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