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Subject: Staying on Track, Unlock! The Formula (Spoiler Free) rss

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Rob Grieco
United States
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For quick review, skip to the last paragraph.

If you've never played Unlock! prior, just know that this is a series that is fun, creative, and will absolutely challenge you in every way that a mystery room would (only in table-gaming form). This addition, "The Formula" is no different from that description. Much like "Squeak & Sausage", this game was very linear. The biggest issue with the game is that you may find yourself staring at 10 cards simultaneously and not knowing where to go next. However, if that's the case, you're probably making it too hard on yourself, much like we did.

I typically play Unlock! with the same group of individuals, so we kind of picked up a knack for it along the way. This was the 2nd Unlock! game we played. It is now possibly my favorite. The puzzles within the game are very creative, and "The Formula" includes many different situations to complete it. We found ourselves using math, logic & reasoning, collaborative thinking, and even plain ol' near-sighted vision at times. As it is with pretty much the whole series, intuitive thinking is required.

The concept I enjoy so much with this particular addition, is that everything you need is in front of you. It allows for some out-of-the-box thinking at times, but every clue is provided. That can't be said for some others in the 6-part series (I'm not including the demos here). But, at the same time, it isn't too easy, which is nice that the game doesn't assume your intelligence level is low.

Because they're challenging, we have yet to finish one of these Unlock! games within the allotted time, though we should have with this one. Our group made one stupid mistake, which left us without a card for about 20 minutes. Once we finally realized what the issue was, we were pretty good with the remainder.

As an addition to the table-games that encompass mystery rooms, this is a tremendous 60+ minutes. Possibly my favorite in the Unlock! series, due to its use of multiple puzzle-solving tactics and formulas. At the same time, every puzzle within the game pieced together efficiently, while still maintaining the challenging aspect that you should expect with this series. I would recommend you play "Squeak & Sausage" first, as it would be a perfect lead into this one, though "The Formula" could be your first Unlock! game and you'd enjoy the experience all the same. I give this an 8 out of 10, only because there's no replay value, but easy clean up, and you can gift it to a friend! It far surpasses all of the additions in the "Unlock! Mystery Adventures". If you've played those and wanted to bang your head against the wall during a troubling puzzle, then you know what I mean (for the record, those are still fun). I would say this is best played with 3 people. We had 4, and often times you can waste some minutes trying to get everyone to share the cards for information if the clues weren't immediately solve-able. Enjoy!
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