An escape book
From the mastermind behind Deadlocked Escape Rooms James Hamer-Horton, comes a Puzzle book that ties in with their fictitious company, the Wexell Corporation. This book doesn’t just bring enough content for one game but gives you ten rooms to break out of.
Enter the world of Escape Room Puzzles, but beware… once you enter, you only have a limited time to solve the puzzles before time runs out and you are locked in forever! Become Adam Parkinson, a young investigative journalist, and join his conspiracy-theorist friend Henry Fielding as they take on the diabolical Wexell Corporation. You must guide Adam through 10 precarious rooms, solving the puzzles he finds in each one, discovering what Wexell are up to, and then escaping to the next location.
First off, let me say that out of all the play at home games and books I have done, this has to be the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like I’m playing an escape room. There is so much content in this book that it will give you hours of playtime and you could argue that each of the 10 rooms would take a minimum of an hour to complete and can be completed by a team rather than an individual. Like many other escape type books it is story driven and the entire thing plays out over the 10 rooms. The story is pretty good and the text you have to read is important to the story too.
Now, let’s move on to the puzzles. The one thing I applaud the book for is that it’s not created for the everyday man. The puzzles in this book are HARD. I mean REALLY hard. Some of the puzzles require a leap of logic and a number of the are really labour intensive. If you are looking for something to take you away a few hours, this isn’t the book for you. It requires a lot of thought, a lot of time and a lot of effort. It also requires you to manipulate the book at times. Some will want to photocopy pages, others will happily pull it apart.
Having applauded the difficulty, I think this is also its downfall. The book is so labour intensive it can take out the fun of the gameplay and it’s so difficult it means you hit a brick wall many, many times and you have to go for hints to make progress. I prefer a game that’s hard but not too hard that the hints are almost required to make your way through the game. Due to this, by the time we reached room 10, it was a case of getting it done rather than enjoying the experience.
The book’s design far surpasses the design of any other book we’ve played. There is really intricacies in the detail and the design is integral to many of the puzzles. It’s a real feat of design and adds to the feeling of it being the closest to an escape room we’ve played. Some of the design adds to the difficulty too.
Escape Room Puzzles is a bittersweet experience. By far the closest experience we have had to playing an escape room in a book but the mechanics of the puzzles let it down. If the same format had more straightforward puzzles, not easy, just straightforward this would have been a much, much better experience.