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No Release from More Escape Room Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Jonathan Eaton's Houses of Treasure: Ascalons Fury
Have we reached peak "escape room game" yet? Absolutely not, with the prime evidence for the continuation of this trend being KOSMOS' sales report of over 14 million games in its Exit: The Game line. KOSMOS is adding still more titles to this line and its Adventure Games series in 2022, in addition to localizing the narrative game series Cartaventura and Suspects.

• Who else is releasing titles in a similar vein? In Q4 2021, Dutch publisher Jumbo launched a pair of titles branded as "Jonathan Eaton's Houses of Treasure". Here's the backstory that is meant to encompass all future releases in this series:
Jonathan Eaton, billionaire and entrepreneur of Vestigium Industries, combines his work as manager of the largest corporation in the world with adventures and discoveries in temples, catacombs, and ancient labyrinths. The world is shocked when Eaton announces his resignation, then shocked again when he announces that he will choose his successor in the spirit of Willy Wonka, with everyone participating in a competition that will span the globe and grant the winner all of Eaton's shares in Vestigium, making them the richest person on Earth.
Apparently the name "Jonathan Eaton's Squid Game" was already trademarked.

Board Game: Jonathan Eaton's Houses of Treasure: Itzamna's Eye
In Eaton's youth, he fell into the catacombs of the local church, and it took four days before he found his way out. In Ascalons Fury, 1-4 players take 90-120 minutes to undertake this same adventure, solving puzzles and searching for a way out of the maze. In Itzamna's Eye, you visit the temple of Itzamna, a Mayan god with tremendous powers, in an attempt to find the jewel of Itzamna's eye.

• German publisher HCM Kinzel is releasing a line of games under the name Trapped, and these titles are meant to evoke an escape room more directly, with 2-6 players placing posters and notes in different places around their home, then examining these items for clues, puzzles, and codes.

Trapped: Der Jahrmarkt ("The Fair") is the easiest of the three, with players needing to pass tests of clairvoyancy while consorting with jugglers and showmen. Trapped: Der Kunstraub ("The Art Robbery") is medium difficulty, with the son of an art-loving family instigating the theft of a valuable work of art, with you being part of the team that needs to find and remove the painting. For the expert-level Trapped: Der Bankraub ("The Bank Robbery"), you are part of a gang of bank robbers who are targeting a huge shipment of gold bars being kept in a bank vault.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Oh, hey, I just discovered as this was about to be published that these titles were originally released in 2020 from U.S. publisher SolidRoots, with that company already having a second series of titles on the market: Trapped: Mission to Mars, Trapped: The Zoo, and Trapped: Flight 927.

Board Game: Trapped: Mission to Mars
Board Game: Trapped: The Zoo
Board Game: Trapped: Flight 927

• And French publisher Space Cowboys had its Unlock! series of escape room games licensed by book publisher Rageot for a series of youth adventure novels from author Fabien Clavel under the name Unlock! Les Escape Geeks:

From gallery of W Eric Martin

And now Space Cowboys is releasing a level 1 Unlock! title that features the characters from these novels, although no knowledge of the books is required to take on Unlock!: Les Escape Geeks – Échappez-vous de la Tour Eiffel ("Escape from the Eiffel Tower"), which is due out on February 11, 2022. For now, the cycle of licensing is complete...

Board Game: Unlock!: Les Escape Geeks – Échappez-vous de la Tour Eiffel
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