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Matthew Bishop
United States
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I'm not in the habit of writing reviews but since this is currently a fairly unique experience (as far as I'm aware), I'd like to share my thoughts.

Where this review is coming from:
There were 7 adults, not hardcore gamers but all with technical backgrounds (engineers mostly). We set the timer for 90 minutes per the rules. Most of us had been to at least one "real" escape room, enjoyed it, and wanted more of that.

Quality:
Perfectly serviceable. The instructions were fairly clear (functional), components were straightforward. I had purchased a "Used, Like New" copy from Amazon and everything was sealed up correctly and in good shape.

Experience:
Short version: fun but too easy.

In detail: while the puzzles were fun and one or two gave the group a few minutes' pause, in general I would say it was too easy and linear for adults who have done escape rooms before. We were never challenged and we completed the entire thing (all possible puzzles) in 35 minutes. There was no tension at all because the time limit in the rules was almost triple that. Also, with maybe two exceptions there were no points where multiple puzzles were being worked simultaneously. This meant half our group was usually idle. I suspect things would improve with 2-3 players but even then it might not make much difference, given the linearity. Also, most of the puzzles and information were fairly "obvious", so there was very little time spent figuring out what to do/what was needed; most of the time spent was just rearranging things and then checking the combination to see if we had the solution correct. Finally, while this did not bother us, the "story" is both extremely predictable and fairly cheesy, in a family-friendly sort of way.

Who would enjoy this?
I am tempted to say this would be perfect as a family game with younger (middle-school?) children. It would also likely be good for groups of 2 adults looking for a leisurely, mildly thinky experience (I would still recommend cutting the time down to an hour at most). It is also worth checking out for folks interested in escape rooms who want to see what can be done in a box, and don't mind the lack of challenge.

Who might not enjoy this?
Large groups or those looking for a cerebral challenge. I don't think you'll feel cheated or regret buying it, but our group definitely had a bit of a "was that it?" reaction when we finished. It felt like an appetizer rather than a main course.

Final thoughts:
I hope more people run with this format and push its limits with more challenging puzzles and technical props, because it's certainly a great idea with a lot of potential. If component cost limitations could be overcome, having real combination padlocks on the various envelopes would really aid the experience while being reusable. There's also room for much more lore and required reading, and spreading the clues around on multiple components would help keep larger groups engaged. I do plan to repackage mine and pass it on to friends with some of the above notes, to help them maximize the fun.
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Alvin Chen
United States
Bellevue
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My friends had a similar reaction about the ease of solving the puzzles. Everyone seemed to see the potential but would have appreciated a greater challenge.

It seems tricky to position this type of game on the market. Interested people are likely to be pretty capable, but you don't want to overly discourage your customers. Maybe greater difficulty scaling could help, whether across all puzzles (hint system, different constraints) or just a few tougher puzzles at the end, so players still feel like they can make progress.
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Moose Detective
United States
Brooklyn
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Is it a moose that became a detective ? Or a detective who searches for moose?
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The sequel is a bit harder (but not much) and just as linear.

Escape Room: The Game is a bit harder than that and a bit less linear (sometimes more than one puzzle at a time, sometimes bigger puzzles where everyone can solve at once) and has 4 scenarios of varying difficulties. All paper components though except for the "decoder" device.

Can't wait to see these open up more. But I think we will need some of these series to catch on really strongly to ever get harder ones published.
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Cardboard Hustle
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Sharonville
Ohio
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stevelabny wrote:
The sequel is a bit harder (but not much) and just as linear.

Escape Room: The Game is a bit harder than that and a bit less linear (sometimes more than one puzzle at a time, sometimes bigger puzzles where everyone can solve at once) and has 4 scenarios of varying difficulties. All paper components though except for the "decoder" device.

Can't wait to see these open up more. But I think we will need some of these series to catch on really strongly to ever get harder ones published.


I agree that Escape Room: The Game is a more challenging game. I found that people were working in parallel much more often than in this game.
 
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Suzanna
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Thanks for this. I bought it a while back, and had been planning to pull it out with my escape room crew when we finish Pandemic Legacy. Maybe I'd better save it for us to do at home as a 2p, and find something else to celebrate with.
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Christian Villarreal
United States
Van Nuys
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Man vs Meeple just did a compare video about 'Unlock!' and 'Exit: The Game' both of which seem to be the itching the challenge stat and the game stat these room games really need.

I have Unlock on pre-order and am waiting for Exit to back in stock on CSI.
 
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