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Deckscape: The Fate of London» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Frustrating at worst and unsatisfying at best rss

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Thursday42
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Most escape-type board games I've played do a fairly good job of providing puzzles that are satisfying and fair. This one I'm afraid does not.

There are quite a few good ideas here, but they are massively overshadowed by frustrating complications along the way. First example has spoilers but I've tried to make them as vague as possible:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There's one puzzle, for instance, which might make you think "if I create fire, that will solve this." You have a matchstick at this point so you might flip over the card thinking that's how you'll do it. However, the answer actually requires you to use that matchstick to set another of your items on fire. There's no reason why the matchstick wouldn't work on its own logically, and you can't go back and try again, so you're punished for not thinking exactly the way the designers did.


Other issues:

-one or two of the puzzles require knowledge of trivia from outside the game. I personally don't think that esoteric trivia has any place in an escape game - I'd rather have everything you need contained in the game itself. Your mileage may vary.

-one of the puzzles requires the ability to distinguish between two very similar shades of colour. I'm not even colourblind and I couldn't do it, even when I knew what to look for.

-another puzzle requires a "think-outside-the-box" solution, but is presented in such a way as to make you think there IS a standard solution. Normally this would be A-OK in my books - in any other game, this would be the type of puzzle that makes you feel clever when you solve it. However, in this style of game you're disincentivized from attempting an outside-the-box solution because if you're wrong, it's no longer possible to attempt the puzzle. As much as I like the idea of an escape room using only a deck of cards, it has the potential to cause a lot of problems such as this.

-no way of being specific on this last one without massive spoilers, so I'll just say that the ending left us with a bad taste in our mouths as well.

To summarize, it's clear that the designers do know how to make a good puzzle - there are several throughout this game - but the "deck-of-cards" system they've used causes a lot of problems, and too many times you are required to guess at what the designer was thinking rather than just logic your way through.

The other game in this series that has been released in my country - "Test Time" - was significantly better, but still overall unsatisfying. I won't be buying the next in this series, and can't recommend them. However, I will be following them online to see if they get better reviews going forward, as there is still potential. For the moment though, you're probably better off getting literally any other escape room game.
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Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
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I found it fine. Unlock - the Nautilus Traps, however, annoyed me intensely when we played it on Friday.
 
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Thursday42
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That's definitely a divisive one. We didn't mind it (though we found it unnecessarily hard), but two other groups I've seen play it disliked it a lot, and one of them even had a glitch in the app when they played it! If I wasn't there to fix the deck for them it would have been a game-ender.

Personally though, I still found it better than this one.
 
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Matthias Mahr
Austria
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It's been a while, since I played this one, and as far as I remember, I had similar issues as you. In particular what you wrote in spoiler code was spot on our experience as well. We too took the "X", but felt it was rather an undeserved one.

Played the "Venice" one yesterday, and it was more pleasing to us then "London", but still not as good as the first one. And over all, this series is imho not as great as the "Exit" and "Unlock" games.
 
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tracey roper
China
Shanghai
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It was the final puzzle that was most frustrating to me. Way too confusing to understand the solution based on what they wrote
 
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D Isaak
United States
Kenmore
Washington
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I'm disappointed that since the Deckscape games try to offer parallel puzzle tracks, but then sometimes require an item from one track to solve the next puzzle in another track, that they don't give any indication of this. You have to make a few guesses as to which puzzles you are ready to work on and solve, and which ones are missing additional info.

Once you've made a guess, it's too late to incorporate the extra clue that is coming. Maybe the clue cards should indicate which puzzles will require another card.


Also this was a very annoying gimmick added to challenge you in a segment of "Fate of London":

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Becoming "Stunned" and instructed to place the remaining puzzle cards on the table in a particular pattern, from which you could not move them, or stand up and look at them from any other angle.
 
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