Posted in Escape Room The Game

Escape Room The Game – Prison Break

A play at home game

Escape Room The Game is a boxed game that consists of between three and four games depending on the version you have. Each game centres around the Chrono Decoder which works as an electronic countdown timer and puzzle unit. It is where you place the keys once you have the codes and also becomes useful during games as several puzzles need it to solve. Each game comes with three parts. You must complete the first part to proceed and, if you get stuck, there are around 8 clues to help. Each clue is time specific and when the decoder beeps you can take a look (if you need it that is). So, what about the games individually? We thought it was only appropriate to start with Virus.

THE STORY

The past few months you’ve been in prison and your sentence will keep you there for the next decade. You spend most of your day together with a small group of inmates. They protected you on your first day and you feel you can trust them. They’ve got your back and you tell them you’ve got theirs (for what that’s worth).

One afternoon you strike up a conversation with a fellow inmate and he tells you that a great mathematician, Walter Castle, used to live in your cell. He was transferred to another prison a while ago. Walter Castle was somewhat of a legend amongst the inmates. The prison director and guards were afraid of him. Not because he was big or strong, but because they were afraid that he would escape. A prison break would damage their reputation. They made up some lie that Walter got into a fight and beat up another inmate. Walter couldn’t beat up a fly but nonetheless they transferred him to a maximum-security prison across the country.

You’re not surprised to hear a mathematician used to live in your cell, as it explains all the numbers and weird puzzles on your wall.

The thought of freedom makes you very intrigued about all this strangeness in your cell. You wonder if it all belongs to some greater plan to escape from this hell you call home.

The few months you’ve spent in prison already seem like years and given the choice, you’d choose a life on the run over a life in prison any day. You convince yourself that escaping would be justice. You have been sentenced to ten years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit. Ten years of your life with no hope of a future, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it hardly seems fair.

That evening, during lockdown, you tell your friends about what you’ve heard. You and your buddies turn the cell upside down and find closed envelopes hidden in the toilet. This information might just be the start of your prison break. The guards will reach your cell during rounds in one hour, could this be the opportunity of a lifetime?

THE GAMEPLAY

Prison Break is billed as the easiest of the three games. Having already played Virus and knowing how the game worked we expected to find this much simpler. It turns out that we thought this was harder than Virus. The level of difficulty with regards to puzzles remained the same but we found the signposting was slightly lacking in this game. Many of the puzzles were standard escape room staples but we found that Prison Break needed more of a mathematical brain. There were a number of times we had come to a conclusion which wasn’t right and at one point we did come up with a code that was entirely plausible although the game required you to use it in a different way. The game was not poor but we felt the flow was a little more stilted than our previous experience.

DESIGN

Design is vital to make this game work. The way it has been created means that at times the answer has been hidden in plain sight and on at least one occasion we became stumped when the answer was right in front of us. This is no fault of the game and really stands testament to how well is was designed. The game does immerse you into it’s world and the illustrations really help to tell the narrative.

OVERALL

Prison Break is a good game but falls slightly short of Virus. It’s not a bad game but some of the signposting did make it a little harder to progress.

Escaped: 53:51

Theme *****

Design *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****

We didn’t pay to play this experience but this did not influence our review

Posted in Escape Room The Game

Escape Room The Game – Virus

A play at home game

Escape Room The Game is a boxed game that consists of between three and four games depending on the version you have. Each game centres around the Chrono Decoder which works as an electronic countdown timer and puzzle unit. It is where you place the keys once you have the codes and also becomes useful during games as several puzzles need it to solve. Each game comes with three parts. You must complete the first part to proceed and, if you get stuck, there are around 8 clues to help. Each clue is time specific and when the decoder beeps you can take a look (if you need it that is). So, what about the games individually? We thought it was only appropriate to start with Virus.

THE STORY

What a time to faint! You swear you could kill your lab partner, but you know that won’t be necessary. The liquid that’s oozing out of the broken bottle on the floor will kill everybody in the room soon enough… There’s no time to play the blame game, you and your lab partners have to work together if you want to survive.

You’ve been working for Professor Felsman for some time now. He was not a nice man.

He showed no kindness whatsoever, but he was the best in this line of work.

The professor never left the lab if anybody else was in it and all the dangerous stuff was locked away. And not locked away in a normal kind of way, Professor Felsman was somewhat of a ‘conspiracy theory’ kind of guy. Always looking over his shoulder, afraid that someone was after his inventions. The only people he really trusted were his son and daughter.

His trust issues and conspiracy theories made it even stranger that he left that green bottle unattended that afternoon. He had left in a hurry, leaving his hat and jacket on the coat rack. The professor never went anywhere without his hat. He just yelled “put that bottle in the closet and whatever you do, don’t drop it”! Nobody knew what the professor was working on, but it was serious business. The only thing he told us was that it could do a lot of good in the right hands, but in the wrong hands it would change the world in a really bad way…

The hands of our lab partner definitely qualify as the wrong pair of hands. Three steps short of the closet nerves got the better of her. You knew you were in serious trouble as her eyes rolled back and she collapsed. It seemed to take place in slow motion as the bottle fell on the floor and the glass shattered all over the room. The fumes that came from the bottle filled everyone’s lungs immediately.

You quickly called the professor, but he seemed to have his own problems. He was running and breathing heavily. The only words you could make out from the bad connection were “idiots, dead in an hour, antidote, vault”. Then the line went dead. You called him back but it went straight to voicemail. You know there’s no time to lose and nobody in the world that can help you…

You shove the cart aside and see the vault, it’s locked. You try opening the drawers in his desk, only one isn’t locked. The stuff you find in the desk could prove to be vital, it’s your only hope!

THE GAMEPLAY

Many escape from home games are card or book based. Escape Room The Game takes it a step further and bring electronics to the game. Although all of the puzzles in virus are paper based, the added element of inserting keys for the code makes it a little unique. The game is very well signposted and we didn’t feel the need for clues. We made steady progress and this gave a real sense of achievement. Most of the puzzles we found through the game will be very familiar to enthusiasts and won’t cause too much of a problem to solve. There are a few clever ideas within the game which provides something a little different and the game play is entertaining enough to give an evening of fun for beginners and enthusiasts alike.

DESIGN

The game is very reliant on the design. There is a huge amount of work done here that is very important to immerse the players into the world of Virus. To us, the design element is what really raises the game. If it was a simple print and play then the game would underwhelm due to the simplicity of the puzzles but the design and physical interaction with several of the games items makes it a much more fun and interactive game.

OVERALL

Virus was our introduction to the world of Escape Room The Game. We felt is was a solid game and surpasses many of the other play at home games out there. The set, sold on Amazon for about £30 means an average of £10 a game which is great value for money. We’d certainly put these up there with the Unlock games and ahead of any Exit Games sets.

Escaped: 46:37

Theme *****

Design *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****

We didn’t pay to play this experience but this did not influence our review