Chris Hainz
Germany
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The following review just reflects my personal opinion; sorry if I misspelled some names, I don't have the scenario at hand:

We were eagerly awaiting UtM, so when we met on Friday at 8pm, all of us were full of anticipation...

We started the scenario and liked the initial setting.

Spoiler (click to reveal)

The new game mechanic about switching characters was appealing to us and we already thought that the guy on the boat could help us later getting into town on the far side of the river. When we went to the inner city first, luckily we ended up at the temple.

I didn't dare trying to rob the priestess, but at the temple we could use the scribe and transform me into Haqib (the female healer character at the beginning was absurdly weak). Cool! That led us to the manor; there we encountered several cards that did basically nothing (pretty poor idea: the key on the front of the box turned out to be useless) and here the linear sequence of events became evidently for the first time. This was ok for us – we found the cat, AFTER THAT we eased the mother, AFTER THAT we took over Meythe. Or rather I. No time to get comfortable with my former character, but my role seemed to be one of a shape shifter.


From this point the mechanics just seemed to repeat themselves. Besides, the story was very linear, there were only few interactions between locations and we kept being "told" where to go next; there the whole procedure started over again:

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Nebka, Sobeki (that's where we ran out of (first) time, we just managed to get inside his dwelling), ... (Btw, never heard again of that Syaan agent!?)


We had ambivalent feelings in our group about this: Some didn't mind the linear flow, some would have preferred a "Monkey Island" style. Where we all agreed upon: There could have been some minor puzzles on the way -

Spoiler (click to reveal)
e.g. a way better use of the scribe.

We gathered all things (just for one moment, we thought about selling the mask and become extremely wealthy, haha) and went to the other side.

The idea about the tunnel was nice, but the riddle after that ridiculous (where, I have to admit, holding your breath communicated the feeling of claustrophobia really well) - it was not just the only one, it was far too easy with that multiple choice style (and part of the plan which we were able to read before; and we even didn't need that, because the upper symbols were larger than the lower symbols, so our first thought was about quantity). This location could have been made way better in my opinion - here e.g. the scribe could have been put to intensive use - if you had thought about what it might look like in a crypt before and hadn't left him for another character, you wouldn't have to start anew...

The showdown was kind of stupid. These two guys didn't add to the mystery about Syaan and Elois, they just ruined it - why would they be around in these kind of masquerade in a room nobody is about to enter? But perhaps I'm missing the bigger picture -
my theory about the cubes so far (please don't click the spoiler if you wan't to evolve your own theories):

Spoiler (click to reveal)
First I thought, one of the guys had to be Syaan and one had to be Elois. But that was kind of stupid.
I think, these cubes admit their users to travel physically through time and space - this is suggested by the first cube you see in „Asylum“. You have to push the right buttons on them to go to a specific location to a specific time - you have to push 3/9 of the visible buttons, as stated in PoD (in UtM 3+6+7=16). The Razovsky inside the adjoining room and the one inside the main chamber are essentially the same person and they both went crazy (or not, depends on your point of view) - but there is a time paradoxon at work and they cannot occupy the same space (or fight each other). They came there by different paths as the different cubes indicate (you know that Razovsky is able to timetravel physically when you have been playing Marcy Case attentively).
(Btw, I use the base of that theory for my scenario as well.)

We loved the last card with the QR code - great idea!


To compare the scenario with previous ones:

GAME MECHANICS
There are certainly new game mechanics, but they are used excessively. This reduces the whole scenario to a scavenger hunt and you don't feel the freedom to try different things out, along with different methods.
For example, in PoD this was possible. In the Marcy Case you were limited in the way that you had to obtain all necessary clues (cool thing with the character card there; bad thing that the barcode was too easy recognizable).

STORY
The story is not very creative and not logical at all:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Somebody has stolen the mask. Fine. There is no background story about why. And it is really not logical that the Syaan should be behind this providing great effort and allowing the mask to be melted afterwards.


A real background story (all cards with dead ends could have been used to tell more of the stories) is missing - I have attested that to nearly all scenarios, short of the first one. And UdM has no real side stories either.

RIDDLES
Similar to Marcy case (where at least the exclusion theme was kind of a riddle):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
There are almost no riddles here and you don't have to make connections.


