Even though long extensive reviews seem te be the most popular reviews on BGG, I myself just don't have the time or the patience to read those.
I prefer quick overviews where I can get some insights into why this game may or may not be attractive to me.
My reviews are targeted at a similar audience, and just consist of my pros and cons coming from:
1) First impressions (before playing my first game)
2) Impressions after the first game
3) Current feelings (after at least 10 plays)
+ I love Escape Rooms
+ I have played Escape Room: The Game; drawback of that game (and others, from what I understand), is that you have to damage some components in the process of solving the puzzles. It sounded good that the Unlock! card system completely avoids this.
- Only three scenario's in a box, so I expected limited playing time.
Impressions after the first two games (introduction scenario and first real scenario; The Formula):
+ The card system works very good. We really enjoyed that.
+ The puzzles in this scenario were of an appropriate difficulty for me and my friends; not too easy but not unsolvable either.
+ The hint system works well, the whole app is actually done quite nicely.
Current feelings (10 plays into it):
+ I found four more free scenarios at https://www.asmodee.us/en/games/unlock/ (under the resources tab) which prolonged my playing time considerably, here's my feelings per scenario:
+The Formula and Squeek & Sausage: I liked both these scenarios. We needed a couple of hints (really need to look good for those hidden objects...) but not too many. The overall feel comes pretty close to a real escape room.
-The Island of Doctor Goorse: This one is played in teams. We got stuck very quickly. We tried again, swapping teams, and got a bit further but still got stuck again later on. Hints didn't help and we gave up at some point. Looking at the solutions, we thought these puzzles were really far fetched, and we didn't feel like we had any real chance of solving this by ourselves.
-5th Avenue: Mostly a good scenario, but one part completely got me stuck. Hidden clues are ok, but when they are printed so small that they are too tiny to read, it becomes stupid (and I don't even have bad eyes).
+The Elite and Doo-Arann Dungeon: These are very good, on par with The Formula and Squeek & Sausage, but shorter. It would have been nice if the new rules for using a machine that are needed in the Dungeon were explained on the cards though! (They are on the cards for the temple of Ra, but that comes after the dungeon, following the sequence in the app) I now had no clue how to solve that part. So if you are going to play the Dungeon, read the new rules on the Temple of Ra first!
+/- Unlock! Temple of Ra: This one was fun, but the final puzzle is too far fetched imho. It was at least theoretically doable, though, and having the last one of the series of four very hard didn't bother me as much as the unsolvable Island of Doctor Goorse did.
+ I played some scenarios with friends, and a couple by myself. It is ok solo, but I really enjoyed solving the puzzles together with friends, which is how it should be imho.
- After playing the introduction scenario and the seven scenarios (including two tries of the Island of Doctor Goose) I had nine plays in. I retried the first scenario (The Formula) six months after I had first played it with some friends, to make it to ten plays, but it was too easy as I remembered all the tricky parts. I think it would take many years (if ever) before I forgot enough to make replaying the same scenario fun.
End conclusion (final):
Some very good scenarios and some less good to bad. This leads to an average score of a 7 for me. Overall I had a nice time, but some times it got very frustrating. I have gotten the maximum number of plays out of this box and the free scenarios, but I would be happy to try new scenarios. It makes for a fun time with friends when you are willing to fire up your brain, and is a lot cheaper than going to a real escape room!
If you'd like to read more of my reviews, check out Still fun after ten plays? - All reviews
- Last edited Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:37 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:26 pm
when you are are playing with others, how many people per play? we found 4 to be to many people, someone was always kinda sitting out wondering how stuff happened.
Have played with two and four players, both worked ok for us, but when we played with four, we made sure to worry more about including all four of us rather than racing against the clock. I agree it sucks if you missed half the game.
Generally, the more players, the less hints we need (more chance that someone will find out a solution for any given puzzle), but also fewer puzzles to solve per player, so yes there’s a risk you don’t get to contribute to the solving of each puzzle.
If you want to be involved in the solving of every puzzle, play it solo or with two players. If you like group dynamics and solving the game with as few hints as possible, play with three or four. Definitly don’t play it with more than four, as some people will just not get any chance to really participate.
Well, we just got the game, as a gift for my wife's birthday. Until now we've played all paid scenarios in a group of 6. The problem is lack of English knowledge among some of people in my group, so we cannot play all of the free scenarios until they are translated properly.
The Formula is pure fun - really nice ideas, some tricky moments, one wrong translation to Polish which made it a bit harder for few minutes, until we realized what is the problem. It's great
Squeek & Sausage - I wouldn't put it onto the same level as The Formula. There are two things to solve here, which are bit strange and for our group we needed some suggestions, without which we just stood no chance.
The Island of Doctor Goorse - this one is exactly as you wrote. We played it just once, with two rather equal teams and it was horrible. At the end we were at about half of releaved cards. For the first 15 minutes one team had to wait for the second one and when they could do something together, there was this set of hieroglyphs, causing a lot of trouble for us to even explain how they look.
After first 2 scenarios the morale was great and we had a lot of fun, while after the last one all just went to their homes, feeling as we weren't even ready to do this one. Which is weird, since the first two ones we did without any mistake in about 30-40 minutes each, so we felt pretty confident.
As for number of people - 6 is definitely too much. Looking at how we played, I think that 3-4 is the right number, while 6 would be ok in those "2 teams" scenarios.
One thing about the game is strange for me though - they made an app, which guides you through the game. I wonder why they decided to make it a one-time game, instead of going into direction of i.e. Mansions of Madness Second Edition, where you combine the app and reuse elements from previous scenarios. This way they wouldn't need to print all those new scenarios, just release them on application (of course as paid ones) and just release some bunch of new card packs from time to time.
- Last edited Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:18 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:17 pm
Unlock! Escape Adventure Resources
(10 mini cards)
Unlock! The Elite: Demo 1
(20 cards, rules included) 01 Feb. 2017
Unlock! Fifth Avenue: Demo 2
(30 cards, no rules) 19 May 2017
Unlock! Doo-Arann Dungeon: Demo 3
(24 cards, rules reminder included) 05 Sept. 2017
Unlock! Temple of Ra: Demo 4
(24 cards, no rules) 21 Sept. 2017
- Last edited Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:55 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:54 am