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CarmelKevin

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Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
http://boardgaming.com/register/?invited_by=kthompson33
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6 out of 6 gamers thought this was helpful

This is an “escape the room” game, much like a similar game you may have played on a phone app or done in person at an Escape Room-type business. This is a small box set game that is best played with 1-4 players cooperatively. It would actually work well as a solo game without losing any value or having to set up a dummy player.

The game consists of several puzzles to be solved (maybe around 15) to successively “open” locked drawers, doors, and safes to eventually escape from your situation – in this case we were trapped in a polar research station (the details of our peril didn’t really matter to the game play). Solving the puzzles involves searching through the various game materials that are provided to you on an as-needed basis. After you think you know the 3-digit code to open the locked doors you enter it on a decoder dial to discover if you are correct. Getting it wrong is okay, you’ll just go back to work and try again later. Getting it right will lead to the next puzzle.

The puzzles are visual in nature which have you study pictures, words, symbols, colors, etc. Some puzzles want you to mark on or destroy the game materials. This is plainly noted on the box. This makes the game unplayable in the future but it would not be playable anyway since you’d know the answers to all of the puzzles.

Each puzzle has 3 hint cards you can use if you get stuck. The first is a gentle nudge in the right direction, the second is a more concrete clue and the third gives the answer with an explanation of the solution.

We started out playing with 6 people, which can be done, but didn’t work well because it’s not very practical to gather that many people around the clues and pieces. A few of our group dropped out because they either didn’t like such puzzles or could not get engaged. I am a puzzle lover and was worried that the 3/5 difficulty rating might make it too easy, but it was not. They were sufficiently challenging and we ended up taking over 2 hours to solve it using hints on 5 or 6 of the puzzles. There was really only one puzzle that we agreed we never could have gotten without the hints.

So, overall it was a fun activity for a cost of $15. It cannot be played again but that’s still cheaper than a night at the movies for 2 or more people. It does, however, take a certain type of player to enjoy this game. Make sure to choose a group that enjoys such an activity since this will be a puzzle solving evening rather than a board gaming one.

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