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Escape Room: The Game Review

Escape Room: The Game Review
*3/5*

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I received a free party pack of Escape Room:The Game by Spin Master through House Party for testing and evaluating purposes. All opinions are my own


I had a feeling that the "Escape Room: The Game" was definitely a spin off of the more popular mobile-app and PC web based games featuring a puzzle with clues to escape a room that you are trapped in. This particular game by Spin Master tries to take those virtual games and make them into a reality multi-player team-based strategy game. 

This game box featured 4 different adventures that ranged in difficulty. Each adventure comes with 3 sets of clues, a backstory for the adventure, hint cards, keys, a chrono-decoder, and an actual decoder.



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Reading the backstory really gets the intensity of the game going as they are fairly well detailed and really makes you feel like you are physically in that predicament. I enjoyed the cheeky jokes and riddles and the intensity only became worse when we hit the "Start" button on the chrono-decoder since we had decided to play with the sound effects on. The sound effects were subtle noises, but still enough to be quite distracting - adding more to the atmosphere of solving the riddles within 60 minutes. 
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Oh, did I mention that? Yes, you only get 60 minutes to escape. Not only that, but each time you enter an incorrect code into the chrono-decoder, it deducts one minute each time. It really can become enough to get your heart racing and your mind to overthink (Even though the game rules and tips warn against overthinking!)

Every so often, the chrono-decoder will make a sound which alerts you that its time to check a hint card. These hint cards are supposed to help you when you are stuck by giving sly hints - however prove quite useless if you haven't progressed far enough to use them. Sometimes, you have to save them for later use.


The keys have different shapes, numbers, letters, and codes on them which gives more of a sense of digging through items to find the correct codes. It adds to the intense feeling of being timed.



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I initially did have a concern right from the get-go during set up - How is the chrono decoder supposed to know which adventure you choose and if the code keys are in a correct order since there is no way to choose your adventure through the chrono-decoder? I had assumed that each adventure would be based off of the first set of codes entered into the decoder with the keys. However, during my game night play through, we did encounter problems with the correct code not taking. We realized it was the correct code when we had put the same code in several times, it eventually took. We are still uncertain what caused this error, but it did inevitably ruin the game for us.


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Overall, I really enjoy the team-work based game as it gives the feel that either you all escape or no one does. I liked the intensity of all of the aspects of the game including sounds, physical clues, maps, and the fact that you have to solve puzzles and sometimes even de-crypt clues. I like that it used real-world aspects, as at one point, in order to decipher a clue, we had to physically make a phone call to a phone number provided (that we had to originally find in the first place) and listen to the recording for our clue. 
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I don't really like that in order to continue to play the game, you are forced into purchasing expansion packs as each game can only be played through once - since once you figure out the codes to each adventure, that's the only time that you can play. I feel the game would have been much better served if it would have incorporated more of a mobile download aspect instead of additional purchasing. I also personally feel that the chrono-decoder may have not been truly capable of deciphering which adventure that you are truly on and can end up messing up your codes - which actually messes up your adventure and all that you can do is allow your time to run out. I didn't see any reason that the game would be for 3-5 players, it seemed as though 1-2 players would be just as capable of playing this game, or even more players. Perhaps the 3-5 was just a suggestion number.


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All-in-all, I feel its an interesting game for an out-of-the-way game night session for the adventures given since there are four adventures offered in one pack however, as it stands right now, I don't foresee investing in future expansions for the game.



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