to once again dive into the world of Schlachter Schlabbeck and the ASF.
We played the Madita Trilogy designed by 66 Minutes, which consists of three different Escape Adventures: Each of these three rooms – Madita’s Secret, The Trophy Collector and The Amulet – also works independently of the other rooms and does not have to be played as a trilogy. At the same time, playing these rooms in exactly this order adds much more depth to the story of Schlachter Schlabbeck.
After traveling back to the 80s in Madita’s Secret, we now continued in the here and now in the second mission, The Trophy Collector.
Compared to our last visit, the reception has changed quite a bit. 66 Minutes has a new main entrance and thus a new reception area that is more atmospheric than our last visit. Unlike Madita’s Secret, we are not greeted by anyone this time. If you read the info in the confirmation email correctly, the adventure begins right outside the door. The start of the mission required some improvisational talent on our part, because in Trophy Collector the theatrical aspect of 66 minutes comes into play much more. A quick look at the website already tells you what to expect in this mission.
Undercover investigation in Schlabbeck’s apartment. A new exciting ASF assignment leads you directly into Schlabbeck’s apartment. Find out who Schlabbeck is doing business with and what the ominous suitcase is all about. Sift through the evidence and send it to ASF headquarters while Schlabbeck is out of the house. But beware: many things are not as they seem…
After we managed to get into Schlabbeck’s apartment, an antiquated living room, atmospherically decorated with old furniture and details, awaited us. The decorating style was authentic and somewhat reminiscent of visiting grandparents in the past. The room offers more variety than Madita’s Secret. There is also a noticeable attention to detail as the story progresses. The story is underscored by skillfully whimsical acting interludes that also set the appropriate pace in the room. The whole thing is rounded off by a successful and appropriate sound and light set as well as a beautifully staged finale.
The puzzles are integrated into the setting with a wink and are varied. They are mostly linear, multi-step puzzles with a focus on classic cognitive tasks, as well as assignments and combinatorics. The puzzle guidance is good and clearly structured. The good timing of the plot interludes, some of which are elementary to getting closer to the goal, should also be emphasized here. As the adventure progresses, there is a somewhat larger gimmick that stands out from the rest of the puzzles in the room and contributes strongly to the story of the room.
The Trophycollector is one of those escape adventures where the gamemaster’s input isn’t obvious at first glance. Giving clues is integrated into the game in such a way that it doesn’t feel forced, but natural. The clues are conveyed via two technical devices, sometimes more and sometimes less, depending on the skills of the group.
The Trophycollector leaves me somewhat undecided. Even the introduction with the acting elements was great fun and the tension was always kept high by unexpected events. Craft-wise, it’s a very good room with accessible puzzles and good audiovisual staging. Some puzzles were wittily staged yet very classic, so without the surprise moments the room would have seemed like a classic puzzle room. By the end, we knew why it felt that way, too. I liked Madita’s Secret better, though, and that’s mostly because of the story and theme. The story about the trophy collector left me with more of a question mark at the end, especially when I tried to place it in the overall context of ASF. The debriefing helped, but I prefer the rooms that are self-explanatory.
As expected, The Trophycollector offers an increase compared to Madita’s Secret. This is especially true for the puzzles and the acting. This should especially please the gamers among you who place a much higher value on the subject of puzzles. Even though 66 Minutes approaches the subject with a wink. This makes The Trophycollector a well-rounded experience. Solely within the trilogy, this adventure raises one or the other question right after playing, how directly the events are connected to part 1 Madita’s Secret. Which wasn’t all that clear to us. But it is precisely this connection that is the great challenge for 66 Minutes. On the one hand to tell the story of the trilogy and on the other hand to offer the adventures independently of each other. Part 3 The Amulet should then tie up the loose ends.