Andrew J.
United States
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All the components from Escape: Quests

Escape: The Curse of the Temple is one of my top three games. It's one we've played the most (33 plays :shock: ), it's easy to teach, it plays in ten minutes, it turns the idea of 'board games' up on its head (similar to games like Space Alert and other realtime games), and it's overall a great, fun-in-a-box sort of game.

But after about 15 plays, we ran into a problem. We were too good at Escape. When my wife and I learned, every temple challenge was a grind, and we lost or barely made it out. When we taught newbies (often with the basic rules, no curses or treasures or other difficulties), we would frequently win in 7 or fewer minutes, simply because we'd become so good at this system. Now, we'd handicap ourselves so the newbies could experience that challenge, but overall, it was a dissatisfying way to play our favorite game. I purchased a couple of Queenies, but nothing rocked my world.

All the while, I totally dismissed Escape Quests, because they 'made the game too complicated' and 'added too much to keep track of.' While both of these are at least semi-valid arguments against the expansion, I finally gave it a look -- and bought it.

How to Play
Escape: Quest totally changes the way Escape is played. Now, instead of only having to place all the gems to escape the temple, you will also be completing 1-3 quests along the way. At the beginning of the game, you choose 1-3 of the 6 quests randomly, depending on how difficult you want the game to be, and add the equivalent number of quest markers onto the gem depot.

Gotta get these markers off the gem room and onto their completed quests!

When you encounter a quest, you must finish it in order to move the quest marker onto that quest tile. All the quest markers must be off the gem depot before you can escape the temple! This totally changes how you play the game, because in the first stage, you will likely be exploring like mad to find the quest rooms and see what kind of hand you've been dealt. You may have just the Grail quest -- or you may have the sacrifice chamber! Adventurers beware!

Two of the most difficult quests in the box.

The quests vary in difficulty. The Holy Grail quest is relatively easy, while the Obelisk and Tree of Life quests are very difficult. This makes for a great expansion, though, because it increases your uncertainty of what you will encounter and gave my wife and I the difficulty boost that we were wanting in Escape. Now, we usually play with both Illusions and Quests, and mix three quests in to make things really difficult.

Quests in play

Quests have even proven to be fairly easy to teach to newbies -- after one introductory game they're raring to go with the quests. We liked Quests so much that we bought the Quest Chambers queenie, which adds an additional three quests you must complete. These have totally shaken up the game for us and are a big part of what has made it our most-played game. With nine individual quests to draw from, you'll never know what you're going to receive, and you may have a very difficult challenge ahead of you. The best quest of all is in the Queenie: the dreaded Constellation chamber. We've never beaten this one with 5-6 players, as you must have 5 players roll a combination in five different specific rooms.

As if there's not enough packed into this expansion, the Quests expansion also adds player abilities, which can help to balance out the difficulty of the Quest chambers. Player abilities give you each unique special abilities that you can use to help you on your journey: from a priest who can heal extra gold masks, to a teleporter, to a muscleman who can twist rooms around -- the characters add some nice variability and actually make it easier for less-experienced players to tackle the quests.

Box cover

.. Abstract -----♦----- Thematic
....... Luck -------♦--- Skill
.... Simple -----♦----- Complex
. Strategic -----♦----- Tactical
... Friendly --♦-------- Cutthroat

Graphic Design/Components: 4/5 (matches everything else Escape)
Insert: 2/5 (cardboard canyon, we put quests inside our foamcore insert in the base box)
Rules Clarity: 3/5 (it's starting to get difficult to keep track of all the Escape rules, as they're all tiny booklets. Not sure how Queen could fix this, but it's annoying)

Overall: 5/5

tl;dr: If you like Escape and want a little more, buy the Quests expansion. I would go so far as to say this is a must-have expansion for anyone who wants to get more than a dozen plays out of Escape. Highly recommended.
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Steve Hatherley
United Kingdom
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Re: Quests make Escape almost a brand new game -- and that's a good thing!
I agree, Quests is my favourite expansion for Escape.
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