Posted in Escape Room Puzzles

Escape Room Puzzles

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.

THE STORY

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.

THE GAMEPLAY

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.

DESIGN

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.

OVERALL

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.

Theme *****

Design *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****

Posted in The Escape Book

The Escape Book

An escape book

The Escape book claims to be the “First book based on the puzzles of Escape Rooms”. I’m not sure on the accuracy of their claims but having been published in 2018, it’s probably not far off. The book was originally written in Spanish before being translated into English a year later.

THE STORY

You’re an investigative journalist – and you’ve learned too much. Your mission is to escape the labyrinth where you have been trapped and expose the corrupt, high-flying businessman, Castian Warnes. This is no easy feat, but your life depends on it.

THE GAMEPLAY

The book itself is entirely story driven. The best way to describe it is if Saw was an escape room movie but it didn’t have the gore. That’s the kind of idea Ivan Tapia was going for. Instead of Jigsaw being the mastermind, it’s replaced with Castian Warnes, a voyeuristic businessman who watches as the protagonist, Candela Fuertes, makes her way through the labyrinth of puzzles. There are 17 puzzles in total, each of which give you the answer to the next page you need to turn to. Puzzles on the whole range for quick and simple to much more complex. None are out of reach of an experienced player but some may need a little help to get to the answer. Luckily, the book has a series of hints for each puzzle at the back of the book. Gameplay on the whole is good but to get through to the next puzzle you have to read a huge amount of story. There are times where you have to read six or seven pages of story in order to reach your next puzzle. It really is story overload and, at times, leaves you wondering why there is so much detail. All of the story in the book is superfluous to the puzzle solving too. It gives you some background as to the characters and gives the story purpose but it feels it’s a story first and a puzzle book second.

DESIGN

The book has a very clear colour palette of black, white and yellow and this is maintained throughout the book. The puzzles are clear and well designed although they are very blocky in nature. This means that they look more functional than realistic. It doesn’t mean they are any less of a puzzle just that the design means it is less like an escape room.

OVERALL

There is plenty to keep an enthusiast busy for a couple of hours if you aren’t bothered about getting bogged down in the story. One worthy of being in lockdown or musing over on a beach somewhere.

Theme *****

Design *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****