any of the game’s secrets, I’ll guide you through how to play Unlock!
Escape Adventures, an escape room board game edition.
Escape rooms have been one of the latest and greatest entertainment faculties of the 21st century. A group of friends (or complete random people) are sent into a pre-fabricated puzzle room, where a strain of clues, ranging from subtle to outlandish, help the occupants find a way to escape.
Accomplish this feat in a given amount of time, and you win! Fail,
and you’re stuck in that room until the end of time! Mwahahaha! Okay,
not really. The organizers have a good laugh at your incompetence,
then open the door, show you all the secrets you missed, and wish you
better luck next time.
While escape rooms are incredibly popular among puzzle-loving
civilians, as well as mobile app gamers, how could such an experience
possibly translate to a board game? Don’t you need to see the room?
To hold the objects and employ them in various ways? Yes, and no, say
the creative team at Asmodee, creators of today’s topic of
Unlock! Escape Adventures
Unlock! is a fantastic escape room board game. The original Escape
Adventures edition is a complete set, and packs three brain-teasing
adventures into one big box. In Canada, the 3-piece set is harder to
find. I recommend trying online, where it runs about $30-$40. The
individual games are more common, but can run upwards of $20 each.
The Original Unlock! Escape Adventures Set includes:
- The Island
of Doctor Goorse
- The Formula
- Squeak &
Other, newer editions include (but may not be limited to):
Unlock! Secret Adventures
- A Noside
Adventures of Oz
Unlock! Exotic Adventures
The Night of The Boogeymen
Unlock! Mystery Adventures
- The House
on the Hill
Unlock! Heroic Adventures
- In Pursuit
of the White Rabbit
- Insert Coin
Unlock! Review – No Spoilers!
hardest part about writing this review of Asmodee’s Unlock!
board game escape rooms is that I really can’t tell you much about
it. Not without giving away any spoilers, that is, and I refuse to do
that! I can tell you that the creators were not lying when they said
you do not have to read
to learn how to play Unlock! Escape Adventures.
adventure contains a deck of cards. You start with only a few cards,
then work your way along to unlock more. One is a picture of the
place in which you’re stuck, with a series of numbers on it. You’ll
have a card for each of those numbers, each depicting an item and
brief description. As you move forward, you’ll combine the number son
these cards to get new numbers, which unlock new cards in the
remainder of the deck.
help you along, you’ll need to download the Unlock!
This is an absolute must! The app will help guide you through each
escape in multiple ways. You’ll enter codes here to unlock different
parts of the adventure. It also comes with a timer and thematic
background music, helping to increase the suspense as the clock ticks
down. And, if necessary, it will provide you with hints if and when
you get stuck.
I find these games fascinating. I’ve done real escape rooms before,
and while no board game can truly compare to these experiences, this
game comes admirably close. All you need is a few friends – or even
a single friend, but the more the merrier – the app, and an
adventure to play.
for the level of difficulty, it’s important to realize that games
creators feel the need to build something that will present their
users with a real challenge. These aren’t like traditional board
games, where you learn the rules and play over and over again, with a
different scenario occurring each time based on random cards or dice
rolls. It’s a single, stream-lined investigatory puzzle game that can
only be solved once.
order to offer any kind of exemplary challenge, the puzzles do have
to be hard. Otherwise players would come away feeling they’d wasted
their money on something too easy. Make it too hard, and players will
simply hate it. I feel like they’ve done a decent job of making the
escapes difficult, but not so difficult you have to be a mad
scientist to figure them out. Some of the clues will leave you
scratching your head, and odds are you’ll need a hint or two to
finish each adventure before time expires. So long as your group
tries their best and enjoys the experience, who cares?
think the biggest problem with the game is that, as I mentioned
above, you can’t play an adventure twice. Once you know how to
escape, the challenge is over. Fortunately, the games aren’t that
expensive, and odds are you can get one even cheaper buying used.
Once you’ve played, you can sell it too, or pass it on to someone
else you know will enjoy it.
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