Bring the international escape room phenomenon to your next game night with Escape Room the Game. Based on the popular escape room experiences where players are locked in a room and have 60 minutes to work together to find hidden objects, figure out clues, and solve puzzles to earn their freedom, Escape Room the Game brings that challenge to players at home. You might not be literally locked into your living room, but you'll be locked into playing this suspenseful game with friends and family.
There are four adventures that you can play, and each one gets a little more difficult, so you'll want to start with the easiest one first. The adventures are Prison Break, Virus, Nuclear Countdown, and Temple of the Aztec. Each adventure can only be played through once.
Along with the adventures, the game also includes an electronic Chrono Decoder that keeps track of your time and has multiple decoder systems and information to help you find codes printed on the top and sides of the device. Once you think you've found the code, you place four keys from left to right in the top of the Chrono Decoder. (There are 16 keys total.) If you entered an incorrect code, you'll hear an error sound and the Chrono Decoder will deduct one minute from your remaining time.
And for those specific (and not-often-enough) times during the game when you get to read a hint, there are 32 hint cards and a hint card decoder.
To play, you take envelope part 1 of the adventure you've chosen, read the intro letter on the back of the envelope, and then open the envelope. Then press "start" on the Chrono Decoder to start the 60-minute countdown. All players check the front and back of the provided materials, searching for clues, codes, riddles, and puzzles. You can't move on to the next envelope in the adventure until you correctly identify the four-key code and enter those keys into the Chrono Decoder. If you're able to correctly find all three codes within 60 minutes, you win!
If you don't succeed within 60 minutes, the timer will start counting up from zero, and you can continue to try to find the codes.
The original escape room experiences were all about teamwork and problem-solving skills, and those are the same things that at-home players will need to successfully solve the adventures in Escape Room the Game. It adds a bit of suspense and excitement to your next game night. If you've done an escape room before, then playing this game will be familiar to you, but if you're new to the whole experience, make sure you read through the instructions carefully before playing so that you don't accidentally ruin the adventure. Will you become frustrated while playing? Yes, you might, and that's all part of the experience. So if you're not into games like that, then this probably won't be the game for you. This is going to be fun for players who enjoy solving puzzles and finding codes, or for anyone looking to do an escape room without leaving the comforts of their home.
Escape Room the Game is for three to five players ages 16 and up. For those who have done an actual escape room, this brings a similar experience to a game night at home. It's also a fun way for those who are new to escape rooms to experience one minus the claustrophobic feeling of being locked in a room for an hour. It's still pretty suspenseful like the original escape room experiences, and it's also still a good way to build teamwork among friends and family.
You'll need three AA batteries for the Chrono Decoder, and the batteries are not included. You will also need pen and paper for each player.
Each of the four adventures can only be played through once. However, if other people want to play an adventure that has already been played, you can print all the "used" parts from the Escape Room the Game website (www.escaperoomthegame.com) and replace them in the game. Just make sure you put everything in the correct envelope. Expansion packs for the game are due to arrive next year.
The game has a companion app, which wasn't available at the time of this review, with thematic background music to add to your gameplay. You can also share photos of your team through the app. And the Escape Room the Game website (www.escaperoomthegame.com) offers FAQs, videos about the game rules, and introduction letters for each adventure. If you were unsuccessful or curious about which clues you missed, the website will provide that information, too.
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