We were lucky enough to have been sent a game by the Belgian creator called Escape Now, a card game that simulates the idea of escaping within a 60 minute time frame.
Escape Now! is a cooperative game where players try to escape a randomly laid out escape room within 60 minutes. The 60 action cards represent minutes, meaning that players must complete the puzzles from the escape room before the 60th card is played.
Unlike other cooperative games, players are not allowed to communicate with each other. If they wish to do so, that’ll cost the team 1 minute, or otherwise said, one action card. This means that there’s no dominant player who influences the others and that players need to be resourceful and rely on the judgment of the team members.
If a team succeeds in escaping the room, the amount of remaining action cards state how many minutes were left to go. In that way, teams can challenge each other in having time records.
There are 4 possible actions:
- Solve a puzzle: place a corresponding trait card (i.e. ‘perceptive’, ‘dexterous’, ‘talkative’, ‘tenacious’ or ‘logical’) next to puzzle.
- Move to another puzzle: choose and discard a trait/action card from your hand and move to any visible puzzle.
- Replenish cards: Fill up your hand to 5 cards and then discard a card.
- Ask a question: Discard the top card from the draw pile and ask a closed-ended question.
With adapted rules for 2 players and solo mode!
The game is a fairly compact affair. We actually commented on how this is pretty portable and could be something to throw into a suitcase on a holiday or play on a train journey. The concept shares the idea of an escape room in name and the game story but the game itself is more of a co-operative game than an escape experience.
The game play is fun and requires silent communication between the group. It took us a couple of games to get to grips with the way it works and, once we’d found our stride discovered that it’s not too difficult a game and will easily fill 15 minutes of your day. The levels of difficulty do add some complexity to the game but we found that the easy and medium level were fairly straight forward.
While the game suggest an escape room idea, the gameplay doesn’t replicate the escape room feel. The name is the only thing that really ties them together. It doesn’t take any of the fun away from the game but there aren’t puzzles to solve or padlocks to unlock. It’s about getting through a series of steps in order to escape and see how many minutes remain. If you are looking for a specific escape room style game, this isn’t for you but if you like anything that is vaguely escape related this is good fun.
There are some really lovely images in the game. Clearly, a very talented artist has been involved in the illustrations through the game and the final design quality is high quality.
As I’ve already said, if you are looking for something escape related but not an escape room then this is for you. A enjoyable card game that will help fill some time during lockdown. It’s a really good family game.
Please note: We did not pay to play this experience but this did not influence our review.