DICE
There were two (no combat) situations which reminded me of PoD. The combat tests were quite easy (medium in "Asylum" and a bit harder in "Marcy Case" and "PoD") in this scenario.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The tunnel was quite fun, but a little too easy. You didn't have to think things through like in PoD, as whom to give the right stuff and coordinate yourselves. The test with the cat felt a little exaggerated.


OVERALL
Spoiler (click to reveal)
All person tokens were useful just once: Meythe didn't recognize her former lover, when I approached her as Haqib - very unlikely and just one example about how interaction between different characters could have been made more coherent. Some tokens were never used at all (personally against my liking).

The items were not useful either. And many details on the drawings that were quite unnecessary. We didn't find any hidden information on the drawings either (apart from that clue for the... I don't want to call it "puzzle").


Summarized, many possibilities for interaction and puzzles weren't implemented or even realized.

SO WHY PLAY IT?
After all, it is an additional scenario with some really good ideas and approaches in it. There may be even two or three situations that will make you smile or nod. The theme of ancient Egypt is pretty good transferred and it is definitely the most kid-friendly scenario so far.
At last, just because it isn't after my taste, that doesn't mean it cannot be after yours. So enjoy!
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Jack Spirio
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
I really liked the fact that there were things you could do, which might have consequences, or maybe not. I think this a good use of the Tokens.
The Idea of the Scribe was awesome and it was really sad, that he didn't had to do that much.
In our game I was the fighter and never ever switched, while the other 3 players switched all the time.
I didn't thought the Tunnel was easy (especially as we hadn't either of the guys who would have helped us in the last run)
The riddle was easy, but still it was fin and a cool mechanic. There was just one card with 9 of one symbol, so it was pretty clear, that this had to be the most. To make it harder the numbers should have been a bit more together. A cool Idea for a scenario would be some kind of difficulty setting, like if you want it easy go to room 14, for medium room 15 and for hard 16. Just a quick thought I had right now.
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Witold Jakubowski
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LeGon wrote:

STORY
The story is not very god and not logical at all:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Somebody has stolen the mask. Fine. There is no background story about why. And it is really not logical that the Syaan should be behind this providing great effort and allowing the mask to be melted afterwards.


It's not a big of a deal, but...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Mask was recovered from the tomb in 1922 by Lord Carnarvon, who died because the Mask was poisoned (Agency version of the story). Syaans went back in time and stole the Mask so this wouldn't happen at all. The Agency on the other hand sent people back in time to put the poisoned Mask back in the Tomb. Now the question is - are Syaans the good guys who tries to save Carnarvon, but that caused a temporal fault and Agency had to step in; are the Syaans just bad guys and we're the good ones; or are they the good guys and we are the bad ones who want the Lord dead for some reason.

It's vague, but it's there. Made us wonder and doubt.
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Gilles Duchesne
Canada
Ottawa
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Regarding:

LeGon wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
there we encountered several cards that did basically nothing (pretty poor idea: the key on the front of the box turned out to be useless)


I wanted to say...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
...that my group also assumed that this key had to be important since it was featured on the box. Then we thought "maybe it's a trick and the key is just a red herring" but we still kept grabbing it along, just in case. We completed the mission, reflected on the useless key, and only then we did realize...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
...that said key is actually worth 2 gold pieces, making it one of the easiest, most straightforward way to afford the poison...
...which we thought was pretty funny and clever in hindsight.
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Jack Spirio
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to your second spoiler
Spoiler (click to reveal)
nope you are wrong, probably mixed it up with the amulet (item 7), the key has no value and is totally useless
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Gilles Duchesne
Canada
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Jack Spirio wrote:
to your second spoiler...

I'm surprised we could've made such a blatant mistake, even if it was post-game. Could there be a difference between the French & English versions? Unfortunately I don't have the game box handy...
 
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Jack Spirio
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Don't think so
I have the German one
 
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Jason Pisani
United States
New Albany
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some would have preferred a "Monkey Island" style.
What is "Monkey Island" style?
 
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Jack Spirio
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Monkey Island is an old Point & Click Adventure for PC
Don't know more as I haven't played it
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Chris Hainz
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Visit location A, go to location B, get there something you need for location C, but head to location D first, because you have to combine the item you got at B with something you will get in D to use in C... and after that, in A suddenly opens a path - heureka! Never played it? That would be surely a miss...
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Jack Spirio
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I wasn't alive when the first part came out
 
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